Review Nokia Lumia 925 Smartphone

Daniel Schmidt (translated by A Kammel), 08/21/2013

Night owl. Not even one year has passed between the release of Nokia's Lumia 920 and its successor, the Lumia 925. Supposedly, the already great camera has seen further improvements. In addition, Nokia's Windows Phone flagship has been slimmed down and equipped with an AMOLED screen. A simple facelift or an example of successful evolution?

For the original German review, see here.

Talking about specs, nothing much has changed - but then again, only seven months lie between the release of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 925. The CPU, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 with 1.5 GHz, has remained the same, as has the RAM (1 GB). The flash storage has actually been halved from 32 GB to 16 GB (so far, only Vodafone customers can purchase a 32 GB variant). The display has changed from an IPS panel to AMOLED.

Since Windows Phone 8 was released in October 2012, the competition hasn't been very active. The Samsungs Ativ S comes with the same CPU and the same amount of storage as the Lumia 925, but it is also equipped with a micro SD card slot. So far, the Taiwanese HTC 8X is still the most recent device with Microsoft's OS. Talking about the camera, the Lumia's biggest competitor is most likely Apple's iPhone 5, a reference device as far as smartphone cameras go. But the Lumia 920 already managed to trump the iPhone in terms of low-light capabilities, an edge the Finnish corporation would like to increase while also taking the overall smartphone camera throne. Whether the camera has been improved during daylight usage as well and whether the Lumia 925 is worth the increased price (when compared to its predecessor), our detailed review will show.

Case

How we test - Case

The front is protected by Gorilla Glass 2.
The front is protected by Gorilla Glass 2.
The rear part is made from polycarbonate.
The rear part is made from polycarbonate.

Judging by its looks, this is a new smartphone. Nokia has managed to slim its flagship device down to manageable dimensions, 129.0 x 70.6 x 8.5 millimeters (Lumia 920: 10.7 mm), with a noticeably lighter weight of just 139 grams (Lumia 920: 185 grams).

The front of our test device is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2. It sports a 4.5-inch touchscreen with the three typical Windows Phone 8 software buttons. The rims of the mineral glass have been rounded off, leading to a complete absence of sharp edges. The rear part (which is available in white, gray and black, although this cannot be swapped as was the case with the Lumia 820) is made from polycarbonate, feeling the same as the plastic used on the Lumia 920: Soft, but premium.

Both components are connected to each other by a matte aluminium frame which serves as a design element (with a premium feel) and as an antenna. It helps increasing the overall stability, too, as the Lumia 925 is very torsion-resistant, pressure-resistant and creak-proof. The build quality of all parts is great, showing no clearances. Overall, the design language not only looks elegant, but also comes with favorable haptics.

Connectivity

How we test - Connectivity

The Nokia Lumia 925 ships with 16 GB of flash memory of which 12.5 GB can be accessed by the user. Only a Vodafone-exclusive variant (in Germany) comes with 32 GB of memory. We are surprised that Nokia has actually halved the memory space in comparison to the amply-sized Lumia 920, especially so since there is still no SD card slot.

Apart from this, the Lumia offers a micro USB port for charging and data transfer. Unfortunately, no Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) is included, which is disappointing since our test device neither comes with a DisplayPort nor an HDMI port. At least, DLNA is supported.

The compulsory 3.5 mm audio jack combines Line In and Line Out. Bluetooth 3.0 is on board, as is an NFC chip. An optional cover allows for wireless charging.

The three physical buttons on the right-hand side of the phone sport a great pressure point and no clearances whatsoever. The camera button protrudes a bit more than the volume rocker and the power button, making it easily recognizable.

At the top: Line In/Out, micro USB port, micro SIM slot
At the top: Line In/Out, micro USB port, micro SIM slot
From below
From below
Left-hand side
Left-hand side
Right-hand side: Camera, power button, volume rocker
Right-hand side: Camera, power button, volume rocker
Nokia offers a variety of exclusive apps.
Nokia offers a variety of exclusive apps.

