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Nokia Lumia 625 review

 Review: October 2013  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Nokia Lumia 625 brings the benefits of a large screen and 4G to the mid-range smartphone sector, but it's a heavy handset that compromises in other areas.

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Review

There are a lot of smartphones competing in the mid-range price sector, but not many of them are really good. So we're delighted to find Nokia's Lumia 625 in this affordable price bracket, and bringing some real clout with it.

Design & looks

What's immediately striking about the 625 is its size. It's a big one, with a massive 4.7 inch screen which is unprecedented in this price bracket. Already the Lumia 625 is standing out from the ranks of Android phones that cluster here.

The looks aren't exactly high-end. It's all plastic, and in a choice of bright colours if you like that kind of thing, but the advantage of the plastic shell is that you can snap the back off easily to change colours.  Along the right edge you'll find the usual volume keys, a handy camera key and the power/lock key. Like many Nokias, it's a bit heavy, weighing 159g (OK, a lot heavy) and it might be a little too much for delicate pockets.

But if you don't mind the size, you'll love the big screen. 4.7 inches is the same as the glorious HTC One and even bigger than Nokia's own Lumia 1020. This is an IPS screen, bringing with it the benefit of wide viewing angles, but it lacks the ClearBlack coating of some other Lumia models, resulting in a loss of contrast. It's also rather pixel challenged, having a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, which isn't really enough for such a big screen. The pixel density is a lowly 201ppi. It does however enjoy the benefit of Nokia's Super sensitive touch technology, which makes it easy to tap away.

Windows Phone 8

The 625 runs the Windows Phone 8 OS. This is a very user-friendly operating system, based on a home screen with Live Tiles that update continuously with useful information. Windows Phone 8 lags behind iOS and Android when it comes to third party apps, but you'll find a wealth of pre-installed apps, including Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OneNote and Temple Run. Nokia's HERE maps and navigation tools are also installed. There's full support for email with attachments.

SkyDrive enables easy cloud storage for documents and notes.

An excellent virtual keyboard is included and you can also use voice recognition instead of typing. Voice-guided directions are available in the HERE Drive navigation system.

Windows Phone 8 is very closely entwined with social media and messaging, and it's incredibly easy to share anything with your friends, or find out what your friends are doing. At the heart of this is People Hub, which brings together all your contacts and conversations in one place and which is fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter.

Camera

The main camera is pretty well specified for a mid-range phone. It uses a reasonably large 1/4 inch 5 megapixel sensor and an average-sized f2.4 lens. With an LED flash and autofocus, it's equipped to take decent images as long as the lighting is good, but it won't compete with a dedicated digital camera or a high-end camera phone.

It can also record video at Full HD 1080p resolution, and has a secondary front-facing VGA camera for video chatting.

Processor & memory

The 625 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. This is a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz and it's what you'd expect at this price range. It's faster than many rivals and the phone never feels like it's running slow.

The built-in RAM of 512MB is a little tight, and a full 1GB would have been nice, but again you have to consider the price.

The phone comes with 8GB of onboard memory and you can expand this by adding a microSD card to provide another 64GB. You also get 7GB of SkyDrive cloud storage, and overall the amount of storage capacity is generous.

Connectivity

The Lumia 625 runs on 4G LTE networks as well as 3G networks with HSPA. It also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB. But what's weird is that there's no NFC support. Bizarre, since the older Lumia 620 did include NFC.

Battery life

Nokia didn't mess with the battery however, pumping in a massive 2,000mAh battery, which is plenty for a phone with these specs. It ought to be enough to give a couple of days of heavy use between charges. Use it modestly and you shouldn't need to charge for several days.

Conclusion

First impressions of the Lumia 625 were excellent. Although it's a heavy handset and lacks premium styling, we like its cheerful and practical looks, and the huge 4.7 inch screen is a clear advantage. 4G compatibility is also a strong point and the phone has good specs for a mid-priced product. Battery life is excellent too.

At the same time, we weren't blown away. The low resolution screen is a downer, as is the lack of NFC connectivity. The camera isn't as good as that on the Lumia 720. And there's the weight of the handset to consider.

All told, we like the 625 very much. It moves the Lumia range forward and is excellent value for money. In some ways it's better than the 720 and 820 models and it's certainly a big step up from the Lumia 620, but it doesn't do everything right. It seems that at this tricky mid-range price point, compromise is inevitable and choices difficult.


Nokia Lumia 625 features include:

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User questions

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After repairing the screen does not work the center of notice that is not able to pull to see alerts in the center. Do you have a solution for this ?

Asked by Jovana from Serbia on 28th Mar 2016



Nokia Lumia 625 user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 8 reviews:

Reviewed by Clive Ball from UK on 27th Apr 2015
I'm afraid that this phone is the worst device I've ever had the misfortune to use.

