Adding to the already large family of Lumia smartphones, Nokia has introduced the budget Lumia 625. Here's our Nokia Lumia 625 review.
The aim of the Lumia 625, according to Nokia, is to offer users a large screen and 4G connectivity for an attractive budget price – just £189 on Pay As You Go. "With a super-fast internet connection, there's a real demand for big, beautiful screens that help bring all the content to life – this is where the Nokia Lumia 625 arrives with a really competitive price to match." said Vinay Jayakumar, product manager at Nokia.
See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?
Nokia Lumia 625: Design and build
The device has a similar look and feel to that of the Lumia 820. It's plastic fantastic with brightly coloured changeable shells – great if you like that kind of thing but at least black and white are available if you don't want a glowing green, orange or yellow phone.
It's a nice touch, for a budget phone, not only is the case nicely rounded, so are the edges of the glass. It means the device feels nice in the hand and build quality is much higher than we would normally expect from a budget handset. The Lumia 625 doesn't feel like a sub-£200 phone.
Nokia Lumia 625: Hardware and performance
Although the Lumia 625 offers an increase in screen size, one of the main points Nokia is making about the device, the resolution remains the same compared to the Lumia 620. See also: Group test: what's the best Windows phone?
Since the resolution is still 480 x 800 but the screen size is 4.7 in instead of 3.8in, the pixel density drops from 246 ppi to 199 ppi. We understand that this is one way of keeping the cost down but it means it's a case of quantity over quality here. You can at least use the display with gloves like other Lumias.
For the price, core specifications are pretty good with a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor and 512 MB of RAM.
Windows Phone 8 has proven itself to be a smooth operating system. The Lumia 625 is no exception in terms of general navigation but it can take a while for apps to load and web pages to render so it's not impeccable.
The Lumia 625 has one up on higher end devices from Nokia in that it offers a microSD card slot. Although with only around 4.5 GB of 8 GB of internal storage available, this is a much needed facility.
There's no NFC chip on offer here but on a better note, Nokia is not wrong when it says the Lumia 625 gets you 4G LTE connectivity on a budget.
Nokia Lumia 625: Cameras
It's no surprise that there's a lack of PureView photography on-board. Instead you get a 5 Mp rear facing camera with an LED flash and a VGA front facing snapper. Each do the job to an acceptable level but nothing more really. This wouldn't be probably so much if Nokia hadn't consistently set the bar high with other Lumia handsets which offer above average photography.
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What is nice is that the Lumia 625 has a dedicated camera button which is a rare but handy feature.
There's also Nokia's Smart Camera app thanks to the Amber update which adds some good functionality like a burst mode. Nokia pre-loads other photography apps such as Cinemagraph which lets you create gif style animated photos.
Nokia Lumia 625: Software
As we've said Windows Phone 8 runs well as an OS but whether you like its colourful square tiled interface or not is another matter.
We think it's lesser choice compared to iOS and Android with the lack of a notification centre and quick settings such as Wi-Fi. Not to mention the poorer quality Windows Store. If you want to use Instagram, Vine, Dropbox, Flipboard, Sky Go or BT Sport - to mention a handful - then you'll need to look elsewhere or simply go without. Furthermore, the Facebook app is still Microsoft's doing rather than the genuine article.
Nokia is by far our favoured Windows Phone maker because it adds plenty of its own software which is sincerely useful. It's also because other vendors, like Samsung and HTC are far more focused on their Android handsets.
Nokia Lumia 625: Battery life
Although the Lumia 625 has a removable rear cover, don't be fooled into thinking it automatically gives you access to the battery. The battery is visible but you can't actually get at it.
The Lumia 625 has 2000mAh battery which is the same capacity as the Lumia 925. In general use the phone will last a typical working day and need to be charged overnight. However, with light use we did manage a couple of days.