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Nokia Lumia 525 Review

Nokia Lumia 525

Posted: , by Chris P.



Nokia Lumia 525 Review
Nokia Lumia 525 Review
Nokia Lumia 525 Review
Nokia Lumia 525 Review

You don’t mess with a winning formula, people say, and there’s no device out there that seems to follow that mantra as ardently as the Nokia Lumia 525. The successor to the wildly popular Lumia 520 has some big shoes to fill, as its inheriting quite the responsibility. There’s no dancing around the fact that it was the Lumia 520 that gave Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 the push it needed to latch onto the honorary third place in the world of mobile. Thanks to its extremely affordable price tag, it drew consumers over to the platform in droves. It falls on the Lumia 525 to extend that streak, and Nokia isn't about to mess this one up. To that end, the two devices are virtually identical on the outside, with some very minor changes under the hood. Will these tweaks to the original recipe prove enough to continue winning smartphone buyers over? Let’s see.

In the box:

  • Wall charger
  • microUSB to USB cable
  • In-ear headphones


Signature Lumia, miniaturized

If we were to put the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 525 side by side, you’d have a truly impossible time telling the two apart. A true twin to its predecessor, the Lumia 525 is, on the outside, a complete copy. The same petite proportions are at play here, and there’s still quite some space wasted in plastic. The playful exterior of the Lumia 525 communicates no high-end ambitions, but it looks sturdy and reliable. Unfortunately, we can't say we're happy with Nokia's decision to go back to glossy polycarbonate, as pertains to the rear shell – we much preferred the matte finish of the previous model.

Now, this is a one-handed device through and through. It sits comfortably in the hand, thanks to its conservative dimensions and rounded sides. Its angular frame digs into the palm, but we found the presence reassuring rather than unpleasant. The well-placed volume rocker, and power and camera shutter buttons also aid in the overall ergonomics of the phone. They are all confidently edging out from the right side of the Lumia 525, and provide a pronounced feedback on impact.

Nokia Lumia 525
4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches
119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm
4.37 oz (124 g)

Nokia Lumia 525

Motorola Moto G
5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 inches
129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Motorola Moto G

LG Optimus L7 II
4.78 x 2.62 x 0.38 inches
121.5 x 66.6 x 9.7 mm
4.07 oz (116 g)

LG Optimus L7 II

Sony Xperia M
4.88 x 2.44 x 0.37 inches
124 x 62 x 9.3 mm
4.06 oz (115 g)

Sony Xperia M

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


No 'wow' factor here. Practicality scored a landslide victory

The display is another area that remains firmly unchanged with the Lumia 525. We're still privy to the same highly-sensitive 4-inch, 480x800 resolution IPS LCD panel. This configuration works out to a rather low pixel density of 235 pixels per inch. It's also worth pointing out that the scratch-resistant glass on top, unfortunately, appears to lack an oleophobic treatment, resulting in a shower of greasy smudges. But hey, at least you can use it with gloves on!

Color reproduction with Nokia's screen of choice is not perfect, but doesn't leave too much to desire. Sure, colors are less saturated than the best out there, and there's a noticeable pinkish hue to whites, but it's leaps and bounds ahead compared to the average panel in this class. But one area – peak brightness – the display concedes to even inferior solutions out there, and that's just unfortunate. Our bright yellow unit, ironically, is not at all suited for play in the sun.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Nokia Lumia 525 328
Motorola Moto G 429
LG Optimus L7 II 363
Sony Xperia M 438
View all

  • Options

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:16 3

1. sprockkets (Posts: 1611; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)

At $180 this phone is a joke.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 10:19 11

2. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; 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: 483; 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: 1485; 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: 1611; 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: 1485; 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: 342; 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 (unregistered)

In my country Lumia 525 is more cheaper than moto g

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 11:04 1

5. arenanew (Posts: 286; 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: 1485; 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: 286; 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: 1611; 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: 1485; 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 (unregistered)

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: 286; 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: 533; 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: 17; 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: 280; 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: 1584; 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: 1584; 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: 175; 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: 2486; 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: 280; 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: 1371; 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
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (235 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, Krait processor
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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