Software

The Nokia Lumia 925 uses Microsoft's newest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8 (GDR2), shipping with the most recent version which would otherwise be distributed one device at a time. As no major overhaul of the UI has been performed, we don't find many surprises or differences when compared to the OS on the Lumia 920.

Nokia has its own comprehensive app portfolio, some of it available only to owners of Nokia-built smartphones. We already know the turn-by-turn navigation software used in the Lumia 920 which has finally left its beta phase, being called Here Drive+. Those with a Lumia device have access to the full maps for 95 countries (which can be stored offline to be used without a data connection). But there are many more value-adding apps like Here Maps, Here Transit, Nokia Music or Here City Lens.

 

Communication & GPS

The Lumia 925 is a master of wireless communication. The Wi-Fi IEEE-802.11 a/b/g/n module supports both the 2.4 GHz and the 5.0 GHz bands - only the newer ac standard is not supported by our test device. The reliability and the effective range of the Wi-Fi module were great, leading to decent transmission rates even when 20 meters away from the router (decent enough to browse the web).

The user's location is determined quickly and reliably.
The user's location is determined quickly and reliably.

The smartphone comes with both a GPS and a Glonass receiver, leading to fast and precise location measurements even inside of buildings where it only took the device 10 seconds to find our position.

The Lumia 925 also supports all four standard GSM frequencies (850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz). There is also an LTE radio which provides more frequency bands than the iPhone 5, leading to LTE compatibility with most carriers. For those without LTE contracts, HSPA+ is on board as well.

The numpad is simple but well-designed.
The numpad is simple but well-designed.

Telephone Functions

The minimalist phone app of Windows Phone 8 remains unchanged from that of the Lumia 920, as does the rest of the operating system. First, a call list pops up. The menu at the lower edge of the screen allows the user direct access to the mailbox, their contacts and the numpad, which comes with large buttons while remaining perfectly useable even with just one hand.

Its voice quality is superb. No matter whether we were trying to call another mobile device or a fixed-line phone, our opposite could always easily be understood. The same holds true for the reverse case. Even the speakerphone worked well as long as the environment wasn't too noisy. Unfortunately, while our own voice came through clearly, the loudspeakers didn't do too great a job in rendering the voice of our counterpart, resulting in a tinny sound.

Cameras & Multimedia

As far as Nokia is to be believed, the 8.7 MP camera is the killer feature of the Nokia Lumia 925. Photos can be taken with a 16:9 aspect ratio (3552x2000 pixels) as well as a 4:3 aspect ratio (3264x2448). Full HD videos are recorded in 1080p (1920x1080 pixels) with 30 fps.

The Carl Zeiss lens - actually six lenses, one more than the Lumia 920 which sports the same specs otherwise - with PureView technology comes with a fixed focal length of 26 mm and an aperture of f/2.0. The other major change when compared to its predecessor: The ISO range has been expanded to cover a light sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 3200 instead of ISO 100 to 800 - an impressive feat for a smartphone.

As the specs might already reveal, the focus of Nokia's so-called "night vision device" clearly lies on its light sensitivity. This is easily noticeable during real-life usage, even during daylight experiments. Here, our test device yields decent pictures, even though those of the iPhone 5 may appear a bit more life-like. The overexposure which plagued the Lumia 920 is no more (thanks to a software update, the same is now true for owners of the original flagship device) - only when comparing to our reference pictures can we make out a little bit of extra brightness, but this is no real issue. Thanks to its large aperture and its higher sensitivity when compared to the iPhone, pictures are brighter. A smaller minimum ISO value of 50 (as implemented in Cupertino's device) would have helped here. Image sharpness is unquestionable. The only real challenge for the camera lies in backlit scenarios, where the image quality suffers (as can also be seen in panorama pictures). Still, this is no tragic flaw.

Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia Lumia 925
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920
Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 4
Google Nexus 4
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57
Reference camera: Sony Alpha 57
Daylight snapshot with the panorama app.
Daylight snapshot with the panorama app.
Landscape panorama during dusk.
Landscape panorama during dusk.


