Product Type: Nokia Smartphone
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My first Smart choice.
Nokia Lumia 925
Member Name: Alias52
Nokia Lumia 925
Advantages: Good looking handset with high specifications.
Disadvantages: Windows 8 puts some people off.
Whilst I was a long time being converted to the mobile revolution, I finally succumbed and went for a Nokia handset on a Vodafone contract. Since then, I have stayed loyal to both the manufacturer and provider, as I always found my Nokias to be reliable and I had a very cheap contract!
That said, I was wanting to join the smart phone generation but was waiting around for my favourite manufacturer to get into the game. Whist I have nothing particularly against Apple, I had no desire to get an iPhone or even other type. Once Nokia had finished suing other manufacturers for use of proprietary ideas Nokia finally got down to it. The Lumia range was launched and has been steadily growing. For some time I have looked at them and wasn't quite convinced by them. I was determined to hold on until the one I wanted came along.
Then came Windows Phone 8. Nokia have made a decision to harness themselves to the Windows phone platform. Now, whilst I will not argue that Microsoft are the best available they are certainly prolific. Most of the computers I use make use of Microsoft products and I was interested to see how Windows 8 would link in with this. Would they apply their considerable muscle to the platform and make inroads into the market? Only time will tell. I feel I must mainly focus the review at the phone and, to a considerably lesser extent, the platform, as this is what you will get if you buy the phone.
The phone first. This is slimmed down from the Lumia 920 but is still considerably larger than an iPhone. It measures 12.9 cm by 7.1 cm and is almost a centimetre thick. Combined with a weight of 139g, this makes it a pretty hefty piece of kit. However, this was enough smaller than the previous offering to make me consider it. Even after fitting a leather case (too many friends having trashed their smart phones) I can still fit this in my pocket along with other items.
I am not a techie person, so I will try to deliver the specs in a way that I understand. It has Gorilla glass 2, which is supposedly extremely tough. The display itself is a whopping 4.5 inches of Puremotion HD+ and has lots of other complicated things making it sound darn good! What that means in my world is that I have a good sized screen that is very crisp and sharp indeed. It is more than big enough for me to make use of the Kindle app. The touch sensitivity is very good and accurate and even me, with my 5 thumbs on each hand can select exactly what I want. The lock screen works well, with you needing to slide up the screen and can be made more secure by use of a numeric password. This is something I had had a bit of a bugbear with Nokia in the past with Select * not always being secure enough.
One good point about Nokia has always been their cameras and this phone is no-different. It comes with a very good 8.7MP Pureview 4x digital zoom with a Carl Zeiss lens, which makes for extremely good results in my experience so far. Whilst optical zoom is obviously better than digital, my photos have not suffered in zoom mode, unless they were further away than across the room. In addition, with low-light conditions this camera produces excellent results, considerably better than my compact camera. A wide range of lens apps has made the experience even better. My personal favourites are Smartcam and Panorama at the moment. The former because it captures 10 photos quickly for you to chose from and allows you to choose the best, change faces and also have several pictures in one to show movement. It also has enabled me to catch some amazing action shots that would have been just a blur (or blank) on my compact. Panorama does what it says in the name and is easy to create some great left to right images of wide areas. I was so impressed with the results that I opted to leave my camera behind when I went on holiday and used this exclusively.
Now, some important things. This uses a Micro-Sim, so if, like me, you had an original Sim you will have to get your account details transferred over. This was done online with a relatively short wait time but could take up to 24 hours. If you had all of your data saved on your sim then you could get it transferred easily by going to a local phone shop. The phone does not have facility for additional memory chips of any kind, which some people may not like. Most phones on offer come with 16GB of memory, which is a reasonable amount but not massive in this day and age. The reason I stuck with Vodafone this time is that they had exclusive access to the 32GB version and I considered it the best way to ensure I have enough memory available. The operating system does take up around 2GB but I can honestly say I have had no problems with storage. Even with all my holiday snaps still on there I have 19GB remaining after some heavy use, so even the basic version would have been ok.
Now, the battery. As with most smart phones, this is never enough. Just in standby mode the phone has lasted for 2-3 days (maybe more but I never went that long between charging.) The battery power does dip once you start heavily using it, however. As a general rule I tend to charge the phone once a day and this has been no problem at all. Only when I use processor heavy apps do I have to charge this more than once a day. I would also advise having a car charger for long journeys if using the excellent Drive App, as any gps using apps tend to speed up the battery drain. That said, it is not enough of a problem for me to be dissatisfied. The connector is micro-USB, which also charges my Kindle, so great! The box comes with one of the new charging cables that connects the phone to the computer but can also be connected to a USB plug, which is also provided.
Now, the operating system. I feel that I can do this more justice as a separate review, so I will cover mainly my experiences with it so far. The Windows Phone 8 interface is as slick as any of the others out there. It does many of the same things but it does have a few cute tweaks of its own. I like the start screen, which uses "live tiles" that can be configured by yourself. Every tile can be a link to an app or show information and can be adjusted as you like. The size, colour and position can all be tweaked to get your screen showing exactly what you want and as many live tiles as you like can be on the screen, just swiping down if, like me, you have lots there. I have found this to be an easy-to-use system and I have loved playing around with it. The remainder of your apps are found by swiping the screen sideways and are shown there in default alphabetical list. All of the applications have worked quickly and the interface works smoothly. The horizontal/vertical alignment can be a little temperamental but it hasn't been a major problem.
As Windows is, so far, only a small player in the phone market its app selection is slightly more limited than the big two but I certainly have not noticed the lack. There are only so many you can use anyway. Despite the reported lack of a YouTube app, I still have an app that connects to YouTube and does everything it does anyway! What I do like about the Windows system is that it syncs so well with all of the things I use on my own computer. It linked to my computer, set up contacts from Facebook and other places for me once I selected those options. I was also able to add all my iTunes bought music onto the phone, which had been a concern.
Overall, I rate the phone as excellent and would give it 5/5 stars. It is a very well put together device that does absolutely everything I want and does it very well. I had long been waiting for a good Nokia smartphone and this has been it. Technically, and also in my opinion way better than the current iPhone. The Windows Phone 8 system is getting better all the time but isn't quite perfected yet, which does let the phone down slightly. The phone can do more than the Windows system allows, so I am looking forwards to the software catching up to the phone. Having said that, I really have found the Win 8 interface to be absolutely fine for me and have noticed no problems at all. I would give it a 4/5 but only because I know it isn't quite the polished deal yet. That gives the device a 4.5/5, so I will round up to stay mathematically consistent.
I have recommended this to many people already and even any of my iPhone friends admit that this is a better phone than theirs even if they would not switch due to their money commitments to Apple products. However, to a user of Microsoft products on the home PC or any first time smart phone buyer, like me, this could be the choice for you.
Summary: Nokia back to their best with this device.
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