Nokia’s Lumia 925 looks beautiful, but we’ve seen it twice already

Nokia Lumia 925Check out our review of Nokia Lumia 925 smart phone.

By now, you’ve probably had a good look at the latest Lumia smartphone’s svelte new design, and been pleased to see it matches its codename (“Catwalk”). We hope you weren’t waiting for much more than a fresh look, though. The Lumia 925 may sound like a completely new phone, but it’s almost exactly the same as Nokia’s other Lumia 92x phones: the Lumia 920 and Lumia 928.

Despite release schedules separated by six months, the three phones could have all launched at exactly the same time. They’re nearly identical. Nokia may claim the Lumia 925 has a more advanced camera lens (apparently it has a sixth glass lens for improved daylight performance), but it pretty much has the same 8.7-megapixel sensor as the Lumia 920 and Lumia 928.

Of course, there are subtle differences between all three, for example the Lumia 928 has a xenon flash, the Lumia 920 has 32GB of storage, and the Lumia 925 has that flashy metal design. The elements are there, but they need to be incorporated into one phone, and not three separate models. A Lumia 929 Ultimate, bringing all these features together, with a whole suite of new apps, would feel like a worthwhile upgrade, instead of a series of carrier-specific special editions.

Lumia 925 Smart CameraMore phones doesn’t mean more sales

Lumia 925 Smart CameraLumia 925 Smart CameraOne could argue Nokia is churning out Lumia phones to up its handset sales, but by releasing hardware that is very similar, it’s going to have a tough job to convince those who haven’t gone for a previous model to plump for the new one. (Oh, and for future reference Nokia, a “burst mode app,” no matter how enjoyable it is to use, just doesn’t cut it.) We’ve seen it many times before (BlackBerry tried, unsuccessfully, to make a similar app a talking point about BlackBerry 10) and in reality, it’s just more bloatware that’s only useful in very specific situations.

The Lumia 925‘s design though, looks like a winner, and sees Nokia take on the beautiful metal body shells encasing the HTC One and the Apple iPhone 5, and the glass panel design used by Sony for the Xperia Z. Samsung stands almost alone in its use of plastic throughout its flagship phone. But let’s be honest here, the Lumia 925 has a metal band around its chassis, but it still retains a polycarbonate rear panel. Yes it’s lighter and slimmer, but it’s hardly in the same league as the HTC One’s gorgeous metal unibody.

When comparing the Lumia 925 to the competition this way, it only serves as a reminder how Windows Phone hardware is lagging behind the Android-based competition in the spec sheet war. I mean, as silly as numbers can be, there’s no 1080p screen or quad-core processor here. So, while the Lumia 925’s $600ish price (exact price hasn’t been confirmed) is very competitive when compared to the Galaxy S4, the Xperia Z and the HTC One, it needs to be, as on paper it’s a, “lesser” phone.

Where’s the excitement?

The Lumia 920, Lumia 925, and Lumia 928 run on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system, and although it’s powerful, useable, and rather attractive, it’s not exciting. This is a problem for Nokia and it’s Lumia 92x family. Because it’s not desirable, we naturally turn to the hardware for excitement. And though it looks good, the 925 is an updated version of a phone we saw last November – almost the same screen, identical processor, less storage, and silly wireless charging case. Nokia is in danger of being ignored by the masses. Again.

When we began to hear about the Lumia 928 and the Lumia 925, we questioned why Nokia would risk alienating its customers by releasing a new version of a six-month old phone, and now we’ve got our answer. It’s because it’s not really new at all. Cool looks aside, if the Lumia 920 didn’t do it for you, then the Lumia 925 and Lumia 928 probably won’t either.

Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Mobile

New rumors suggest the iPhone 2019 will continue to use Lightning over USB-C

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

The Moto G4 Plus is finally getting the update to Android Oreo

We've reached out to every major Android hardware manufacturer and asked them when they will update their devices to the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo.
Mobile

Moto G7 Play vs. Nokia 3.1 Plus: Two budget veterans slug it out

The Moto G7 Play is the new super-budget superstar on the block, with a new processor, compact design, and fresh features. But can it take down the Cricket-exclusive Nokia 3.1 Plus? We compared the two to find out.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.