The Telegraph e-Paper
The Telegraph
| Sunday, September 8, 2013 |
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Back in the game

Nokia's Lumia 925 is an excellent piece of kit that combines good looks and swanky specs, says Tushar Kanwar

The Nokia-Windows Phone relationship has seen some great devices stop a step short of true greatness, thanks to one factor or the other. The Lumia 800 and the 900 missed the Windows Phone 8 bus, while the 920 packed in a ton of features and a great camera but ended up being way too portly for most. Will the Lumia 925 do the trick for Nokia and Windows Phone, especially considering the formidable Android competition? Let's find out.

With the 925, Nokia has chiselled 46g of flab off the 920 into a significantly thinner and lighter aluminium shell. Yep, a Windows Phone handset in metal, except it's not all metal, with the back still sporting polycarbonate plastic. The weight loss does its job — the 925 is a lot more usable in one hand and for day-to-day use.

Now while on the surface, the 925 feels like a whole new phone, the under-the-hood similarities with the 920 deserve the '920 version 2' tag that the phone model numbering suggests. Like the 920, you get a 4.5-in 768x1280 resolution display, a capable dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM and an 8.7-MP PureView camera, but the display is now a power-saving AMOLED screen, which makes the colourful Windows Phone interface really pop (too much, if you ask me, so Nokia's added an app that lets you tweak the display settings).

Compared to the 920, you do lose out on the built-in wireless charging, but I'm not entirely sure why Nokia reduced the internal storage on the 925 to 16GB. With no micro SD expansion slot, this 16 GB could quickly fill up with all those great images and 1080p videos.

Speaking of which, the camera on the 925 is largely at par with the competition when it comes to daytime shots, but the camera really comes into its own in low light shooting. With the built-in optical image stabilisation, the camera is far more versatile in dusk/indoors and night conditions, and you clearly won't have to turn the flash on anywhere near as often.

The 925 then is an excellent piece of kit, one that I feel now is being held back by Windows Phone. Nokia's software and tweaks are helping, and the app situation has now come to a point where most of the apps you'd use on a regular basis have a WP8 equivalent, but Windows Phone really needs to make bigger strides to keep pace with the rest of the market and do this beauty justice.

• Rating: 8/10
• Price: Rs 33,499
• URL: http://bit.ly/1ciz8QY

Sound check

You've got to give Creative points for trying to differentiate their Airwave HD Bluetooth speaker from the tons of options available out there. First, there's the unique prism shaped design, and the red colour option is rather attractive. Controls are standard — a power slider, volume and Bluetooth controls, and the speaker accepts auxiliary inputs should you wish to go all retro-wired. Size-wise, it isn't the smallest portable speaker out there, but the extra size allows the additional space needed for higher sound levels and daylong battery life.

Pairing with the Airwave HD is extremely simple thanks to its built in NFC connectivity, but you have to have a NFC-enabled phone to take advantage of this feature. If you're lacking NFC on your device, you can pair the speaker just like any other Bluetooth speaker out there. Once connected, you can stream your music and take phone calls (using the integrated microphone).

Now while the sound is full and loud, it's not exactly the most refined, and you get the distinct feeling that this speaker is more suited for a day out in the park or on a road trip thanks to its stellar 8-hour battery life, rather than indoors where the focus will fall on the about average quality of sound it reproduces.

•Rating: 7/10
• Price: Rs 12,999
• URL: http://bit.ly/14F1hA3

Slim star

Now here's a mouse that does justice to that new ultrabook or MacBook Air you've been eyeing! The aluminium-clad Ultrathin Touch mouse from Logitech features an ultra-thin design with a smooth touch-sensitive top for gestures, but what's most impressive is that the company claims that a one-minute charge over USB gives it enough juice to last about one hour!

• Price: $70
• URL: http://bit.ly/191Es9B