Lumia 925, Windows 8 Phone Review

Lumia 925:
lumia 925

Specs:

  • Retail (T-Mobile):  $529.99
  • 8.7 MP Carl Zeiss Pureview Camera
  • 4.5″ AMOLED Screen (768 x 1280 px)
  • 16 GB Storage, 1.5 GHz CPU Speed, 1 GB RAM
  • NFC Capable

I bought the Lumia 925 a few days ago so I thought I’d share my thoughts so far on the phone as well as having a Windows 8 phone for the first time.

I’ll start by saying what I look for in a phone.  Honestly, I like it to be simple.  I don’t get on social networks much, and I don’t like my phone to be loaded with too many apps either.  I need it to make calls, text, have a good battery life, be able to use GPS for directions, use an Alarm Clock, and check on the Weather.  Everything else is secondary.  Now, most smart phones on the market will have those things.  But, for this phone, I wanted to go top of the line for the camera.  That is ultimately what sold me on the Lumia 925.  I’m with T-Mobile (b/c their plans are much cheaper than competitors), so the Lumia 1020 (41 MP Camera) was not an option (Exclusive to AT&T).  If I’m honest, I also wanted a smaller phone, didn’t really need a 4.5″ screen with HD, but for the best cameras you’re required to get a larger phone.  There’s an Galaxy S4 Mini, but unfortunately it’s not available in the US, and only in the UK for T-Mobile.

Second, I’ll tell you what I’m coming from–definitely no top of the line phone that I’m switching from.  It was a Samsung Exhibit ($350 retail).  It was Android, and had the basics mentioned above (texting, calls, GPS, good battery life, alarm clock, weather).  It was lacking the camera though–had 3 MP camera, which is very poor compared to the higher end phone cameras today.  I purchased it a little over 2 years ago.

Besides switching to this phone for the camera, my brother has a Window’s phone and loves it, so I wanted to give a Windows Phone a try for something different.  The Galaxy S4 has a 13 MP Camera and seems to have excellent reviews, but I stuck with the Lumia.

So what are my thoughts so far?

The camera is awesome.  Several customizations and features, including a Panorama shot and a SmartCam shot which takes several pictures consecutively.  It also seems great for low-light pictures.

Battery Life was another high priority.   What’s the point of having a phone if it’s dead all the time? If a phone needs to be used in an emergency, it’s useless if it’s dead.  My last phone would get through an entire day (16 hours) w/out needing a charge, usually longer, even 48 hours.  I was looking to get a minimum of this with the new phone.  I tested it out today with limited action and all the apps I think I want, and I think I’m getting similar results, probably could go a full 2 days without charging.  It’s those times where you’re using GPS to get somewhere and also taking pictures where your phone can drain in a hurry, so I’ll have to see how it holds up in a more strenuous situation.

I also haven’t used the GPS yet, so I can’t vouch for that either.  It uses “Here Drive+” and “Here Maps”, both by Nokia, rather than the Google Navigation I was accustomed to before with my Android Phone.  I’ve played around with it (not going anywhere), and it seemed solid.

Few other notes:

  • The graphics look crisp and amazing on this phone.  Like I said, I didn’t really want a phone this big, but it does make viewing pictures, playing games, etc. more of an enjoyable experience.  The display is much different, which is part of what I wanted.  Many people refer to it as “simplified”, but it also looks pretty slick to me.  The larger headers/folder names have grown on me.
  • The main screen is filled with a group of customizable “tiles” rather than a background with smaller icons in Android.  I like it.  I like being able to set the colors on the tiles as well as their size.  I’ve provided a screenshot of my phone below.
  • Has customizable feature of automatically disabling Wi-Fi when locked.  Really like this feature to save your battery.
  • It has a predictive texting line above where you enter text, it’s easy to use, and very efficient.  I didn’t ever really catch on with Swype on the other phone, so this works well for me.
  • SkyDrive is pretty cool and convenient for sharing media between your phone and your computer.  As easy as going to a website and downloading it from there.  (7 GB Available)
  • OneNote is a nice looking little app for notes and checklists.
  • The volume is set across the board (calling, texting, media, alarm), which was customizable on my last phone.  However, I actually like a consistent volume for everything.  By pressing a volume button, you can pause, or go previous/next track, from any screen.  You can change from vibrate to vibrate and ring by pressing a volume button, then touching an icon on the upper corner.  You can’t change to completely silent unless going into settings, but that doesn’t bother me b/c I never go to completely silent, and the vibrate isn’t overwhelming on this phone either.
  • If you go to mywindowsphone.com, you can locate your phone, make it ring, and/or lock it, even if it’s powered off.  Wow, crazy how far technology has come!

However, there are a few negatives:

  • I have one major beef about this phone; the SMS delivery confirmation.  As I said before, texting is a major priority for me; that’s what I use the phone for the majority of the time.  With the Android, when I sent a text, on the bottom right within the text message, you’d get a tiny message, “sending”, then the time would show after it was sent.  If for some reason it didn’t send, you’d get a “Failed” message, in which case you could hold your finger down on the button, and either tap “Resend” or you could choose to just delete the message entirely.  No such luck with the Windows 8! There is a whole separate thread you must use for confirmation.  Because I don’t want to receive and additional text every time I send one, I turned it off.  If the text doesn’t go through, you will automatically get a message from “Mobile operator”, but it only says the number, not the contact name.  This is quite a difference in capability, maybe even a deal-breaker for someone who texts frequently.  Windows 8 failed me on this, quite a frustrating disappointment! Windows, if anything, update this!
  • Apps are somewhat limited.  I.E., I use Independent Bank, it has an app available on IPhone and Android, but not Windows.  I think this is probably the case in several situations.
  • Can’t dictate how much interval between snoozes for alarm clock.

That’s about all I’ve got so far.  I may do another post after a few weeks after I’ve used it more and become more familiar with it.  So far I love it!! Here’s a screen shot of my main screen:

WP_20130922 1

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