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printed April 16, 2014
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Review: Nokia Lumia 925 for T-Mobile

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Screen

The 925's display measures 4.5 inches across the diagonal and has 1280 x 768 pixels. The display is an OLED type and Nokia's ClearBlack technology to enrich the contrast. It’s very bright and colorful, and the on-screen elements are all easy to read and see. Viewing angles are great, and there's no color shift or brightness loss when the phone is viewed from an angle. As with other Lumia devices, the 925's display was easy to see and read outdoors. It's a fine screen.

Signal

In general, the 925 held up well on T-Mobile's network. I was able to test it on both T-Mobile's HSPA+ and LTE networks, thanks to T-Mobile's recent LTE expansion. As far as voice calls were concerned, the 925 held on to the network firmly and always connected calls on the first attempt. The 925 didn't drop any calls, nor did it miss any due to signal problems. Data was quick over both T-Mobile's HSPA+ and LTE networks. There was a palpable improvement in raw speeds when the 925 was used with LTE. Web sites definitely loaded quicker. I did notice a few hiccups when transitioning between HSPA+ and LTE, though: sometimes there was a slight pause (5 seconds or so).

Sound

There are two sides to the call-quality story on the Lumia 925. It supports calling over cellular (naturally) and T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling feature. There was a distinct difference in the quality of calls made over the cellular network versus a Wi-Fi network.

First, volume. The earpiece produces strong volume for both cellular and Wi-Fi calls. I was able to hear conversations fine in all but the noisiest environments. The speakerphone is not loud enough, though; not by a long shot. I had a hard time hearing calls in a quiet office, let alone noisy spaces.

Now, for quality. Over T-Mobile's cellular network call quality was generally decent. There were some odd noises here and there, but most of the time calls sounded good. I was not impressed with the Lumia 925's Wi-Fi call quality, though. Quality was inconsistent at best. Some calls were perfectly clean, while others were horribly garbled and choppy. (The quality came and went, and did not correlate with weak/strong network connections.) Wi-Fi calls on other T-Mobile handsets were somewhat better.

Ringtones and alerts managed to find my ears most of the time, and the vibrate alert was exceptionally rattling.

Battery

The Lumia 925 has the same 2000 mAh battery found in the 928 and 1020. It provides more than adequate daily power for the 925. I had no trouble getting from morning to night with the 925, no matter how intensely I used it. The 925 often had power to spare by the time I called it a day and still had some juice left the following morning if unplugged. As with most modern smartphones, the 925 should be charged nightly.

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