Nokia announced the Lumia 525 sometime back last month and basically, it was a Lumia 520 with a very slightly different design and 1 GB of RAM. The Lumia 525 is primarily for addressing the low RAM issue on Windows Phones. Phones with 512 MB of RAM, like the Lumia 520, were not allowed to download some apps and games from the Windows Phone Store because of them demanding more resources. This was partly solved with more optimizations from the developers’ side, but we still see a lot of new apps and games releasing with the limitation, so Nokia simply went the other way and updated the 520 with 1 GB of RAM, and that’s exactly the reason why 525 exists. It was revealed at an event in Goa today that the Lumia 525 will be arriving to India during the first week of January 2014. The Lumia 520 is already the best selling Windows Phone in India and we hope the 525 directly replaces it. That said, we went hands on with the Lumia 525 at the Annual Strategy Sharing Summit in Goa, you can find our impressions below.
As we mentioned earlier, the Lumia 525 is basically a 520 with upgraded RAM and a new build. The phone is now glossier than before and comes in Bright Orange, Yellow, White and Black. Here, the black alone is matte. We had a red version to play with at the event, and this is how the back looks –
You can notice that it is a bit glossier than before, but it is not completely glossy plastic, because the texture is just matte and smooth. Literally everything is the same in terms of design except for the more curvier back. From the above picture, you can see how it is less sharp on the corner and more blunt, with it proving to be a better fit in the hands.
The display is the same 4 inch WVGA IPS LCD screen that was on the Lumia 520, but it does seem a tad brighter than before. We didn’t have a 520 to test side by side, but we think it is indeed slightly brighter.
Like we repeatedly mentioned, the most important change to the Lumia 525 is its 1 GB of RAM, which brings it on par to the Lumia 820 or the 920, except for the processing power. It is based off the same Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset with a dual core 1 GHz processor MSM8227 and the Adreno 305 GPU. The GPU is actually really good for gaming though, only the RAM was a bottleneck before, and now it is not. So, for people wanting to enjoy all the games with the same familiar form factor and features of the 520, the 525 will be a great option.
The Lumia 525 runs on the latest Windows Phone 8 GDR3 software update with Nokia’s own Lumia Black firmware. It will come with the Nokia Camera app pre-installed as it is now available for all the Lumia phones.
But unfortunately, little else has changed, and the device is practically a small upgrade rather than a successor, which we had initially believed so. There is no front facing camera, nor there is a LED flash for the camera, but hopes are not lost because MWC is just around the corner and we expect to see a true upgrade and a successor to the Lumia 520, which has been the worldwide Windows Phone best seller. The Lumia 525 is expected to launch to retail in India in the first week of January 2014.