The Nokia Lumia 925 went on sale in South Africa about two weeks ago. The 925 is just like the 920 spec-wise, except for the different, lighter and better looking exterior. It’s the first metal handset in the Lumia range, and the metal band around the edge acts like an antenna. As someone who lives in an area with extremely poor reception – I get 2 bars of reception or less with my regular phone, the handset gave me 4 bars in same spot downstairs at my work space. I successfully made phone calls without having to go upstairs and find the best spot.
The band gives it a nice grip and it’s not likely to slip from your hands. The phone measures 129mm x 70.6mm x 8.5mm and it is 139g in weight. It has the same keys found on other Lumia handsets – to the right: volume, power and lock keys; and on the top a 3.5mm audio jack, a charging port and the micro SIM slot. The phone doesn’t feel as ‘big’ as its screen size.
The handset features a 4.5-inch display with a 1280×768 resolution; a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor; 1GB of RAM; 16GB of storage (which ideally should have been 32GB as it cannot be expanded); 8.7-megapixel PureView camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing wide angle HD camera. Connectivity options include USB, Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, and LTE.
I tested a silver and white Lumia 925, which got dirty quite quickly. After initial setup of logging into my Windows Live and social media accounts, I noticed push notifications weren’t working like how it supposed to. There was always a delay, except for text notifications and email which were instant. When I went into the notifications tab, I had to pull to refresh, versus new ones being there. After a bit of research, I saw that this isn’t isolated, maybe a software update will fix it. When it came to the keyboard, I kept hitting the wrong keys and it would take an unusually long time to type anything.
The selection of Windows Phone apps is still limited. There are apps for the basics, but the selection is not where it should have been by now (September 2013). Even though Flipboard, Vine and Path was announced a while back, it will only arrive before the end of the year. However, there is an unofficial Instagram app called 6tag, which made me very happy. The handset comes preloaded with a DataSense app that shows you how much data you used over WiFi and cellular – an excellent addition. It lets you set a limit over cellular so you don’t go overboard.
My other immediate downloads were Nokia Pro Cam and Nokia Smart Cam. The Nokia suite of apps are my favourite, especially Nokia Music, which gives you access to Mix Radio (ad-free). I downloaded two playlists for offline play before heading to the gym, and within the time it took me to get ready for gym, they were downloaded. HERE Maps also works great, just always remember to set everything up before heading out.
I found the battery life to be good – it’s a 2,000mAh battery. I removed the People Hub from the homescreen (the animation is unnecessary), and kept my shortcuts mainly on a small tile. The phone died on me completely on a day I was out for most of the day by 10pm, which was quite impressive that it lasted that long. Even with notifications not being instant, I only checked my feeds when I needed to, made use of the camera; and had the connectivity mode on 4G/LTE (refer to speeds on the above screenshot). On the day that I used the camera quite obsessively (took pics at a kids birthday), the battery didn’t last that long, coupled with regular use.
My favourite feature of the Lumia 925 is the brilliant camera. It’s an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera that works really well in low light conditions. Even the pics I took at night indoors were not grainy like most other cameras, which was quite impressive. Here are some unedited examples. The pic of my cat indoors was taken at night:
The Nokia Pro Cam, as the name suggests, lets you take more professional pics. You can manually adjust the white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed, etc. I spent quite a bit of time taking photos and changing modes. Here is an example of changing the focus:
The phone is ready to use straight out of the box, with Nokia’s suite of preloaded apps, which is the drawcard if you’re looking for a Windows Phone handset. This time around, I only really missed Flipboard, and 6tag is great, by the way. It’s everything you’d expect from a high-end smartphone and is the best Lumia designed handset. The phone should have had a 32GB storage option, instead of 16GB only. I’d recommend getting a darker colour though.
PRICE AND RATING
My Rating: 8.5/10