The Nokia Lumia 625 is neither a premium or budget device, but instead a little bit of both.
This midrange phone comes with features normally spotted on the premium Lumia range, including LTE (where available), a solid, sleek build, a promised long-lasting battery, and a Gorilla Glass 2 screen.
On the other hand, the 625 has little internal storage and RAM, a low-resolution display, a 5-megapixel camera, and no NFC, most of which are characteristics of the lower-end phones.
In a way, you're getting the best of both worlds; since Nokia borrowed features from each end of the Lumia line, the 625 has a luxury feel and you'll find it for just AU$299 outright.
Design and build
The most defining feature of the Lumia 625 is its size: 133mm tall with a 4.7-inch screen. At that size, you have a lot of screen to work with, yet the phone is still small enough to slip into a pants pocket or purse.
Officially, the Lumia 625 measures in at 133mm x 72mm x 9mm and weighs 159g, which makes it about as big and heavy as the Lumia 1020. It's not the thinnest or lightest Lumia, but it doesn't feel bulky, thanks to its slim profile and rounded sides.
That back cover is made of curved matte polycarbonate that's smooth, yet easy to grip. Though the cover is thin, it feels sturdy when you pop it off the phone to reveal the battery and the microSD and Micro-SIM slots. You can't remove the battery, as it's embedded in the device, but the card slots are stacked on top of each other on the right side of the phone and are easy to access.
That 4.7-inch screen is an IPS LCD display made of curved Gorilla Glass 2, so it's resistant (but not impervious) to cracks and scratches. The screen is also using Nokia's super sensitive technology, which means you can use it while wearing gloves or tap the screen your fingernail instead of the pad of your finger.
Though the 625's screen is impressively big, its screen resolution isn't spectacular at just 800 x 480 with 198 pixels per inch (Nokia says 201, but our calculations come out to 198). That's the same resolution found on the Lumia 520, 620, and 720, but all three of those phones have smaller screens that make their displays look sharper.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
OS and features
The Lumia 625 is running Windows Phone 8, which comes with a few neat features, including access to your Xbox account and the People Hub, which brings all your friend's social updates from across the Web into one central app.
Nokia also added its own apps to the phone, such as the Xpress browser and navigation and mapping app Here Maps. However, the 625 is missing a compass, which means you can't use augmented reality in Here Maps and the map won't rotate when you move your phone.
The 625 has the typical Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS features you'd expect on a Windows Phone, but there is no wireless charging or NFC. That means you can't tap to share files with other NFC-enabled devices.
Camera and video
The Lumia 625 got the budget end of the stick with its cameras. On the back of the phone is a 5-megapixel back camera and there's a 0.3-megapixel front camera on the top-right bezel.
That back camera doesn't have a Carl Zeiss lens and with only 5 megapixels, the photo quality just doesn't measure up to other Lumia cameras. In the standard CNET studio shot, the photo looks grainy in places and there's an obvious brown tint in the photo.
Nokia gave the 625 lower-end processing guts, but, make no mistake, this phone is still snappy.
The Lumia 625 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.2Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM, which gives the phone enough power to load apps quickly and move through menus without feeling sluggish.
Inside, the phone has 8GB of storage, with the ability to add up to 64GB more with a microSD card. You also get 7GB of cloud storage with Microsoft's SkyDrive.
The 625 also works with LTE Band 3, which is the 4G band used by telcos in Australia and New Zealand.
Nokia went big with the Lumia 625, giving it a premium build and wide mixture of high-end and budget features.
On the premium end, the 625 has a large screen, promised long battery life, and support for LTE locally. The phone shows its budget side with poor screen resolution and an unimpressive camera. All those features combine to create a well-built phone that's overall unremarkable and dull, despite its bright colours.
When you consider all of the Lumia 625's specs, and its reasonable price, the device is a great value for its smooth design and solid performance. Get the Lumia 625 if you want a big phone, like 4G, want to save money and care more about screen size than resolution.