on 22 August 2013
As a long term Apple fan (up to the 4S) and more recently Android via GN2 and then HTC One I got this phone by way of a change when my company introduced a bring/buy your own phone (it replaces an awful Blackberry Curve). I've got the 32Gb Vodafone version, I think I'd struggle with 16Gb. Not sure it was a great move from Nokia to limit the 32Gb to Vodafone. Anyway...
I've tried WP8 devices beforehand and always sent them back (last one was the Lumia 920 which was too big, poor battery life and used to regularly crash) but after 2 months of use I'm pretty smitten with this and in fact I've started using it as my main phone over the HTC One (great device but still suffers from the android bug bear of being unintuitive/too complex). The 925 comes pre-loaded with the new Amber OS update which I believe is starting to roll out now. It introduces some useful new features including glance view (useful as a night clock), double tap to wake and flip to silence.
First off the build quality is great, different in look and feel but right up there with Apple. I use the lightweight charging case to keep it safe and unlike most cases the phone looks great with it on as you still see most of the phone. There is an official Nokia wireless sat nav car dock you can get which makes it a breeze to pop in and out without any wires (power cable from the dock excepting) and the (again optional) charging stand is great by the bed to pop on and use as an alarm clock. Shame they are not a bit cheaper or I'd have bought a few to spread around the house.
WP 8 itself is really quick, intuitive and easy to use. Fine, it doesn't have a quad-core CPU but doesn't need it. I think it has the best of Apple (easy to use) and Android (customisable UI) together. Re-sizable live tiles work very well at showing you what you need to know without always having to start an app. The dedicated camera button is so much easier than messing around with lock screens and helps to get photo's and videos of the kids before the moment has passed.
Inbuilt MS Office properly renders documents (unlike most iOS/Android clones which especially on PPT and complex Word docs usually screw things up) and the Outlook email client basically just works as you would expect.
Much has been written about lack of apps for WP 8 but I've found pretty much everything that I need including Spotify, a Sonos app (Phonos) and CoPilot (if you want a full feature sat nav). The many free/built in Nokia apps are generally great quality (sat nav, standard maps, music etc). Microsoft have recently launched great apps for weather, news and finance.
The screen quality is great (might not be 1080p but other than "bragging rights" I'm not sure quite how much difference this makes in every day usage on a screen this small), the battery easily lasts a day (unlike my HTC One which really struggles) and I'm a pretty heavy user (4 email accounts, Skype, Lync and voice calls etc).
The camera is the best I've used on a mobile phone, especially as others have noted in the dark. Don't kid yourself that this is as good as a decent compact camera but it is a great phone camera. There are various effects/lenses that can be used to generate some fun and unusual photos which can then be shared via social media.
The things I don't like are mainly down to Microsoft issues. There is no ability to download "official" TV/films on the phone the same way you can on Android (via Play) or iOS (via iTunes) and videos you purchase for Windows PC devices cannot be transferred to the phone "as is" which is a big oversight (something to do with DRM). There are of course ways around getting video content on the device, some legal some probably not so! Other niggles include lack of a notification centre (although you can kind of organise your favourite apps via live tiles to create one at the top of the page), the voice recognition is a little patchy at times and I can't find a way to upload multiple photos into a specific Facebook album (whether by the Photo app directly or via Facebook app). Also something I hope they fix is the sound management as there is just one level for "in call" phone volume and one for "everything else" including notification/media/alarms.
I'm hopeful that with some of the new low end devices (e.g. Lumia 520) that the ecosystem will take off and soon WP8 will be a true contender. From my experience with the 925 it deserves to be and I'm sure the next OS release will sort out most of the niggles. All up this is a great device for work and play, I love it and very much recommend it.
on 19 August 2013
If you want to fit in on the tube, train or bus and have exactly the same phone as everyone else, go with the iPhone.
