Nokia's new Lumia 925 phone has an aluminium frame that functions as an antenna, and is lighter and thinner than the Lumia 920, but otherwise offers similar performance to its predecessor.
Nokia revealed the Lumia 925 on Tuesday, hoping to build on the small measure of success it saw during the first three months of the year when it sold 5.6 million Windows Phones.
The 925 will adopt the more sober colors of the Lumia 928 announced last week for distribution by Verizon Wireless: Nokia showed the 925 in black, white and grey. Nokia's other smartphones, including the 920, are available in a range of bright colors.
One feature distinguishing the 925 from other Lumia phones is the aluminium frame around the edge, which also works as an antenna. The phone weighs 139 grams, almost 50 grams lighter than its portly predecessor. It is also thinner, at 8.5 millimeters compared to 10.7 millimeters for the 920. It doesn't have integrated support for wireless charging, but that can be added via a back cover.
Just like the Lumia 920, the newcomer is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor from Qualcomm and have a 4.5-inch screen with a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution and an 8.7-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. But the camera will still perform better, thanks to lens and software improvements, according to Jo Harlow, executive vice president for smart devices.
On the software side, Nokia is introducing the Smart Camera app, which adds more editing features. Later this summer it will become available on Nokia's other Windows Phone 8-based smartphones via an update called Amber.
Nokia needed to upgrade the Lumia 920, according to analysts.
"The Lumia 920 is a good product, but because of its size and weight it doesn't appeal to everyone. What you have with the 925 and 928 are mainstream flagship models, and they strengthen Nokia's portfolio," said Pete Cunningham, principal analyst at Canalys.
Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight, agreed: "There is a broad recognition that the Lumia 920 was too heavy and fat, but it has still done better than most people expected," he said.
Refreshing the Lumia 920 design is also important because Nokia now has the same design language from the high-end down to its cheapest Windows Phone, the Lumia 520.
"That has resulted in it not having a premium feel anymore. Therefore Nokia needed to do something to differentiate the flagship from the rest of the portfolio. So my view is that it is moving in exactly the right direction," Wood said.
The challenge for Nokia now will be to get as many operators as possible to carry the Lumia 925, according to Wood.
The Nokia Lumia 925 will cost about €469 (US$610) before taxes and subsidies. It will be introduced into the US by T-Mobile and into China by China Mobile and China Unicom. Sales are expected to start in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and China in June, followed by the US and a number of other markets.
In the UK, the phone will be sold by Vodafone, Three and O2. The latter operator will start shipping the device on June 13, with preorders starting on May 30, it said via email. Vodafone users will get 32GB instead of 16GB of integrated storage.
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