I chose Windows Phone
On the lookout for a new smartphone
We've all been there. That glorious time when we're out on the market, looking for a flashy, new smartphone to replace our hugely outdated device. It's a time of joy, excitement and discovery! But even in a saturated and booming market, such as the smartphone one, it's quite surprising how finding what's best for you may prove to be so difficult. My personal experience from a few weeks ago was particularly challenging.
Let me give you some background first.
I'm a long-time iPhone user who recently decided that the moment has come to move on to a more “flexible” and “open” experience. Naturally, there's only one mobile OS that comes to mind in such a case nowadays - Android. Having gotten used to the 'it just works' type of user experience with my iPhone, though, I didn't simply want an Android device. I wanted a high-end, polished product that aimed to deliver a feature-rich, yet streamlined package, so that's why I didn't waste much time choosing and went straight for the Samsung Galaxy S4. After all, how could you go wrong with one of the very best Android handsets out there? The Galaxy S4 has a super high-res screen, awesome camera, future-proof processor... I've made a true no-compromise decision, right? Well, it turns out I was wrong, and while I'm absolutely not trying to convince anyone that the Galaxy S4 isn't a good product, I'll just speak my mind as to why I decided to change it for a seemingly inferior smartphone. And boy am I happy I did so.
Defaulting to Android - not always a good idea
It turned out that the Samsung Galaxy S4, as powerful as it is, is actually the exact opposite of what I needed. Crammed with all kinds of features and options, this is a smartphone that is a jack of all trades, but master of none. While it can run the heaviest 3D games out there, its homescreen UI often stutters. While there are more than five ways to dial a contact, the phonebook itself is a mess. Battery life is also spectacularly short, despite my relatively modest needs. And, of course, while the screen is very big... the phone itself is also very big (just like any other Android flagship), which is definitely not a plus. Encased within a few thin pieces of plastic and full of UI inconsistencies, I realized that there's not much for me in the GS4 beyond its status of a cutting-edge device, which is why I made the decision to jump the Android ship about a month after I got on board. The ability to play various 3D games or install hundreds and hundreds of apps wasn't enough to keep me there, because I rarely took advantage of it.
But where to? “I should probably go back to my iPhone and hope that Apple's going to shake things up with iOS 7 and the next iPhone.” Such was my thinking back then, but then iOS 7 came along and I was somewhat disappointed by the new design direction and the lack of new jaw-dropping features. The redesign was obviously the thing Apple hoped to wow us with, but for me, it didn't work. My anticipation for Apple's upcoming smartphone software was quickly drowned in generic-looking icons and buttons that didn't look like buttons. Oh dear, I needed a new smartphone, but didn't have an idea which way to go.
Embracing Windows Phone
Even though Windows Phone is fairly easy to use, there is some learning curve with this platform, as it strives to do a lot of things differently. Once you get the hang of it, though, and personalize your homescreen so that it caters to your personal preferences, most everything can be accomplished quickly and easily.
Of course, when considering a purchase of a Windows Phone device, Nokia was the only logical decision for me, due to their commitment to the platform and arguably superior hardware, compared to the other WP vendors. In my opinion, the Lumia phones are great-looking products, and thanks to robust services like Here Maps, Here Drive, Nokia Music and some others, they are actually very decent packages that leave few gaps in terms of core functionality. That's why I decided to make what was probably my boldest move in the smartphone world yet and go for a Nokia Lumia 720. I decided to pick this mid-range handset because I liked the size and its overall great price-quality ratio. I don't regret this move one bit. Sure, the Windows Phone Marketplace looks pretty barren, but for a user that mostly sticks to basic apps like a versatile calendar, email and YouTube, it has everything needed.
I truly enjoy my Windows Phone experience with the Lumia 720 because it allows me to have things like appointments, weather and contacts accessible directly from the homescreen, in a way that doesn't compromise consistency and design. Everything works like a well-oiled machine, and while one cannot really go as deeply as with Android, the beauty of WP is that you rarely need to, because Microsoft has already taken care of the important things. For example, I don't need to go and look for a third-party QWERTY keyboard (there aren't any, of course), because the stock one is outstanding.