If you want access to 100,000s of utterly pointless apps that fill up memory, spy on you, will be deleted less than 5 minutes after you downloaded them and crash your phone with malware, go with an Android phone (or to a lesser extent an iPhone).
If you want a beautifully made phone that has a great screen and camera, is light and slim, looks amazing and has excellent pre-installed apps that are all you need, go with a Nokia Windows Lumia 925 phone.
The Nokia Windows phones have a "wow" factor not experienced since the first iPhone. They are a joy to use, lovely to hold, and beautifully smooth and slick in operation. They make the iOS feel clunky and dated. There is simply no comparison with Android phones which are total dogs compared to this. Typing on the Nokia is lovely, while Android just produces gibberish. The Android operating system is such a cluttered, user-unfriendly mess compared to Windows 8. If you are an ultra-techie geek wanting to customise everything and hack the system, Android may be attractive, but for anyone looking for something simple and intuitive, Windows is much nicer.
As for the obsession with Apps (or lack thereof), this is only relevant if you worry about having the latest pointless, one-minute wonder mentioned in your morning freebie newspaper that will be quickly deleted and forgotten before the next pointless App becomes the flavour of the week. If if it worries you that Granny Run 3: Here We Go Again or a choice of 113,670 different homages to Angry Birds may not be available, this isn't the phone for you. If you want a decent phone instead, go with the Lumia 925.
on 3 July 2013
I've owned several Android/Apple devices, and I get the most satisfaction using this Nokia...I didn't think I would like Windows Phone...I'm not really a microsoft fan... and there are a few things missing... but they have designed a good, slick operating system that just works and is clearly well thought out. I'll give overall Pro and Cons below for the operating system (OS) and the phone itself. I had bought the Lumia 520, and loved it, but wanted a better camera and screen, hence buying the 925.
PROS - Excellent camera...good in low light but really excellent HD video (make sure it is set to 1080p for best quality), excellent daytime photos, and the anti-shake...I literally shook my hand taking a photo and it came out perfectly, with not a blur. It's not an SLR, but is as good as my Canon compact camera.
Apps - Not as wide a selection as iOS or Android yet, but the Apps I downloaded are high quality, and in fact I've found 90% of what I need. Which is pretty good for a new App store I think. Best of all, the Apps work, and are just as slick as the OS.
Keyboard - It's an excellent keyboard, that just works without gimmicks.
Screen - Bright, Sharp resolution, and importantly for me - it does not attract fingerprints too much.
Contacts - In the "People" App, you can import contacts from your SIM, which are saved in the "Hotmail" list, and you can then choose whether you want only the hotmail list to show, or facebook ,linked in etc too. You can then link your contacts, so that when you look up "Dad" it has several options for connecting with that person...email, phone, mobile, facebook wall etc etc. It's very good. It is worth spending half an hour linking the contacts, because you then have just one name for a person rather than Bob Work, Bob Mobile, Bob Bobby Bobson etc...
Battery life - With Battery Saver switched on, I get at least a day or day and a half of heavy use. Although if I play games it tends to drain the battery quite quickly. If you're only a light user, you should see 2 or 3 days from one charge. Without Battery Saver switched on (Always On) - it's the same as any other smartphone... dead by the end of the day.
- There is just one volume setting (for media and ringtone) - although the alarm doesn't need a setting - it is automatically set to start quiet, and become very loud if you don't switch it off, which is perfect for a deep sleeper like me!
- No sound profiles like on old nokia's...(silent, meeting, outside etc)
- Bing is the main search engine and it is a refreshing change from Google, but isn't as useful/developed as Google...and lacks any filters on your results. You can of course just open google on the browser.
- Finally, the music app is really good, and great for discovering new music. Equaliser and Dolby Headphone settings sound excellent..but there is no way to view music files by Folder...only by Album / Artist / Song etc... not a big deal, but something I find useful on my Sony MP3 player.
