|Style & Handling
|Ease Of Use
Pros: 4G functionality on a budget, big screen, micro SD card slot, solid performance
Cons: Low resolution screen, mediocre specs, average battery life.
Verdict: The Nokia Lumia 625 is one of the cheapest 4G-ready handsets available, making it a compelling choice for anyone who wants 4G on a tight budget. Such a big screen is also a rarity for a budget phone, but the low resolution of it unfortunately leaves us wishing that Nokia had opted for a smaller size.
Nokia Lumia 625 Full Review
The Nokia Lumia 625 is essentially like a slightly upgraded version of the Nokia Lumia 620. It adds 4G to the mix, ups the screen size from 3.8 inches to 4.7 inches and packs it with a marginally faster 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.
But most other things stay the same, including the resolution, while the price is slightly higher, so is it worth the extra money?
Bigger isn’t always better
The fact that the Nokia Lumia 625 has a 4.7 inch screen is quite impressive and also quite surprising, as not only is that a large screen size for a budget handset but it’s actually larger than any other screen in the Lumia range. Even the Nokia Lumia 1020 only has a 4.5 inch display.
However it’s easy to see how Nokia was able to give the Lumia 625 such a big screen at such a low price – they lumbered it with the same 480 x 800 resolution as the Nokia Lumia 620. That resolution was fine on the Lumia 620 as it only had a 3.8 inch screen, but on the 4.7 inch display of the Nokia Lumia 625 it leads to a pixel density of just 199 pixels per inch.
Unfortunately that really is a little too low to provide a pleasant viewing experience, as both text and images tend to be slightly blurred and pixelated. In fact it makes the size of the screen rather redundant, as the increased size would make it more appealing for watching videos or playing games on but with such a low resolution we’d actually rather take the smaller screen of the Nokia Lumia 620.
4G is the other big selling point of the Nokia Lumia 625 and while the screen ended up being a let-down this aspect of the phone isn’t. Right now 4G is only really available on high end phones like the Nokia Lumia 925 and HTC One. There are a few mid-range devices with 4G support, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and Sony Xperia SP, but nothing low end.
The Nokia Lumia 625 is set to change that, finally making 4G a little bit more affordable and that’s a huge selling point for it and a really compelling reason to buy it over the Nokia Lumia 620.
There might be some differences under the hood but on the surface the Nokia Lumia 625 looks a lot like most other Lumia handsets. It has a curved plastic cover which comes in black, white, yellow, green or orange. The main visual difference between the Lumia 625 and the Lumia 620 (or most other Lumia’s) is that the Nokia Lumia 625 is bigger, with dimensions of 133.3 x 72.3 x 9.2mm, making it the biggest Lumia handset on the market. That said it doesn’t feel uncomfortably large.
The Nokia Lumia 625 has a 5 megapixel main camera and 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera. 5 megapixels isn’t bad at all for a budget handset, but it’s no better than the Nokia Lumia 620 and a lot worse than the cameras on higher end handsets in the range.
The camera includes Nokia Smart Cam features, which let you take action shots, remove unwanted moving objects and more, so there’s quite a few options beyond just point-and-shoot. The end results are reasonable too, but again no better than the Nokia Lumia 620 and no threat to high end handsets or compact cameras.
Like most modern smartphones the Nokia Lumia 625 can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps and again the results are reasonable but nothing to write home about.
The Nokia Lumia 625 has a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, which is a slight improvement over the 1 GHz dual-core processor found in the Nokia Lumia 620. That said the difference isn’t really noticeable as both handsets are generally pretty solid performers. The Nokia Lumia 625 only has 512 MB of RAM, which is pretty low, but no worse than many other Windows Phone 8 handsets and seemingly not low enough to present a performance problem.
The battery is a slightly bigger issue. It’s actually reasonably large at 2000 mAh but the 4.7 inch screen on the Lumia 625 is a major drain, so if you plan to watch a lot of videos, browse the net for extended periods or play games the battery will really struggle to last even a day.
There’s only 8GB of onboard memory but the Nokia Lumia 625 includes a micro SD card slot to boost that by up to 64GB.
Being a Nokia handset, the Lumia 625 has a few good extras such as HERE Maps for mapping and HERE Drive which is a solid sat-nav app. It also features the aforementioned Nokia Smart Cam, giving you extra camera features. However aside from those you more or less get the stock selection of apps and features that all Windows Phone 8 handsets come with.
The Nokia Lumia 625 is an awkward handset. It has a big screen but the resolution just doesn’t cut it. Beyond that it’s basically just a Nokia Lumia 620 with a slightly faster processor – and 4G of course, which is really the best thing about this phone. It’s the only entry-level handset to offer 4G and that alone makes it worth buying if you want 4G but can’t afford to shell out for a premium smartphone. Screen aside it’s not bad either, with reasonable performance and an okay camera. If you don’t care about 4G then save yourself a bit of money and stick with the Lumia 620, but if you want 4G and can live with a low resolution screen then you won’t go wrong with this and you’ll be hard pushed to find a cheaper 4G-ready phone.