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Phones have evolved over the last couple of years, and with tablet devices becoming increasingly common, they’ve had to also offer more tech in a smaller package in order to keep customers coming back. All that innovation costs quite a few bucks though. The Nokia Lumia 625 however, packs just enough tech inside a device that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

So what does a RRP of R3500 get you? You get a device that is pretty darn big for a smartphone actually, with the 625 being one of the larger Nokia models released so far. It’s got a 4.7 inch display that will be bigger than anything else in your pants when you whip it out.

512 MB of RAM, a 1.2 GHZ Dual Core CPU, 8 GB of internal storage and a 5 megapixel camera round out the more basic settings of this device. Hardly iPhone territory, but like all things in life, it’s how you use it that really matters.

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First off, don’t expect to super high definition video on this screen. The 625 has a resolution of 480×800, so getting crystal clear clarity and sharp movies running is out of the question. That being said, the videos that are playable on this device alongside other apps and menus aren’t exactly terrible and offer a nice midway point towards the HD factor, but trained eyes will pick up on this immediately.

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But on an ergonomic level, it’s a bloody nice device. Despite it’s bulky size, the phone feels easy and comfortable to use, fitting nicely even in my dainty little hands. The materials feel top notch and not at all cheap, the buttons for volume, power and your camera are kept to one side and the touch screen has your usual high tolerance for scratches and greasy fingerprints. A micro USB slot and a jack for your headset finishes off the minimalist design.

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You can get to your other functions easily enough, such as the SIM and Micro SD card slot, which will amp storage to up to 64 gigabytes.

Switching the phone on reveals the usual Windows Phone operating system. That set of tiles, apps and functions works decently on the Lumia 625, providing the kind of flick and tap response that you’d expect from any modern day device. The problem though, is that the 512 megabytes of RAM just isn’t enough if you’re looking to do some gaming, as some of the more high-end titles require at least a gig of the magic hardware in order to run properly.

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On the app side however, you’ll find a lot more functionality with numerous programs being compatible, including several Nokia exclusives. That, and unlike Apple, you’ve got an online map that actually works accurately. Some more intuitive apps would be more welcome on the device though.

It may not have the most advanced camera, but a decent app can shortcut past a grainy picture any day of the week if it offers some editing features, which you won’t find here in the Windows Phone app. That being said, the camera isn’t exactly a write-off. You can still look like an egomaniac when you take a selfie in front of that gorgeous sunset, but it’ll do nicely for Facebook and Twitter, two websites which happen to be decently integrated into the phone.


The big advantage however, comes in the quick change option available for the camera lenses, which makes switching to different modes on the fly a quick and easy experience. Once Windows eventually gets a more comprehensive store running, expect to hopefully see this function taken advantage of.

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So, should you get a Nokia Lumia 625? There’s no doubt that you’ll find beefier phones on the market today, but they all come at a much higher price. With the 625, you get what you pay for, and a little bit more. And if you’re not too fussed about having a device that acts as a Swiss Army Knife for apps and games, then it’s rather attractive deal.

Last Updated: October 29, 2013

was reviewed on PC

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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