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Nokia Lumia 625: Hands-on and first impressions

Nokia unveiled the Lumia 625 to the media yesterday, introducing an affordable Windows Phone with a 4.7-inch display. As the chosen name would suggest, it's a budget smartphone. The market is certainly shifting into a cheaper war and Nokia is looking to further strengthen its arsenal of products to better compete against manufacturers. So what is the new Lumia 625 like and is it worth checking out?

Having on spent a handful of minutes actually playing with the units handed out, the Lumia 625 is a solid smartphone for the price. Going to be priced at around £200 at launch (depending on mobile operators and retailers - will also be available subsidised), it's a premium experience for a small price tag. It's worth remembering that this is a budget phone and isn't meant to sport all the bells and whistles.

Lumia Ecosystem

The Lumia 625 fits into the family nicely.

If you're familiar with the Lumia 620 you'll get on well with the Lumia 625. The 4.7-inch display is the largest screen on any Lumia Windows Phone and is a breeze to use. The only issue is the resolution, which is set at 800x480. Sure, it's not 720p, but it's a budget handset. If you're looking to pick up a smartphone for under £200 you're not going to be expecting a high-end product. No NFC, no wireless charging, but we do have microSD and 4G support.

Nokia also covered some of the design elements of the Lumia 625, and one that really caught our attention is how light wraps around the curved glass. Nokia notes this as an illusion and it just further emphasises the pebble look. The microUSB port is at the bottom, along with the usual buttons on the side. As we covered in our earlier coverage, the cases can be swapped to keep the device looking fresh with multiple colours to choose from - red, white, black, green and yellow.

Will the Lumia 625 be the choice for many consumers? Absolutely. The combination of a large screen and more affordable pricing will appeal to many.

