Yesterday I purchased a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 device (my own money – not one of those freebie loaners web sites obtain and are
somewhat indebted to positively review the smartphone they can continue to receive free loaner phones in the future) .
My reasons for upgrading from an Android (Galaxy Nexus) were as much out of boredom over the lack of new features (no LTE??) of the just announced Nexus 4 (due 11/13) as my desire to give Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 another trial.
I know I face lack of apps and that the Nokia 920 is being knocked as being a big fatty (the phone has gathered many mentions about it being much heavier than competitors). I’m willing to see what developers in the Windows Phone Marketplace — and the weight of the Nokia 920 is not of concern to me (though you should test it by visiting your nearby AT&T store).
So far I have two big disappointments that Microsoft will need to pay attention to pretty quickly.
A. The Windows Phone 8 Facebook application is awful – not only is it the slowest loading app on the phone – the UI looks like a 1.0 attempt. Microsoft is NEVER going to attract the younger crowd with this type of shoddy application. If you are a Facebook addict this phone is probably not for you (at least not until Windows Phone gets an upgraded app which puts it on par with the apps available for iOS and Android).
Tip: Use http://touch.facebook.com for a much better Facebook experience (except for images which don’t appear to resize properly)
B. The integrated messaging (SMS/IM) works with Microsoft Live Messenger and Facebook. It’s one of my favorite Windows Phone features — however when using Facebook messaging through the WP8 messaging app it does not support group messaging nor does it provide read receipts or location info (Which both the iOS and Android apps support).
In order to use group messaging on Facebook you must open the dreadful WP8 full Facebook app and sit through it’s slow startup time. I’m also not sure whether all the notifications of new messages through the dreadful WP8 Facebook application are actually alerting me.
This area is disappointing especially since it seems easily fixable. I only hope Microsoft hasn’t left it unfixed so they can play the “use the stack of Microsoft services” game which they love to play….
If Microsoft plays the stack game — aka ecosystem game — and requires WP8 users to pony up and migrate to Microsoft applications in order to use fairly common functionality such as group messaging (which is available in Microsoft Messenger and also a confusing “Rooms” application) then I believe Windows Phone 8 has a high probability of failing (or at least not obtaining meaningful market share).
A third issue is going to be the Windows Marketplace. Microsoft will have to pay much closer attention to getting the top apps (think Instagram, Twitter) onto WP8 and to do this pronto. It’s a little odd that even though this is the third major release of Windows Phone there are still these major apps that are absent from the platform.
Navigation wise the phone is very nice and most functions are not buried too deeply in the system (although I am struggling with learning how to quickly access photos after they’ve been taken – which seems to require way too many clicks). I have not found the weight of the phone to be a problem though I’m not immediately impressed with battery life which seems to barely get me through the day. Picture seem good but not head and shoulders above my iPhone 5.
I purchased the phone for $99 (included free charging base which was out of stock and they are shipping directly to my home) at my Glastonbury CT AT&T store and though I usually shun the retail stores due to bad experiences I have to admit that the salesperson was extremely knowledgeable and helpful
I’ve found that it takes at least a full week before the newness of a new device wears off and you can see the missing features that you overlooked upon the initial use. I’ll use the link below to provide some more in-depth observations as my usage progresses past the honeymoon period.