The Lumia 925, Nokia’s New Windows Phone 8 Flagship, Sheds Excess Weight, Wants To Mess Around With Your Photos

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Gadgets, GT, Mobile, Nokia
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Meet the Lumia 925, the latest smartphone flagship in
Nokia’s increasingly populous Windows Phone
portfolio. The 925 is clearly Nokia’s answer to
criticisms of its high end devices being too heavy. At
the device’s London launch earlier today, Vodafone’s
Patrick Chomet – brought onstage to talk up the new Lumia which the carrier will be ranging in Europe —
couldn’t avoid commenting negatively on the Lumia
920’s weight. For all the noise about the 925’s
camera, its less hefty hardware is the key design
difference here. The 925 drops a full 46g compared to the earlier
Lumia 920, weighing in at 139g vs the 920’s hefty
185g. The phone feels pleasingly light in the hand,
helped by its slender profile: it’s just 8.5mm thick at
its thickest point (vs 10.7mm for the 920). In order to
achieve a sleeker, lighter device, yet keep the 4.5- inch display, Nokia has dropped built-in wireless
charging – but it’s not ditching the tech entirely. It has
included wireless charging as an add-on via clip-on
shells – likely sold separately — which increase the
thickness of the 925 by a few millimetres but don’t
appear to add too much weight back on. It’s a compromise but one that results in a sleeker,
more attractive handset out of the box. If it’s a choice
between wireless charging – which remains
something of a gimmick — or a lightweight phone,
most people would opt for the latter. And that’s a
calculation Nokia has clearly made with the 925. The handset design also takes a few steps in a new
direction for the Lumia range, with aluminium edging
running around its four sides – a band which doubles
as the phone’s antenna – coupled with a
polycarbonate back. The two-tone look and feel is a
definite departure for Nokia’s high end phone design. Colour options are also more subtle, with the black
version having anodized, almost charcoal looking
aluminium edging, while the white 925 has silver
edges. There’s also a grey colourway. The trademark
bright Lumia colours are reserved for the wireless
charging shells — including red, yellow and cyan. The PureView-branded 8.7MP camera on the 925 is
the other big focus here. The hardware introduces a
sixth lens to the device, which Nokia says improves
performance in bright sunlight. This is in addition to
strong low-light capabilities, which it has touted on its
other Lumia flagships – including most recently the Lumia 928. During the 925 launch Nokia demoed both the low and
bright-light photography capabilities of the phone,
inviting the press to compare the shots with photos
taken on their own smartphones. The Lumia 925
came off as better at snapping in the dark than
iPhones, the BlackBerry Z10, the HTC One and even the Lumia 920, pulling a brighter, more colourful
image from out of the gloom. It also appeared to
capture more detail in strong light conditions in
Nokia’s test conditions. As well as the extra hardware lens, the 925 includes a
new suite of camera-editing software called Nokia
Smart Camera. This makes use of a burst mode that
takes 10 photos at around 5MP each. It then offers a
series of image-manipulation options to enhance the
photo. Some of these features were a little hit and miss under the press launch lighting conditions.
Others looked a little gimmicky, such as the ability to
composite a series of movements into one shot. But
others seemed like they could be genuinely useful,
such as a feature that allows you to create the best
shot by choosing from various facial expressions — much like the timeshift feature on the BlackBerry
Z10/Q10. Or another that lets you remove a moving
object from an image, such as a person or car
passing in front of the scene you’re trying to shoot. The Smart Camera software won’t be exclusive to the
Lumia 925 for long – Nokia said it will be pushed out
to other Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices as an
update in Q3. But for the moment, the Lumia 925 has
the lion’s share of Nokia’s camera creativity, including
some new features in its Creative Studio image editing app, such as a tilt shift and radial focus. And
the Oggl app. One more new software addition in the 925′s screen
settings allows users to tweak the colour saturation
and temperature of the AMOLED screen to dial down
how poppingly bright the colours are and opt for more
muted, photo-realistic tones if you desire. Elsewhere,
this is a business-as-usual Windows Phone 8 device loaded with the usual suite of Microsoft and Nokia
apps, which include its HERE mapping and location
apps and Nokia Music. It is also skinned with the new
more flexible Windows Phone homescreen that allows
for three different-sized live tiles. The 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip powering the
Lumia 925 doesn’t sound that beefy, considering the
proliferation of quad-core phones in the Android
ecosystem at least, but it’s as top-of-the range as
Windows Phone gets right now. And Nokia argues
that no more processing clout is required to do all of the image processing going on under the 925′s hood.

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