Monday, May 4, 2015

My view on Windows Phone 8.1

I recently purchased a Sony Xperia Z2, which was a great phone (on specs) but had so many issues. I had it exchanged every time for a new one for a grand total of ... 6 phones! Each having its own issues.  I'll get into that in a short while. So, I got so fed up with Sony I said that I'm done and I had always wanted a Windows Phone. So I jumped over to the Nokia Lumia 930. Wow... What a spectacular piece of art.

The phone is VERY well built, very fluid and has an awesome camera. One of my biggest issues with the Z2 was the incredibly subpar call and speaker quality on all 6 devices (some worse than others, but in general it was a nightmare). The Lumia 930 has awesome call quality. Everyone could hear me very well, I could hear everyone very well. After 2 months of using the Z2, I actually ENJOYED (to the most of my ability) making calls. The camera is also very good and capable. I don't know if it takes better shots than the Z2, but it takes very good shots, let's just say that. The screen is also very gorgeous.

Now, I don't understand why reviewers said it was chunk, which was NOT the case. The phone is larger than other flagship phones, true, but in all honesty I have no idea why we're obsessing over the thinnest device! I don't want a super thin device. The Z2 was very thin that long typing sessions became a bother...

So, if I had to pick a PHONE. The 930 beats the Z2 HANDS DOWN. Where does Windows Phone 8.1 fall short? Well, in almost everything except for fluidity. I'm not going to talk about the Lumia 930, I'm going to talk about Windows Phone.

I'll mention some very serious shortcomings. None of which have to do with "apps" from their store.

  • Making a calendar appointment that repeats. There's no option to end after X amount, or end at a specific date.
  • Multitasking. I'm in no way a heavy heavy user, but I do like to have things automated, to a point. For example, I was using a file explorer to copy pictures from my phone to Dropbox and the OS killed the application every time the screen turned off or even switched apps. Boy this is a big one... Multitasking is an absolute nightmare. 
  • Sharing multiple pictures is a nightmare. Oh wait,  no... It doesn't even exist! You can't share multiple files from the gallery at the same time. What a shame... 
Pros (mostly OS and not device related, but some will be):
  • Very fluid UI. 
  • Very consistent.
  • Attractive and well thought out home screen with tiles that update and give you information about your app, which many times is more useful than a widget.
  • Screen on both 930 and 1520 were awesome, especially on the 930. On the same devices, the cameras were SUPERB!

After having the 930 for the first time, I decided to buy the LG G3. After the lollipop update, battery life was terrible, very slow in general. So I returned the G3 and stuck with the 930 with a wireless charging mat since battery life was just terrible on the 930. 

After about a month, I decided to get the 1520 since battery life was bad, no SD card slot, and the screen in the end was a bit too small for me. The 1520 stayed with me for another month and a half. I really enjoyed it. I got over a lot of the shortcomings of WP except for the multitasking. 

I use my phone as a phone: that means I message a lot. Messaging is the most important thing for me. I use LINE and WHATSAPP. Whatsapp worked just fine, and even looked nice :). But LINE would take 3-8 seconds to download messages when the app wasn't in RAM as it had to secure an SSL connection every time. If I want to send a picture or multiple pictures, on Android I could do that with ease. In WP I would have to keep that screen on the entire time or else it would cancel! 

For those reasons I decided to just sell the 1520 and 930... and buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. 

I will return to Windows Phone once multi-tasking is better implemented... I really miss the UI and how it worked... But some things just made me go nuts about the UI.