The Nokia Lumia 925 is far from the biggest or fastest Windows Phone out there, and the Windows Phone platform itself is perhaps best known for its relatively limited app selection. So why should serious business users pay attention to a midrange Windows Phone like the Lumia 925?
There are plenty of good reasons. The Lumia 925, which debuted in August, has a relatively small display compared with those on newer models like the Lumia 1520, but it is thin, light and easy to grip. It's not as fast as some other phones, either, but its dual-core processor still provides speedy performance and responsive multitasking. A relatively low price tag makes it a great value proposition for small business owners, and its sleek aluminum sides help make it the most professional-looking Windows Phone on the market.
Although the Windows Phone operating system has its shortcomings, it's better than it has ever been and improving quickly.
With the 925, Nokia ditched the rest of the trademark bright colors seen on the rest of the Lumia line. If you're looking for a neon-yellow smartphone, check out another Nokia model. The three color choices available for the 925 — gray, white and black — are attractive and give this model a decidedly understated appearance. Aluminum sides add to the premium look. That's a plus for business users who want a phone they can take seriously.
The Lumia 925 features a sharp 4.5-inch display, putting it on the smaller side of the spectrum for modern flagship smartphones. It's positively puny compared to juggernauts like the 6-inch Nokia Lumia 1520 and 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but a bit more roomy than the iPhone 5s, which features a compact 4-inch display. For most business users, 4.5 inches is probably big enough to complete basic productivity tasks. If you're looking for serious multitasking or document-editing capabilities on a smartphone, the Lumia 925's screen might be a bit cramped. But it's bright and sharp, with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels.
Under the hood, it packs a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that offers speedy performance. It can't keep pace with the speediest flagship phones, but the Lumia 925 is snappy and responsive, and should satisfy most business users.
Like other Windows Phones, the Lumia 925 features full integration with Microsoft's Office 365 cloud ecosystem for seamless switching between devices. That means you can edit a Word document or PowerPoint presentation on your phone and then access the edited document from any other connected Windows Phone, tablet or PC. Office integration is a big bonus, especially if your business already runs on Microsoft's desktop office suite.
It's true that Microsoft's Windows Store lacks the sheer diversity of apps you'll find on the iPhone and Android platforms, and apps generally arrive a bit later and update less frequently. That's starting to change; many previously missing apps, like Instagram and news reader Flipboard, debuted on the platform in recent months. And Windows Phone easily covers all the business basics. If you're looking for a good calendar app, or a popular productivity app such as Evernote, you're likely to find it.
What the Windows Store lacks in diversity it somewhat makes up for in security. Unlike Android, every app that appears on the platform is screened for spam and malware, thus providing a secure ecosystem that rivals iOS. New Windows Phones also feature an improved phone-wiping safeguard, which relies on PIN verification, to keep your important business files safe and secure.
Software features are useful, but only if your phone has enough juice to power the hardware. That makes long battery life one of the most important features for business users, who rely on their mobile devices to stay connected and productive on the go. It doesn't pack the beefiest battery, but thanks to its relatively modest specs and screen size, the Lumia 925 is squarely above average in this category. With moderate use, expect the phone to have no trouble making it through the workday and all the way till bedtime.
If you want a bigger, faster smartphone, you'll have to pay for it. But solid hardware and performance make the Lumia 925 stand out at a midrange price point. The phone costs just $99 with a two-year contract on AT&T, or off-contract on T-Mobile for no money down and 24 monthly payments of $21. It's not a cheap handset, but it's significantly more affordable than flagship smartphones like Apple's iPhone 5s or Samsung's Galaxy S4. For small business owners on a budget, the Lumia 925 offers great value.
The Nokia Lumia 925 is easy to overlook, but for business users, it offers a good bang for your buck. It features attractive, premium hardware; good specs; and useful software features for business users — all at an affordable price. All in all, it's one of the best business smartphones of 2013.