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Nokia Goes All Samsung on the Lumia 625

Nokia Goes All Samsung on the Lumia 625
July 23, 2013 12:17PM

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The Nokia Lumia 625 will begin selling in China, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. "I am not convinced that consumers from wealthier regions will be willing to sacrifice their user experience even at the reduced price, but in the emerging markets the phone will be a good proposition," said Yankee Group analyst Boris Metodiev.

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Nokia is pulling a move out of Samsung's playbook with the largest ever Lumia. The Lumia 625, which runs on the Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, offers a 4.7-inch LCD screen.

Beyond the larger screen size, the Lumia 625 seems much the same as its smaller counterparts on the surface, especially the recently launched 1020 model. For example, the Lumia 625 features integrated camera applications like the Nokia Smart Camera that lets users remove unwanted objects from pictures, and Nokia Cinemagraph that adds movement to photos.

The combination of the larger screen and what Nokia calls a more affordable price may attract consumers looking for a phablet-like smartphone that doesn't beak the bank. The device will run about $290 without carrier subsidies.

Poor Camera Quality

We asked Boris Metodiev, a Yankee Group analyst in London who covered the Lumia 625 launch, for his views on the new device. He told us he believed it will resonate with consumers, but only in markets outside North America and Western Europe.

"The big advantage of the phone is that usually devices with bigger screens and 4G capabilities come pricier," Metodiev said. "The Lumia 625 at [$290] is about mid-range and certainly much cheaper than the popular Samsung Galaxy Note 2."

But Metodiev also pointed out the device's disadvantages. The Nokia Lumia range of phones are noted for having some of the best cameras in the market and the Lumia 625's camera is average at best at 5-megapixels, he said. What's more, the display offers only 201ppi, meaning that the images will appear a bit pixelated, he added.

Sacrificing Quality

"I am not convinced that consumers from wealthier regions will be willing to sacrifice their user experience even at the reduced price, but in the emerging markets the phone will be a good proposition," Metodiev said. "In some Asian countries the Galaxy Note 2 outsold the Galaxy S4, which is a good indicator for the demand of phablets in that region."

Not surprisingly, he said, Nokia stated that the phone will begin selling in China, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Metodiev said the phone should be popular with the mobile operators in general because it is one of the cheapest that includes LTE capabilities and operators have been trying hard to promote their 4G services.

From a specs point of view, the Lumia 625 also offers SD memory card support, allowing up to 64GB of additional content storage, as well as access to more than 165,000 apps. Nokia Music offers unlimited streaming of add-free songs without registration or subscription and the phone comes with mapping software pre-installed. The Lumia 625 will be available in a range of colors including orange, yellow, bright green, white and black with an array of changeable shells.

All in all, Metodiev concluded, the Lumia 625 is a good move by Nokia, but it will only provide low margins in certain regions.

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