Over the year or so I've had it it's locked up countless times,refused to switch on, refused to charge up, lost its time and date settings at least 20 times. I've given up switching it off because trying to switch it back on is a step into the unknown.

And that's just the hardware.

The Windows OS is the most unintuitive I've ever met. Simple operations such as calling an entry from your phone book takes 6 or more key steps. One or their update pushes caused it to reboot for a day and a half until completed the process. Classic Microsoft, somehow we're expected to stomach it as acceptable. Would you accept that from a car manufacturer. ie pull over to the sdie of the road, switch off. Wait 5 mins and switch back and see whether its any better. If not repeat process but wait longer each time.

Windows? Its' shortly going to get thrown out of one.

Go Android or iOS is my advice.

And my god, I feel better for that rant. THANK YOU.
Rating:

Reviewed by Aneezahamath Ali from India on 22nd Mar 2015
Good but need more apps.
Rating:

Reviewed by Konrad from UK on 19th Jul 2014
My phone has just been upgraded to Windows 8.1 Cyan - second upgrade since Black.
There has been some major changes with this upgrade.
First is the notification bar, similar to Android. The SD card can now store apps and documents. I have a 32gb card so plenty of room. The icons have more customization, can be made smaller so there are more columns and rows on the very large screen. Also pictures can be used to colour the icon that are plain.
The volume controls are now separate for each function or mode.
The only issue is Cortana only works for English US. IF you want to use Cortana at this time, the language and region have to be changed to English US. Hopefully other regions will be fixed, then other languages. Will update when this happens.
Another issue is that I still have to use a third aparty app to switch on/off data and location. WiFi, Bluetooth and airplane mode are there. Microsoft, Please add the two missing functions so I can then delete the shortcut apps.
Windows 8.1 is a vast improvement with room for more.
The upgrade has not effected the great battery life and it is like buying a new phone.
There are lots about windows mobile 8.1 on the web, with tips and tricks, lots of how to's.
Talking of upgrades, Samsung/Google need to learn a lot of how to upgrade without sacrificing performance and reliability. This Windows has been fairly good.
Rating:

Reply by Konrad from UK on 28th Dec 2014
Third update to Lumia Denim. This update has now added the data switch to the action bar set. Cortana has finally been installed too. Also multiple apps can installed in one tile on the start screen. The alarms can have different tones assigned.

I have now deleted all the third party apps that covered the short comings of windows 8.

There is only one thing left and that is auto answer over hands-free Bluetooth in my car. I have to press the button on the controller in the car to answer a call. I have other phones like Samsung that works automatically. May be I need to look into it further.
One other issue is that the official GoPro app does is not supported by this phone. No problem for me with another phone, but make sure you check the requirements of the app. I think windows phone needs 1meg ram.
Overall a good phone for the money.

Reviewed by An Gri from Australia on 12th Apr 2014
Absolutely Hate this product. Wish I could get my money back.
1. Holding it is very awkward. The camera button is low down on the side, where your fingers close around, making it very awkward to hold. Volume buttons should be on the other side of the phone too, it's awkward to change volume as it is. Too easy to accidentally turn phone off as On/Off button is on the side, should be at the top.
2. Nokia PC Suite doesn't work to sync the phone with Outlook, we had to buy Akruto.Still don't have full control.
3. Too fully interlinked with "The Cloud" - you don't have full control as to where you want to put info - such as you don't get an option to put docs on SD card only on phone or Cloud.
4. When we put a .docx document on the phone that had a calendar on it with our travel itinerary we couldn't look at the whole calendar page, only two to three blocks at a time, i.e. can't make the page smaller.
5. No file manager (and its a Windows based phone!!)
6. No drivers or support for Windows 8.1 Enterprise (latest Microsoft Windows Desktop system) - latest Windows phone should have drivers/support for latest Windows system.
7. Very laborious to remove SD card - have to take back of phone off. Need to remove SD card all the time to put into computer to store info on.
8. There is no profiles for different times, e.g. set a profile for meetings or hospital or silent carriage etc.
9. There is no separate ringer volume.
10. Battery cannot be removed. If phone crashes, and can't be turned off and doesn't work, battery can't be removed to reset it.
11.Limited desktop (front page) abilities - Samsung has different pages to organise icons e.g. all internet based stuff on one page, all office based stuff on one page, etc, Nokia 625 you have to scroll down the endless page to access icons. Just can't be as organised.
12. Hate the way it just expects everything will be "cloud" based - I want to store my info on the SD card and it doesn't give me the option in so many apps.
Rating:

Reply by ghost from uk on 6th May 2014
Dont need pc suite as its drag and drop for the files.The sd card takes about a second to take out ?! There is a file manager on the app market, you just need to look and you will find it. There are a number of useful apps in the market. Research my friend,everybody nowadays researches before they buy it makes sense to do so !!