Low-light scenarios: This is where the camera truly shines. Thanks to the optical image stabilization system, even indoors, un-blurred pictures can be taken without flash. Our test images during dusk show that the camera is capable of handling these conditions very well, as the resulting images remain sharp, with natural colors and only moderate image noise. Even at night, the Lumia 925 manages to take pictures (with support of its dual LED flash) which we haven't seen before in a smartphone. It is even a bit better than its predecessor, the Lumia 920 - and actually on par with most small and medium-sized compact cameras.

Dusk: ISO 320, 1/50 sec. (no flash)
Dusk: ISO 320, 1/50 sec. (no flash)
Dusk: ISO 400, 1/50 sec. (no flash)
Dusk: ISO 400, 1/50 sec. (no flash)
Dusk: ISO 800, 1/50 sec. (no flash)
Dusk: ISO 800, 1/50 sec. (no flash)
In the dark: ISO 1600, 1/14 sec. (flash)
In the dark: ISO 1600, 1/14 sec. (flash)
In the dark: ISO 400, 1/19 sec. (flash)
In the dark: ISO 400, 1/19 sec. (flash)
Underpass: ISO 800, 1/6 sec. (no flash)
Underpass: ISO 800, 1/6 sec. (no flash)
Webcam
Webcam

The wide-angle front camera comes with a resolution of 1280x960 pixels and an aperture of 2.4. It offers decent image quality, more than enough for video calls.

In addition to the Smart Cam app, a number of different apps for image capture and image processing are made available by Nokia.

Accessories

As expected, there is not much to be found in the box. Next to a headset and a small tool for inserting the SIM card, there is only the USB cable (for data transfer and charging) as well as the power adapter (6.5 watts, 5 V / 1.3 A). In Germany, the power adapter comes with both a TÜV and a GS test seal. It only draws 0.03 watts on standby.

Tons of optional accessories can be purchased, most importantly, charging covers in black, red, white and yellow made specifically for the Lumia 925 which allow the device to be charged wirelessly. The rest of the accessories (meant for the entire product portfolio) can be found on Nokia's website.

Warranty

The Lumia 925 comes with 24 months of warranty (as do all Nokia smartphones) on the device itself, 12 months on the accessories and the integrated battery and 6 months on the power adapter. No warranty extensions are available. The user can freely choose whether necessary repairs can be handled by one of Nokia's certified service partners or by Nokia itself. It is possible to verify via the official website (via input of the IMEI number) whether the device is still within its warranty period.

Input Devices & Handling

Text input is done via the virtual keyboard. It has remained unchanged in comparison to that of the Lumia 920. While it looks a bit crowded in portrait mode, we didn't produce many typos. In landscape mode, the screen real estate is not fully used, resulting in black bars at the sides.

The capacitive touchscreen supports input by up to ten fingers at the same time, responding quickly. Even near to the edges, it works reliably while at the same time remaining sensitive enough to be used with gloves (a feature which can be deactivated to reduce power consumption).

The keys are small and crowded in portrait mode.
The keys are small and crowded in portrait mode.
In landscape mode, the keyboard uses up a lot of height while wasting space at the sides.
In landscape mode, the keyboard uses up a lot of height while wasting space at the sides.

Display

How we test - Display

Lumia 925 (left) and Lumia 920 (right).
Lumia 925 (left) and Lumia 920 (right).

The display of the Nokia Lumia 925 measures 4.5-inches. Its resolution of 1280x768 pixels leads to an aspect ratio of 5:3 and a pixel density of 334 ppi. In contrast to its predecessor, the Lumia 920 with its IPS technology, the new panel is based on OLED technology, specifically AMOLED. It comes with Nokia's ClearBlack which has already been implemented in the Lumia 820. In addition, PureMotion HD+ is supposed to lead to improved readability in direct sunlight.

The panel comes with a low average brightness of 292 cd/m² and a brightness homogeneity of 90%. While the former is not impressive when compared to the competition, it is not a big problem during actual usage. The display of the Lumia 920, for example, is a bit brighter (322 cd/m², 89%), but still looks dimmer (see photo above). Of course, the iPhone 5 gets far more luminous (487 cd/m², 95%), but this is a common complaint with AMOLED panels in comparison to LCD screens. However, AMOLED panels offer a superior contrast ratio. In many cases, this is actually more important. One example might be the Samsung Galaxy S4 which only sports a brightness of 301 cd/m², but comes with perfect contrast.

