Fans of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system have less choice in smartphones than their Android counterparts, so it’s always news when a new device arrives in Canada. Nokia’s Lumia line of smartphones set the standard for the Windows Phone experience and the Lumia 625 is set to raise the bar for value-priced Windows mobile devices. Improving on 2012’s Lumia 620, the 625 gains a faster Snapdragon CPU, bigger display, LTE compatibility and a leap in battery life. There are some compromises compared to the 620 (for example, NFC support has been dropped) but the Lumia 625 provides much of the experience of more expensive smartphones in a budget-friendly device. Expect to see it soon at Best Buy.
If you like the trademark candy bar look of Nokia’s Lumia smartphones, then you won’t be disappointed with the Lumia 625 which continues the theme. Nokia says the bright plastic shell will be available in black, white, red, yellow, green or red.
- 4.7-inch IPS LCD display at 480 x 800 pixels resolution (201 ppi) with scratch-resistant glass
- Dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU @ 1.2 GHz with 512 MB RAM
- 8 GB storage plus microSD card slot for expansion to 64 GB
- 5MP primary camera with autofocus and LED flash
- USB 2.0, Bluetooth
- 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
- LTE capable
- 2000mAH battery rated at 15.2 hours 3G talk time
- Run Windows Phone 8
- 13.3 x 7.2 x 0.9 cm, 159 g
- Currently offered through Bell, Telus and Fido
Bigger, Faster, Longer Battery, Faster Connectivity
While flagship smartphones are sporting 5-inch or greater displays these days, less expensive models tend to be considerably smaller. For example, the Lumia 620 is 3.8-inches.
The Lumia 625 has a 4.7-inch IPS touchscreen display with a scratch resistant coating, making it a class leader in this respect. The CPU is a dual-core Snapdragon S4 which provides a speed bump compared to the 620. When you’re using a mobile device, network speed can be as important as processing speed and the Lumia 625 gains a key upgrade in LTE support for data downloads as fast as 100 Mbps.
Another key improvement for mobile users is battery life. While the 620 has a 1300mAh battery rated at 9.9 hours of 3G talk time, Nokia took advantage of the larger case of the Lumia 625 to put in a much bigger battery, a 2000mAh version rated at 15.2 hours of 3G talk time —a dramatic improvement.
Nokia has had to make some compromises in order to deliver key upgrades like that big display and LTE compatibility while keeping the Lumia 625 as affordable as possible. There are three key things that potential buyers should be aware of.
First, NFC support has been dropped. You can still connect to speaker docks with Bluetooth, but if NFC features like bump and pay aren’t an option.
Second, although Nokia has a reputation for pushing the limits with smartphone photography capabilities, the Lumia 625 has a relatively modest 5MP primary camera. It will be able to take decent casual snaps and supports 1080p video capture, but it you want a smartphone that could take the place of your camera, you should be looking at alternatives like the Lumia 1020 with its 41MP PureView camera.
Finally, although Nokia bumped the Lumia 625’s display up to 4.7 inches —impressive for smartphones in this class— the resolution remains the same, resulting in a drop in pixel density compared to the Lumia 620 (201 ppi versus 246 ppi). If you want a razor sharp display, you’ll need something smaller or more upscale.
That being said, the Nokia 625 is a nice upgrade to the 620 and its speed, display size and connectivity improvements make this smartphone a great choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly Windows Phone mobile phone.