Nokia Lumia 625 - Not as big as it looks
Lumia 625 Retail Package
Comparison shots 920 V625
I have been lucky enough to own, use or trial just about all the Nokia Lumia handsets that have been released so far and at the moment I am using the latest , the Lumia 625 , which falls into the "Budget Handset" category (full specs here) of Windows Phone along with the 520,620 and 720. As with the other budget phones, the main difference is less RAM and a removal of some services (Here maps is only licensed in the country you register the handset in and global navigation and mapping requires an additional licence to be purchased for example) but as all hardware and software has to be paid for the competitive sale price has to be reached one way or another and that is how it is achieved. This said NONE of the Lumia range actually looks or feels "Cheap" and the actual user experience is great on all of them, but as with anything in life, you get what you pay for, although in the case of the Lumias i think you maybe get a little more than you pay for when you compare them to cheap Android phones or feature phones, they are simply ridiculous value.
More 920 & 625 Comparison Pics
Now the 625 has the largest screen that Nokia has ever used in a phone, which leads me to a bit of a quandary ! Veering off at a tangent and waffling as I normally do, I come from a candy bar 'T9' handset history (everyone over twenty five or so does) and when the large touch screen handsets started to come on the market, headed by the iPhone, I was extremely anti . But as is often the case, as fashions change you have to adapt (maybe Nokia didn't adapt quickly enough, but that's a different story) and I began to try the Nokia handsets that were sliding full physical qwerty keyboard handsets with large touchscreens, yes 3.5" on a Nokia N97 was considered large at the time and the Nokia E7 was considered massive at 4" when it was released. The thing that I found I was beginning to do with my slide out qwerty's was to use the virtual keyboard more and more, not necessarily for email or long text, but to quickly text a message or enter a url it was simply more convenient and as virtual keyboards improved I became more converted, both because they were more usable, but also because the bigger screens were far more appealing for viewing media and the web. Move on to the launch of the Nokia N9 & Lumia 800 and suddenly I'm using massive screens with virtual qwerty keyboards and loving them, so where is the quandary ? Well, I don't like thin phones, everyone is obsessed with thin and I am not 100% convinced, well not yet. I have tried Android handsets such as the HTCOne which has a 4.7" screen and it actually felt OK and manageable , but too thin, I had a similar experience with the Lumia 925, but found I got used to it after a few days but still a bit 'lightweight' for me. I use on a daily basis , as my main phone , a Nokia Lumia 920 which I really like, however with it's 4.5" screen it really is at the limit of my comfort zone , physically, due to the actual bulk of the handset itself, however I like the more substantial feel of the 920 over the likes of the HTCOne or Lumia 925 and yet I really like the bigger screens !!
Screen Comparison 920 & 625
More 625 picsClick thumbnail to view full-size
In a nutshell, if anyone wants a great modern handset at a very reasonable cost I couldn't recommend the 625 enough, great for anyone who doesn't have 20/20 vision, fantastic for a teenager who you don't want to give £500 handset to to play games and browse the web and pretty damn good for a geek who wants a spare phone that will run and run long after his/her 'superphone' has killed its battery. The 625 is not perfect, but as with the Lumia 720 it certainly punches above its weight, the camera and speaker are possibly it's weakest points if I am being picky, but it does produce good photos in good light and is extremely easy to use, plus as I use a couple of the best camera phones ever made both with great speakers fitted, I may be over critical. Personally, with a decent size micro SD card and some decent headphones I think the 625 could be a perfect travel companion :-)
Lumia 625 Screen CapturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
So when I was offered the trial of the Lumia 625 from the kind folk who run Nokia Connects I was really excited to find out how I would cope and the answer was , extremely well. Despite the screen being larger than my usual phone, the handset itself is a little thinner and yet still feels substantial and the result is, it is actually more comfortable for me to use than my 920 which kind of shocked me. I won't go into detail regarding the user experience on the handset as because of the consistency of Windows phone, you get a similar experience to using the Lumia 620 & 720 which I have already written about HERE & HERE . However 'consistency' doesn't mean that all the handsets are the same, they each have little quirks that appeal to different users, beyond the fantastic value for money, the 625 can be bought for under £150 on pay as you go, which considering what you get for the money is fantastic value. Apart from general use, which has been stellar for the time I have used the 625 there are a couple of things that have astounded me with the phone. Firstly the screen on the phone, many 'professional' tech pundits have claimed the 480x800 LCD screen is too low resolution, well maybe if you held it side by side a £500-£600 handset it looks a little less vibrant, but why and who the hell is going to do that ?? I have watched hi res Videos, viewed photographs from my Nokia 808 and websites on the 625 and they all look absolutely great as does TV Catchup and the BBC iPlayer and if you don't believe me, my 78 year old mother was also very impressed, and unlike me , she is a 'real' person !! The second thing that has astounded me has been battery life, I have mentioned this on some of the other budget Lumias , but the 625 simply blows them away, it defies logic. I don't play with these phones I am allowed to trial, I take the sim card out of my regular handset and use them on a daily basis as I normally would. My 920 often needs a top up during the day if used heavily and even on a light sort of day would be running out of juice by the time I got home, the 625 has never been below 45% when I have got home and some nights been 60-70% at six thirty at night, and this phone has the biggest screen Nokia has ever used in a handset !
Photo Samples from the 625
Thanks for reading and viewing this piece and if you are passing a phone shop have a play with a 625 if you get the chance, it's not as big as it looks !!