As I said, Windows Phone seems to be taking the middle ground between iOS and Android. It's neither too closed, nor too open. That in itself doesn't make it the perfect OS, of course, as there's still much to be done, but it shapes up as a great fit for those users who desire a bit more freedom than what their iPhones offer, but who also aren't willing to go all the way to an open platform that requires the user to “manage” every single aspect of the platform to have a satisfying experience.
At the end of the day, I have discovered that there's nothing to fear in having a Windows Phone as your primary handset, as long as you aren't doing stuff that's not yet available for the platform, which includes some popular social apps, or many of the high-profile games that are yet to grace the Marketplace. But, just in case those things aren't on your must-have features list, Windows Phone, as found on a quality Nokia Lumia device, has proven that it can offer a compelling and worry-free experience, and that's very promising, because the platform's app store is only expected to grow with time.
42. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
Or, you can view this article in a different way.
"I want fanboy wars to start so that the website traffic comes in."
113. htc_evo_3d (Posts: 84; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)
i see this PA becoming as an advertiser for WP phones recently.
184. whysoserious (Posts: 311; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
I somewhat agree. One of his reason to not liking S4 is its being "the jack of all trades, but master to none," but Lumia 720?!? WTF? It's like replacing a 700 horsepower well-balanced supercar with a 90 horsepower well-balanced mini cooper. I mean, I would totally agree with him switching to Nokia if he would choose Lumia 1020, but Lumia 720 over Galaxy S4?! GTFOH Ray.
187. -box- (Posts: 3536; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
What's the point of owning a "supercar" if you never use its capabilities? It's solely bragging rights at that point, and severely wasteful. A Mini works better in the city than a supercar, just as a truck works better on a farm than a supercar. A supercar only really "works" well on an expansive, sparse highway or racetrack, thus, not for everyone, just as a truck or being on a farm, or a Mini or being in a crowded major city is not for everyone.
190. whysoserious (Posts: 311; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
Well it's not like the S4's capabilities are unuseful like supercars on farm or city. My point is, why buy a supercar in the first place when you gonna settle into something so inferior when you get tired of it? If he enjoys WP that much, why not try the 920 or the 1020 as an alternative instead?
216. Mittal (Posts: 425; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
probably coz he doesnt want all that bulk of a camera and is getting a fluid enough interface at 40% of the cost
223. DKJnr (Posts: 22; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)
I think you are missing the point. He seems to say that lower spec'd WP phone (Lumia in this case) works just as fluidly as a flagship Android and in his opinion better. My only hold back with article is for SGS4 he discredits it for stuttering especially on heavy games yet for Lumia 720 praises it for meeting his basic needs: email, calendar etc. I think that's unfair - he should compare both hadsets at same level even if he qualifies that as (i'm paraphrasin) doing the basics right & "fluidly" at a much lower price point.
245. emljmnz (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Jul 2013)
I don't think he said that the SGS4 stutters when he on heavy games (he says he rarely does); I think he said occassional stuttering. And his complaint is that the core functions of a smartphone were forgotten by SGS4, or should I say not well executed by SGS4.
221. descabar (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Jul 2013)
Says the guy with username "htc_evo_3d" and a picture of the phone.
242. JojoGo101 (Posts: 211; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)
He made a choice, may his reasons be biased or not, neither of you fanboys are PA's Staff. If you don't like it, just don't read articles on PA anymore.
126. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 944; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
Every Android lovin' dog is in howling mode now ;o)
143. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 944; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
40+ thumbs up for posting that dumb one liner? I seriously doubt it...
224. bloodline (Posts: 685; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
what you chatting about. The article was garabage and many agree. This is just my opinion and yet PA still send me a warning about trolling.
176. shy2papa (Posts: 192; Member since: 23 Jan 2010)
Garbage indeed Breaking News MS now owns PA
179. papss (Posts: 2870; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Right after one bloggers opinion that must be true.. Go back to whatever dream world you live in
14. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
It simply shows you dont respect other people's decisions.
Some of my friends and me too switched to Windows Phone. If things dont work out the way you expected, ADAPT and change, unless there is something crucial to you missing.
The same thing applied when i transitioned from windows 7 to windows 8 for computers and laptops. No start button? Stop using it then. Within a week i dont even miss that button anymore because i changed my methods of navigating and opening programs in a computer.
