Nokia specializes in cheap Windows Phone models. There is no dilemma. After the Lumia 520 model, which is also the best-selling Windows Phone, the successor to the Lumia 525 arrives. With an outrageously low price, the Finnish company is trying to make another best seller. As expected, the Nokia Lumia 525 is not much different from its predecessor (see a comparison of the two models). Nokia has used the existing processor, camera, screen, memory and design, so the question is rightly asked whether the Lumia 525 is a new phone or a new name for the Lumia 520?
Lumia 525 design
Visually, almost all Lumia models look the same. How to distinguish the Lumia 525 and Lumia 520 is a special question. The design of both phones is identical. That means a pretty square shape (which is also a requirement of the Windows Phone 8 platform). As this is a budget model, it should come as no surprise that the screen does not dominate the front, but has a lot of plastic on the side. However, the screen is centered and therefore easy to use. Below it are standard capacitive keys. There is also a microphone and a headset, but not the front camera, which is not here.
Despite the sharp edges on the front, the side edges are rounded and that is why the Lumia 525 fits perfectly in the hands. With 11.2mm at the waist, the Lumia 525 is not an overly thin device, but that is not a special problem. In general, the phone looks a bit chubby, but it is not heavy because it weighs a moderate 124g.
The quality of workmanship is at a high level. Although the body of the phone is made of plastic, the Lumia 525 looks solid, so Nokia continues the tradition of producing unbreakable devices. The phone comes in several colors. The white variant has a slightly shinier plastic, while the other colors exude a matte finish.
The back of the phone is removable, which leads to a micro SD slot, micro SIM slot and a removable battery.
Lumia 525 screen
The Lumia 525 has the same screen as its predecessor. That means cheap and somewhat outdated technology. It is a 4-inch IPS TFT LCD panel with 800 × 400 pixels resolution. If we know that entry-level phones already have 720p screens, it is clear that Nokia is lagging behind the competition in this segment. At 233 pixels per inch, this screen gives a lot of visible pixels. Fortunately, the text is well displayed. The pictures lack purity, but fortunately the colors are beautifully displayed. When exposed to sunlight, the visibility of the screen is good, and the viewing angles are good. The screen has the option of automatically adjusting the brightness and it works quite nicely.
The screen, like those from the more expensive Lumia models, offers the option of using with gloves, so you won’t have to buy special gloves when the cold days come. Admittedly, this use of the screen consumes additional amounts of energy, but sometimes it is simply necessary. Also, the screen can be awakened by double-tapping.
Lumia 525 performance
The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 is the driving heart of this phone. It has already been seen on the Lumia 520. This processor was introduced sometime before the end of 2012, which means that it was extracted from naphthalene. With a clock speed of 1GHz, it is difficult to expect any serious results. The only serious difference compared to its predecessor is the enhanced RAM and that’s it.
The Lumia 525 has 8GB of internal memory, which when subtracted from 2.39GB for the operating system does not represent a certain amount. Fortunately, the memory can be expanded, but all applications are installed on the internal memory.
Still, the phone works pretty solidly. Applications open quickly, and 1GB seems to be quite enough for decent multitasking.
Lumia 525 camera
The only camera has 5MP. In order to lower the price of the phone to the lowest possible level, the camera does not have optical stabilization, nor a flash. We have already said that the front camera is also missing. Because of that, the camera takes decent photos, but nothing more. The colors in the photos are a bit blurry and washed out. Even in great lighting, photos just can’t get any better. In low and artificial light, photos are even weaker, especially because there is no flash.
And the videos are at the photo level. You can’t do better without a lot of pixels and stabilization. Admittedly, sound recording is good, but it’s just not enough.
Lumia 525 conclusion
The Lumia 525 bases its desire for success on a low price. In principle, this is a copied Lumia 520 model, with slightly enhanced RAM memory. Most of us would expect the price to be the same. However, the Lumia 525 still costs a bit more and that may be unjustified. If you don’t need some more demanding applications and video games, the Lumia 520 is a better solution. If, on the other hand, you want an affordable phone with far better features, you can consider the Moto G.