Lumia 625

Nokia Lumia 625

Lumia 625

Nokia Lumia 625

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Rich, 7.4"? :D I do wonder why the USB port is at the bottom though.
  • Ideally I wish they used a protocol to allow portable devices such as speakers to utilize the bottom USB. Similiar to how iphones and ipods are used.  But since portable speakers are using NFC/bluetooth. I figured the only reason is when someone is still on the phone and want to charge the phone while they're talking. The bottom would be the best logical solution.
  • I do see the use of it being on the top, easier to use navigation in car and not let the cord get in the way. But I thought they also mentioned on the 925 they got better antenna reception on the top. USB location would not matter if here maps rotated according to screen orientation. A standard protocol would be great. I always turn my 920 upside down, as the better speakers are on the bottom, makes it easier to hear.
  • Wow green looks amazing ! 
    Best regards!
  • When are your regards not at their best?
  • When i'm really really angry .... 
    Best regards!
  • Credo93 angry! Credo93 smash!
    Best regards!
  • I want a 1020 variant in that green.
    Best regards!
  • Best regards to you!
  • !sdrager tseB
  • Lol ! 
    Best regards!
  • Is Samsung making it?
  • is making the NOKIA lumia 625.......... Not sure if serious.............
  • You sir, deserve a punch in the face with a smile :)
  • +1
  • Lol Samsung...
  • +625 xD
  • Looks great! This screen size will be perfect for my mum, as she struggles to see small text and hit the right keys! Good job Nokia
  • You can change the text size under settings..
  • Yeah man, it's more about the key size i guess. She struggles with my 800 but is fine with the 920, so it's nice to get that screen real estate at a cheaper price
  • Right, but if you increase the text size then you see less. Making the screen itself larger makes everything larger without seeing less. 
  • I look how they put the back of the 1020 in that Lumia line up photo :)
  • they mentioned that the back is the new front:)
  • Looking at the pic with the green version shows off how poor quality the screen is off axis.
  • Do alot of off axis vieweing on your phone?
  • Looks like the photo is somewhat focused on the green frame and everything else is blurred.
  • Did it have the glance screen?
  • I doubt
  • all other lumias will get glance screen, only 520 and 521 wont get glance screen
  • Yeah i know that. But, since this already has the gdr2 n all, they could have told/showed the glance screen.
  • nokia wont tell on every new device launch about some features that they have told allready few times, they didnt mention about glance screen on lumia 1020 launch too.. So dont worry, 625 has it
  • it won't have the glance screen because its only supported on lumias with clear black technology... The 625 had lost the clear black display and nfc to get a 4.7'' sized screen, 1.2GHz dual core processor and 4g LTE. :(
  • Clear Black Tech is only a polarizing filter between the screen and the glass. It has absolutely nothing to do with technical feasibility of Glance screen support.
  • i know what is nokia's clear black... im not that stupid
  • I don't think it anything to do with the clearback tech...its the touch screen type i.e amoled,lcd etc etc
  • Asha 501 has glance
  • The Asha 501 has glance screen and that phone has no ClearBlack display. The glance screen does not need ClearBlack display to work, clearly.
  • Glance is done with proximity senser , it can do even in pitch black .. not depends on screen.
  • I have a Lumia 720 boss. It's just that we could have seen how the glance on LCD LOOKS LIKE. fyi, after me hinting, epcentral posted an article on the availability of glance for lumias. Lol
  • Lumia numbering system is so confusing.
  • Higher the first number is, higher end and more expensive the phone is. There.  
  • Its really not that confusing. Higher the number, more premium it is.
  • Well the general gist is the higher the first number/hundred, the pricier it is. 1020 > 920 > 820 etc.
    And the 20's are generally the newer models. 920 (WP8) > 900 (it's WP7 predecessor), 520 (WP8) > 510 (WP7)
    An exception is the 810, which is the T-Mobile variant of the 820.
    Some x20 phones have variants, like the 625 is an upscaled variant of the 620, the 822 and 928 are the VZW variants of the 820 and 920 respectively. The 521 and 810 are the T-Mo variants of the 520 and 820 respectively.
    I personally like the naming scheme, it gives a general idea of where it fits in, although it can use some improvement for sure.
  • Hundreds = phone
    Tens = Os version
    Units = variant Not rocket science mate
  • hundreds - price point
    tens- generation
    units- nothing 
  • Only shit dude your comment made me laugh for 10 min straight...
  • They forgot the 928.
  • Verizon models are bastard phones, plain and simple.
  • They are probably listing global models only - hence the 810 is missing as well.
  • And you forgot the 822.
  • AND also the 521.
  • Very cute phone
  • Where is the microSD port? It's mentioned at the end of the third paragraph?
  • Under the back cover.
