Review: Lumia 525 – Step By Step

Intro:

If there’s anything that brought the ‘attention’ to the Lumia lineup, then it was the lower end of it. Lumia 520 literally stole the show there. In the emerging markets, it struck the chord with the budget conscious segment. And Lumia 525 comes as if Lumia 520 was aging. Maybe it wasn’t, but it was a bit short on the power. Lumia 525 tries to add a little bit of thump to the package. It’s not that people were unhappy with the smooth performance of the WP8 on Lumia 520 but who would mind some extra features and some more power? And the arrival of Lumia 525 doesn’t mean the original Lumia 520 is going to wave good bye, not anytime soon.

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So while all looks good, is it really all good out there for Lumia 525? The low-end segment has become very much crowded recently especially because of Indian OEMs launching new phones every other day (they are overdoing it now anyway) and the biggies like Motorola (read Google) have also joined in. For a while, Lumia 520 did grab a fair share of it and the Lumia 525 has to carry ahead the legacy of its predecessor. Let’s check out what all hype is about.

Design:

Since this is a straight update of existing Lumia 520, there are no changes in the design. However, the back panel has got glossy finish instead of matte on Lumia 520. The main disadvantage of this change in material is the lack of good grip. Everything else remains same on Lumia 525 including the position of the buttons. It’s got the same 4 inch IPS display and there are no bells and whistles like ClearBlack technology. But it retains the double tap to wake-up and high sensitivity for touch which makes it possible to use it with many objects other than fingers.
Still, let’s have a formal look at the design. As we mentioned before, Lumia 525 has 4 inch display with somewhat big bezel. Almost near the top edge sits the earpiece. There’s no front camera on Lumia 525 just like its predecessor. Then there is ambient light sensor and the proximity sensor right above the display but both go unnoticed under that black bezel. Below the display there are usual Windows Phone keys. And here’s a spoiler, these keys aren’t back-lit or in other words there are no lights under these keys so they would be completely invisible when using the handset in the dark. This is apparently Nokia’s attempt at cost cutting but we wonder if it will go down well with consumers. Same is the case with Lumia 625. We hope Nokia thinks twice before implementing something odd like this on next device.

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On the back it’s got 5MP snapper without flash,again. We would have really liked to see flash for camera in this upgraded version. It could have increased value for money provided that Lumia 520 without flash is already there for those who would want to save few bucks. And many Androids too have the flash present, so this could be a key point while comparing Lumia 525 against them.

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The 3.5mm audio jack is on the top while the microUSB port is on the bottom. The right side is somewhat crowded with volume rocker, power key and a shutter key. The left side is completely bare.

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Since the phone has tapered edges, it sits very comfortably in your palms but the slippery back is the disadvantage. The phone doesn’t feel very thick at 9.9 mm and isn’t heavy either at 124 gms. The design isn’t anything to crave about like top end Lumia 920 or Lumia 925 handsets but it’s not undesirable either. It’s just very simple.

The back cover is pretty easy to remove although there isn’t any notch do so. You just have to pulling it off right top corner. Under it lies 1700 mAh battery. Although, Lumia 525 has a memory card slot, it’s not hot swappable. MicroSIM card slot lies very next to the memory card slot.

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Hardware, Performance and Battery:

Low-end hardware has never been a problem for Windows Phone since it’s initial days. Lumia 520 was no exception either. With extra RAM on Lumia 525 it wouldn’t be any slow for sure. Amount of RAM is the only difference between two brothers. The benefit of the increased RAM is that people will be able to download and use apps that are limited to 1GB devices only. Since Lumia 525 is a mass market device, keeping the masses happy is vital. Rest of the specifications remain same. It uses the same Snapdragon S4 1GHz dual core processor. The 4 inch display has WVGA resolution with 235 ppi pixel density.
The 1430 mAh although sound small, provides adequate juice to keep the device alive. The battery performance is very decent. For us, it would somewhere between 15 to 18 hours for usage including all day on 3G, push mail, data intensive activities and excluding multi-media usage.