"The weight is over" was our headline when we covered the launch of Nokia's latest Windows Phone, the Lumia 925, a few weeks ago. The 925 is a repackaged version of the Lumia 920, which launched in November last year, and the Lumia 928 for Verizon Wireless. Other than their dimensions, the three share near-identical specs - but the 925 addresses perhaps the most significant criticism of its siblings, by coming in a much lighter and sleeker body, and one that looks markedly different from other Lumia handsets.
We're currently putting the Lumia 925 through its paces for the kind of typically thorough and detailed review that you've come to expect of Neowin. But ahead of that, here's a preview of Nokia's newest flagship... until the 41MP 'EOS' launches next month, at least.
The packaging for the Lumia 925 is more or less identical to the rest of Nokia's Windows Phone range - simple, compact, attractive... but you wouldn't know that you'd just bought a flagship device. Still, since the box is just going to get chucked into a cupboard within minutes, that's not really a big deal - what matters is what's inside the box.
You'll get the same (pretty decent) earphones with integrated mic that come with the Lumia 920, along with a selection of different-sized ear buds so you can find the perfect fit. You'll also get a USB cable that plugs into a wall charger, and a tiny metal tool to allow you to pull out the SIM try at the top of the handset, plus the usual manual that no-one reads.
The handset itself feels amazing to hold; as soon as you pick it up, you know you're holding a premium device. The ring of aluminium that encircles the handset feels wonderful and looks stunning. It strikes an excellent balance between weight and solidity, feeling both light and sturdy at once; compared to the horrible plastics used in the Samsung Galaxy S4, for example, the 925 feels absolutely fantastic.
Despite talk of its 'aluminium body', the 925 isn't made entirely of metal; the whole rear of the device is actually a single piece of matte polycarbonate plastic, which offers the only colour on the device, with white, grey or black options available. It's a stark contrast to the brightly coloured Lumias we've seen so far, but while the 925 follows a different design direction, it's one that works well in its own right. The matte rear panel feels 'just right' when you're holding it, and adds to the premium feel of the device. It feels considerably more expensive than many other handsets out there, including its 920/928 siblings.
If I were to try holding up my Lumia 920 like this with just my thumb and forefinger, it would likely topple out of my hands. I love it, but there's no escaping the fact that it's a beast. The 925, on the other hand, is so much lighter - and pretty thin too. With the exception of the 'bump' around its camera, the main body is just 8.5mm thick, according to Nokia.
The bump on the back around the camera is noticeable, but in practice, it's not an inconvenience. It's not intrusive or annoying when you're holding the handset in normal use, and when it's on a flat surface, it rather conveniently stops the handset from sliding around. The Lumia 820, for example, rather annoyingly spins all over the place if you try to tap its screen while it's flat on a table.
The 925 has an AMOLED screen, and unlike the Lumia 820 which had a similar display, this one is HD. First impressions of the screen are overwhelmingly positive; colours are beautiful, type and images are crisp, and the whole thing feels like a significant improvement over the LCD found in the 920. There are also colour profile options so you can adjust the saturation and 'warmth' of the display, to customise how colours are displayed; a common criticism of AMOLEDs is that colours appear exaggerated and over-saturated.
Nokia has taken advantage of the AMOLED to introduce a new feature called Glance Screen, which adds a clock, and ringtone and charging indicators, on to the display when it's turned off. This low-power-consumption feature can be customised or tweaked; more about that in our full review. Simply double-tap the display to wake the device and go to your Start screen (or lockscreen, if you've set up a password).
There is one key feature missing from the 925, one which its 920/928 siblings had, but which Nokia chose to remove, presumably in order to reduce the weight and profile of the handset: integrated wireless charging. Instead, as with the 820, if you want wireless charging, you'll have to purchase an optional charging cover. We purchased this red cover for £25 GBP (Nokia didn't have any available with the review units it sent out); yellow, black and white versions will also be available for purchase.
The wireless charging cover doubles as a protective shell for the handset - which is actually pretty handy, because there's a good chance that that aluminium ring will dent and scuff if it's dropped. The shell simply clips over the rear of the device, protecting its four corners. It's made of the same matte polycarbonate plastic that's used on the rear of the handset itself.
On the inside of the shell, you'll see the three charging pins...
...which connect to the non-removable battery inside the handset via the three holes on the back.
The cover is a perfect fit, easy to attach and (relatively) easy to remove - but it certainly adds some heft to the device. The covers are incredibly light though, so at least they don't add much weight. With the cover on, the handset still feels perfectly comfortable to hold and use normally, but it certainly takes away some of the elegance of its design.
That just gives you a flavour of what the Lumia 925 has to offer, but our full review will of course be a good deal more detailed. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NeowinFeed so we can let you know when it's published - and if you have any questions about the Lumia 925 or its accessories, let us know in the comments below!