The only caveat to the Lumia 925 is its battery life. At medium brightness, the phone won't get through the whole day of constant use, as it tapped out at just a little over six hours. Fortunately, it isn't much of an energy sucker when it's on standby: I left the phone in my bag, untouched for three days, and it had barely barreled through any of its remaining battery life. Windows Phone 8 also comes with a few features to help minimize battery exhaustion, like a battery saver setting and the option to automatically dial down the screen brightness when applicable.
A more-than-capable camera
MIKE HOMNICK. Get ready to snap some great photos at the bar with this guy.
By now, the phrase "camera phone" might as well be synonymous with the name Lumia, as Nokia has managed to successfully make its mark by introducing a slew of capable camera phones. The Lumia 925 is no different with its 8.7-megapixel camera. I've always been particular impressed with every Lumia's photo-taking abilities, and although the 925 doesn't come with the 41-megapixel sensor of the 1020, you'll still be able to take proper macro shots and discernible photos with your friends while at the bar.
Nokia has also packed with in its Smart Camera application which includes an array of photo editing features, including the ability to choose between the best shot in a series of shots and the best facial expression after you've taken a group or portrait photo. The Smart Camera app is a part of the forthcoming Amber update for the rest of Nokia's Windows Phone 8-based smartphones, but Lumia 925 users have immediate access to these features and more.
The 925's inclusion of extra apps for photo editing is a nice touch considering the mess that is the Windows Phone Marketplace, but some of the Smart Camera's abilities will take a bit of adjusting to. Action shots, for instance, require that you select the different stages of the shot from a group of individual photos. If you don't do so correctly, the end result could look unappealing.
Amber is the color of [Windows Phone 8's] energy
MIKE HOMNICK. Good, better, best, in reverse order: The Lumia 1020, 925, and 920.
We said it in our review of the Lumia 1020 and we'll say it again: the biggest drawback of the Lumia family is that it uses Microsoft's mobile OS. Windows Phone 8 is a stylish-looking, fluid operating system, but once you actually go in search of your favorite application in the Windows Phone Store, the lack of important apps holds you back.
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