FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia announced the Lumia 925 at a glitzy event in London on Wednesday, and had no qualms about declaring the handset "the most innovative smartphone in the world today".
While the phone is undoubtedly Nokia's best Windows Phone handset to date, we're not entirely convinced.
In terms of design, the Nokia Lumia 925 is a huge improvement over the bulky Nokia Lumia 920 handset. The phone is constructed with a mix of aluminium and polycarbonate, and measures just 8.5mm thick with a weight of just 139g, making the device feel just as light as the firm's pint-sized Lumia 720 handset.
However, we're not entirely won over by the design of the handset. The majority of the device is moulded polycarbonate, while the edges are made from aluminium. Although it feels great to hold, Nokia has struggled to give the phone a premium feel like the HTC One and iPhone 5, with the plastic backplate still struggling to feel luxurious when held in the hand. We got our hands on the grey model, which was somewhat cheap to look at. We'd have preferred to see a fully aluminium device, especially given the handset's likely expensive price.
Speaking of the handset's rear, there's an 8.7MP camera on the back of the phone, which adds a bit of bulk to the otherwise streamlined smartphone. This isn't too much of an eyesore however, and if Nokia's big claims about the camera are correct, it'll be worth the additional bulk. We had a quick play with the Lumia 925's camera following this morning's launch and its image quality, even in low lighting, was immediately impressive. We'll be sure to test this fully in our Nokia Lumia 925 review.
One thing that we did manage to test a bit more fully was the handset's 4.5in 1280x768 Clearblack AMOLED screen, which proved just as impressive as the one on Nokia's last generation flagship smartphone. The display delivered crisp image quality, deep blacks and vibrant colour reproduction, and we liked the slight curve to the Gorilla Glass front.
In terms of performance, the Nokia Lumia 925 couples a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5GHz processor with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. While some might bemoan the lack of a quad-core processor on a flagship handset, we noticed no performance issues while using the handset, although we'll test this further in our full review.
Windows Phone 8 is, well, just that. While Nokia has equipped the handset with an onslaught of its own apps including Here Maps, Nokia Music and its new Smart Camera tool, the phone barely feels as if it's been revamped compared to last year's Lumia 920 model.
While we are fans of the operating system, we think Microsoft needs to contribute more to help flagship handsets, such as the Nokia Lumia 925, stand out from the crowd. Whether this is some new applications or enabling manufacturers to add more customisation to the interface we're not sure, but we can't help but think that the operating system is holding this handset back.
Check back soon for our full Nokia Lumia 925 review. µ