Its been a busy month for Nokia, but they still decided to release yet another Lumia phone. I’m a little disappointed that the “something big” that Nokia teased wasn’t a tablet, but the Lumia 625 was inevitable and while most tech bloggers will scoff this device, its clearly not designed for them or for America.
The major draws of this will be its bigger 4.7″ IPS LCD screen and its lower price tag of 220 EUR ($290). Because of the lower price point, the specs are notably low end, including a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 8GB of onboard storage, although it has a microSD card slot for expansion. That 4.7 inch LCD screen also has a rather low screen resolution of 800×480. While 800×480 looks surprisingly good on the 82x series, those phones benefit from OLED screens and are a full half-inch smaller, meaning even lower density of pixels and a higher risk of a user seeing the pixelation.
However, as I said, this phone was not designed for America, land of the subsidy, it was designed for the markets it was announced to be coming to: China, Europe, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Most cell carriers outside of America charge much less for cell service, but for customers to buy phones outright. Some of these markets (China and India, most notably) are markets that Apple and big named Android OEMs have struggled to get into because price is a major issue. Many simply don’t want to pay $700 for the latest and greatest, and many in developing markets simply can’t afford to anyway. This is the reason Apple is rumored to be building a cheaper and plastic version of the iPhone. To compound things in Nokia’s favor, many in these developing markets use their smartphone as their only computer. So does a phablet that’s priced under $300 appeal to this market? Absolutely. But other than just size, the device also sports LTE connectivity, an impressive addition for a lower price smartphone. With Euope’s LTE networks expanding quickly and LTE quickly becoming a standard in India and TD-LTE being researched for development in China, getting LTE into budget smartphones should be a priority to any OEM seeking higher penetration in markets without cell subsidies.
If you’re interested, you can also read this article about the unique styling of the phone and check out the photo I’ve included of the unique colors of the replaceable translucent polycarbonate backs that Nokia will be selling with the phones, but ultimately ascetics aren’t super interesting with this phone. The Lumia 620 did it earlier this year, and this is just an evolution of that same design. The only important thing I’ve seen about the styling is that Nokia built it to feel like a pebble in your hand, which of course made me cringe in that awful Samsung way. However, Nokia’s phone will most definitely feel like a pebble, unlike the Galaxy S III and IV.
But regardless, this is going to be a very good smartphone that will probably sell fairly well for it’s intended markets. This phone will never see the light of day in America for the very good reason that it will absolutely will not sell. Is Nokia awful for targeting the only market that hasn’t been saturated by Samsung? Yeah, okay, that was a loaded question.