- Sim drawer and headphone jack do not sit completely flush with the top of the phone - so an otherwise very handsome phone is not quite perfect.
- Size. I have my Lumia 520 here and the 925...and the 520 feels just right, and the 925 feels a little too big. I don't know how people cope with even bigger phones. I am getting used to it, but I think a 4.3 inch screen is enough... or 4.5 but with virtually no bezel.
There seems to be something in the way the OS is designed that restricts some functions though. I presume this is the price of having a slick, reliable system, the best example that comes to mind is the TuneIn INternet radio App. On Android there are tonnes of options, including setting the App as an alarm, or an auto switch off option so you can fall asleep or wake up to radio. This is missing on WindowsPhone 8 version of the app. Not a dealbreaker but something to be aware of. Hopefully it will become more customisable in future, without losing the well integrated, reliable functionality.
I hope this helps. I've tried to show all sides of the phone, good and bad, but overall I'm really pleased. Icing on the cake is the worldwide satnav...which works very well.
Update: I forgot to mention the speech recognition...when you have a bluetooth headset attached, the phone automatically reads text messages to you, and allows you to speak your reply. It works very well and is great for driving. There's also an app called Indigo which does similar things to Apple's SIRI... it all works well and picks up my voice quite accurately.
on 18 August 2014
So far so good.
My work phone is a Nokia Lumia 625 and that is great for work and the battery life is amazing however the camera isn't great and the screen resolution etc isn't the best.
My personal phone an iphone 4 has gone to pieces so I decided to buy this Nokia Lumia 925.
My reasons for buying this phone are,
The price of £176.00 is so cheap compared to £400+ for an iphone 5.
If you compare the 2 at http://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Nokia-Lumia-925,Apple-iPhone-5/phones/7850,7378
Then you will see that the 925 has a better processor and system memory.
The screen is Amoled and not IPS LCD like the iphone but it is still crystal clear and very sharp and this helps massively with the battery life of the Nokia. Also the screen glare when in sunlight is better than the iphone its very well made.
The camera is great with 8.7mp and very sharp and the operating system does not miss a beat, the phone has not crashed and runs very smoothly.
The battery life on standby is good but with very heavy use including watching something on Netflix for 2 hours and listening to music the battery will last around 8 hours.
With some light use but mainly not using it all that much other than listening to some music and 8 hours not being touched while i slept the battery lasted 20 hours.
Which I know for a fact my girlfriends iphone 5s or my old iphone 4 would of struggled to even last the 8 hours with heavy use let alone last 20 hours with light use.
I think since the windows update to 8.1 the operating system has massively improved the usability with a lot of personalisation of the phone.
ie backgrounds, more tiles, more options.
The update has also given the phone a siri like option that is very good and picks up your speech very well.
The best part of this is when you have headphones in or have it on Bluetooth parrot that it will advise you that you have a text and ask if you would like it read out, and then you can reply without even having to look at your phone or touch it.
A lot of thought has gone in to the update and it has made the Nokia windows phones so much better than they were.
The nokia music app that's on there is amazing and worth a look and the Microsoft office is great especially if you are using the phone for work.
I found I hated the windows tile layout when I first got my work phone last year but now I am used to it, I much prefer this to any android or iphone.
The one thing that people do moan about is the lack of apps, but the important apps are there and are very well made and I would say better than iphones option.
Snapchat, Netflix, instragram, whatsapp however Facebook could be improved. But there are many apps missing mainly games but I guess this will come in time. That is the only downside to the phone.
But overall I think this is a great phone and for the price you get a top end phone for a lot less then the iphone or android options of the same spec.
Windows phones get a bad press but this one is worth the money, looks very smart and will get better with every update.
The phone took around 2 weeks to arrive, but came well packaged. Was set to America region but that can be changed on the settings to the UK and simfree does mean that any mini simcard will work in this phone for whatever country you maybe in.
