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NOKIA Lumia 625
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Gorilla Glass toughened screen
Large 4.7 inch touchscreen
Dolby sound enhancement
5 megapixel camera
Read our full review here >>>
by Mike Leader
In our review we try to cut out some of the confusion surrounding Nokia's latest Windows 8 smartphone.
The confusion arises because Nokia have always followed the "bigger is better" mantra with their Lumia range, the higher the model number, the higher the specification, and of course price.
So at the time of writing the Nokia Lumia 520 is the lowest in the range and the Lumia 920 is the highest, and best (pending the release of the upcoming 925 and 1020 models).
Largest screen to date on a Windows Phone
But the Lumia 625 comes along flaunting the largest screen yet seen on a Nokia Windows 8 handset, at 4.7 inches. So what's going on? Well this isn't Nokia's new flagship, and doesn't boast the type of class leading screen you might expect.
In fact the resolution isn't anywhere near HD levels, at just 800 x 480 pixels. That's the same as the Lumia 620 but that phone has a smaller screen by almost an inch at 3.8 inches.
The pixel density is 245 pixels per inch which isn't to be scoffed at, it's just that you may be expecting more from a screen of this size.
It must be noted that the blocky menu style of Windows Phone 8 operating system does deal better with a lower resolution screen than, say, an android handset so it should not be a deal breaker.
However this isn't meant to be a top of the pile class leading Windows phone but has been released to take advantage of 4G. That's admirable - a 4G handset with a 4.7 inch Gorilla Glass screen at low to middle price range sounds fantastic but it just doesn't quite pull it off.
Maybe we have been spoilt by full resolution screens and it is keenly priced at around half the price of other smartphones with similar sized screens, but for us it's just not quite there.
The casing is the usual high quality Nokia Lumia polycarbonate shell with black front and interchangeable brightly coloured wraparound casing with a rubberised coating for easy grip.
This handset feels solid and hefty mainly due to the fairly hefty 159 grams weight, and we imagine it would survive the daily bump and grind better than most smartphones on today's market.
We wouldn't be overly concerned about dropping it, though of course we don't specifically recommend that you try it at home!
The camera is the same 5 megapixel unit found on the 620 and it is excellent with plenty of functionality and enhancements available from Windows Store, many of them free - but viewing the pictures on the slightly lower resolution screen simply doesn't quite do it justice.
It seems a shame that you get 1080p HD video recording but don't have the screen to watch it on.
The rest of the specifications are excellent too with plenty of connectivity including Wi-Fi, aGPS with support for the Russian GLONASS satellite system, 4G as stated above, stereo Bluetooth, the latest version 4.0.
There is no NFC but this is a little used function in most parts of the world, indeed the UK, so again it's probably not a deal breaker. In fact many of you may not have even heard of NFC. This is the system that offers contactless payments for example, or allows you to transfer files and photos by simply touching two NFC enabled phones together.
Plenty of storage options
On board storage seems is a reasonable average of 8GB but you also get 7GB Free SkyDrive cloud storage as with every Lumia and you can add a MicroSD card right up to 64GB so your total storage space will never be an issue.
Remember too that Windows Apps typically use less storage space than their android counterparts.
Overall the specifications at this price range is very good, but we're not sure that anybody desperate to get onto 4G will be prepared to put up with a relatively low resolution screen in an age when screen quality has reached amazing heights.
Perhaps we are being a little unfair because it's not a bad screen and is an otherwise decent smartphone for the price, bearing in mind that in the smartphone world you generally get what you pay for.
It would look acceptable on a small screen budget handset - there's the irony, the screen resolution would actually look better on a smaller screen!
But on the Nokia Lumia 625 we can't get away from it and we think it's quite possibly enough to make you think twice if high res sharpness is important to you, and if you are not currently in a 4G area it might be worth waiting to see what else comes along in the next few months .
NOTES - coloured covers are available, sold separately. O2 do not supply a USB charger with this handset. We will supply one FREE on request to all verified purchasers. Contact us for further details.