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Nokia's aluminum Lumia 925 is the best Windows Phone yet, but that's not enough (hands-on)

Nokia's aluminum Lumia 925 is the best Windows Phone yet, but that's not enough (hands-on)

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lumia 925
lumia 925

Nokia just unveiled its Lumia 925 at an event in London, and I've managed to take an early look at the handset ahead of its release in June. Nokia has swapped out a unibody polycarbonate look and feel for metal. Aluminum to be precise. The result is a stunning, slimline Lumia that weighs just 139 grams. It's really noticeable when you pick up the Lumia 925 for the first time. With a polycarbonate rear, and aluminum frame wrapping around the side of the device, it feels almost as plastic and lightweight as a Samsung Galaxy. But the aluminum makes it a lot more sturdy and brings it to similar design and hardware levels as Apple's iPhone 5.

The rear features an 8.7-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and the PureView moniker, all packaged into a neat little hump. The sensor is identical to the Lumia 920 model, and most of the changes on the Lumia 925 are focused on the design and weight. Nokia has placed the micro-SIM slot at the top, alongside the Micro USB port, which leaves the bottom of the device clean with no ports. The rear also includes a dual-LED flash and points for the wireless charging sleeves to attach. The extra padding for wireless charging takes away from the design of the device, and the colors tend to look a little odd when attached to a grey or black metal case.

Nokia's Lumia 925 screen is a 4.5-inch OLED one, and it's encouraging to see the company move away from LCD. Equipped with Gorilla glass that curves ever so slightly, the effect is beautiful and the colors and blacks are reproduced well. Viewing angles are equally good, with Windows Phone's interface really taking advantage of the display running at 1280 x 768.

Windows Phone still holds back Nokia's hardware

When I first saw the Lumia 720 earlier this year, I declared it the best Lumia body yet at the time. Nokia's Lumia 925 design and body builds on the 720 and takes it a step further. With a great camera included, and Nokia's range of exclusive apps, the Lumia 925 is the best Windows Phone yet. The specs haven't moved on from the Lumia 920, but Nokia is improving the areas — loud speaker, camera, and design — that count. The only problem here is Windows Phone. It's a solid operating system, but it needs improving and a higher quality of apps. Nokia is once again fleshing out its Windows Phone range, but it's up to Microsoft to push the software forwards.

Vlad Savov contributed to this report

Nokia Lumia 925 hands-on gallery