The big change is the form itself. Nokia has failed to score with the 920 in European markets because of the size and weight of the phone. It's one of the heaviest smartphones out there, weighing in at 6.53 ounces or 185 grams. Nokia took the criticism to heart and altered the chasses of the device to drop the weight and make in thinner. The 920/928 measure 10.7mm thick, and the 925 measures 8.5mm thick, a significant improvement.
In order to make these alterations, Nokia changed up the materials used in the 925. Where the 920/928 relied solely on polycarbonates to form the outer shell of the phone, the 925 has an aluminum frame sandwiched between two panels -- one made of polycarbonate, and the other the glass display. The result is a slimmer and lighter smartphone sure to appeal to a wider range of potential buyers.
[ Nokia's entry-level Asha 501 is positioned to compete with Android. Read more at Nokia Asha 501 Seeks Middle Ground. ]
As Nokia hinted earlier this week, imaging is the core feature of the Lumia 925. The device has a PureView 8.7-megapixel camera. It can record 1080p HD video, and is supported by new software for taking and manipulating photos. The user-facing camera rated 1.2 megapixels, and it is capable of shooting widescreen 1080p HD video as well. The lens uses high-tech optics, and the 925 includes optical image stabilization for the sharpest photos and video.
Beyond the form factor and camera, the 925 shares many features with the 920 and 928. For example, it has a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 HD AMOLED display. The device has a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. The phone will support HSPA+ and LTE 4G networks, though there's no word if it will support U.S.-specific networks. Other radios include GPS, NFC, Bluetooth and 802.11a/b/c/g Wi-Fi.
The device runs Windows Phone 8 ... which is perhaps its biggest problem.
Nokia has clearly reached the upper limits of what WP8 can handle in terms of hardware. As a platform, WP8 still doesn't support 1080p HD displays or quad-core processors, for example, which continue to hold Nokia and other Windows Phone OEMs from designing Android-killers. The Lumia 925 is certainly a solid effort from Nokia, and perhaps its best Windows Phone handset yet. On a spec-for-spec basis, though, it falls short of what the best Android handsets offer.
Nokia did more innovative stuff with the Asha 501, which was announced last week.
The Lumia 925 will be available in select markets, beginning with Europe, before the end of the quarter.
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