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Nokia Lumia 525 Review

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Camera

Stripped down to the bare essentials, but highly effective

The camera part of the equation has always carried a great deal of importance to Nokia, but we found ourselves questioning that notion when it came to the Lumia 525. A relatively frugal, 5-megapixel camera with 28mm lens and f/2.4 aperture is what you'll find on the rear of the Lumia 525 – and it's the only one, no front cam available. There's no LED flash, either, so night photography is a hazy affair.

Despite these rather essential omissions, we were actually struck by how well the Lumia 525 handles itself in the presence of a light source. Stills, always a notch darker than in reality, are nevertheless faithfully rendered by the sensor on the device with just a hint of a yellowish hue. The level of detail is pretty great for a 5MP unit, even at 100% zoom, and digital noise is tolerable, even under low light scenarios. Video is captured at 720p at best, and it's obviously the weaker link – the camera tweaks the exposure very well, but detail is on the low side.

The typical Windows Phone camera UI is a testament to simplicity, but that also means that you won't find anything but the essentials in it. Still, you can tweak the exposure level, ISO, white balance, aspect ratio, and you also have a choice of several scene modes, including close-up, night, sports, and backlight. You're also getting Nokia Smart Cam, a proprietary app equipped with some noteworthy wizardry, including modes such as Best Shot, Remove Objects, Change Faces, and Motion and Action Focus. All of these allow you to work stills after they've been taken, and, in some cases, improve them profoundly.


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Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Sony Xperia M 3.3
4.7
663
643
Nokia Lumia 525 4.2
No data
444
No data
LG Optimus L7 II 5.2
No data
No data
No data
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Multimedia

The Nokia Lumia 525 is a decent all-rounder when it comes to multimedia

The usual Windows Phone multimedia portfolio is loaded on the Lumia 525. The powerful Photos app is still among our favorites for its overall design, ease-of-use, and functionality. Edits, like cropping and rotating, are easy to carry out. The Music+Videos app is a tad less to our taste, but it's still a perfectly capable solution.

Video playback is stellar, though you're obviously limited by the conservative, 4-inch display. The same goes for audio, and we've got to say that we were initially shocked to hear just how loud the speaker on the back of the Lumia 525 is. Obviously, loudness and quality usually have an inverse relationship, and Nokia's device is no exception to that rule, but we were still quite happy with what we were treated to.

25 Comments
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posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:16 3

1. sprockkets (Posts: 1089; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


At $180 this phone is a joke.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:19 11

2. akki20892 (Posts: 3276; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


You r seeing front of moto g dude. Moto g is the first phone get damn cheap price with great specs.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 14:17 1

16. dratomic (Posts: 439; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


at the end of the day its just a motorola. no nokia quality

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 15:27 1

17. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Dont kid yourself. Nokia almost went bankrupt too. And the first slim Razr was probably still better than some barebones OS Nokia when it was released. And it still continues to be barebones with a crippling OS. Let's wait and see if rumors are true.

Moto G>Lumia 525 by a long shot.

Its not an opinion. Its fact. Hardware and OS.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 17:07

18. sprockkets (Posts: 1089; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


And I say Moto's reputation in that regard is also up there.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:54 1

4. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


I thought the same thing. The profit on this has to be close to $150. It's using just about everything from the 520. All those parts have to be dirt cheap to manufacture right about now. They're milking it far too much. Adding a little ram and bumping up the price back to $180 is cynical. If they had put in a front camera, slimmed it down, and put in a better screen, I'd justify the pricing. Maybe even add $10 if they wanted to make a bit more profit.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 19:01

19. aksa123 (Posts: 165; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Well, 525 isn't cheap YET.
It'll, probably, go the way down to $60, just like 520.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:51 7

3. lucid.brat (Posts: 82; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


In my country Lumia 525 is more cheaper than moto g

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 11:04 1

5. arenanew (Posts: 135; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


moto is pure chinese company and dont deserve 100$. reason phone means calling ability but motog have very bad quality , next problem poor battery backup plus no offline navigation moto g fail in prime aspect . for lumia 525 skype work for video calling . phone is not for gaming for gaming use pc or xbox . who play crap game on mobile . android people like cheap service and they are addicted to crap even they cant afford and rely on free service behave like poor beggar on street .

