4G offering at a good price; good budget snapper; decent battery life; large bright display.
Dearth of apps; Lack of NFC support.
The Nokia Lumia 625 offers good value for a 4G handset, and is the cheapest device on offer if you want to have the benefits of 4G. Its bright design and wealth of Nokia features make it appealing whatever your age.
It seems there’s a new Nokia Lumia handset every month, and they’re starting to get a tad confusing.
The Lumia 620 was an affordable Windows handset with a small display and pretty basic features, but now it has been followed by the Lumia 625, which has a far roomier 4.7in display and the added bonus of 4G support. The good news is that the 625 still comes in at a budget-friendly price (£179 pre-pay to be precise), which means it is now the most affordable 4G handset you can get your hands on in the UK. Something to bear in mind when a contract is going to cost you at least £26 a month.
The display measures 4.7 inches, and is the largest one to be found on the Lumia range of handsets – perfect if you want to stream video using your super fast 4G connection. A resolution of 800x480 offers a 201pp density – really good at this price. It’s sharp enough for you to enjoy a full-length feature film – and even when we zoomed out on web pages we could still read the text, which is pretty impressive.
The phone’s covers are really bright and vibrant, and while the display can’t quite live up to that, in no way were colours lifeless or dull. Turn up the brightness and even in bright sunlight it is possible to read texts and emails – and the viewing angles are good enough for you to share a film with a friend without getting too close!
The speaker on the back of the handset isn’t great quality – not surprising on a budget phone – but it is pretty powerful nonetheless. Crank up the sound and there’s quite a bit of distortion – earphones are probably a better option.
As we mentioned earlier, the Lumia 925 was a sleek, silver machine – but with the 625, Nokia has returned to a brighter, chunkier chassis that is more fun. The outer shell can be flipped off and you can choose to replace it with one of five plates that come in white, black, orange, white and green. It’s a nice way to quickly change the look of your phone – we certainly wouldn’t choose the white or black options; the others are much more fun!
The handset feels solid and it has a chunky chassis that can withstand quite a bit of everyday rough treatment. We have found some of the Lumia phones rather weighty – the Lumia 920, for instance, was almost 200g – but the 625 weighs in at a neat 159g and measures 9.15mm. It’s simple to use in one hand, and the extra bit of weight prevents it from feeling cheap.
Battery life was very respectable too – stream video and expect the battery to die after about six hours – but in normal use you should easily get through the day without having to recharge.
And there’s more
Nokia always manages to add some extra benefits to its Windows Phone handsets, and that’s true with the Lumia 625. You’ll get Nokia Music, a streaming service that is free to use and lets you listen to some interesting mixes covering a number of genres. It is even possible to download four of your favourite mixes to listen to offline.
Maps is also included – a far better offering than the Windows Phone/Bing maps option – and there’s Here Drive for drivers.
It’s a pity there is no NFC support, as with it you would be able to connect devices from Nokia’s NFC-enabled range, including the speaker dock and wireless charging pad. Nor is there Nokia City Lens, which features on a number of recent handsets. However, having 4G support is brilliant for a phone at this price and should be very appealing to anyone looking for ultra-fast data speeds who can’t afford to buy an HTC One or the latest Samsung Galaxy S4.
It’s a sad fact of life that however good we find Windows Phone handsets, we always have to tackle the sticky subject of apps – and the lack thereof. The Market app store is still woefully behind the Android and Apple offerings – even though it is getting better all the time. We also found that some of the top-name apps don’t seem to be as good as they are on Android and Apple. The YouTube app is a case in point – we couldn’t get it to display videos at all – and we kept getting a message saying ‘something happened, we’re not sure what’. Not very helpful.
The camera is of the five-megapixel variety and loads quickly once you hold down the shutter key. Nokia puts a lot into its snappers and this is no exception – it produces good-quality snaps, and the in-built autofocus keeps subjects sharp. For manual focus just tap on the screen – you also get really sharp, well detailed close-ups. The LED flash comes into use if you want to take pictures in the evening.
What the camera doesn’t have is Nokia’s PureView technology, which usually finds it way onto the premium Lumias – but it does have Nokia Smart Camera. This is a neat feature that takes seven images in quick succession, bringing them together to produce a dramatic action shot. It can also be used to get rid of unwanted distractions in the background, or just to find the best image.
For video chats, there’s a front-facing VGA lens.
The Nokia Lumia 625 has the benefit of super-fast 4G connectivity at a great price. But there’s more to it than that. The snapper is a very capable five-megapixel model and the display is large at 4.7 inches, and bright too. The colourful chassis is just another appealing feature on this Windows Phone that offers great value.
Dimensions : 133 x 72 x 9.15mm
Weight: 159 g
Screen size: 4.7 inches
Screen Resolution: 480x800 pixels
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 198
Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual Core
Battery capacity : 2000 mAh
Onboard Memory: 8GB (microSD support)
Camera : 5 megapixel / VGA (front-facing)
Operating system: Windows Phone 8
Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE : Yes / Yes / Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / No
Colours : Orange, Black, White, Yellow, Green
Launch Date: August 28th
Price : £179 (TBC)
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