  • Disturbing that my Lumia (822) isn't included in the "Lumia Portfolio" photo.
  • Neither is 928, maybe Verizon wants it that way ;)
  • It's in the 820 line along with the 810. The 928 is not substantially different from the 920 so it is in that line. The 925 has a notable design difference and is therefore singled out. The 521 is also not listed individually.
  • The 822 has significant design differences and hardware differences from the 820. They may be in the same family, but they are very different phones.
  • The difference with the 925 from the 521, 810, 822, and 928 is that it is sold on more than just a single US carrier.
  • The 822, as well as the 928, are Verizon specific variants of the 820 and 920.  While the 820 and 920 were availabe only on AT&T here in the US, they were also available globally.  The 822 and 928 were not.
  • Not available globally so they should be ignored? That makes no sense.
  • I just think a "portfolio" should include all Lumia phones to highlight diversity in selection and availability.
  • I think they were trying to keep it simple. It would have taken a bigger screen to include the other 4 variants! I have the 822 myself. It has been the best selling WP in the US, but that is not saying much.
  • This phone is average at best, a 4.7" display with a 480x800 resolution, no NFC, no wireless charging and a non removable battery and this phone is laughable for a 2013 device.
  • It's designed for entry level.  As an entry level buyer, would you go with a crappy Pantech, or a phone like this with less $$?  It isn't designed to compete with HTC One, GS4, etc.
  • My HD7 had a 4.3" display at 480x800 and a removable battery and that was back in 2010. Surely it doesn't cost much to at least add a high res display into it but a non removable battery is unforgivable.
  • Your HD7 had a 4.3" display.
  • You're absolutely right, my screw up I've edited my post. Even so 480x800 on a 4.7" display is still laughable for 2013.
  • Gotta cut a few corners somewhere.
  • I think some philosophy lessons are in order.
    When you say "laughable", who do you have in mind that's laughing? Becasue laughing depends on someone. Now is that you who is laughing, or the majority, or the minority of people?
    If that's you who is laughing, along with the minority, then you should know that you are irrelevant to those who live in India, the Middle East, Africa, South America and even China. Those people are not laughing. They are thinking that their laptop has an HD, 14" display and is good enough. If they have a tablet like Surface RT, the same HD display is on a 10" device which amounts to 148 ppi and is still good.
    Now their phone has a 200 ppi display that's even better than their tablet and the majority would still struggle to see an individual pixel on it if they hold it at a normal distance.
    If your neurons fire because hearing the news about higher resolution displays has conditioned you, well it's a bonus. Why not laugh. But keep in mind that in the real world, as display technology progresses, GOOD displays just become CHEAPER. They don't suddenly stop being good unless social circumstances are what your definition of good is based on.
    If practical use of a phone is your basis for the definition of good, then there is no reason to laugh. Maybe that's a bad thing - who doesn't like to laugh? - but that's the price people pay for living in the real world.
  • Sir, I salute you. You prove to world that the sense and sensibility has not left us alone.
  • i understand you problems... but samsung galaxy grand has an even bigger 5" screen.
  • You're obviously not the target audience for this model.   The way Nokia brands the Lumia line, it's so easy to know which handsets you would be interested in and which ones to ignore.  If you're into high-end, focus on the 900 - 1000 range.  Don't burn unneccessary calories on the lower end models that are marketed to a vastly different demographic.
  • The Galaxy Win is also 4.7" with 480x800 resolution and I don't hear people laughing. The Galaxy Grand is even bigger at 5" with 480x800 resolution and I don't hear people laughing either. In fact the 625 has an advantage over the Grand and Win in that it has LTE while the other two don't. The LTE in an affordable price point of the 625 is commendable!
  • You're laughable for not understanding the target audience for this device....
  • Really, you must be a Nokia fanboy if all you can do is insult others!!!!
  • No low range phone has high rez!!! No matter who makes it.
  • How much was your HD7 new? If the price came down and they are using old tech that is great, still a lot of people without smart phones and using a feature phone.
  • You're insulted by "laughable"?
    For cryin out loud. lol
  • The Galaxy Win is also 4.7" with 480x800 resolution and I don't hear people laughing. The Galaxy Grand is even bigger at 5" with 480x800 resolution and I don't hear people laughing either. In fact the 625 has an advantage over the Grand and Win in that it has LTE while the other two don't. The LTE in an affordable price point of the 625 is commendable
  • Why are you saying it has non removable battery. The back cover is openable and you can put ur sim, battery and Micro sd.