43. rd_nest (Posts: 543; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
Why should you adapt to a device? You pay and then you adapt to a device? The device should adapt to you. You are not slave of the machine. The machine is your slave.
I guess that's why WP is unpopular. You have to 'learn' and 'adapt' to the system. Nobody has that time and patience. Actually nobody should ever do that.
Notification center, many basic apps, 'huge' battery life is non-existent in WP. These are kind of fundamental issues till this point.
50. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
"Nobody has that time and patience"
That is a poor excuse. Even animals can learn to adapt to a different environment, you as a human are telling me you cant adapt to something new, then i really have no comments. Life is about learning something new regularly regardless of age.
175. rd_nest (Posts: 543; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
Excuse? What excuse? It's the excuses from WP/Nokia trolls that we see here. I don't have to invent excuse for lacklustre performance of WP7/8. If I don't like WP, that means WP doesn't appeal to me. It's MS/Nokia's mistake that they can't make the package good enough for my use. If I don't like something, why should I waste time and effort on that? It's not as if my life is going to end if I don't use WP. I feel WP is not good for me, I simply don't use it. It's not my mistake that I find it lacking in apps and features. it's mistake of Nokia/MS that they don't have a value proposition which is good enough for my use. Can I find an app like Tasker in WP? Does it provide me the freedom to modify themes or every possible setting of the system? If this is not something WP can do, what's the point of using it? Do you deliberately want me to change to much inferior product?
Here's a realty check for you guys - it has been around 3 years since WP7 was launched. Yet, it failed to gain much market share.
Maybe, MS is doing something wrong. Else, why WP is failing so bad? You need to invent a lot of excuses for that. I don't need to invent many excuses to use a N4.
180. papss (Posts: 2870; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
No the reality is that you care enough about WP that you wrote this ridiculous rant about why YOU think it's failing.. My opinion is that it's not failing but that its not as large as your my space OS
214. rd_nest (Posts: 543; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
Reality is that you are making excuses.
WP is a fail - it's not my opinion. It's a proven FACT.
217. Mittal (Posts: 425; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
lol @ u
WP might not be the greatest
but is certainly not failing
51. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
So you buy any phone, except WP, and it adapts to you instantly??
55. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
When you use something new, you need to learn first, regardless of what OS it is. The first time you touched a computer as a kid, the first time you owned an iPhone or an android phone, you have to go through a process called learning and adapting to it. What rd_nest said are simply poor excuses.
And the problem with most adults nowadays (compared to kids, teens, and young adults), they are lazy to learn using "no time" and "work" as an excuse. You are already convincing yourself you dont have time, then how to do you some free time for yourself?
If you dont like it because it is lacking the features you want, that is fine. But if you dislike it because it is different from others and a "pain in the arse" to learn, then you are just making excuses.
63. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
My comment was for rd_nest actually, lol!
65. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
Im well aware of that, im also replying to him.
53. Dunknown (Posts: 80; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)
What an old fashion way of thinking. You really have to step out from ur room men. Humans need to adapt to the changes in the surrounding in order to be innovative. Without adapting to Change why not u just stick to ur old phone. U don't have to get a phone with those special features.
86. Jamreal (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)
So why does Samsung put all those new features in the phones if people are not going to adapt to them?
89. haseebzahid (Posts: 1762; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
lol so you follow same old thing but dont want to adopt to new stuff and you call urself free, by the words u saying ur slave to old ways and dont want to be slaved by nnew ways If we put it your logic. are you seriously that dumb or angry that why wp8 came to existance
normal people take it as a new and more option in market, guys like you think "ow thats outragous we cant change"
110. jopancy (Posts: 55; Member since: 25 Apr 2012)
I just had to respond to your comment:
"Nobody has that time and patience. Actually nobody should ever do that"
If you have no patience for a thing, it is not worth your time. if it isn't worth your time it's useless.
Your reason just reveal you are either lazy or very unintelligent.
125. Dastrix (Posts: 505; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
This just got me, and I just had to reply. I'm speechless. From a broader standpoint, by your logic, society should adapt to you. You are not a slave of society. Society is your slave. O_O
Never before have I seen a statement so devoid of logic that it's actually borderline paranoia. People function according to society. Society dictates how you behave and interact with others. You mean to say that you dictate how society works? Society dictates how you work. It is reflected in everything you do because you adhere to society. If it were the other way round, as expressed by your opinion, the whole world would just be unstable.
