Nokia Brings Big Screen To Lumia Line

Lumia 625 has a 4.7-inch display, the largest of any Windows Phone.
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Nokia introduced the Lumia 625 Tuesday, a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone that has at least one bragging point: it offers the largest display of any Windows Phone. The rest of the device, however, falls firmly into the middle of the smartphone market as far as specs and features go.

To date, the largest display to grace a WP8 handset measures 4.5 inches. Some of Nokia's own Lumia devices fit that description, including the recently announced Lumia 1020. The 625 stretches the display out to 4.7 inches, which matches the size of some of today's leading smartphones, such as the HTC One. The display has some of the features found on Nokia's best screens, including Sunlight Readability Enhancement, High Brightness Mode, Color Enhancement and Super Sensitive Touch. In other words, the screen is easy to see, read and interact with.

Large though the display may be, it falls woefully short in the pixel department. The Lumia 625 is a midmarket device, which means Nokia had to cut corners somewhere. The 625's display has 800 by 480 pixels, or WVGA resolution. That's the same resolution we saw on the best smartphones from three years ago. By way of comparison, the Lumia 1020's screen measures 4.5 inches and has 1280 by 768 pixels, and the HTC One has a full HD 1920 by 1080-pixel screen.

[ Is Apple finally ready to get in on the big-screen action? See Next iPhone May Have Bigger Screen. ]

As the saying goes, size isn't everything.

The rest of the Lumia 625's features match those of the low-cost market for which Nokia is aiming. For example, the 625 has a 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, but only 512 MB of RAM. This smaller amount of memory limits the number of apps that the Lumia 625 can run. It has 8 GB of built-in storage, but supports microSD cards up to 64 GB.

The camera rates 5 megapixels. It has autofocus and an LED flash, and can record 1080p HD video at up to 30 frames per second. It comes with a number of the custom camera apps developed by Nokia, but not the super low-light powers of the Lumia 1020, for example. The user-facing camera rates a lowly VGA resolution (0.3 megapixels).

Connectivity options are pretty good. It supports most HSPA+ networks and even some LTE networks around the world. Items such as 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and GPS/GLONASS are more or less standard on most smartphones these days.

Nokia pointed out that it took some pains to re-imagine the polycarbonate shell that houses the device. It is layered to create a unique look and feel. The outer shell can be removed, which is something you cannot say about most Lumia smartphones. There's a 2000-mAh battery hiding underneath.

The Lumia 625 hits a range of world markets during the third quarter. It will sell for €220, or about $290.