Reply by Konrad from UK on 19th Jul 2014
An Gri, if you still have this phone, hopefully you should get Windows 8.1 upgrade, this will open up the SD card to store apps and docs. Actually some of your complaints will be answered by the upgrade. More customization of the front screen. Unless you are unlucky or load on something suspect on your phone, you should not have any crashes. Also there are ways to restart the phone if you check the web. As I said before, a lot of your issues are covered by the upgrade or not too serious - it's a personal thing. Regarding the volume control being on the wrong side, I also own a Samsung Galaxy S3 which has volume control on the other side which is awkward to me. Having used a Sony which has the volume controls on the same side as the Nokia, I prefer this layout. It is good when taking pictures, the Samsung volume controls acts as zoom will be at the bottom of the phone. Remember, Windows 8.1 mobile ( and Windows 8 mobile) are new and there will be issues then fixes upgrades. You have to be patient. An Gri, if you see this and still have phone with Win 8.1, re-review your thoughts.

Reviewed by priya from india on 3rd Apr 2014
if thers an applock application in lumia 625... trully telling the production will increase on a fast basis....as each an every upcoming youth needs an applock to secure there privacy...and the nokia phone doesnt provides it...so no one prefers using nokia phone
Rating:

Reviewed by Konrad from UK on 10th Jan 2014
My brother and I got these phones as Xmas presents to each other, replacing older Symbian models. The phone is great value and the review covered most points.
The battery life is very good and lasts over 2 days. The screen size makes it easy on the eye, and resolution is not that bad - I also use a Samsung Galaxy S3. Every app I want on the phone has been loaded, or the equivalent. The music player works well and I use my preferred Sennhieser in-ear buds on a Sony inline mic/remote with converter cable. I use this on the Samsung too. Good sound quality plus stop, start, forward and back control.
Now for the issues. The phone calls are good except, when my friend uses his bluetooth hands free - his voice then sounds like a 'Darlek'! This is not the case with the Samsung.
Here maps is missing info found on Google maps. I think Nokia maps on my old 5800 worked better but I need to check this.
Some of the apps are just web base short cuts. YouTube is an example. Instead of loading a third party app, I pinned it to start as a direct short cut tile. Done this with Google maps too. I will go through my other apps to do the same.
Storage limitation. I have a 32gb memory card, but can only save music, video and pictures. Not office docs, text or PDF!
They have to save within the phone memory.
On Android and Symbian I could set up WiFi connections, prior to going to a location. Just go there and already connected. Now I have to be on location to do the whole process.
Overall I like the Windows 8 feel and operation. I am still learning the phone and will add an update later.
Rating:

Reply by Konrad from UK on 11th Feb 2014
Update. The battery is very good - 3 days. The phone has been upgraded to Lumia Black, which gets more features, The maps can now be stored on the SD card, a better camera app that allows a lot of control, Folders apps which means you can group similar apps and have them on the start screen, but no Glance feature due to the Lumia 625 not having the Clear Black screen. Nokia Refocus, Nokia Beamer need 1mb ram, so they will not be loaded or work on the 520, 620, 625 and 720.
Apparently some other apps need more ram than the 512mb on this phone, but these are mostly 3D games which is not a problem for me, plus the two mentioned above.
These are minor issues and the phone performs well.
Hopefully on the next update, the documents can be stored on the SD card.
This phone came pre-loaded with proper apps, no gimmicks taking up valuable memory. The app store is growing, but it depends on what you want.

Reviewed by Tris from UK on 2nd Dec 2013
Bought the 625 cheap from a friend for the nokia drive app. I prefer blackberry but i have to say that the bundled apps with nokia are first rate unlike blackberry. For the price i think this is simply great. Great design and build, nice big screen, 1.2 duel core, gorilla glass, nokia apps, 4g. Its a cut above the rest in this sector of the market. In everyday use its great and does its job very well. The only 2 real down sides to this phone are the 512 of ram and the screen is missing the clear black technology. At this entry level cuts had to be made. its a trade that just about works but i think it will show its age very soon with apps not running on 512 ram and the lack of technology in the screen....... but you gain 4g, great battery and dependable design. I think its a very solid 4 stars.
Rating:

Reply by Tris from UK on 3rd Dec 2013
Another thing to add is this is a heavy phone. Its very solid. The rear casing on my white version has the texture of giant jelly bean, like a sort of glassed sugar. Strange but good.

Reviewed by Gman from Ireland on 21st Nov 2013
Excellent handset. Feels great to hold despite its weight. Battery life is also great with mobile data, Bluetooth and gps switched on (usually in and around 36hrs). Camera is fine for casual shots but detail is just ok. Nokia bundled apps are a bonus too especially MixRadio. Give it a try, it easily beats any Droid phone in its price range!
Rating:


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