You adapt and embrace technology and innovations in a similar way. Innovations are brought about by hard-working people adapting to the needs of society. With your viewpoint, the world will just be devoid of any technology.
219. Mittal (Posts: 425; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)
u sound right in correcting him. But yur strong opposite sentiment that the society is master and that we must adhere to it is also lame. There could be some evil/unjust practices in the society that will need to be changed.
That is what most revolutions have targetted in the past
238. Dastrix (Posts: 505; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
I was referring to society in general. Sorry for the lack of precision. It can actually swing both ways. They're generally for the best intentions, although some revolutions were intended for the sole interest of particular societal groups, but I do understand your point.
137. jeck77 (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)
What device do you own that "adapts" to what you want when you want it? No smartphone on earth can do that, because it's a machine, a computer, it has no human emotions or feelings, thus cannot anticipate what you want when you want it. It can only do it's best, which is never "adapting", just "attempting". This isn't a sci-fi movie, this is reality.
159. ianbbaa (Posts: 177; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)
you personally did not adapted to any device...you just born and used android, you also born with root in mind, your first word was not "mama" but "cyanogenmod"...
..you probably never read owners manuals for other in house devices, nor for phones...
..you are lucky guy, all devices adapting to you...
If you come to new system, better one, you will learn it so what for s***t you are writing abt...you know WP just from reading of other kids like you, nevver used it before. I am android user, but these comments about WP make me laugh :) ..i ll switch to WP soon, so bye bye forums about rooting, flashing - customizing! Then will be my WP device my slave, just make a call and it will make a call...
202. scottae316 (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
I am sure that you never had to adapt to your Android UI? Please...
251. Sonjoy (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)
rd_nest , who said 'huge' battery life is non-existent in Wp. JUst tell me have you ever used a WP*, if you have used it you would know that the WP Runs really like a well oiled machine, and has a huge battery life. If you have never used a Wp phone dont spread rumours like you did in your above comment.
In case you havent noticed, 90% of basic apps are there on WP, WP only needs a dual core to run its OS smoothly, not like GS4, where even with Octa-Core processor there is "OCCASIONAL STUTTERING". Whats the point of such a phone....
Many are having this idea that the WP OS is very light , that is why it only needs dual core. Let me Inform you that WP OS covers 2 GB of phone's memory.
49. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2957; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Your bloodline just ran thin!!
You would cry "Yay", "good choice", "you did good", "good job Ray" if the article was "I chose Android" won't you???
There's such thing as choice and option...and Ray has his freedom to.
He isn't telling everyone to GO for WP...he's explaining why he chose WP. PERIOD!
104. SuperMaoriBro (Posts: 149; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)
I have a galaxy S4. I absolutely love it. Im a fan of samsung but not a fanboy. I just appreciate great tech regardless of who makes it. nokia 1020 offers some compelling features. If nokia bring out a 5+" 1080p amoled device with 41mp camera I'd happily switch camp. Id also be tempted to try wp if ms ever do get round to converging the one os to run on every device. Ps fanboyism is retarded. Defend your mates, defend your family, defend the weak and innocent. these I get. But why would anyone have a need to defend a company who only care about your money?
132. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
just a paid article by Microsoft who gives all our data to any gov that asks with passion ...
163. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
butthurt when somebody prefers wp over android? pathetic kiddo.
142. Commentator (Posts: 2083; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
"At the end of the day, I have discovered that there's nothing to fear in having a Windows Phone as your primary handset, as long as you aren't doing stuff that's not yet available for the platform..."
Nominee for "Most Obvious Statement of the Century."
Also, this guy is an editor on a PHONE REVIEW WEBSITE, yet he ditches Android after trying ONE PHONE? Granted, if you've ever read any of Ray's reviews, you'd think that the GS4 (and any other Samsung phone) is the only Android handset on the planet. Also, the fact that he only realized this stuff "as time went by" is VERY disconcerting: how are we supposed to trust a PHONE REVIEW WEBSITE if their reviewers give reviews on products immediately, and their opinion drastically changes over time? I know we (as the consumer) demand timely reviews, and there's really nothing you can do to fix this, but it really doesn't help when an editor COMES OUT AND ADMITS IT. Keep it to yourself, at least the illusion of authority and objectivity will still exist.
