Among all the Lumia's we've reviewed thus far, the Lumia 720 has easily been the most impressive. Being a mid-range handset, it embodied some of the best features of Nokia's Lumia range at a price we thought was acceptable for a Windows Phone 8 device. With a drop in price, Nokia has a new offering in the Rs 20,000 slot in the form of the Lumia 625. Going by the naming convention, it signifies an upgrade to the Lumia 625 but still a bit inferior to the Lumia 720. Let's see how Nokia's largest handset in the family fares against its predecessors.
Design and Build
In terms of design, the Lumia 625 is a mash-up between the 620 and the 720. Like the 620, the handset comes with interchangeable shells and is more rounded around the corners. However, it loses its ugly thickness in favour of the 720's slender chassis. The build and finish of the 625 is very good much like the Lumia 720. Upfront, we have a big 4.7-inch IPS display which is extremely sensitive to your input. Sadly, it lacks the ClearBlack technology that went into the 720 so the black levels and sun light legibility isn't very good.
The buttons on the sides include the power/sleep button, volume rocker and the camera shutter. There's the usual array of capacitive buttons down below. These don't light up however, so it's a little tricky in the dark. Also, a notification LED would have been a nice addition as I don't want my screen lighting up every time I receive a Whatsapp notification.
Good looker and built well
Around the back, we have a 5MP shooter and a single LED flash. The mono speaker isn't very loud so it can get a little tough to hear alerts in noisy environments. Music doesn't sound very good either so it's best you stick to your headphones. Overall, the Lumia 625 has very good build and is quite aesthetically appealing.
The shell is interchangeable and the buttons are nice to use
The Lumia 625 ships with Nokia's Windows Phone Amber update which is a software patch from Nokia and not Microsoft, although that's one and the same now. The Amber update brings with it some new camera features, performance improvements, FM Radio and gestures to silence calls. Visually, there's no change to the Operating System and it's business as usual. Nokia bundles along quite a few apps like BigFlix (you get free streaming for a month), BookMyShow, Flipkart eBooks, TripAdvisor and a bunch of Microsoft apps like Office suite. Overall, the 625 is well catered for right out-of-the-box.
On the face of it, it looks the same even after the Amber update
In terms of performance, the UI is quick and fluid and we didn't find too much lag. We also get a slightly faster SoC in the form of the Snapdragon MSM8930 which now runs at 1.2GHz and features the same Adreno 305 GPU. The limiting factor here however is the RAM which is just 512MB. While this might not be a problem for most apps, games are affected the most as the high-end games simply don't show up in the app store. This is kind of a good thing since you don't really see what you're missing so you won't feel too bad about it. Recently, some developers have started porting their games to work with lower-spec'd Lumias as well so you can finally play Temple Run on phones as low as the 520.
The Lumia 625 is a well-equipped media device thanks to Dolby’s Headphone Sound Enhancement. This adds a pleasing punch to your music which sounds good even with the stock earphones. There are equaliser presets in the main settings menu and you can also toggle the Dolby enhancement mode and Audio levelling. The enhancements work on a system-wide scale and not just for the music player.
You get Dolby enhancements for audio
The video player is capable of reading a few MOV, MP4, WMV files but AVI refused to play. Full HD videos also playback just fine and the colours are fairly vibrant with good detail. There's 8GB of onboard memory out of which about 7.8GB is available for use, which is pretty good.