- 01-05-2013, 08:46 PM #1
First, a little about me. I used to work for an Apple developer. I have been using Macs since 1985 and enjoy them. I am not anti-any other platform, but if I am being honest, it would take an awful big shift to get me to move away from Macs at home. I don't get into mine is better than yours, and I am always willing to look at new things. I have had an iPhone in pocket since the first day of the first iPhone and have seen no reason to switch. I used an Android in there for a bit along side the iPhone although I am much more well versed with the iOS.
This is my first thread here. I know there are a few other iPhone to Windows Phone threads, but I figured a new review might deserve a new thread. Feel free to move it as necessary and go easy on me if I committed a faux pas here.
Okay, for those interested, after a full day with the Windows 8 phone here are my impressions:
First of all, AT&T moved my data from the iPhone to the Nokia. No issues at all. iCal hasn't fared so well but Google Calendars and contacts made the move without issue.
The Nokia 920 is a solid phone. It feels solid and I like that, but it comes with a bit more heft than my iPhone. However, for some peopel the weight is an issue. I thought about the HTC phone (and Best Buy has them for $1 right now!) but the Nokia comes with 32 GB of memory.
The OS itself is slick, but it feels a little bit like it is still unpolished. Considering that Android and Apple have a huge headstart, it is not too bad, but it is rough around the edges.
I find Windows 8 to be somewhere between the Android and iOS in terms of customizability. It is a closed ecosystem like Apple so it should prove reasonably safe, but there are many options available to customize your experience. Microsoft has to continue working on how to allow users to customize the interface while keeping clean. A few times I felt lost within apps because buttons and menu selctions didn't always act as expected.
That said, the Live Tiles are amazing. The ideas seems simple and gimicky, but after a day I have the sizes and placements the way I like them - very much "me" and different than anyone else's phone. I also love the real time updating within tiles. Great to be able to see messages, the last Facebook postings of my VIP's with tiles, real time radar while golfing all without opening an app. Really, I think the Live Tilesare going to be a bigger deal than they appear. They offer a really different way of seeing information. Not revolutionary - many will prefer their current way of looking at things, but a meaningful alternative.
Still, all is not perfect.
I would really like a better way to organize my app list that you swipe to from the Tile screen. A long list is not the best way to display your apps.
I would like to see the row of icons above the tiles that show signal strength, battery life, WiFi status etc. to remain visible. Or at least an option to turn them on.
It is almost worth the cost of switching just to get native Office software on the phone. I use Word and Excel extensively at work, so this is a much cleaner solution than Apple's very good but less robust Pages and Numbers software.
I already mentioned this, but coming from iOS it is really troubling. Windows 8 really must find a way to create a more consistent experience from app to app and even menu to menu. My 5 year old son picked up an iPhone and was working it without instruction or difficulty; the same kiddo, now 9 has trouble using the Windows Phone. That should be telling.
The hardware itself is great. I love the wireless charging. AT&T included a charging pad with the phone and so far it works as advertised. It is a little slower than plugging the phone into the wall, but not by much.
I am already having difficulty with the buttons. The button that brings up the lock screen is really far too small and I do not like it on the side. Maybe I am too attached to the Home button on my iPhone, but the Nokia button is tough to find without stopping to look at the phone.
It is also easy to mix up the unlock button and camera button, and the camera button brings up the camera bringing whatever you were trying to do to a halt while you shut down the camera.
Finally, with the row of buttons along the right hand side of the phone, it is very easy to accidentally key one while simply holding the phone in use.
I am still not ready to give up - in fact I am really starting to like this phone. I'll report back in a few more days. Still need to sort out how I am going to get my music from the iMac to the phone, and how well it is going to work with my iCloud. I am enjoying using it with my (okay, Christopher's) xBox and Microsoft has their own SkyDrive system that I have been using.
Last edited by scubus; 01-07-2013 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Corrected Typo
- 01-05-2013, 08:56 PM #2
Glad you are enjoying it! One thing you must do to sync iTunes to your phone is to use the windows phone app in the app store but also give the app permission to use your iTunes foler in the file menu of the windows phone app
01-05-2013, 09:46 PM #4
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This is really interesting to me since my first smartphone was a WP. Anyway, the long list of apps gets much better when you have over 45 installed. Then you can tap on the letters that appear to quickly jump to apps beginning with that letter. I actually prefer this method unless I accumulate a lot more apps in the future.
- 01-05-2013, 10:00 PM #5
I haven't decided if wireless charging is that useful yet. It is cool. I suspect it will be more useful with a cover - especially if it is one with covered ports. I have an Otterbox where the flap finally ripped from use.
Last edited by scubus; 01-05-2013 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Added second quote.
