Last month, I wrote the article “Smartphone Battle: Apple iPhone 5, Blackberry Z10, HTC One, or Samsung Galaxy S4“, and I was surprised by the great reception. I got feedback all over the world, and someone was asking me why I excluded any latest Windows phones. Interestingly, it didn’t occur to me at the time I wrote the article. (Microsoft should rethink their marketing strategy, LOL) Joking aside, I should really talk about Windows phones, and give my opinion on them.
|Nokia Lumia 920||HTC 8X|
||768 x 1280 (332ppi)||720 x 1280 (342ppi)|
|Storage / Memory
||32GB / 1GB||16GB / 1GB|
|Processor||1.5 GHz Dual core||1.5 GHz Dual core|
|Camera||8.7MP PureView, Carl Zeiss lens, Optical Image Stabilization||8MP with BSI sensor|
|Dimensions||132.35 x 66.2 x 10.12 mm||130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm|
To start, they both are premium phones. As I mentioned in the earlier article, HTC always delivers great design, and the 8X is no exception. Beautiful glass curves at the edge with a matte unibody shell shaped in unique and attractive ways. It fits in hand comfortably; it’s light and feels thin. However, one thing I don’t like about unibody construct, and that is lack of an option to expand storage or replace the battery.
On the other hand, with the Nokia Lumia 920 I think the biggest selling point is the camera. I remember Nokia first introduced a 41MP sensor with PureView imagining technology on the Lumia 808. It was impressive. Even though Lumia 920 doesn’t use the same sensor, with PureView imagining technology it still stands out among other smartphones in the market. The phone feels solid and durable, but it looks a bit bulky and heavy for my taste.
Hardware wise, I think both phones are great. My problem is more on the platform, Windows Phone 8. Maybe I shouldn’t use the word “problem”, it is more like it’s not mature enough. I understand Microsoft is trying to provide an intuitive and simple user experience, but maybe it is too simple. They miss a few key basic features we normally see on other smartphones.
For example, when I click on the search button and start typing, I am expecting it searches throughout my phone, not the internet. And there is no notification center that you can easily see your alerts and preview them. Closing apps is another issue – there is no quick way to do it. In order to close an app, you need to switch to that app and hit the back button until it closes.
Personally, I love Google Navigation, and it comes with Android OS, but Windows Phone 8 doesn’t come with any navigation system. Yes, Microsoft partners with Nokia, and you can download Nokia Drive free from the app store. But it is still an extra step, and I don’t see it as any better than Google Navigation.
However, my biggest concern is the lack of apps. Even though Microsoft is trying to get the number up by offering $100 per app submission by June 30, I don’t know if this is helping the situation or making it worse. You might get 10,000 apps in quickly, but 9,900 of them might be garbage.
Even though I find Windows Phone 8 has missing features, I do like the simplicity of the user interface. A lightweight OS makes the operations quite snappy even with only a dual core processor, which means you can make a phone lighter, and battery life last longer. And if you can’t live without Microsoft Office, then Windows Phone 8 and SkyDrive together give you access to all your files.
If you like simplicity and you don’t need all the bells and whistles, a Windows Phone 8 is perfectly fine. If you use Microsoft Office 365, and like to access them anytime, anywhere, a Windows Phone 8 is a great choice. However, I will need to say no thanks, and stick with an Android phone for now.
There is a rumor that suggests a new major update for Windows Phone will be coming by the end of the year. Hopefully they will at least address the issue I mention above.