Last year’s Nokia 520 was a huge hit in the budget segment. The 520 gave the Windows phone OS a proper push it badly needed and also brought Nokia back to its fame. Sure the phone had its own weakpoints, but Nokia, unlike most of the other manufacturers, exactly know how to correct these mistakes and give exactly what you wanted without any hesitation. If there is anything to think about the weakpoints of 520, the major one you would ever remember is 512MB RAM. Now surprisingly Nokia seems to understand this and gave us more or less the same 520 with 1GB RAM and few minor improvements and called it Lumia 525. So does this device too does the same as its predecessor in winning appreciation and market? Does the 1GB RAM help? Let us find out.
Design & Display:
The device looks exactly identical to the Lumia 520 and you cannot differentiate so easily once you look at them. Of course the only difference here is, the backpanel which is glossy this time. Not sure what made Nokia to go for glossy design, but still the matte design of the 520 feels more appropriate and premium as well. The build quality is sturdy and the device is not so thicker at 9.9mm and sits well in hand. The device sports the same display we have seen in 520, with a 4 inch IPS LCD display at 480x800 resolution and 233 ppi. Viewing angles are okay but the reflective glass spoils the fun and colors too don’t look so vibrant. The front is actually covered withScratch-resistant glass for screen protection. Brightness levels too aren’t so high and sunlight legibility is not pleasant.
The phone comes with Windows Phone 8 OS. Since it is not open source like Android so there won’t be any custom UI or launchers. Users can also upgrade to Windows phone 8.1 which brings a lot of features and it’s more improved and optimised to perform well. All the Nokia stuff that came with 520 like Nokia Drive, Cinemagraph, Photobeamer etc. also come for 525. Microsoft too provided Office app, which is very useful and functional. The UI looks very beautiful in its own way. The UI feels very responsive and we didn’t face any lags during the normal operation and the UI feels buttery smooth.
Camera & Audio:
The phone comes with the same 5MP cam we have seen in case of 520. There is no front cam for this phone and no LED flash too. The camera UI is simpler and neat with few toggles for quick access and it has few options and modes for tweaking the image quality. The camera managed to take some very good pictures with good amount of details and noise is kept a bit minimal, but colors don’t look so natural. The preloaded camera apps does a fine job in giving you more fun in photography for a device in this segment. Coming to audio playback, the loudspeaker has a very good amount of loudness levels and produces output but at higher volumes, there is a bit of distortion as well.
Connectivity & Additional Features:
The Lumia 525 comes in a single sim version like its predecessor. Nokia would have given this one in dual sim and that combination would have been so terrific. Anyway, network reception is very good and we didn’t face any call drop issues. Call quality is exceptional with impressive loudness levels, minimal distortions and clear audio. Even the loudspeaker produces ample output for calls. The phone also supports Wifi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, FM Radio, 3G and A-GPS. Internal memory is limited to 8GB which is mostly common in case of sub 10k phones but the phone also supports micro SD cards upto 64GB, so you won’t feel any issues with storage.
Performance & Battery:
The phone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset with 1GHz Dual core processor. The mere sadness in 520 is now resolved and the 525 is blessed with 1GB RAM. The Windows phone OS is well optimised and won’t need much RAM or CPU like Android for normal operation or for multitasking. Due to this, the device performs somewhat better than its predecessor and even while running some heavy games like Asphalt 8, we hardly faced any hiccups or lags. The same 1430mAh non removable battery comes for Lumia 525 too. Not only CPU or RAM, but Windows phone OS doesn’t eat that much of battery too when compared to Android or most of the other OS. The battery easily lasts more than a day under moderate usage. Even if you play games for a while and do some multitasking, still the device manages to stay till the end of day easily.
Beautiful design and solid build
UI is well optimised
Good call quality
No LED flash
No front cam
Display could have been better
So far, the Lumia 525 is almost the same Lumia 520 with the improvements we have been expecting but ofcourse, still you don’t get LED flash or front cam. Anyhow, if you have loved the Lumia 520, the experience on the 525 is would be the same, but the higher RAM is definitely a worthy upgrade which allows you to install some heavy games or apps which need this amount of RAM. If you’re okay with no LED flash and front cam thing, this is one of the best devices to buy in the sub10k segment and you will love it once you get used to it.
Nokia Lumia 525:
Nokia Lumia 530 Dual SIM
Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM
Nokia Lumia 520
Asus Zenfone 4 A450CG
Micromax Unite 2 A106
Karbonn Titanium S1 Plus
Lava Iris 406Q