Announced back in July, the Lumia 625 is Nokia’s successor to the Lumia 620 and the company’s current affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone to come equipped with LTE connectivity. Compared to its predecessor it’s definitely much better but comes with a few sacrifices. Check out our full review of the Nokia Lumia 625 below.
Design and Construction
The Lumia 625 is quite an upgrade from the Lumia 620 that was announced in December last year. It has larger footprint thanks to its bigger display and it’s better looking too.
Found on the front of the device is a 4.7-inch display mounted with Gorilla Glass 2. There’s the earpiece and front-facing camera on top and three capacitive buttons (Back, Home, Search) at the bottom.
Located on the right side are the volume rocker, power/lock button and the dedicated camera key, while the left side is devoid of any physical buttons. Right on top are the headset jack, and down at the bottom are the microUSB port and a tiny hole for the microphone.
Flip it on its back and you’ll see the 5 megapixel camera, LED flash, and the speaker. Remove the back shell and you’ll see the non-removable battery and slots for the microSIM and microSD card.
On hand, you can definitely say that the device is well-made. The matte body is fitted very well around the device to the point that it could almost pass as a unibody.
Add to that the curved edges of the Gorilla Glass which adds to the Lumia 625’s sleekness. The only issue we see here is that the back shell attracts a lot of smudges especially if you have sweaty hands. Other than that, the Lumia 625 feels solid and it’s something you’ll be proud to show off.
The Lumia 625 comes equipped with a 4.7-inch IPS LCD which is a great improvement over the Lumia 620’s 3.8-inch TFT display. While display size and quality is better, Nokia decided to keep the same resolution at 480 by 800, which means that pixels are less dense at 199 ppi as compared to the Lumia 620’s 246 ppi.
Yes, pixels can be discerned but not to the point that it messes up overall viewing experience. There’s no ClearBlack technology but outdoor usability is acceptable if you crank up brightness to maximum.
In recompense, the Lumia 625 can provide you with better viewing angles, better color reproduction and larger screen real estate compared to its predecessor. In addition, it has Nokia’s Super-Sensitive Touch (SST) technology which lets you use the phone’s display with gloves on or just your fingernail.
OS, UI and Apps
The Lumia 625 comes with Windows Phone 8 OS with the latest Lumia Amber update right out of the box. Nothing much has changed in terms of navigating the UI. You get the usual resizable tiles which you scroll vertically, while swiping from the right will bring up the whole list of apps installed.
Speaking of apps, you do get new ones like:
Nokia Cinemagraph – lets you create a looped video of your moving subject while keeping the rest frozen. You can also add effects and filters.
Nokia Creative studio – a dedicated photo editing app.
Nokia Smart Cam – lets you shoot subjects with features like Motion Focus, Action Shot, Remove Moving Objects, and Change Faces.
Speaking of apps, the Lumia 625 comes with the usual Nokia WP8 apps like HERE Drive, HERE Maps, and Nokia Xpress. Microsoft’s Office, Internet Explorer, and Hotmail, are baked right in as well.
The Windows Phone’s app store can provide the basic apps an SNS-connected individual might need such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, and a slew of chat apps like Skype, Viber, WeChat, WhatsApp, and Line. There are lots of quality apps too but, like BlackBerry, it still lacks some big titles.
Usable storage is a bit limited too, giving you a max of 5GB of usable storage out of its built-in 8GB. Good thing there’s a microSD card slot should you wish to expand.
The 4.7-inch on the Lumia 625 calls for a better experience when watching videos compared to its smaller sized predecessor. If you don’t mind the resolution, the display would suffice for watching your favorite movies. In addition, the device can play 1080p files without any hiccups.
As for its speaker performance, that tiny little speaker at the back is loud enough to let you hear a notification or an incoming call but won’t be able to provide you with a richer audible experience.
We find it too weak and doesn’t provide enough bass when listening to music or a movie. For that, an external speaker or a good set of headphones is still highly recommended.
The Lumia 625 uses the same 5 megapixel rear camera and VGA front-facing of its predecessor. We don’t expect much from a camera of this caliber but it will do for photos that need to be uploaded on Facebook or Twitter.
Take a look at the sample shots below:
Video recording capabilities get an upgrade as well, from 720p/30fps quality of the Lumia 620, it can now record at 1080p/30fps. Watch the sample video below and don’t forget to view it on 1080p:
Performance and Benchmarks
Running under the hood of the Lumia 625 are the dual-core Qualcomm MSM8930 Snapdragon CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, an Adreno 305 GPU, and 512MB of RAM. Performance is good for a smartphone of its kind and we found UI transitions to be smooth without any noticeable lag.
As for benchmarks, we used MultiBench 2 and PhoneMark. Take a look at the results below:
If you like playing games, the Lumia 625 can deliver a very decent experience especially if you’re just running average apps that don’t demand much resources. Try to go beyond what it can provide and the small 512MB RAM will surely get in the way.
Powering the device is a 2,000mAh non-removable battery. This is a 700mAh jump from the 1,300mAh of the Lumia 620. It should be able to provide you enough juice to last the whole day if you’re just using it for moderate calls, texts, and heavy browsing via WiFi. Turn on battery saver mode and it should provide you with some extra power depending on how you use it.
We did our usual test by allowing to play a 1080p video on loop on Airplane mode with 50% brightness and 0% volume. The result is 15.3 hours worth of playback which is great.
The Nokia Lumia 625 aims to become a really great successor to the Lumia 620 with its larger and better screen, bigger battery, and faster CPU. Not to mention that it carries a solid build and sleek design that Nokia is known to deliver.
On the downside, the small RAM and low resolution can be serious issues especially for those looking forward to play graphic intensive apps and watch videos in high-resolution. Gamers and screen resolution-demanding individuals should look away from this device.
However, the Nokia Lumia 625 has another feature up its sleeves that can compensate for its disadvantages, and that is LTE connectivity. At Php13,200 SRP, the Lumia 625 is one of the cheapest LTE-enabled smartphone you can get to date.
Nokia Lumia 625 specs:
4.7-inch IPS ClearBlack LCD screen, 800×480 @199ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 2
1.2GH Snapdragon S4 MSM8930 dual-core processor
Adreno 305 GPU
Expandable 8GB internal storage (up to 64GB)
5MP rear camera w/ LED flash
1080p video recording @30fps
VGA front-facing camera
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0 w/ A2DP support
GPS w/ A-GPS support, GLONASS
2000mAh Li-Ion battery
Windows Phone 8 (w/ Amber update)
133.3 x 72.3 x 9.2 mm
What we liked about it:
*Good battery life
*Gorilla Glass 2
*Very decent performance
*Affordable price for an LTE-capable device
What we didn’t like:
*Low resolution display
*Limited internal storage
*Mediocre camera performance