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Nokia Lumia 625 Review

Nokia Lumia 625 Review
Diyan
  • On December 1, 2013

Review Overview

Design
7
Display
5.5
Camera
6.5
Performance
7
65%

Rating

Pros: 4G/LTE support, removable back case Cons: low pixel density, 512 MB RAM

Nokia Lumia 625 is the cheapest 4G capable Lumia

Nokia Lumia 625 is a typical low-end Lumia smartphone with few surprises – an attractive price tag and an LTE / 4G support which make this device one of the cheaper 4G enabled models on the market. Announced just before the Nokia / Microsoft deal, the phone has a large 4.7-inch screen, a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage, micro SD slot, 5 MP camera and 4G/ LTE support.

Design

The 625 comes with a removable polycarbonate shell wrapping the back and the sides of the phone. The front panel curves slightly at the edges to the thin black rim. Behind the Gorilla Glass 2 pane it sits the large 4.7-inch display which has thin bezels on each side. Below the display, we are looking at the traditional Windows Phone buttons – back, home and search. Above the screen, there’s a front facing camera on the right top, while the grey Nokia logo is at the center. As we mentioned, the edges are covered by the polycarbonate shell. Up top, there is the 3.5 mm audio jack, whereas the micro USB port is on the bottom. The volume rocker, the power and the camera buttons are positioned on the right side and they are parts of the shell itself. We found the buttons well made with perfect amount of resistance.

an orange Lumia 625 - back and front

The back of the Nokia Lumia 625 is clean and simple, with a tiny loudspeaker grille, a small Nokia logo and the main camera lens with LED flash sunken into the shell for better protection. Under the polycarbonate case there are two slots: micro SIM and micro SD (it supports up to 64GB). Unfortunately, the battery is non-removable, with a capacity of 2000 mAh.

Black, white, mint green, red-orange and bright yellow are the official polycarbonate case colors of this Lumia. Similar to the 620, the shell of the Lumia 625 has a dual-shot color construction and it produces a semi transparent effect. The 4.7-inch smartphone measures 133.2 x 72.2 x 9.2mm and weighs 159 grams. Even though it is not the thinnest and lightest device on the market, it is well-balanced and sits nicely in the hand. Overall, we found the Lumia 625’s design satisfactory enough considering its price.

Display

Nokia Lumia 625 is the first Windows Phone model having a 4.7 –inch display. For some of the tasks bigger is better, especially when using the on-screen keyboard, navigating through menus and framing photos. Even though the screen produces relatively vibrant and accurate colors, the Lumia 625 falls short in many areas compared with the other budget friendly models.

the display of Lumia 625

The display exceeds by a 0.4 inch the displays found on the Lumia 720 and 820, but it has the same resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. That results in a lower pixel density (201ppi), which is a bit irritating. Even though Windows Phone 8 doesn’t suffer from a low-res screen, we found the Lumia 625 irritating in several situations. First of all, this display has poor viewing angles and below average outdoor visibility. Second, the screen definitely lacks details when browsing different websites or using the camera. Third, the ClearBlack technology is missing, so blacks often look navy on Nokia Lumia 625.

Camera

Lumia 625 is equipped with two cameras, though they are pretty basic. Up front, we are looking at a VGA (640 x 480) front-facing shooter which delivers noisy and grainy images even in good lighting conditions. Flipping the phone over, we see a 5 MP camera with f/2.4 lens and LED flash. Nokia has enabled Nokia Camera for this phone and you can benefit from the manual settings which give you a lot more control. Due to the faster processor than the other budget Lumias, the 625’s camera starts a bit faster and Nokia has made the shutter button more responsive.

a sample shot from the 5 MP camera

The camera leaves some mixed feelings. In good lighting conditions, Nokia Lumia 625 can deliver some pretty successful and accurate pictures. However, it seems the output is strongly influenced by the distance from the object. In close-ups, the pictures look a bit overexposed, while in landscapes the opposite is true – the images often look dark and underexposed. That’s why you’d better switch to manual settings and correct the exposure according to the scene.

In low light conditions, the 5MP camera shows limited performance, grainy and noisy images. The camera lacks optical image stabilization and the LED flash is weak so you’d better use it only for close-ups.

Performance and Software

According to the AnTuTu benchmark, Nokia Lumia 625 receives a score of 9835, compared with 7350 for Lumia 520 and 7333 for HTC 8X. The phone has a slightly better processor than the other budget Lumias and the difference is noticeable. Navigating through Windows Phone, opening apps and loading web pages feel a bit faster. Unfortunately, 512 MB limits your full access to games and apps, and the most resource consuming games run choppy on the Lumia 625. On the other hand, this smartphone has one big advantage compared with the other budget Windows Phones. It has a 4G/ LTE support.

A group image of Lumias 625

As far as the software, the phone comes with GDR2 and Lumia Amber pre-installed. Due to hardware limitations, some of the features available for the high-end Lumias are missing like the Glance Screen feature. On the other hand, you have an access to Nokia’s goodies including Nokia Camera, Cinemagraph, App Social, HERE Explore, HERE Drive+ and more.

Summary

Despite its low-end specs, Nokia Lumia 625 is as fast and fluid as the rest of the Lumia family. It is a typical looking Lumia device, a great offer if you want a cheap 4G capable smartphone with a large screen. You can easily change the back case and enjoy multiple different colors.

Lovely, but with several drawbacks: the 4.7-inch display has a low pixel density, poor viewing angles and outdoor visibility. The camera lacks optical image stabilization and the Lumia 625 has just 512 MB of RAM.