So I’ve finally got around to playing with a Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 920 to be exact. < Yay for me! > I know, I know I should have been checking these things out earlier but hey running a blog with only 2 contributors (Ben Abel and Jay Kenobi) is a lot of work, plus we only do this in our spare hours. By the way if you’re interesting guest posting let me know! Anyways I ramble. Now onto the review.
So my initial thoughts and feeling about switching to a Windows Phone 8 system were many and varied. If you’ve been using one mobile operating system (OS) such as Android, iOS, or BlackBerry for some time it definitely takes the brain a while to get accustomed to the new functionality.
What I like about the Nokia Lumia 920
- The phone itself is nice and has a good feel to it. I like the size and find it good for texting. In other words my fingers are able to press the keys and were able to hit the correct letters 9 times out of 10.
- The camera: It claims to have Carl Zeiss optics however on closer inspection there really isn’t much in the way of optics to speak of. The camera however does take amazing photos for a mobile device. The videos are also great. If you want to see all the specifications check out the Nokia site.
- The touch screen is very reactive. No problems here. Also I noticed the screen is hard to get dirty. There must be a special coating on it that resists fingerprints etc.
- The three buttons on the front (back, Windows home screen, and search) These got me around quickly and easily.
What I didn’t like about the Nokia Lumia 920
I’m still not sure that I like the way the phone is constructed. It seems like the screen is pasted onto the front of the phone, it doesn’t seem like it’s unified on the engineering side of things. Check out the HTC One or most Apple devices and you’ll see what I mean.
- The phone seems a bit blocky to me. Perhaps it needs some refinements in shape.
What I like about Windows Phone 8 (OS)
- Live tiles. I love the fact that you can rearrange and change the size of the tiles at will. The live data is really great but I can see that developers are still not playing up this feature as much as they could.
- Ease of use. It’s just easy to find what you want and with the latest release of the OS you can click a letter to go quickly to “S” where the Settings feature lives or “G” where the Games feature is.
- Holding down the back button to see all the open Windows / Apps at a glance. This is the way multitasking should work on a mobile device.
- The search button. I like the fact that you can search quickly from the search button. I like the quick suggestions and the auto correct features here.
What I didn’t like about Windows Phone 8 (OS)
- I still think that system applications and settings and downloaded apps should be separated somehow on the secondary screen. It would make it a lot easier to navigate.
- The search button is tied into Bing. This is understandable from the Microsoft perspective since the company is trying to promote it’s own search engine. It’s fine to make Bing the default but seriously Microsoft give people a way to change the option to Google! Note there is a Google app download available which works quite well so not totally a big deal.
- WiFi options should be easier to access. I don’t want to go into Settings every time I want to connect. It would be nice if there was a quick launch for this feature.
- It would be nice if you could kill running applications from the multitasking screen!
If you’re already tied into Microsoft desktop products such as Windows 7 or 8 it will probably make sense to go with the Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920 specifically. This is a great device overall and a lot of fun to use as well. If you run a business with Microsoft Exchange server as back end then going with the Windows Phone 8 just makes sense. It’s a complete end to end ecosystem and what with BlackBerry faltering the decision to go with this platform is even easier.