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Nokia Lumia 925 review

Is this really Nokia's 'masterpiece'?

Our Verdict

The flagship 'normal' phone from Nokia - it's got a better design and still makes Windows Phone look better than ever, despite being underpowered and too chunky.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8.7 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 18.30 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Premium build
  • Superb camera
  • Strong suite of native apps

Against

  • Dated specs
  • Screen could be sharper
  • Only 16GB of storage

Nokia Lumia 925 review

The Nokia Lumia 925 has an 8.7MP snapper. That might be some way south of the 13MP Samsung Galaxy S4, but don't count it out yet. For one thing, it uses Carl Zeiss optics, which should be enough for camera fans to sit up and take notice. But it also has a bunch of clever options and features. It's also excellent - and we mean excellent - at low light snaps.

There's a dedicated hardware camera button that makes taking photos a breeze and minimises camera shake when you take them. It can also be used to launch the camera from any screen on the Nokia Lumia 925 - even the lock screen - so you'll never miss the chance to capture a moment.

It's worth noting also that the ability to see the screen in bright sunlight can help no end with taking photos, because it makes it a lot easier to compose a shot when you can actually see how things look on the screen.

If you just launch the main camera app things look fairly normal. You can tap to focus and there are a few scene modes to choose from such as sports, night, close-up or auto.

You can also turn flash on or off, change the ISO, exposure value, white balance and aspect ratio, but that's all become more or less a staple of smartphone cameras. That said, it's quick and easy to change options and settings and it takes pretty good pictures even when you stick to this mode.

Things get a lot more interesting, though, when you delve into the Lenses menu. This is nothing new for Windows Phone 8 - essentially each lens setting adds new features or options to the camera - but the Nokia Lumia 925 comes with more than most.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

First up there's Bing Vision, which can be used to scan barcodes and QR codes - so it doesn't actually take photos but it can be quite useful in its own right, and in our experience it quickly and easily scanned anything we threw at it.

Then there's Cinemagraph, which combines photo and video to create a short clip. Essentially it captures several seconds of footage that then loops to make a moving photo. You can tweak it by adjusting the start and end point, changing the speed or adding filters and then you can share it over social networks or by email.

It's undoubtedly a gimmick, and we're not sure it will get much serious use as the result is pretty lo-res, but it has the potential to add an extra element to photographs - bringing life to an otherwise static image.

Up next there's Panorama, which creates a wide panorama shot of your surroundings by taking multiple photographs and stitching them together. It works quite well too.

Finally there's Nokia Smart Cam, and that's really the headline feature of the camera. Essentially it takes a series of images in quick succession and then chooses the best for you to save. This is really handy, since your first picture isn't always any good, and it means you don't have to manually take several pictures of the same thing.

But that's not all. If your pictures contain movement it can also create an action shot by splicing the images together to create a sort of motion trail where you can see the same action at different points. So far example if you made an action shot of someone riding a bike it would feature them and their bike several times over in different places.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

In practice it seems to require quite a lot of movement for it to even think about creating an action shot, and if there's even a small amount of camera shake it can mess up the image. But it's still a nice feature.

Nokia Smart Cam can also pick out faces to ensure that the image you end up with always captures the moment when people have their eyes open and are smiling.

Finally it can also remove unwanted movement from a shot, so if for example there's a car or cyclist in the background of your picture - which not only might be in the way of the view but could also be causing motion blur - the camera can remove them.

You can choose to have Smart Camera enabled by default, which helps to get the best out of the top-end features. It's the same as HTC's Zoe feature in a way, which snaps three-second clips instead of a photo and allows you to do the same thing - albeit far more effectively.

One insanely annoying feature is that the Smart Camera will show you previews of removed objects or action shots, and yet when you tap to open them, the Lumia 925 decides it can't do it. We wanted to scream 'JUST SAVE THE PREVIEW, YOU STUPID CAMERA', but we might have been judged by passers-by.

