I had discussed my deliberations when upgrading my smartphone on whether to switch from Android to Windows Phone. I did, and here is the promised follow-up.
Nokia Lumia 920 Handset
With many excellent in-depth reviews online, there is no need for me to delve deeply here.
- Excellent display, great camera, is fast and responsive. Everything you would expect from a flagship smartphone.
- Not very happy with battery life. I had expected slightly longer life, when using with WiFi & 3G. But the Battery Saver feature is great and alleviates any serious concerns.
- I will not recommend the 920 for anyone with small hands. It can get tough using with one hand and reaching all parts of the screen.
Sample Photos with Lumia 920
Windows Phone 8
I am in love with WP8. The approach to WP8 is fresh and innovative, a completely different experience than both iOS and Android which both feel more alike than different once you switch to WP8. The tile based home screen is thoroughly customizable. The iOS6 interface on my iPad now feels stale. There is no equivalent in iOS/Android of the sizing capability of live tiles. The home screen is prime real estate in any smartphone and the ability to size tiles according to your needs feels like WP8 really values your preferences.
I do not miss a centralized notification center some have discussed. Because I am an atypical smartphone user, I have not missed any apps in WP8. My basic social networking, navigation, kids gaming and other such needs are more than adequately fulfilled.
Outlook.com vs Gmail
I am very happy with Outlook.com. My Gmail has become virtually unusable because 70% of it is intended for other people, that gets delivered to me thanks to Gmail’s policies. I cannot even filter such emails because many of them are from service providers, banks, utilities, etc. that I myself also use. A unique, great feature of Outlook.com is the ability to create aliases. Now, I use a different alias when signing up for new social sites, a different alias for my finance related matters, a different one for online e-commerce and so on. This enhances my overall email management as my “true” email address is almost never shared with any site. If any of these aliases starts receiving spam, it will help me identify the rogue and also help take corrective action easily.
This is the star jewel of the Microsoft ecosystem. It just works smoothly, in the background. I have access to my photos, videos, documents on my phone, desktops & laptop, iPad, etc. anywhere, all the time. Just as an example, the ability to view and update an Excel sheet of some financial estimates while on the road has been a life-saver.
Thanks to being an early adopter, I have 25GB of free SkyDrive space, and have never needed to use DropBox.
I miss Google search on the phone. I am not impressed with Bing search so far. I am not sure if this is because Google knows me for a long time and delivers personalized results that it knows are more relevant to me, something that Bing may eventually do after some time.
I was blown away by Nokia’s maps and turn-by-turn voice navigation in my 2nd-tier city of Pune, India. They’ve worked exceedingly well, every single time, and I think they are actually better than Google Maps.
Moving photos, videos, documents between PCs and my phone has never been easier. SkyDrive fulfills most needs, and even without it, the process of importing or transferring media and documents between PCs and the phone has never been easier.
Apart from Google Search, I am happy with my switch to Windows Phone. So much, that my better half now has a Lumia 620 of her own! But, as I always say, looking for the ‘perfect’ smartphone is like searching for the ‘perfect’ better half. Everyone’s needs are different so what satisfies me may not necessarily be right for you. I hope this post gives an idea of some of strengths and weaknesses of Windows Phone.