While the camera, specifications and performance might well be good reasons to buy the new Nokia Lumia 925, we suspect that most people will choose it for a far simpler, instinctive reason.
It looks amazing.
Sawa Tanaka and Heikki Kangasmaa, were the lead designers on the phone, with Sawa specialising in colours and materials, and Heikki in industrial design. They told Conversations more about where the Lumia 925’s stunning good looks came from.
“The target for this device was to create truly desirable smartphone. The main body is gently curved, or ‘pillowed’. The front glass, metal body and polycarbonate back creates the thinness of the device, while feeling great in the hand, ” says Heikki.
Most crucially, Nokia’s design approach is not about making the phone pretty. “At Nokia, it’s about meaningful design, never just decoration,” adds Sawa.
Not so heavy metal
“We haven’t used metal before in the Nokia Lumia family,” says Sawa. “But it has a quality feel and is perceived by many as a precious material. Historically, it was a hindrance to radio functionality, so we always had to add plastic components anyway. And that spoiled the ‘unibody’ approach we’ve developed for Lumia, creating split lines and breaks in the surface of the material.”
But technology and manufacturing processes move forward and become more sophisticated. What used to be problems, now become opportunities.
In the case of the Lumia 925, the aluminium frame contains the antennae.
Sawa continues: “The metal frame wasn’t something that was added for the sake of it looking good. It lends robustness and torsional strength to the thin body and contains the antennae for the radio. So then it was about how we can give that the most natural and unified expression.”
“One of the main aims for the Lumia 925 was thinness,” says Heikki. And the metal actually helps with that by adding strength to the frame without too much weight. The whole thing weighs just a little over 130 grams.
Advanced manufacturing techniques allow the plastic material and the aluminium frame to be fused together. There’s no way it can come off and the transition between metal and plastic is “extremely smooth,” says Sawa.
No need to shout
The metal band is a part of what makes the Lumia 925 look so sophisticated. Another part is the deliberately toned-down colour palette.
“The polycarbonate colours are deliberately muted to match the hue of the metal,” says Sawa. “The white, grey and black are natural and bring a unified look to the whole range.”
Heikki says, “sophisticated neutrals would be a good description of the colour palette.” He adds, though, that colour remains a key focus for Nokia, and that those who need more of it on a Nokia Lumia 925 will be able to add that colour through accessories like the Wireless Charging covers.