The Lumia 625 is Nokia’s first large screen Windows Phone smartphone, in line with the current trend of big screen phones, which was ignited by Android OEMs. Clearly, Nokia wants to cover all segments with a range of devices and form factors.
Build / Design
Judging by the nomenclature and just looking at the phone from some distance, the Nokia Lumia 625 appears to be the bigger version of the Lumia 620. However, on closer inspection you’d see a number of differences, such as a sleeker and more refined form factor. Also, unlike the Lumia 620, the 625′s back cover doesn’t wraparound the display or show up along the edges of the front panel.
The Lumia 625 also sports a more natural pillow-like form factor, with more rounded edges compared to other devices in the Lumia family. On the whole, the phone feels really good to hold thanks to the improved ergonomics.
The back of the Lumia 625 features the rear camera lens and the LED flash. There’s a small hole for the speaker grill and the speaker is located inside it. This design ensures the speaker is not too close to the surface, preventing the muffling of sound.
The Nokia Lumia 625 features the biggest display ever seen on a Nokia phone. Measuring 4.7-inches diagonally, the IPS LCD display sports a resolution of 480×800 pixels (giving it a pixel density of just 199ppi), which unfortunately defeats the purpose of a big screen. The low resolution display makes images and text appear pixelated. Even the Live Tiles on the phone’s Start screen appear pixelated when you look at them closely. We also noticed some backlight leakage from the bottom edge. We’re not sure if the issue is just limited to our review unit, however.
The Lumia 625 sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. The Windows Phone 8 camera app on the phone allows you to tinker with various settings including selecting scenes, camera effects, ISO, white balance, contrast, saturation, flash and sharpness, among others. Windows Phone 8 brings camera lens apps that extend the functionality of the camera. The Lumia 625 ships with Bing Vision, Cinemagraph and Smart Cam lenses.
Colour reproduction was satisfactory, with objects appearing close to their true colour. We also found a minor lag in the Lumia 625′s shutter timings compared to high-end phones and focus went haywire at times. The phone’s video recorder allows taking 1080p videos at 30 frames per second, and we found the videos taken with it to be pretty decent.
Software / User Interface
The Lumia 625 comes with Windows Phone 8 featuring the Amber update that is essentially the Windows Phone GDR2 update with Nokia’s own tweaks. While the update doesn’t bring any major changes in terms of the user interface or features, it does bring FM radio, improvements to the camera software, the Smart Cam app,
We also love the software keyboard on the Lumia 625, which is the standard Windows Phone 8 keyboard, and the size of the display definitely helps making it user-friendly even for those with thick fingers.
Performance / Battery Life
The Lumia 625 is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 512MB of RAM and Adreno 305 graphics. It comes with 8GB of built-in storage, which is expandable by another 64GB via a microSD card. Windows Phone 8 is not a power hungry OS and the hardware has been optimised for good performance. We did not experience any lag at all while launching apps, playing games, scrolling web pages in Internet Explorer or switching between apps.
With the Lumia 520, 620 and 720, Nokia has in a way already addressed the budget and the mid-range smartphone segments. However, with the Lumia 625, the company is trying to target users who demand a large screen at a price that doesn’t burn a hole in their pockets. In the Indian market, domestic brands like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava already offer Android smartphones that come in 5-inch+ screen sizes, in the budget and mid-range segments.