I guess I'll never trust another Ray S. review.
148. Topcat488 (Posts: 974; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)
He only recently became a Windows Phone "Nokia" fan... Before it was all Apple, but i agree with you, considering his influence over people as a writer, he should keep his personal choice under rap.
181. papss (Posts: 2870; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Why should he keep his opinion to himself when almost all other bloggers on this site jab at WP when they get the chance? Oh right, it's okay the other way around
188. -box- (Posts: 3536; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I was about to give you a thumbs up, then you finished your comment with a ludicrous statement. The modus operandi of a blogger is to share their opinions with the internet.
164. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
well..Ray S. was known for being Nokia hater and bashing Nokia/ms when he could. Maybe he grow up and gave windows a chance. If he's happy with his choice, why bashing him? It serves him well, so you can shovel your android up your fanboy's as%
231. buccob (Posts: 964; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)
It is called Stockholm syndrome...
After you are private from your freedom... you become attached to the kidnappers or OS prison...
264. Altair (Posts: 278; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
It is something people like you will never understand. Luckily there are people who doesn't have pipevision or brainwashed mind.
3. yowanvista (Posts: 273; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Was this somewhat sponsored by MSFT? You're doing it wrong if you encountered technical issues with Android.
24. tech2 (Posts: 1118; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
OMG what a load of crap this article is ?!?
1. 'but I rarely play games, watch full-length movies, or use other heavy-duty apps on them' - If those are your requirements then why aim for flagship phone such as S4. You would've saved few pounds if you'd gone with a midrange or even a Nexus.
2. 'Battery life is also spectacularly short, despite my relatively modest needs' - GSM arena's battery test results: Overall, Lumia 720 got 60 hrs and GS4 got 69 hrs. Considering you use your phone for calls as you are not much interested in gaming the call battery life results are 15.17 hrs Lumia and 18.03 hrs for GS4.
3. 'Encased within a few thin pieces of plastic' - Didn't you know that before buying GS4 ?
4. 'this is a smartphone that is a jack of all trades, but master of none' - Could there be such a thing as Master in particular area with regards to smartphone world these days? Still, GS4 is arguably the best in day light photography (except the almight 808 ofcourse). Smallest chassis for a 5 inch display. Removable & support for Micro SD. blah blah blah....the list goes on......The phase I believe you were looking for is 'everything but kitchen sink' ! BTW, in what department Lumia 720 masters in ?
46. jedpatrickdatu (Posts: 145; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
He does admit that he shouldn't have gone straight to Android without really knowing his needs.
His main point is not that the GS4 is a bad phone, but that complicated, super-specced droids aren't for light users like him. Android may offer plenty of choices, but choices aren't for everyone and can lead to confusion and discomfort to non-hardcore tech geeks.
100. sorcio46 (Posts: 392; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
There are devices for every needs in the Android ecosystem, like a Nexus 4 or an Xperia T if you want an high end but not big device.
265. Altair (Posts: 278; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Assuming someone still bothers with those "another row of retro icons". Android is just a stolen product. Every user pays license fees for MS
WP community thanks for your money mr. Android fan! ;)
109. tech2 (Posts: 1118; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
How on earth he can't know what he is getting into ? He is a reviewer for God sake. How can a reviewer not know what device he has bought ?
P.S. BOTH GS4 & LUMIA 720 ARE REVIEWED BY HIM ON PHONEARENA !
127. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 944; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
Maybe Ray S. was simply dismayed at finding out that a backdoor trojan "key" exists for Android, and that every device using that crappy OS can now be hacked at random. Also, what you open source fools fail to take into account is that Google is just as likely to be working with government to breach your privacy as is Microsoft. Truth of the matter is that Android is really a malware infested backdoor nightmare that is being portrayed as something more profound than it really is...
266. Altair (Posts: 278; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)
Offcourse they are both reviewed by him because he owns them! Most Android trolls likes to troll items they never even saw in real.