I hope this helps anybody that is thinking about buying this phone.
on 7 June 2014
Firstly, this is a FAST and BEAUTIFUL phone! I am so impressed.
I have been an android and windows phone user (work phones etc.) for years. But this is by FAR the best phone ever. Having spent my own dosh on this, I would not hesitate in recommending this to anyone!
This phone is even more amazing if you upgrade to Windows 8.1 (google how by loading the "developer app on it") and use CORTANA - the equivalent (and better!) version to Apple's Siri.
You can speak to Cortana (the digital assistant) like a human being! I asked her to text my wife and she recognises the name and asks for the message... You can ask her to remind you to ask your grandma how she's feeling and next time you call her (or text) a little reminder comes up!!!
Ask her the weather and she tells you. Say "what's that in fahrenheit" and she translates it. Ask her "what about tomorrow" and she tells you... She understands CONTEXT. Amazing!!!!
I then tested her more... "Is it warm enough to go running?" and she said "No, its going to rain!". ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!
The phone CPU and graphics handles the challenging AI of CORTANA and the apps you love (Facebook, LinkedIn, Nokia GPS Navigation, Ebay etc.) all flawlessly!
Serious, this will give Apple and Android a run for its money... and its easy to use, and more importantly, it's a CLEAN and reliable operating system.
Buy one today, you won't be disappointed, especially for the money!
on 26 October 2013
Just what I wanted a smart phone with stand alone GPS and WiFi who needs a simm card? 'Here Maps' Sat Nav is superb now looking into adding Garmin Maping for the outdoors not sure of the avaiabilty but if there is match this will be the best smartphone ever.
on 23 October 2013
I bought this phone as my iPhone 5 sadly met it's maker after going in the machine, I was a little hesitant to buy in to the WP8 ecosystem as it is not as mature as iOS or Android, but I have to say having bought the device I am very happy with it.
The OS is very different in appearance from iOS and Android, but this isn't a bad thing, it's very slick and fluid, I never seem to get any lag from the device. Yes there aren't the same number of apps available in the app store, but all the ones you'd want to use everyday are there.
The device itself feels very well built and definitely feels like a high end premium handset in your hand, this is perhaps somewhat helped by the aluminium band encircling the device. The screen is gorgeous, colours are much more vivid than they were on my iPhone 5, similarly blacks are inky black, this is presumably because it has an AMOLED Clear Black screen as a pose to the LCD Retina panel on the iPhone.
I know people have complained that the phone is only 16GB with no expandable storage, but at the end of the day I would say most iPhone users buy the 16GB version (due to the cost), and I certainly find that to be more than enough for music, photos and videos. Again the iPhone doesn't have expandable storage,
The preloaded Nokia apps such as Drive are fantastic, and you can use maps and the SatNav function while you are out of a coverage area as these are actually downloaded onto the phone and don't require a data connection, as would be the case on Android or iOS.
I certainly would recommend this phone wholeheartedly to anyone in the market for a high end phone, and Windows Phone is now a viable alternative to iOS and Android, selling significantly more handsets than Blackberry and now with a market share in double digits, the app offering is only going to grow.
on 25 March 2014
I am a huge windows phone fan so sorry for the slightly bias opinion here .
everything else i own technology wise is apple but when it comes to phones this was a more realistic upgrade to my lumia 620 which sadly bit the dust.
this phone offers a big clear screen and is slightly bigger than the iPhone for comparison sake.
windows phones are simple to use and easy to customise with the tile layout/ it also have voice control similar to seri.
Although people slate the app store it now provides a lot of the popular apps to its leading competitors and is in no way lagging behind. The phone was a refurb and you wouldnt know it arrived in brand new packaging and there wasn't a mark on it
on 28 June 2013
I got one of these Nokia Lumia 925 32GB phones from Vodafone today, my vary first ever Windows Phone, so I come to this a novice. I know this page is for the 16GB version of the 925 but it's still the same phone, just less memory. So here's my thoughts on this new phone:
I have owned in the past; BlackBarry Z10, Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4. This is my favourite so far.
