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Nokia Lumia 925: Reviewed & Compared to iPhone 5, Galaxy S4

grand master

 

 

On Tuesday, Nokia announced their latest smartphone. The Lumia 925 provides advanced camera functionality on a smartphone that’s been slimmed down since previous models. It also features an organic LED display and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system.

 

The Lumia 925: Nokia’s New Flagship Smartphone

 

Lumia 925 Design.jpgThe Lumia 920 has been Nokia’s flagship smartphone for the past 6 months. With its advanced camera, the handset was considered to be one of the best smartphones for photography. Six months on and Nokia have announced a new flagship device: the Nokia Lumia 925. The Lumia 925 contains a raft of improvements such as a lighter design, a slimmer form factor, a more vibrant display and an improved camera.

 

In this article, we take a look at the Lumia 925 and at what’s changed since the Lumia 920. We’ll ask if Nokia has done enough to compete against Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4. Finally, we’ll look at the release date and pricing for the new phone.

 

A Slimmer & Lighter Design

 

With the Lumia 920, one of the biggest criticisms was the weight and size of the device. Whereas smartphones normally weigh in at around 135 grams, the Lumia 920 was almost 40% heavier at a weight of 185 grams. It’s also 2.4mm thicker than the average device. Combined, the weight and the thickness of the Lumia 920 make it feel a bit bulky as a smartphone.

 

On the Lumia 925, Nokia has concentrated on reducing the weight and the thickness of the device. The old polycarbonate unibody has been replaced by an aluminium frame: this gives the device extra strength whilst reducing its weight. As on the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S, the metal frame doubles up as the antenna. On the back of the device, the polycarbonate materials have been kept. The end result is that the Lumia 925 is lighter and thinner: both the weight and thickness are now in line with industry standards.

 

Handset

Weight (g)

Thickness (mm)

Apple iPhone 5

112g

7.6mm

BlackBerry Z10

138g

9.0mm

HTC One

143g

9.3mm

Samsung Galaxy S4

130g

7.9mm

Sony Xperia Z

146g

7.9mm

Average for non-Nokia devices:

135g

8.3mm

 

 

 

Nokia Lumia 920 (old flagship)

185g

10.7mm

Nokia Lumia 925 (new flagship)

139g

8.5mm

Comparison of smartphone weight and thickness.

 

To achieve the reduction in weight, Nokia has removed the built-in support for wireless charging. Wireless charging will now be available through an additional back plate. This needs to be clipped on to your phone in order to charge wirelessly. The wireless charging back plate is sold separately at an additional cost.

 

More “Muted” Colours: White, Grey & Black

 

To date, one of the signature features on the Lumia range of smartphones is the ability to get handsets in a range of different colours. Nokia has used a range of vibrant colours on their devices. This includes everything from the entry-level Lumia 620 to the high-end Lumia 920. Colours have included blue, red, yellow, green, orange and pink. For consumers who wanted to avoid a “boring black slab”, the colours offered by Nokia have been a breath of fresh air.

 

Because of the new aluminium frame, Nokia has unfortunately dropped the choice of vibrant colours on the Lumia 925. The latest member of the Lumia family is only available in white, grey and black. According to Nokia, the new “polycarbonate colours [have been] deliberately muted to match the hue of the metal”.

 

Lumia 925 VS 920 Colours.jpg
The Lumia 925 (left) is available in white, grey and black. This is in contrast to the Lumia 920 (right) which was also available in a vibrant colours such as blue, red and yellow.

 

4.5-inch Organic LED Display: A More Vibrant Display

 

With the Lumia 925, Nokia has switched from using an LCD display to using an organic LED display. The benefits of an organic LED display are more vibrant colours, improved contrast ratios and better viewing angles. Organic LED displays also have a faster response time. This makes them better for fast-moving video and games. On the flip side, organic LED displays are sometimes criticised for having unrealistic and oversaturated colours.

 

Apart from the change in screen technology, the display remains the same at 4.5-inches in size and a resolution of 1280x768 pixels. This seems a little bit behind the times as most other manufacturers have been moving towards a full HD display with 1920x1080 pixels. Whilst the Lumia 925 is unable to match this, it still gives sharp text at a pixel density of 332 pixels per inch. The Windows Phone operating system currently lacks support for full HD displays. Until this is resolved, it’s unlikely that Nokia will bring out a full HD smartphone.

 

The display on the Lumia 925 compares as follows to other smartphones:

 

Handset

Display Size

Resolution

Pixel Density

Technology

Apple iPhone 5

4.0-inches

1136x640 pixels

326ppi (“Retina”)

LCD

BlackBerry Q10

4.2-inches

720x720 pixels

330ppi

Organic LED

BlackBerry Z10

3.1-inches

1280x768 pixels

356ppi

LCD

HTC One

4.7-inches

1920x1080 pixels

468ppi

LCD

Nokia Lumia 920 (old)

4.5-inches

1280x768 pixels

332ppi

LCD

Nokia Lumia 925 (new)

4.5-inches

1280x768 pixels

332ppi

Organic LED

Samsung Galaxy S4

5.0-inches

1920x1080 pixels

441ppi

Organic LED

Sony Xperia Z

5.0-inches

1920x1080 pixels

441ppi

LCD

Comparison of display size, screen resolution, pixel density and technology on popular smartphones.

 

Like its predecessor, the Lumia 925 has Super Sensitive Touch. This means you can use the touchscreen whilst wearing gloves. The only other device to feature similar technology is the Samsung Galaxy S4.

