I finally decided to go ahead with the Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 device rather than waiting on the Samsung Ativ S. No word out of AT&T about the Ativ S, and it was just announced on Rogers in Canada and still does not have LTE (kind of a show stopper for me).
So far I like it even better than I thought I would. Most reviewers either call it a pig for size and weight or say “it’s not that bad.” Really the weight is not nearly as noticeable as I feared. The design fits great in the hand and the weight does not seem out of proportion. After getting used to the super light weight of the Samsung Captivate, Motorola Atrix 4G, and most recently the Samsung Focus S it was disconcerting to think about a phone that weighs 30+% more. However, today it was easily forgotten.
Recently I’ve also seen reviews about how Microsoft “missed the mark” and “it’s too late to compete with iOS and Android” or “strike 3…”. Have these reviewers actually used Windows Phone 8? These are the key points about Windows Phone and Windows Phone 8 from my experience (with a few counterpoints to those uninformed reviews):
- Lack of app support? – What can’t be done? There not 30,000 bikini weather apps with different background colors – but who cares? The difference between 200,000 and 1,000,000 apps is academic to me. Can it do what I need to do? Obviously since I’m over 40 the importance of everything being an app escapes me sometimes, but Windows Phone 8 has support for 46 of the top 50 apps on the other platforms. More importantly, name something that can’t be done on a Windows Phone that the other platforms can do (even if it doesn’t have the same app name).
- Camera – even Windows Phone haters can’t argue with the Nokia Lumia 920 camera. It is unbelievable until you try it for yourself, especially in low light situations.
- Hardware specs – Only dual-core processors… because Windows Phone 8 as an OS doesn’t need a quad-core processor. This OS is smooth and fluid, even downright snappy on a dual-core processor. Isn’t that a plus rather than a negative?
- Back Button – At least Android has a back button. I really like my iPad, but in the quest for this super simple elegant minimalist whatever design the iPad/iPod/iPhone can only have one button – why? To go back one has to double click the button, figure out which app is back, and touch it. Not horrible, but wasted steps every time you jump to Safari from your news reader or email. Minimalist design, but not minimalist interaction. With Windows Phone it stores a whole lot of back arrows across multiple apps. Very convenient and intuitive. One reviewer even complained about using the back button to get out of a nested menu – seriously? How simple can it be?
- Adjustable Font Size – If you are under 40 you probably don’t care about this, but the new Settings > Ease of Access > Text Size is the coolest new feature of Windows Phone 8 to me. Sets the min font size in the Phone, People, Email, and Messaging apps. At least I can send a quick text without my reading glasses.
- Voice Recognition – seems to be becoming old hat. I don’t want to talk to my phone very often, but sending a text to a contact by voice is now cross platform and seems to work great so far in Window Phone 8.
- Nokia Music – free music streaming, like Pandora or something like that but built in
- Skype – again, almost old hat, but this may be the killer app over the next 5 years. Apple has iMessage and FaceTime, Google has Google Voice and Google Chat, and Microsoft has Skype. All these technologies have been acquired over the last 5 years because someone is mapping out the long term future of communications. FaceTime is Apple only, Google Voice is good on Android and iOS, but limited elsewhere, and Skype already had gobs of users even before the Microsoft purchase and is truly cross platform – even in your smart TV.
- Social media – Facebook and Twitter – Integrated
From a Blackberry to two versions of iPhone to two Android phones to Windows Phone 7 then 8, consider me a very pleased Windows Phone 8 user.