284
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
288
cd/m²
314
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 315 cd/m²
Average: 296.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 315 cd/m²
Black: 0.0 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1
The color profile can be changed.
The color profile can be changed.

Black levels are superb. We measured 0.0 cd/m², meaning: Black is black. Thus, we cannot calculate any contrast ratio, with an unsurpassable theoretical value of ∞:1 (for comparison, the iPhone sports a value of 0.48 cd/m², leading to a contrast ratio of 1040:1).

Nokia doesn't specify the color rendition capabilities of the Lumia 925. Color accuracy is great, we were unable to measure any deviations apart from tiny DeltaE values for white and red. Generally speaking, most colors appear a bit louder than they should, something which is typical for OLED displays (as our CalMAN measurements confirm). Those who don't like these vivid colors may optimize the color profile in the settings app.

Color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
Color accuracy (target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (target color space sRGB)
Color Checker (target color space sRGB)
Color Checker (target color space sRGB)
Color Checker (target color space Adobe RGB)
Color Checker (target color space Adobe RGB)
Grayscale rendition (target color space sRGB)
Grayscale rendition (target color space sRGB)


Since smartphones are by their very nature mobile devices, outdoor readability is crucial. Luckily, the enormous contrast ratio is more than enough to compensate for the Lumia's low peak brightness. Even in direct sunlight, the smartphone remains usable (and perfectly so in the shade).

Viewing angles Nokia Lumia 925
Viewing angles Nokia Lumia 925
Outdoor usage: Lumia 920 (above), Lumia 925 (below)
Outdoor usage: Lumia 920 (above), Lumia 925 (below)

Viewing angle stability is another one of the strengths of the Lumia flagship device. As expected, its AMOLED screen holds its ground even at extreme viewing angles, with the only nuisance being the reflections which become more annoying for larger angles. Above a deviation of approximately 45 degrees, the typical blue AMOLED tint becomes noticeable, but it never turns dominant or distracting.

Performance

How we test - Performance

No surprises here: Nokia uses the same SoC as in the Lumia 920, Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 MSM8960, a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU with an integrated Adreno 225 GPU. While this (as well as the 1 GB of RAM) doesn't look good on paper - especially in times of quad-core phones - more simply isn't possible until the end of 2013, when the GDR3 update of Windows Phone 8 lifts its current two-core limit.

Still, the performance of Qualcomm's SoC is more than sufficient for all current applications. Everything runs smoothly with no stutters being noticeable in the UI of Windows Phone 8. Some apps take some time to start but this is no different for Android or iOS.

The Lumia 925 is every bit as fast as the Lumia 920 or the HTC 8X, yielding the same benchmark results as all three sport the same SoC with only minimal performance deviations due to different OS versions (the Amber update doesn't seem to do much in this regard).

GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3.3 fps ∼1%
Nokia Lumia 920
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 32 GB SSD
3.6 fps ∼1% +9%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
6.7 fps ∼1% +103%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
15 fps ∼2% +355%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
6.3 fps ∼11%
Nokia Lumia 920
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 32 GB SSD
6.3 fps ∼11% 0%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
13.6 fps ∼23% +116%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
15 fps ∼25% +138%
Peacekeeper
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
335 Points ∼5%
Nokia Lumia 820
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 8 GB SSD
333 Points ∼5% -1%
Huawei Ascend W1
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8230, 4 GB Flash
279 Points ∼5% -17%
Samsung ATIV S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB SSD
338 Points ∼5% +1%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
863 Points ∼14% +158%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
555 Points ∼9% +66%
Sunspider
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
932.4 ms * ∼9%
Nokia Lumia 820
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 8 GB SSD
923.2 ms * ∼9% +1%
Huawei Ascend W1
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8230, 4 GB Flash
1124.7 ms * ∼11% -21%
Nokia Lumia 920
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 32 GB SSD
915.3 ms * ∼9% +2%
HTC Windows Phone 8X
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
896 ms * ∼8% +4%
Samsung ATIV S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB SSD
1737.4 ms * ∼16% -86%
Asus Padfone
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
1625.3 ms * ∼15% -74%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
935.4 ms * ∼9% -0%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1095.4 ms * ∼10% -17%
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
905.1 ms * ∼22%
Nokia Lumia 920
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 32 GB SSD
891 ms * ∼22% +2%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
714 ms * ∼18% +21%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1168.2 ms * ∼29% -29%
Google V8 Ver. 6
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
759 points ∼6%
Nokia Lumia 820
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 8 GB SSD
764 points ∼7% +1%
Huawei Ascend W1
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8230, 4 GB Flash
596 points ∼5% -21%
Nokia Lumia 920
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 32 GB SSD
762 points ∼7% 0%
HTC Windows Phone 8X
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
781 points ∼7% +3%
Samsung ATIV S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB SSD
770 points ∼7% +1%
Asus Padfone
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
1545 points ∼13% +104%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
1640 points ∼14% +116%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2593 points ∼22% +242%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
787 Points ∼4%
Nokia Lumia 820
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 8 GB SSD
783 Points ∼4% -1%
Huawei Ascend W1
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8230, 4 GB Flash
617 Points ∼3% -22%
Nokia Lumia 920
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 32 GB SSD
785 Points ∼4% 0%
HTC Windows Phone 8X
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
785 Points ∼4% 0%
Samsung ATIV S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB SSD
792 Points ∼4% +1%
Asus Padfone
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8260A, 16 GB SSD
1603 Points ∼9% +104%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
1457 Points ∼8% +85%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2222 Points ∼12% +182%
Octane V1 - Total Score
Nokia Lumia 925
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB iNAND Flash
593 Points ∼3%
Nokia Lumia 820
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 8 GB SSD
618 Points ∼3% +4%
Huawei Ascend W1
Adreno 305, S4 Plus MSM8230, 4 GB Flash
486 Points ∼2% -18%
Samsung ATIV S
Adreno 225, S4 Plus MSM8960, 16 GB SSD
616 Points ∼3% +4%
Apple iPhone 5
SGX543MP3, A6, 32 GB SSD
1663 Points ∼8% +180%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
Adreno 320, 600 APQ8064T, 16 GB iNAND Flash
2290 Points ∼11% +286%

* ... smaller is better

Games

Thanks to Xbox Live, a broad, high-quality games portfolio exists for Windows Phone. Additionally, more and more successful iOS and Android games are ported to Microsoft's OS. The Adreno 225 GPU clocks at 400 MHz, offering more than enough performance for all games which are currently available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Neither 3D games like Royal Revolt! nor FIFA 13 nor smartphone classics such as Angry Birds pose any problems.

The large variety of sensors included in the Lumia 925 do their part to help, as does the precise touchscreen. Gamers will be satisfied with Nokia's work.

Royal Revolt!
Royal Revolt!
FIFA 13
FIFA 13

Emissions

How we test - Emissions

Temperature

As with all smartphones, surface temperature is an important detail. Since these devices are passively cooled, the developing heat has to be dissipated via the case. While idle, the Lumia 925 doesn't even get lukewarm at 30.1 °C. This is considerably less than the Lumia 920 (34.1 °C), but a bit more than the Windows Phone champion in this regard, the Samsung Ativ S (28.2 °C).

As expected, these values increase under full load, up to 47.0 °C in the case of our test device. Thus, the Lumia 925 gets rather hot, definitely more so than the HTC 8X (43.4 °C) or the Ativ S (42.3 °C). At least Nokia has managed to decrease the excessive heat generation of its predecessor (up to 53.3 °C).