If you have used Windows 8 on your PC/labtop then you'll be familiar with the tiles on the front page. You can remove any tiles you wish, add tiles, shrink them or enlarge them and rearrange them to your own choice of order. The larger the tile the more information it will show you.
Swipe the screen from right to left from the tiles page and you'll get a whole list of programs, applications and settings. The navigation is a lot better than the BlackBarry Z10, which often left me confused as to how to get back to the home page, with the Nokia you just press the Windows button on the bottom of the phone. When swiping from right to left the list of options is clear and there are many choices in the settings to suit your own particular choosing, including wallpaper, colour scheme, ringtones, message alerts for various apps and texts. Unlike most smart phones your apps do not extend across several pages but instead you scroll, smoothly, down the page to see other apps.
It would seem that you can't get all your messages from all your apps (texts, FB, email etc) into a single 'Hub' like the BlackBarry users can, but there is plenty of room on the home screen to add tiles of these separate functions and have them on the home screen at the same time. Most tiles can be in three sizes: 1) Stretch across the entire width of the screen (which takes about 1/3 of the entire screen), 2) Half the previous size so it's more of a square than an oblong and this takes up about 1/6 of the screen, or 3) half the size again so you get about 24 of these tiles clearly showing their data/function on your home screen without having to scroll up or down. I currently have 9 tiles of different sizes that take up my screen: 3x weather tiles for local weather, my hometown and another place I visit regularly, texts, IE, emails, phone, data usage tracker an calendar.
You can have your own pictures showing on the lock screen but not the home screen as it would be blocked out by the tiles.
The phone seems vary fast, large clear screen with 32GB of memory. You can't add a SD card and it seems you can't replace the battery, you'd have to take it to a dealer/send it off to get that replaced. Which is a shame. Battery life seems pretty good so far with the battery lasting all day with some fairly heavy usage.
The phone is thin and vary lightweight. I found it easy and intuitive to set up and use. It is vary easy to add an email account and you can back up all your settings to 'The Cloud'.
What's in the box? Charger with detachable USB lead to allow you to connect to your PC, a pair on vary basic in-the-ear earphones, a sim card tray key. The sound quality for calls and listening to music is vary good, and you don't need to install any special desktop software onto your computer to access the phones folders or to import/export music, files, photos etc; you just access it from your PC as if it were a USB hard drive. You don't need to install any software to access the phone via your computer as Windows 8 has it already built it.
My first impressions are good.
As I said I a completely new to this phone and so can't comment to much at the moment but I will update this review as I find more stuff out (good and bad). If you have any questions please reply to this review. I will comment on battery life, apps, and any proplems I come across.
I was previously an Android phone user and recently decided to give the Lumia 925 a try.
I don't have any complaints with the hardware as it's a really well made phone. I'm reasonably satisfied with the phone.
My main issues are all related to Windows Phone OS and apps.
Let me go through everything though.
- Design -
The phone is thin and looks really sleek.
Fonts and pictures look sharp on the 768 x 1280 pixel resolution display. The display seems very close to the surface and it looks really good. Readability is good under the glaring sun.
The screen is optimized for black background. When the screen is black, it blends with a black coloured phone nicely.
Power button, unlike other phones, is located on the right side instead of the top, and accessible by the middle finger. You don't have to use the power button though because double tapping on the screen will wake the phone from sleep.
Sound quality of the speakers is good.
- Ease of use -
Overall, it's a simple phone to use for calling and messaging.
If your contacts are stored with Google, you'll be able to download them and store them in the phone.
User interface is generally snappy.
- Camera -
The camera is about 28mm wide, f2, 8MP with OIS. So it's a relatively capable for taking photos in low light. Looking at comparison photos online, the image quality seems as good or better than other brands, but as with camera phones, they all have that digital feel to them.