  • You just had to be "that guy", didn't you?
  • If I could just convince Nokia that no one will buy this phone because they unwittingly made laughable and unforgivable mistakes and they would be well served to divert all of the profits from this phone to a bank account in my name, it would certainly be laughable. I would laugh my ass off all the way to the bank.
  • MicroSD on the low end phone, but not the high end. Perfect planning!
  • My thoughts exactly, one of the many reasons why I won't buy a Nokia Windows Phone.
  • The 820 is more or less high end and has MicroSD. It's a really nice phone in general too!
  • I don't care for the 820 myself. Heavy, poor battery, low storage (sdcard lags), mediocre camera, no built in wireless charging. I ran back to the 920 after a month of using the 820. My opinion of course;)
  • The 820 would've been perfect with at least 960-540 res. And gorilla glass and changed that ugly camera setup, then it could be called mid range.
  • I've got a lot of decent pictures from my 820. Maybe my expectations aren't super high but I'm really pleased with it. No noticeable scratches after 6 months, despite no case or cover or trying hard. I thought the resolution might be an issue, but in use, I don't notice any blurriness or anything that makes higher resolution a must have. And the price was absolutely right and significantly less than the 920. Best phone I ever had.
  • Was talking about where the camera is located and its wierd hump not quality.
  • Location seems to be more or less the same as many phones? You can fix the hump by fitting a wireless charging cover.
  • There is always a reason behind the compromises when design parameters are taken. What if 9xx series has a micro SD support and you put a class 4 SD card. It will affect the whole integrity of the device due to latency issues. May be, future updates will enable the offline contents and resources file to be stored in SD just like the Nokia offline maps.
    You will end up with a devise which will be slower than a devise which stores the content entirely in the phone memory.
    So it is fair to assume that high-end devises will have a high capacity, low-latency Phone Memory than low end devises which compensate it with SD memory
  • If Samsung Galaxy S4 had the WP platform it would be perfect and truely awesome
  • Kill yourself
  • It'll be the next best thing after the Nokia 900+ series
  • That green looks amazing! I'll be getting the 1020 and wouldn't mind having this as my 2nd phone.
  • Anyone noticed they're using the old Skydrive icon except for on the 925, tehehehhe.
  • Good thing is in Lumia 625 they reduced waste part from botom of the phone compare to lumia 620. 
  • Is it thicker than the Lumia 920 or thinner ??
  • thinner ;)
  • its Run on GDR2 Amber right ???
    but i didnt see Nokia glance scree
    pls i want to know it wil have glance screen or not ?
  • Does this work with Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard (Bluetooth 4 + LE listed in specs)??
  • What ? No NFC ? OMG... MY 620 better than 625
  • I have a L620 , I used NFC once . i will prefer LTE over NFC
  • If they really want to sell this in numbers in South Asia, Nokia needs to provide dual sim standby. Screen along is not an issue to compete with Samasung Galaxy Grand.
  • +501!
  • If this were to be offered by T-Mobile, I can't really see paying $200 or so more than I paid for my Lumia 521 just to get a bigger screen and more colors. Given the 512 GB RAM, I doubt that it will support the glance screen since this was (I think) the reason that the 521 won't have it. Also, as a 600 series, is it safe to assume that this will not have the FM feature, which, I believe, will be offered for the 521.
  • I wish that Lumia portfolio was worldwide. Sadly we only have the 920 as a flagship and probably won't get a 1020 until mid 2014.
  • It's not very evident from the pics but do the cases get the same dual shot treatment as the L620 or is it more in line with the 720? And while I'm here how does the experience on this phone compare with the experience you get form the 620?
  • Confused! 720 or 625??
    625 has a better processer (1.2ghz) compared to 720 (1.0ghz), bigger screen, 4G, Bluetooth v4.0 and video rec at 1080p while 720 is lighter, has better cameras (back as well as front), CBD, NFC and better ppi due to smaller screen. Everything else is almost the same.
    I might have to wait for a 725 now. Fuse the above two phones. FAST!
  • I agree with nokia having a bigger size for lumia 625. Its like a nokia tab. Probably they wanna show that they (nokia) can beat 720 820 and 920 with the screen size
  • I prefer a phone that can be used with one hand ... i have short fingers
  • Unable to see the video :( what the heck!!! Im using 7.8 and Youtube isn't available fr my device :(
  • Set Internet Explorer for mobile experience, not desktop ;D
  • It's Mobile version only dude.. whenever i'm clicking on "Video" in wpcentral app, Youtube app is redirecting me to Youtube App, which is not available for WP 7.8 users... When I'm clicking on Native, it's again asking "Do you want to download youtube app for that?" and when i click No, the link does nothing............. :/