 

Camera: Improved Low-Light Performance & “Smart Camera” Functionality

 

The Lumia 920 was already known for having one of the best cameras on a smartphone. Its PureView camera technology consisted of a backside-illuminated camera sensor, an optically-stabilised camera array and a large aperture lens (f/2.0). Due to the design of the camera, an increased amount of light can be collected by the sensor. Longer exposure times are also possible without blurring in the image. Because of this, the Lumia 920 has stood out for giving great photographs in low light conditions.

 

On the Lumia 925, Nokia has largely kept the existing camera hardware. There’s one small change: the camera now uses a 6-part lens rather than a 5-part lens. According to Nokia, this further improves the low-light performance.

 

Camera.jpg

Taking the same approach as Samsung took on the Galaxy S4, the main improvements on the Lumia 925’s camera come from software enhancements. Nokia have created a new application called “Smart Camera”. This adds a whole range of new shooting modes including:

 

  • Action Shot.jpgBurst Shot Mode. The “Burst Shot” mode allows you to take 10 photos in rapid succession. Each photo is at 5 megapixels.

  • Best Shot. Allows you to choose the best photo from a sequence of images.

  • Action Shot. The “Action Shot” mode allows you to capture a sequence of movements in one picture. It’s similar to the “Drama Shot” mode on the Galaxy S4 but Nokia’s implementation is much more powerful. With Nokia’s version, you can toggle individual frames and adjust the opacity of each one. This allows you to refine the image.

  • Motion Blur.jpgChange Faces. The Lumia 925 can capture a sequence of images from which you can choose the best expression for each person. The software will combine facial expressions from different photos. The end result should be a photograph where everyone’s smiling.

  • Motion Focus. Blurs the background and sharpens the foreground. This can help to emphasise something in a picture.

  • Remove Moving Object. Automatically removes moving objects e.g. other people walking into your shot.

Amber Update.jpgThe new software also allows photos to be taken at a higher ISO setting. The camera was previously limited to a sensitivity of ISO 800. With the new software, you can capture photos at a sensitivity of ISO 3200. A higher ISO is beneficial when capturing fast-moving objects (e.g. for sports photography).

 

If you already own a Lumia device, don’t despair. Nokia will bring all of the camera software enhancements to existing Lumia devices with Windows Phone 8. This will come in the third quarter of the year. The update is being called “Amber”. The Amber update will also enable the FM radio functionality.

 

Nokia Lumia 925: Comparison to iPhone 5 and Galaxy S4

 

The Lumia 925 compares as follows to the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S4:

 

 

Nokia Lumia 925
Lumia 925 Front.jpg

Apple iPhone 5

 iPhone 5 Front.jpg

Samsung Galaxy S4

Galaxy S4.jpg 

Processor

1.5GHz dual-core

1.3GHz dual-core

1.9GHz quad-core

Display

4.5-inch AMOLED (organic LED) display

4.0-inch TFT display

5.0-inch AMOLED (organic LED) display

Screen Resolution

1280x768 pixels

1136x640 pixels

1920x1080 pixels

Pixel Density

332 pixels per inch (332 ppi)

326 pixels per inch (326 ppi)

441 pixels per inch (441 ppi)

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Phone 8

Apple iOS 6

Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

RAM

1GB

1GB

2GB

Storage

16GB

16GB, 32GB or 64GB

16GB, 32GB or 64GB

MicroSD Expansion

No

No

Up to 64GB

Cloud Storage

7GB (Microsoft SkyDrive)

5GB (Apple iCloud)

50GB (Dropbox)

Camera

8.7 megapixels with dual LED flash

8 megapixels with LED flash

13 megapixels with LED flash

Camera Aperture

f/2.0

f/2.4

f/2.2

Video recording

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

Battery

2,000mAh (non-removable, 13 hours talk time)

1,440mAh (non-removable, 8 hours talk time)

2,600mAh (removable, 17 hours talk time)

Weight

139g

112g

130g

NFC

Yes

No

Yes

Text Input

On-Screen Keyboard

On-Screen Keyboard

On-Screen Keyboard

Approx. Price

Approx £480

£529

£579

SIM Card Size

Micro SIM

Nano SIM

Micro SIM

 

All three devices are compatible with giffgaff and some great savings can be had when you buy the device SIM-free and use a giffgaff goodybag.

 

Nokia Lumia 925: Release Date

 

Lumia 925 End Article.jpgThe Lumia 925 can be pre-ordered from later this month (30th May). It’ll ship from the 13th June. According to Nokia, a SIM-free Lumia 925 will retail for around €469 before tax. This is around £480 when you include VAT.

 

Nokia also announced the Lumia 928 last week. This handset is exclusive to Verizon in the US and will not work in the UK. British consumers should buy the Lumia 925.

 

Your Thoughts…

 

In this article, we’ve taken a look at Nokia’s new flagship smartphone. The Lumia 925 features a lighter and slimmer design, an improved display that uses organic LED technology and an improved camera with advanced shooting modes. The new device retails from mid-June at a SIM-free price of around £480.

 

Are you excited about the Lumia 925? Do you think Nokia have done enough to take on Apple and Samsung? Are you a fan of the Windows Phone operating system or do you think it’s holding Nokia back? We’d love to hear your thoughts… please drop us a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Ken Lo writes about mobile technology and the mobile industry at Ken's Tech Tips.

12 Comments
newcomer

I'll stick with my 920, this is not much more than a cosmetic upgrade bar the additional optics in the new lens assembly.

contributor

bye bye nokia