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Nokia Lumia 625: hands-on preview

Finnish smartphone manufacturer Nokia revealed its latest handset, the Lumia 625, (opens in new tab)at a special event in London earlier today, and we duly ankled along to get our paws on the new Windows Phone 8 (opens in new tab)smartphone.

The Lumia 625 is the successor to the Lumia 620 (opens in new tab), but despite bearing a similar moniker, it's a very different beast. Perhaps most notably, the new handset boasts the largest display Nokia has ever slapped on one of its smartphones - a 4.7in IPS LCD screen that offers a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, or about 198ppi. It might not shatter any retinas, but many will appreciate the additional space.

But the real appeal of the Lumia 625 lies in its combination of 4G LTE support and a relative pauper's price tag. Sitting somewhere between a budget handset and a mid-range smartphone, Nokia said that the new addition to the Lumia family - likely the last of 2013 - will be one of the cheapest 4G-ready handsets on the UK market at £200. The Finnish firm confirmed that the Lumia 625 will arrive on EE, Vodafone and O2 - as well as being sold by Phones 4u and Carphone Warehouse - when it releases in early-September.

With regards to internals, the Lumia 625 packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.2GHz and complemented by 512GB of RAM. Elsewhere, there's 8GB of on-board storage, which users will be able to cheaply and easily augment via a microSD card slot on the side. The Lumia 625 measures 133.25 x 72.25 x 9.15mm and weighs 159g - not the slimmest or the lightest smartphone we've ever handled, but it didn't feel overly taxing in the flesh.

On the rear, the Lumia 625 offers a 5-megapixel camera, while the phone's front-side snapper is VGA quality. It packs a (non-removable) 2,000mAh battery and, as well as the aforementioned card slot, features basic controls on the right-hand side of the device. There's a microUSB port on the bottom for charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top to accommodate your musical needs.

Typical of the Lumia range, the 625 comes available in a range of bold colours, including orange, yellow, green, white and black. It offers changeable shells that may appeal to fashion-forward smartphone users, and Nokia was keen to talk up the handset's semi-transparent design as unique selling point.

All things considered, the Lumia 625 looks like an attractive device for budget-conscious buyers. It may not feature cutting-edge hardware - and Windows Phone 8 still has its work cut out for it catching up to Android and iOS in terms of app availability - but at this highly-competitive a price point, there are always likely to be trade-offs. The Lumia 625 has enough going for it, specifically with regards to its 4G LTE connectivity, to put it on your short list if you don't want to break the bank but still want a capable handset with an expansive display. Stay tuned, as we'll be putting the Lumia 625 through its paces in full in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you're interested in the Lumia range you may also want to consider Nokia's other recently released handsets: the Lumia 1020 sports a 41-megapixel camera (opens in new tab), while our review of the Lumia 925 (opens in new tab)revealed a device with a number of compelling features.

James is a freelance editor, journalist, and writer with 10+ years experience in digital media, SEO and news writing. He has produced content on a number of Future sites, including TechRadar, ITProPortal, Tom's Guide, and T3, and was Senior Staff Writer at ITProPortal.