 29.3 °C29.1 °C29.6 °C 
 29.2 °C29.3 °C30.1 °C 
 28.6 °C29.0 °C29.4 °C 
Maximum: 30.1 °C
Average: 29.3 °C
27.6 °C28.8 °C30.1 °C
27.6 °C29.1 °C29.2 °C
28.0 °C28.8 °C28.6 °C
Maximum: 30.1 °C
Average: 28.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  29.4 °C | Room Temperature 22.8 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The rear speaker hasn't been able to fully win us over during our speakerphone tests, and it doesn't during music playback either. While the highs are decent, the mids are faint and bass is virtually non-existent. In addition, everything starts to sound tinny once the volume is cranked up. Overall speaking, the sound experience of the Nokia Lumia 920 was considerably more vivid. While the speaker is decent enough for the occasional video or game, music would be enjoyed more via good headphones or external speakers.

The headset is basically just a glorified helper for telephone calls. While being well-designed, the sound quality is not that great. The headset also has trouble in blocking ambient (wind) noise.

Energy Management

How we test - Battery Life

Power Consumption

Luckily, the Lumia 925 is not as power-hungry as its predecessor. While idle, it uses 1.3 to 2.4 watts (Lumia 920: 2.1 to 3.9 watts). Still, the Samsung Ativ S only needs 1.0 to 2.1 watts and Apple's iPhone (0.4 to 1.4 watts) or high-performance Android devices such as the Galaxy S4 (0.4 to 1.2 watts) fare a lot better. The SoC doesn't appear to be the lone culprit here, as the Asus PadFone requires less (0.5 to 2.5 watts).

Under full load, we measured a maximum power consumption rate of 4.5 watts. Again, this is less than the Lumia 920 (5.4 watts), but more than most every other competitor (such as the Ativ S with 3.9 watts). The included power adapter has enough reserves to charge the battery even in this usage scenario.

When turned off, the Lumia 925 doesn't require any power at all, but during standby, an enormous amount of 1.2 watts is measured. This is due to a special function being active which allows the screen to display the time even when it is deactivated. Of course, this can be deactivated in the control panel.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 1.2 Watt
Idle 1.3 / 2.1 / 2.4 Watt
Load 3.2 / 4.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The maximum battery life is measured with the display turned on and set to minimum brightness. Apart from Wi-Fi, all radio modems are deactivated. Then, a browser script is started simulating the reading of a text. Since there is no option to keep the screen permanently activated, we have accompanied this test for three hours before extrapolating the final, superb result of 22 hours and 43 minutes.

Closer to real life is our Wi-Fi test, where we put the display to medium brightness (140 cd/m²) while opening one script-defined website every 40 seconds. Again, we have extrapolated the result. Again, 15 hours and 19 minutes is something to be proud of.

The minimum battery runtime can be measured with the help of WP Bench, setting display brightness to maximum and activating all modems and sensors. With close to 3 hours, the Lumia 925 manages to obliterate the entire Windows Phone 8 competition.

Due to Nokia's great navigation software, we have also measured the battery life during an appropriate usage scenario (maximum screen brightness, activated modems, offline maps). It took three hours until the battery finally died.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
22h 43min
WiFi Surfing
15h 19min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 51min

Verdict

In Review: Nokia Lumia 925
In Review: Nokia Lumia 925

The Nokia Lumia 925 manages to win us over, despite a number of minor flaws. Thanks to its magnificent low-light camera, the Lumia 925 is an ideal companion for night owls. However, with its felicitous design language, its great voice quality and the superb display, it is likely to find traction in the business market as well.

Just considering its specs, the Lumia 925 is no high-end device, but Microsoft's operating system renders smoothly on the smartphone. The biggest disadvantage has to do with the smallish, non-expandable storage capacity. More video output options would have been nice, as would have been an MHL-capable USB port (especially since the Finnish corporation is part of the consortium which has developed MHL - so this might possibly be due to limitations of Windows Phone 8).

Those who already own one of the latest Windows phones won't find many reasons to upgrade. The performance isn't better, and even the camera isn't that far ahead of what the Lumia 920 offers. Thus, the device is more clearly aimed at Android or iOS customers. Nokia has taken the criticism about its predecessor to heart, presenting the public with the smartphone which we had already hoped for during the launch of Windows Phone 8.