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 11:15 5

6. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Moto G does have offline navigation. I actually own the phone. How is the lack of a front camera working for you for skype??? Fail. The only thing it really fails on is the lack of micro SD. If you had any type of logic, you would have mentioned that.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 11:34

7. arenanew (Posts: 135; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


proof me moto g have offlline are going mad . ha ha moto g have offline map battery will down in 5 minute and no x box live support . throw ur moto g with google in dustbin

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 12:11 1

11. sprockkets (Posts: 1089; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


There is this thing called the Google Play store where plenty of offline solutions exist. That, and Google maps can still re route offline anyhow.

Oh, and the battery life on the moto g speaks for itself not needing extra batteries.

And microsoft gave xbox live suppport to android simply due to the sheer amount of people using it. I'm sure it isn't the same on wp8 but whatever, you can download it anyhow.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 13:21 1

13. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Why would I need to prove anything to you? The information is available on every search engine. Also, that the battery on the moto g is great. I find myself forgetting to charge it. Your lack of common sense to research something is incredible. I'm not missing XBL, why would I? I switched over to PlayStation because of the disgusting greed that follows Microsoft products. Good luck to you now that MS owns Nokia.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 11:45

8. lucid.brat (Posts: 82; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


If phone is not for gaming than how gaming app is making 16billion a year....plz not everyone is really gamers Bt it doesn't mean they can not play small games in phones...

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 12:06

10. arenanew (Posts: 135; Member since: 30 Dec 2013)


this all article on paper sale and pc , xbox and ps4 even will sale is physical proof of sale .

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 18:34

22. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 260; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


It's good you've tried to learn English but using it badly when you are angry just makes you look stupid. Please stop.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 11:46

9. rajasasuke (Posts: 8; Member since: 19 Feb 2014)


if there is no motog there is no competition for this phone it will crush the opponents.i thought 525 will get 8

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 12:36

12. Jason78 (Posts: 47; Member since: 10 Apr 2013)


You might have mentioned the that unlike the Nokia 520, the 525 does not have the correct 3G bands for North America. Great for those overseas but useless for people in the USA.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 13:42

14. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1024; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


Hmm HSN sold a lot of lumia 520's so you can bet the farm Microsoft/Lumia 525 will get the LTE transceiver the 520 has for the American model of this 525 smart phone. The 525 has
1 gig of ram it will need that to run all the Windows phone store apps the Lumia 525 could not run and to to be easily upgraded to Windows phone 8.1 coming this Summer 2014. lik

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 13:45

15. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1024; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I meant say in the previous content that the 525 has 1 gig of that enables it to smoothly run all the windows phone store apps the "Lumia 520 could not run

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 19:59

20. jose.vu (Posts: 16; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


this phone in Singapore now is 185sgd~145usd which is much cheaper than than Moto G here (~200usd), I imagine it would be even much cheaper in US, great phone for the price :)

posted on 21 Feb 2014, 01:40

21. Snoobab (Posts: 174; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


"Pixel density is on the low side"??? the 525 is an entry level device PA

posted on 06 Mar 2014, 17:20

23. fzacek (Posts: 1251; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


This phone is NOTHING compared to the Moto G. The 525 won't be drawing anyone to Windows Phone, because the Moto G is a way better value at the same price.

posted on 07 Mar 2014, 06:19

24. Jason78 (Posts: 47; Member since: 10 Apr 2013)


I have both a Moto G and a Nokia 521. They are BOTH great phones and a great value.

posted on 05 May 2014, 18:25

25. redmd (Posts: 860; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


In my country, Nokia Lumia 525 costs more than half the price of Moto G. So its a compromise. Chris is cute BTW.

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Nokia Lumia 525

Nokia Lumia 525

OS: Windows Phone 8
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (235 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8227, Dual core, 1000 MHz, Krait processor
1024 MB RAM
Size4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches
(119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm)
4.37 oz  (124 g)
Battery1430 mAh, 16.9 hours talk time

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