Nokia Gives Thin and Light a Try with the Lumia 925

Nokia has managed to shave all the bulk of its previous Windows Phones without compromising tech specs.

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Ever since Nokia debuted its first Windows Phone, the Lumia 800, the company has eschewed slim designs and opted for distinct, if clunkier, constructions.

That’s all about to change with the Lumia 925. Rather than use a solid slab of polycarbonate, as it has with previous flagship phones, Nokia wrapped the edges of the Lumia 925 in aluminum. Polycarbonate — a durable form of plastic — still makes an appearance on the phone’s back panel.

Possibly as a result of the new materials, the Lumia 925 is much thinner and lighter than its predecessors, weighing 4.9 ounces and measuring 0.33 inches thick. Nokia’s Lumia 920, by comparison, weighs 6.5 ounces and runs 0.42 inches thick.

Nokia has managed to shave all that bulk without compromising tech specs. Compared to the Lumia 920, the 925 has the same 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, an 8.7-megapixel camera and a 2,000 mAh battery. It also has the same 4.5-inch screen size and 1280-by-768 resolution as the Lumia 920, but with AMOLED display technology instead of LCD, promising deeper blacks. The only thing missing is built-in wireless charging. Users will have to strap on a separate case to get that feature. With so many of the same specs as the Lumia 920, the focus with the Lumia 925 was clearly on improving the design of the phone. (The phone has a few extra software features for the camera as well, such as a Smart Camera mode that takes 10 shots at once and can weave together the best elements from each photo.)

The Lumia 925 even fares well against other high-end smartphones, as Gizmodo’s detailed spec comparison points out. It’s thinner than the HTC One, BlackBerry Z10 and Nexus 4; it’s also lighter than the HTC One, and it’s within an ounce of the Z10 and the Nexus 4.

Now, you might argue that thinness and lightness don’t matter. There’s something to be said for a high-end phone with heft.

But thin and light is what sells. Anecdotally, it’s the first attribute anyone marvels at when I show them a shiny new phone, whether it’s the iPhone 5 I bought last fall or the HTC One I picked up a couple weekends ago. It’s also the reason phone makers continue to shave ounces and millimeters off their handsets, even though we could desperately use bigger batteries instead. Never underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Nokia finally gets it.

The problem for Nokia, at least in the United States, is that the Lumia 925 will only be available on T-Mobile, which happens to be the smallest of the major U.S. carriers. But hey, T-Mobile has been turning heads lately with its new data plans, so maybe this is the flagship phone that will get Windows Phone fans in the door.

Nokia says the Lumia 925 will arrive in June, starting in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain and China, with U.S. availability to follow. No word on pricing in the United States, but pricing will start at €469 overseas.