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The biggest problem with all of these lenses is that it can take a while to capture images with them, and even longer to process them afterwards, which can be a pain. We can't help but wonder if the mediocre processing specs in the Nokia Lumia 925 are partially to blame for this.

Once you've taken a photo you can edit it in the Creative Studio. As well as giving you options to crop, rotate and remove red eye this also features a number of filters that you can add to an image, and even enables you to remove colour from certain sections while retaining it in others, and to blur parts of the image to draw focus to the non-blurred areas.

For a bundled piece of software, there's a lot more to it than you'd expect.

There's also a secondary 1.3MP front-facing camera, which is likely to be of more use for video than photos, since it can be used for Skype and other video call services.

If you've updated the Lumia 925 to Windows Phone's Amber software then you're in for a treat: Nokia's now added its Pro cam app into the mix. This extends the ISO range of the phone as well as letting you control a glut of other features manually.

Nokia Lumia 925
The Nokia Pro cam app, seen here on the Lumia 1020

All in all the camera on the Nokia Lumia 925 is one of, if not the, best we've ever come across on a smartphone. The combination of a wealth of shooting modes and editing tools alongside strong general performance and particularly impressive low light and night time performance makes it a great all-round shooter.

Nokia Lumia 925 review
The camera on the Nokia Lumia 925 does a decent job if left on auto mode, though the background is a bit muddy.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
Close-ups are handled impressively well, with the camera maintaining focus on the subject no matter how close you get.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
Landscapes are reasonable, though once again the background suffers.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
Sports mode does a solid job of capturing motion with minimal blur.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
Without flash it's still possible to get impressively bright images of dark indoor places. This is one area that the camera excels at, though the resulting images do suffer from a small amount of noise.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
With flash on, indoor images are brighter still and have less noise.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
The Nokia Lumia 925 does a brilliant job of night shots, making them impressively bright and useable.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review

Click here to see the full resolution moving image

Cinemagraph shots are basically short looping videos. We're not sure how useful they are, but they work.

Nokia Lumia 925 review

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Panoramas come out well, but not really any better than on most other phones that can take them.

Nokia Lumia 925 review
Alongside Cinemagraph, Nokia Smart Cam is the other way the Nokia Lumia 925's camera attempts to capture movement. The results are a mixed bag, and both require a lot of movement and for you to hold the camera perfectly still for several seconds.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
Here you can see it against the One in low light mode. Both are excellent, but colour reproduction and detail is stronger on the Lumia 925.

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Nokia Lumia 925 review
The Creative Studio enables you to tweak your images in all sorts of ways.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
SAR Value0.81 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyLumia
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1700, LTE 1800, LTE 1900, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8.7 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time18.30 Hour
Product Model925
Screen Size11.4 cm (4.5")
Screen Resolution1280 x 768
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)139 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityChina RoHS, EU RoHS, REACH, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeMMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), SMS (Short Message Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Conference Call
Pixel Density334 ppi
Height129 mm
Width70.6 mm
Depth8.5 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerNokia
Product NameLumia 925 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineLumia
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Magnetometer, Orientation Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberA00011575
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nokia.co.uk
Marketing InformationLow-light photos never looked this good.

Award-winning PureView technology, Carl Zeiss optics and six physical lenses. The Nokia Lumia 925 smartphone lets you capture the great moments, day or night. And the beautifully crafted design will turn heads wherever you go.

Nokia Smart Camera. Unleash your creativity.

Spend less time planning the shot. Nokia Lumia 925 Smart Camera mode lets you take a burst of photos, and then go back later and choose the story you want to tell.

All the action in a single photo.

Capture more of the action than your eyes can see. The Action Shot feature in Nokia Smart Camera lets you snap once to get a sequence of movements in a single high-quality image.

Package Contents
  • Lumia 925 Smartphone
  • Micro USB Charger
  • Charging and Data Cable
  • Headset
  • Quick Guide
  • SIM Door Key
Limited Warranty2 Year