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So why did Vikram Virulkar stray towards the Nokia Lumia after his Samsung phone was picked off him? Plenty to Nokia’s credit and one to Samsung’s – he did not want too many apps that slowed down his phone over time. Further, he wanted a good camera and good music playback, both of which he found in the Nokia Lumia 925. Even though he wasn’t initially looking into the “Windows Phone arena”, his review says he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And this is from someone who’s been using the phone for almost a year.

Since Vikram listed Nokia Lumia 925’s camera and music library among the top 2 clinchers, we might as well start there. Oh, and the movable Live Tiles that have sealed Samsung’s fate as far as Vikram is concerned.

Nokia MixRadio for Free

Vikram loves his music and Nokia has plenty and more to offer him. For starters, it’s got an extensive music library that stocks everything from electronica to trance to a range of Hindi music, all in one place. He says in the video that there have hardly been instances where he’s put in a song search and the library hasn’t returned a result.

Compare this to Android where users have to go from website to website to find what they’re looking for. iTunes aggregates tracks too, you’d say. But at a price. For now, MixRadio is free but “even if Nokia charged a monthly or yearly subscription fee, it’ll still work out cheaper than iTunes,” says Vikram, as in iTunes you pay per download.

The Fully Manual Camera

The defining factor, says Vikram, is the extensive range of manual functions the Lumia 925 has, with a minimum shutter speed as low as 4 seconds, something he hasn’t seen on any other phone camera. He’s also a fan of the manual focus and zoom you can drag around with your fingertip, making image composition a breeze. Another practical feature is the physical shutter release button on the side of the phone. That, to Vikram, is a far simpler way of clicking a picture as opposed to touching the screen to take one.

The Build

What’s not to like about the aluminium bezel running around the soft white Lumia 925 and its overall minimalism? The USB, audio out, and the SIM card tray fit comfortably on the top edge and the volume rocker, power and shutter release buttons occupy the right side, leaving the bottom and left side of the smartphone action-free. The back houses the speaker, a Carl Zeiss lens and an LED flash.

The one flipside, says Vikram, could be the fixed back cover that cannot be taken apart in case the phone malfunctions.

The Offline Here Maps Assistance

Vikram owns an astronomy services company for which he recces remote places for the darkest, unwashed skies. For this, Here Maps has often proved to be a trusty companion, most importantly because it allows the user to pre-download maps and does not need an internet connection to access them. Further, when compared to Google Maps, says Vikram, Here Maps has two features that make directions more specific and accurate: when teamed up with the phone’s GPS, instead of a pointer, Here Maps displays a directional arrow and a cone that tell you which direction to go in.

The Windows 8.1 Update

There are a lot of new exciting things that have come with the Windows 8.1 update. The one feature sure to please Android users is the swipe-down notification screen that’s hard not to get used to. Another would be the voice assistant Cortana, which is still in the beta stage and yet to reach India. Considering it has incorporated the best of Siri and Google Now, it would definitely keep potential Lumia buyers waiting.

Product: Nokia Lumia 925
Price: Rs. 24,000 (On the date of publishing)