- 01-05-2013, 11:47 PM #6
Thanks for your take on the phone. I too am a long time Apple user, I started with an Apple II plus, before the Mac even existed and I still use a Mac as my primary computer today.
One place where we differ is on iOS though. I can't explain it, but despite being a lifelong Apple user, iOS never really appealed to me. When it first came out, it was certainly revolutionary in many ways, but it feels like Apple has done very little to innovate with it since then. It is very good for what it is I suppose. I hope one day soon Apple does something truly innovative with the iOS UI and relegates the old one to "classic" status like they did with OS 9. I think that needs to happen in the next two years or I fear it will begin a downward slide that will be very hard to reverse...
Anyway, glad to hear you were willing to give something new a try. I pretty much felt everything Microsoft did sucked until I tried Windows 7 and then Windows Phone. Pretty amazing to see that Microsoft is actually capable of making compelling, attractive, easy to use software! Lol.
As far as the icons at the top, a quick downward swipe with your fingertip brings the other icons into view for a moment. You also have some options to display various icons on your lockscreen. I've found that between those two options there is no need to have them all displayed at once on the top of the screen all the time. There's a good battery app called Battery Level for WP8 you might like to download. You can set the tile at the smallest size on your home screen and it will display the current percentage, tap to open it and it will give you a graph detailing your energy use hour to hour and you can set it to retain as much add a week of data if you want.
Regarding the buttons, I think you'll get used to them. Personally I don't have any issues with them, but that may be because my last phone was a Nokia with the same arrangement.
Kind of surprised by your comment about apps. One of the things I like most about Windows Phone is how much consistency there is with apps conforming to the system UI in general, i.e. using the same font and design style as the OS, generally apps are similar to one another in terms of functions and behavior IMO. I found that very refreshing coming from Android where the apps are a free-for-all of random styles, fonts and themes. I've never owned an iOS device though, so they might be even more consistent for all I know.
About the OS being a little rough around the edges still. I can sort of see that. Especially coming from iOS which is so well established and very polished. Again though, my basis for comparison was Android 2.3 and compared to that, Windows Phone is polished like a crystal ball so...
Anyway, I apologize for the wordy reply! Glad to have you aboard. Stick around for a while and I'll bet your concerns will be resolved and you'll find Windows Phone as charming as most of the rest of us do.
- 01-06-2013, 01:38 AM #7Starting Jan. 30, 2013, only Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government customers can set up new devices with Google Sync. Learn more.
01-06-2013, 01:57 AM #9
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Interesting posts. I come from a similar background in terms of iOS and I can understand your issues. I guess the main point here is to keep in mind is a brand new OS that has plenty of room to grow into whereas iOS perhaps has reached the major overhaul stage.
Hopefully a couple of good updates and most of the minor gripes will be swept away.
- 01-06-2013, 02:43 AM #10
It's too bad the Ativ S isn't available in the US yet. Nothing against the Lumia--I still plan to buy one--but Samsung has kept over the physical home button that is kinda one of their signature features on both their Android and WP devices. You can use it to wake up the phone. Not only that, but the volume rocker is in the same location as the iPhone's volume buttons. Apart from it being larger than the iPhone, obviously, it would be more of a familiar experience for you than Nokia's button placement. Not to mention it makes it a lot easier to hold the device without hitting buttons. At any rate, kudos for being willing to try something new, especially as you're already so entrenched in Apple's ecosystem, with Mac at home and being on iPhone since the OG model. To expand on a previous post, you really will get the best experience out of your WP if you use as much of the ecosystem as possible. I'm not suggesting you run out and buy a W8 PC or something, (although you would save a lot of cash vs buying another Mac) but definitely check out outlook.com and SkyDrive. They are both excellent services. My hotmail account used to be my spam box, but since Google started being 1990s Microsoft I moved away from Gmail and I haven't looked back. And if you have an Xbox 360 in your home, Smartglass is awesome! To get your app count rolling, I would like to recommend you download AppFlow. It's how I found about of my favorite apps. Last but certainly not least, WELCOME TO WP!!!
- 01-06-2013, 04:53 AM #12
Thanks for all the comments. I will be looking into all of the suggestions!
I suspect a number of my personal issues are more culture shock moving from an os that I have spent a lot of time with to a new os that is itself less mature. It is only my second day with the new phone and os! I do like the os enough that I may get a Surface tablet rather than an iPad for myself - my family likes the iPad so much I don't get to use it anyway.
01-06-2013, 11:19 AM #13
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I'm not sure if things changed from WP7.5 but I think you don't actually need 45 apps. After you swipe to the app list with less than 45 apps just tap on a letter and alphabet grid will appear. From there you can quickly jump to a group of apps starting with any particular letter. Or you could tap on the search icon in the app list (not the capacitive search button mind you) and then search for the app (for me 2 letters are usually enough for app to show). And my most important apps are usually pinned to start screen anyway.
