The partership between Nokia and Windows Phone hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. But it has produced some sharp phones in the Lumia series. Their most distinctive feature? That would probably be their colorful polycarbonate designs. But you can kiss that goodbye, at least for now. Nokia’s new Lumia 925 is all aluminum – maybe taking a cue or three from the iPhone 5 and HTC One.

Nokia is pitching the Lumia 925’s camera as its killer feature, but the real story here – apart from the aluminum build – might be how much lighter and thinner it is than past Lumias. The 925 is about 25 percent lighter and 21 percent thinner than the Lumia 920.

The 925 still isn’t setting any records in those departments, but it’s quite an improvement over the beefy Lumias we’ve grown accustomed to.

Hardware

Once you get past the new exterior, we’re looking at familiar territory here. It still has a 4.5-inch, 1280 x 768 display. Those aren’t bad numbers, but don’t compete with the terrific 1080p displays on new phones like the One and Galaxy S 4.

The 925 also packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage. Like its predecessors, it’s also an LTE affair.

As for that camera that Nokia wants you to drool over, we're looking at an 8.7-megapixel rear shooter. Nokia says that its "PureView" tech, along with "the most advanced" lens technology and "next generation" imaging software will take better pictures – including in low light. We'd take these claims with grains of salt, until we get our hands on a unit and compare it to other high-end smartphone cameras.

Software and availability

Hardware improvements are nice, but the Lumia series’ biggest problem has been the still-limited app selection on Windows Phone. Microsoft can’t do much about that on its own, but it is pushing out a new update that adds a few new features.

The Lumia 925 will get the new version of Windows Phone 8, that features “a small number” of improvements. Most notable is the return of FM radio, wider availability of Data Sense (it helps you track your data use), and some Xbox Music improvements. You can also add a standard bag of "small quality improvements."

The Lumia 925 will be launching in June in several European countries and China. The US (where it will be a T-Mobile exclusive) and “a number of other markets” will follow sometime after that.

Sources: Nokia [1] [2], Microsoft