Nokia Lumia 925: hands-on preview

Nokia unveiled its latest flagship handset, the Lumia 925, at a special event in London, alongside a new mid-range device, the Lumia 928. We bunkered down to bring you live coverage of of the Nokia Lumia 925 launch as it happened, and after the main presentation, braved the scrum in the demonstration area to get hands-on with the new smartphone.

Once known obliquely as the 'Catwalk' phone, the Nokia Lumia 925 is essentially a beautified Lumia 920 - and that's scarcely a bad thing. With an all-metal build, it's a slimmed down, sexed up version of its predecessor, measuring 129 x 70.6 x 8.5mm (LWD) and weighing just 139g, where the Lumia 920 measured 10.7mm in girth and tipped the scales to the heftier tune of 185g. Make no mistake: in the Lumia 925, Nokia has a smartphone that's well and truly at home in the age of the super-svelte.

In terms of key specifications, the Lumia 925 sports a 4.5in AMOLED display with a resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels (331ppi) - the same as the Lumia 920. Under the hood, it's also a very similar story, with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, plus 1GB of RAM and a 2,000mAh battery. Needless to say, the operating system in question is still Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, though Nokia is prepping its own OTA update, dubbed Amber, which will feature some native software boosts and arrive in time for the 925's release.

Where the Lumia 925 really does differentiate itself from its predecessor - and its competitors, according to Nokia - is with its suped-up 8.7-megapixel PureView camera. As with previous Lumia devices, it's fitted with a Carl Zeiss lens and features optical image stabilisation, but the big selling point here is its low-light shooting capabilities, which really impressed in a dark room demonstration. There's also some new native imaging software, Nokia Smart Camera, to help on-the-go photographers, and Hipstamatic is branching out into Windows Phone 8 territory with a new app - called Oggl - as well.

Elsewhere, the Lumia 925 will come with 16GB of on-board storage and support wireless charging, though it won't be integrated as with Lumia 920 and 820 - you'll have to slap on a special accessory cover to juice up sans cord. On the top of the phone, there's a headphone jack and microUSB port, as well as a SIM card slot.

The Lumia 925 is set to arrive in June, with Vodafone and O2 lined up as Nokia's UK network partners of choice. It will initially be available in white, black, and silver models. In terms of pricing, the handset is set to retail for €469 before local taxes are applied - around £400 pre-VAT.

That should mean that it's still comfortably below the £500 threshold, making it more affordable than the likes of Apple's iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S4. It's not quite the same kind of all-out futuristic proposition as the latter, perhaps, but there's still a lot to like about Nokia's new flagship.

In particular, the Lumia 925's improved build makes it a joy to hold - as with the HTC One, the brushed aluminium chassis gives it a superb, luxurious hand feel and the rounded edges (and reduced weight) mean it sits comfortably in the palm.

We're looking forward to taking it for a proper spin, so stay tuned for the all-important Lumia 925 review.