There's a dedicated physical camera button at the bottom right side for launching the camera app and taking photos. Very convenient. You can also half-press that button to focus, and full press to shoot.
If you're getting a case, get one that does not cover the camera button as you'll want to feel the half press.
- Apps -
Availability of applications is the biggest issue to note when you're switching from other OS. Windows Phones has a smaller library compared to Android and iOS. If you need certain critical applications, you will want to research to see if there's an alternative here.
For me, I just use Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and a couple of photography apps. For photography apps, definitely go and download Nokia Pro Cam which gives you all the manual functions to the camera.
The inbuilt music player isn't terrific but works. If you've iTunes, you have to install the Nokia software to be able to import your playlists.
Search is via the inbuilt Bing search button. There's a Google Seach app available.
- File storage and transfers -
I'm using the Lumia on a Mac. There are Nokia softwares for photos and document transfers.
As far as copying (drag and dropping) a file from the desktop to phone via the USB cable, I still cannot find any good app for that. Come on, sometimes I just want to put a Photoshop file on the phone and work on it further at home, but I can't with this phone. With iOS, you can install the many file manager apps. With Android, it's plug and play. With Windows Phone, I've nothing to say. We all work with files so there really is no reason to not have such basic functionality.
- Email -
You can set up Gmail with the phone. However, you won't get all the Gmail features like search, archive, etc. There's an unoffcial Gmail app available for download.
Windows Phone syncs Gmail every 15 minutes, but syncs their Microsoft mail instantly. This could be an issue for those who use email a lot for work, and require close to instantaneous response.
- Quirks -
Windows Phone does not adjust the volume automatically depending on whether you have earphones plugged in. So if the speaker is at maximum volume, and you plug in the earphones, it's going to be at maximum volume also which is obviously bad for your ears. When you turn down the volume and then unplugged the earphones, you won't hear the speaker unless you turn the volume up again. It gets tiring very fast. If you forget to change the volume after unplugging your earphones, you'll miss calls because you can't hear the calls.
The second audio quirk is, when the earphone's plugged in, you can change the volume number (from silent 0 to loud 30), but sometimes the actual volume will not change. This happens with the default music app. It's a major fail here.
The status bar shows only the time. You have to tap it once to show battery life, internet and phone connection. There's no (aesthetic) reason why it should not show all the statuses.
With most applications, if you scroll down too far, it's not easy to scroll back up. In other phones, you typically tap the top status bar to scroll up automatically.
The most irritating thing of all is the phone is not smart enough to know the orientation of photos and videos taken. There are times when I take photos with the Nokia Pro Camera app in landscape mode, the photo when viewed (phone held vertically) is upside down. Sometimes, videos taken in landscape mode, when downloaded appear in vertical mode. There's no easy way to tell the orientation that is being recorded -- just because you're shooting in landscape does not mean you're recording in landscape. If there's a good reason not to buy this phone, it's this one.
There also needs to be some way to show clearly (upload bar) whenever a photo or video is being uploaded to Microsoft Skydrive.
The time settings do not stick when I shut down and power up the phone. Date and time got reset. Somehow, setting the time to automatically set does not work instantly even when there's internet connection.
All these quirks are usability quirks that can be fixed via firmware upgrades if there are any.
- Conclusion -
As I've mentioned, the hardware is great but Windows Phones as an OS certainly has a lot of room for improvement. Minor tweaks really.
If you're on a budget, I would suggest Google Nexus 4. I would have gone that route if that phone can be sold and shipped to my country Singapore. Personally, I prefer Android running on phones. There are some who say it's not as user-friendly, but hey, the learning curve is extremely gentle.
Price is the real consideration. I've seen phones with rather similar specifications selling for less than half the price. The premium you pay for a brand oftentimes does not translate to a significantly smarter phone.
Hardware - 5 out of 5 stars.
Windows Phone OS - 3.5 out of 5 stars.