Heavy metal, light Lumia

Sep 08, 2013, 11:15 IST | Nimish Dubey

Nokia has upped the design ante with the sleeky Lumia 925. But is the style backed up by substance?

When Nokia announced the Lumia 920 last year, it was hailed by many as being a very good handset, but took some flak for being a tad on the bulky side in an era of smartphone anorexia. Well, Nokia has a reputation of tweaking its flagships (remember how quickly the N95 8GB followed the N95 and the N97 mini the N97?), and it has now done the same with the Lumia 925. It squarely addresses the bulk and weight situation, without tampering too much with the base specs of the 920 (about which few complained anyway) -- the 925 is 8.5-mm thick as compared to the 10.7-mm thick 920, and weighs 139 grammes, which is a fourth lesser than the 920.

And it manages to do so without looking flimsy. Yes, some hefty-handed folk might yearn for the more ‘solid’ look of the Lumia 920, but the Lumia 925 is easily one of the best looking phones to have come from the Nokia stable for a while. Unlike the all-carbonate 920, it has a metal band running along the sides and has a much more minimalistic design, with the volume rocker display/power on/off and camera shutter buttons on the right side, and the 3.5-mm audio jack, micro-SIM slot and micro USB port on top, leaving the other two sides utterly plain. The speaker has been shifted from the bottom of the device to the back, which also has a 8.7-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, with the lens jutting out just a bit. We just wish the back had the same array of colours that other Lumia devices have, but even in black, grey and white, the Lumia 925 cuts a very slim and smart figure. The smooth sides do make it a little slippery though.

It is not just the design that distinguishes the Lumia 925 from its predecessor. While its display has the same size and resolution as the 920, it is an AMOLED one, which means that colours look a whole lot brighter, and blacks look really.....well, black. The 8.7-megapixel snapper also comes with an additional lens which results in sharper images, while retaining the low-light magic that was a trademark of the Lumia 920 -- we actually got clear pictures of very dark areas, where little was visible to the naked eye, and that too without using
the flash.

Round off all this with a stack of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS and NFC; Nokia’s usual goodie bundle of free music downloads for a year and maps that work even without cellular connectivity; and the latest version of Windows Phone 8 (the Amber update), and the Lumia 925 is a very impressive proposition for anyone wanting a smart- looking, snappily performing smartphone. No, it still does not have the array of apps that Android or iOS has, but it compensates with rock solid performance, good call quality and decent battery life (you will get through a day of hefty use with social networks and mail in push mode).

Which brings us to the big question: at Rs 33,499 is the Lumia 925 a good deal for someone looking for a high-end smartphone? Especially when the Lumia 920 is currently retailing at approximately Rs 30,990? It is a tricky proposition -- the Lumia 925 comes with a markedly brighter display, is lighter and more compact, and has a much sleeker design. But then the 920 has twice as much onboard storage (32GB to 16GB), similar specs (it received the Amber update recently) and is no slouch in the performance department. And storage is a crucial issue here, as neither phone has a memory card slot! As always, it all depends on what you really need, but if looks and form factor matter, then the Lumia 925 is the best smartphone out there, this side of the Android and iPhone crowd, and does more than enough to challenge that awesome twosome as well.

>> Light-weight and compact
>> Good battery-life
>> Has no memory card slot

Processor: 1.5 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
Display: 4.5-inch full HD (1280 x 768 pixels) AMOLED display
Storage: 16 GB storage (non-expandable)
OS: Windows Phone 8
Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth
Camera: 8.7-megapixel PureView camera
Price: Rs 33,499 

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