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Nokia Lumia 625 review:

Nokia's Lumia 625 is affordable, with 4G and a 4.7-inch screen

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The Good Colourful, sturdy body; 4G connectivity; Handy bundled Nokia software.

The Bad Unimpressive, low resolution screen; Windows Phone app store still understocked.

The Bottom Line The Nokia Lumia 625 has the largest display available on a Windows Phone 8 device and packs in 4G connectivity for super-fast data downloads. Its low-res screen and unimpressive camera don't impress, but its affordable price tag makes it worth considering.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.5 Overall

Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Sony Xperia Ultra might steal the limelight when it comes to screen sizes, but what if you're not a 'Droid fan?

Check out the Nokia Lumia 625. Its 4.7-inch screen is the biggest you'll find with Windows Phone on board. Better yet, it can use 4G data networks for super speedy downloads. At £200 on pay as you go, it's among the most affordable 4G phones around right now.

The Lumia 625 is available now and you can get it free from £26 a month on a two-year contract, or SIM-free from £310.

Should I buy the Nokia Lumia 625?

If screen size above all else is important to you, you need 4G data speeds and you fancy swiping around the colourful tiles of Windows Phone, then yes. It's the biggest Windows Phone device to date, with plenty of room for photos and videos. Make no mistake though -- the 625 is a budget phone with specs to match.

Nokia Lumia 625 front
Its 4.7-inch screen makes it the largest of Nokia's Windows-based phones.

The low resolution display doesn't impress and the dual-core chip struggled at times with more demanding tasks. The camera also isn't good enough for anything more than the most casual of tasks and the Marketplace still receives apps long after Android or iOS.

Still, Windows Phone is simple and quite fun to use, and with its affordable price tag and 4G gubbins, the 625 is a fair option. Alternatively, check out the Acer Liquid E2 -- although the screen is slightly smaller, it has a decent processor, loads more apps and a similarly affordable price.

Design and build quality

Its 4.7-inch screen size makes the Lumia 625 not only the largest of Nokia's Windows-based phones, but the largest Windows Phone device from any manufacturer currently. That naturally means that the device itself is on the chunky side.

It measures 133mm long, 72mm wide and comes in at 9.2mm thick. That's longer and wider than the Lumia 920, but slightly undercuts its thickness. At 159g, it knocks almost 30g off the 920's weight, too. If you want a phone to slide more easily into your jeans then you'd be better off looking at the Lumia 620 or even splashing out slightly more on the 720 -- its smaller size makes a surprising difference when you hold them in each hand.

Nokia Lumia 625 bottom side
Visually, there's no question that the 625 is part of the Lumia family.

Visually, there's no question that the 625 is part of the Lumia family. Its rounded edges and brightly coloured plastic body give it the same toy-like aesthetic present on most of Nokia's current phones. It's fairly attractive -- assuming you appreciate bold colours -- and is more suited to a party with cheap vodka in paper cups than expensive bubbly in crystal glasses. If you want a Lumia to match your sleek suit, you might be better off with the aluminium-clad Lumia 925.

The stiff, one-piece plastic back means the 625 feels very sturdy. There are none of the usual creaks and clicks when it's squeezed that you might find on cheaper big phones. The volume, camera and power buttons have a satisfying click to them, too. It won't survive a three-storey drop, but it's unlikely to crack in two if you plonk it on your desk too aggressively.

Around the edges you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro USB port. Pop the case off -- a very awkward thing to do -- and you'll find slots for your SIM card and microSD card. I should note that you can't install apps to the microSD card. The phone has 8GB of storage, which is plenty of room for the essentials, but if you plan on storing a lot of music then you'll need to save it to an external card.

Nokia Lumia 625 back
The stiff, one-piece plastic back means the 625 feels very sturdy.


The Lumia 625 might be a lot bigger than the regular 620, but Nokia hasn't seen fit to increase the pixel count with it. It has the same 800x480-pixel resolution, but as they're spread over such a large area, it results in a pixel density of only 198 pixels per inch. Even up against the Lumia 620 (245ppi), that doesn't impress and against the Nexus 4's 320ppi, it's pretty laughable.

Unsurprisingly, fine text isn't very sharp. The Windows Phone tiles, while usually crisp and clear, have a fuzziness to their edges that's hard to ignore, particularly if you've spent much time with higher resolution devices. While the sheer size of the display gives plenty of room for videos and photos, the low amount of pixels means that high resolution pics lack the same eye-popping clarity you might hope for.

Its colours aren't awful but they really don't have the same richness seen on other Lumias. For the relatively affordable price, it's about what you should expect though. If you want a big screen to enjoy YouTube clips and the odd bit of Netflix and don't want to spend a lot, it'll be fine, but if you're after rich videos and luscious-looking movies, you won't be impressed.

Windows Phone 8 software

The Windows Phone experience on the 625 is basically identical to what you'd find on the rest of the Lumia range. The colourful, tiled interface hasn't been altered to take advantage of the larger display, although you can make your homescreen tiles smaller if you want to fit more on screen at once.

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