After the Nokia Lumia 925 announcement yesterday, we had an opportunity to get some hands-on time with the device. The smartphone uses a brand new design with an aluminum frame, but despite using metal, it is much lighter (dare I say 25%?) than the original Lumia 920 while preserving the curves and great display that made its predecessor such an acclaimed design. Since the weight was something that pretty much everyone wanted to be improved in the Lumia 920, this is a big deal and it shows that Nokia is most definitely going in the right direction and understands what customers want.
As we said during the initial announcement, the metal band on the site is also the Antenna. This is a design that reminds us from the iPhone 4, and we can only hope that there won’t be any “grip issues” during which the signal will go down as users hold on to the phone. So far, we haven’t seen any evidence of that, so it looks like Nokia did its homework. Overall, I found that the Lumia 925 feels great in the hand.
As always, the Windows Phone 8 user interface is incredibly smooth and fluid, and I have to commend Microsoft for that since this is not really running on a super-powerful chip (dual-core Snapdragon). Nokia was promoting the photo experience on the Nokia 925 and I’ve played with the Camera app. Things like Panoramas are very easy and nice to use. This is great, since Nokia got the basics right. In the more advanced features, I played with Smart Camera, which takes a burst of images and opens new possibilities like removing “photobombers” (unwanted people in the picture) or allows things like “action shots” (having a motion trail of the subject moving around).
While this is a bit more complicated than just taking a picture, I have to say that Smart Camera works impressively well. Removing unwanted characters works surprisingly well and this is particularly handy in busy places where the likelihood of having someone show up in your photo is rather high.
The new camera features work very well, but the competition remains stiff. Samsung, LG or HTC also have similar features, but they run on much more powerful hardware. To be fair, Windows Phone is impressively fluid, so the difference in hardware is not important until you are stitching large photos or playing games. There are more aspects of the phone that we have to test, but you now have a good idea of what the Nokia Lumia 925 is about.