I took receipt of a shiny new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7 yesterday and thought it would be worthwhile blogging about the pros/cons so far, including some tips for anybody in the same boat.
Before I start, I should state where I’m coming from; I use predominantly with Microsoft products and services at home and at work but was fairly happy with my iPhones – 3G, 3GS and then most recently iPhone 4. I also have an iPad 2 which is great but serves a different purpose. However… whilst the iPhone 3G was definitely the best of breed, each iteration has only offered minimal progress; no game-changing user experience just plodding along adding some shiny features here and there. Which may be fine for most people, but just making something faster with higher resolution and a better camera is evolutionary rather than revolutionary (I’ve not tried Siri..). The user-centric Windows Phone 7 Mango variant had/has the potential to really shake things up. I’m also excited at the possibility of writing apps, but deep down I know this may never happen unless I really dedicate some time for it – I’ve been here before (Orange SPV anybody?!) – at least I have Silverlight development experience which should speed things up if an opportunity does crop up.
I was also encouraged by Andrew Woodward’s blog (thanks mate! ) and various people I met at the most recent SharePoint Saturday UK who had taken the plunge. So, whilst I am usually biased in favour of Microsoft all other things being equal, and despise some of the Apple business practices and software (iTunes!!!) and I really want to love my new phone, I am also picky hence the honest pros and cons below:
- The User Interface is beautiful and smooth. Really refreshing and easy to use.
- The glass (maybe it’s the slight curve) actually seems much thinner than that on an iPhone – almost Kindle-like in that the text appears to actually be on the surface of the phone (rather than beneath a thick panel of glass)
- The handset itself – comfortable to hold, unlike any other phone, has a premium feel to it. Complete contrast to iPhone 4 which is a lot heavier and needs some kind of case so it doesn’t slip out of your hand
- Reliability of the signal – my iPhone 4 and my wife’s 3GS drop the connection all the time in our house, but Nokia has years of experience in this area and trumps the iPhone (also the Lumia’s Bluetooth amazingly picked up my laptop in a different room through brick walls…)
- People integration including linking contacts from different sources e.g. Facebook, address book, email – it is so easy to combine accounts and use whatever contact means you like. This also goes for duplicate contacts – easy to clean up your address book (e.g. one or two contacts still capitalised from ye olden days where mobiles were black and white and CAPS ONLY..!)
- Facebook integration e.g. photos of friends appear integrated into the OS so you can easily use any photo you like of them for their profile
- Standard connectivity cable (Micro USB) – no need to carry around any proprietary cables
- Zune Pass! Microsoft’s answer to Spotify (well actually maybe MSFT was first..) – love this; basically subscription-based music
- Not quite a retina display as seen on the iPhone 4 and 4S – I am comfortable reading small text on the iPhone due to the very high resolution, but need to zoom in a little more on the Nokia. Not a major problem and I’m pretty used to it already.
- Battery life – obviously day 1 of a new phone isn’t typical use but I had to charge it before the day was out. Today seems fine; I did configure my email accounts to “manual” which appears to help a lot. Apparently Nokia are working on an update which will improve battery life, but I can’t recall an iPhone release where this wasn’t also the case – I am sure that it will improve.
.. I really think that’s it! Here are the apps I installed on day one:
- Endomondo Sports Tracker
- ESPN Goals
- My Trips
- Pictures Lab
- xmbc remote
I couldn’t find a guide that worked for me migrating contacts from my iPhone so I will post another blog about that…
Comments welcome below.