Test device provided by ... GetGoods
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In Review: Nokia Lumia 925. Test device provided by:
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Specifications

Nokia Lumia 925

:: Processor
:: Memory
1024 MB
:: Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 225, Core: 400 MHz, 45 nm
:: Display
4.5 inch 5:3, 1280x768 pixel, capacitive, ten-finger multitouch, WXGA, PureMotion HD+, ClearBlack, AMOLED, 334 ppi, high sensitivity, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB iNAND Flash, 16 GB , 14.1 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined Line In/Out, Sensors: Ambient light sensor, acceleration sensor, 3D orientation sensor, proximity sensor, compass, NFC, A-GPS, A-GLONASS
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), 3.0 Bluetooth, GSM net: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, LTE, HSPA+
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 129 x 70.6
:: Weight
0.139 kg Power Supply: 0.052 kg
:: Battery
8,4 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4.2 Volt, 2000 mAh
Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 1098 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 768 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 26400 h
:: Price
599 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows Phone 8
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1.2 MP (1280 x 960 Pixel), Speakers: one rear speaker, Keyboard: virtual, In-Ear-Headset, PureView camera (8.7 megapixels), power adapter (6.5 watts, 5 V / 1.3 A), Smart Cam, Music, HERE Maps, Data transfer, PhotoBeamer, Weather, Michelin Voyages, SophieLens, Cinemagraph, NFC Writer, My Nokia, Xpress, Panorama, Creative Studio, Care, HERE City Lens, Trailers, Glam Me, HERE Drive+, Intelligent Pictures, HERE Transit, 24 Months Warranty

 

Nice detail: The lug of the packaging has the same color as the rear of the smartphone.
Nice detail: The lug of the packaging has the same color as the rear of the smartphone.
Not much in terms of accessories is included.
Not much in terms of accessories is included.
The AMOLED panel comes with a resolution of 1280x768 pixels.
The AMOLED panel comes with a resolution of 1280x768 pixels.
The virtual control buttons (typical for Windows Phone 8) are close to the lower edge.
The virtual control buttons (typical for Windows Phone 8) are close to the lower edge.
The time can even be shown when the display is deactivated (optional setting).
The time can even be shown when the display is deactivated (optional setting).
The rear part is made from polycarbonate.
The rear part is made from polycarbonate.
The speaker was a bit of a disappointment.
The speaker was a bit of a disappointment.
The Lumia 925 (below) has been slimmed down considerably.
The Lumia 925 (below) has been slimmed down considerably.
The new Lumia flagship weighs a mere 139 grams.
The new Lumia flagship weighs a mere 139 grams.
It ships with 16 GB of internal, non-replaceable memory.
It ships with 16 GB of internal, non-replaceable memory.
Sunspider 0.9.1
Sunspider 0.9.1
Sunspider 1.0
Sunspider 1.0

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Price Check

Pro

+Terrific build quality
+Magnificent voice quality
+Superb display with deep blacks
+Ships with high-quality software
+Great GPS module
+LTE radio
+High-sensitivity display
+Stylish looks
+Outstanding main camera (especially in low-light situations)
 

Cons

-Only 16 GB of system storage (unlocked variant)
-No SD card slot
-Dated hardware
-Battery non-replaceable

Shortcut

What we like

Both the Lumia's build quality and its display are top-notch. The camera is outstanding, especially so in low-light situations.

What we'd like to see

More system storage! A photo- and video-centric smartphone should offer more space - something which Nokia's Lumia 1020 manages to provide.

What surprises us

We don't quite get that the 32 GB variant is carrier-specific in some countries. This should be available as an unlocked version as well.

The competition

The main competitors are the Samsung Ativ S, the HTC 8X and the Lumia 920, but also the iPhone 5 due to its impressive image-taking capabilities.

Ratings

Nokia Lumia 925
08/06/2013 v3
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
94%
Keyboard
51%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
39%
Weight
100%
Battery
97%
Display
88%
Games Performance
27%
Application Performance
50%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Add Points
89%
Average
76%
89%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Nokia Lumia 925 Smartphone
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2013-08-21 (Update: 2013-08-21)