Btw, have you tried to set up kids corner for your son yet?
- 01-06-2013, 04:26 PM #14
I also picked up an HTC phone for my significant other - the transition hasn't been difficult for her, this is her first smart phone and she is only using it for telephoning and email. For now! I really like her phone an awful lot, but I really want the larger memeory space etc. that the Nokia has (although at $1 it was hard to pass up a second HTC.)
I took Morpheus (my phone's name) out golfing this morning and many of my golf group use the iPhone and they were fascinated with the interface and had a lot of questions.
- 01-06-2013, 05:35 PM #15
01-06-2013, 08:24 PM #18
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Great to hear about your transition and also that you're now considering the Surface as well. If you use Office as much as it sounds like, the Surface is an excellent option and has already seen some exciting growth in its own app store. Given Windows 8's inevitable market share, the Surface will benefit from developers having no other choice but to pay attention to the Windows store. Hopefully you soon adjust to the Lumia's button locations!
- 01-06-2013, 08:46 PM #19
- 01-07-2013, 05:31 AM #21
Next step is to tune wireless charger to my car (navigation eats that much power that you want to have it in charger always).
- 01-07-2013, 02:49 PM #22
Really though, it is fantastic to be able to just lay your phone on the table to charge it, and to just be able to grab it off your nightstand whenever without fiddling with wires.
I think at least some versions of the 8X have wireless charging, it may be something you can add if yours doesn't (?)
- 01-12-2013, 12:27 AM #23
After a week with the phone I can honestly say I am really enjoying it, a litte rough around the edges but a very good OS and solid phone.
I really like Outlook's calendar much more than iCal and it syncs more cleanly with the WP than iCal ever did with my iPhone. Nokia Drive is a much better driving app than Google Maps or Apple Maps on the iPhone. The wireless charging is really much more functional than I would have guessed - it seemed like a gimick at first but it is really nice to just plop the phone on the plate and go. SkyDrive is every bit as good as iCloud. The Live Tiles are amazing - even my other hard core Apple friends think it is great and always want to play with my phone. The email app on the Nokia handles multiple emails much better than the iOS version and for me the way auto correct works is better than the iphone. I like a choice of possible words and I like that I initiate the change - the way the iPhone does it is faster - as long as it picks the right word when it makes the change, but as we all know it is posssible to text some amazingly awkward things on an iPhone.
Physically Apple is on to something with their form factor. In my hand anyway, the iPhone's width is much easier to manipulate with a single hand. Personally I am happy to sacrifice a little manipulative ease for the much larger screen, but I can certainly see people feeling strongly th eother way as well. Perhaps Apple should offer a choice, although for ease of app creation across devices maybe they don't want to offer too many choices. I don't know. My issue with the button is not as bad - but my hands still look for buttons in the iPhone locations. That will just take more time to get used to the new locations.
I have a few minor issues with the phone and OS that are mainly picky quibbles. I don't like how text doesn't wrap and flows off the screen, the back arrow is not consistent - sometimes it takes you back a screen and sometimes it takes you back to the main app screen. If it is consistent I haven't figured it out. I wish I didn't have to go through 2 steps to answer a phone call. Same with making a call from the home screen. When I pin a contact there, I'd really like to make a call when I select it - maybe a choice to be able to pin just the number or the contact. IE needs a good back button.
As I said, most of these are minor quibbles due more to a slightly youthful OS and my personal idiosyncracies. I suspect most will be cleaned up in due course. I can certainly blive with them, and I haven't found a phone that is perfect!
However, my biggest issue is that with so much Apple products around I am having trouble integrating it into my daily life. I can't get it to sync with my Macintosh and the software available runs on Lion which I currently don't have and won't be upgrading until summer. This could be a major problem for me. I love this phone and want it to work... anyone have any suggestions for this (or any of the minor issues)? I have 5 days left to decide to either keep it or return it...
Last edited by scubus; 01-12-2013 at 01:17 AM.
01-12-2013, 01:42 AM #24
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For your syncing problem check out this line:
How To Install iBooks Author On OS X Snow Leopard | Digital Tweaker
I have had some success with this method. Biggest problem is editing the plist file for the Windows Phone Connector App. What I ended up doing is duplicating it using textwrangler, changing the version number in the copy to 10.6.8 and then replacing the original file with the copy i made the changes to.
Anyway the long and the short of it is I was able to sync my nokia 920 to my Macbook pro running 10.6.8 and music, photos and poscasts.
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