| | 08-24-2012, 10:43 AM #1
So I'm trying to encourage my wife to consider WP8 for her next device (she has an ailing Droid Incredible 1), and we decided to go to AT&T yesterday so she could check out the Lumia 900 since all rumors point to the Phi being similar aesthetically. We're talking to Vern about the phone and he pulls his out. Since he's been carrying it for a while, we asked how he likes it:
TL;DR version: The guy has a problem with his particular device hardware and, according to company policy, can't get it fixed. As a result, he hates his 900. My wife still isn't sure about WP because of the "sameness" of the core experience (the whole Metro design aesthetic in People, Calendar, Email, etc.) and it isn't clear when she's updating her Facebook status in the Me tile as opposed to in the Facebook app that it's actually happening. (I smoked her a few times sending messages, btw.)
Scene 1: AT&T Corporate store - the device
Vern: "I hate it."
Me: "Oh really? Why's that?"
Vern: "I have terrible coverage at home, so I have to use wifi - except that my wifi disconnects at least two or three times a day, so I have to cycle my wifi. That's why I have settings pinned to my start screen." (Perhaps I should have mentioned something about Connection Tiles to this poor sap.)
Me: "Huh. What about the OS?"
Vern: "Well, it's not terrible. I mean, it doesn't have the customization of Android, but it's pretty sleek."
Me: "I've never heard about people having those kinds of issues with their 900. (Here I'm avoiding even bringing up the 1200 reviews on AT&T and Amazon, averaging 4.48 stars) Have you tried swapping the phone with another one?"
Vern: "We're not allowed to do that. This is a corporate phone."
Things are starting to get pretty fishy here. AT&T is ignoring their own salesforce's issues with their devices? It seems that they would want to make sure that the people selling the product are enjoying the product, right? We continue along:
Wife: "What about navigation? I don't like Bing maps navigation on Andy's phone, but really like Google's navigation."
Vern: "Yea, it does an alright job. I use AT&T's navigation software."
Me: "What about Nokia Drive? Have you used that?"
Vern: "If navigation is a big thing, you should really consider the Motorola Atrix HD. It's on Android and right now we have a navigation kit that comes with the phone when you sign up for a plan."
At this point I reiterate that we are moving to Canada in a year and don't want to sign up for a plan because we'll have to cancel our contract.
Scene 2: Carrier subsidies and a trip back to freshman year
Vern: "Right. Well, we have the ETF because we have to level out our costs when we do the discount. See this price right here? (Pointing to the MSRP on the 900) That's the price we pay for every phone. I've seen the invoices and they read $399.99 for every phone. (BS meter is going crazy!) We make the money back on the service, and then our profit because we're a company. (I'm not sure why he's giving me an Econ 101 lesson at this point, other than to be obstinate)"
Me: (playing along) "Yea, I get that. What about a one year contract with a smaller discount. What about something like that? We'd like to take the phones with us to Canada and use them on whatever compatible service there without having to pay the ETF."
Vern: "A one year plan? I don't think we have those."
Me: "Huh. I saw them online earlier today. Is it an online only offer?"
Vern: "Um, let me check."
In the meantime, I show my wife some of the Nokia-specific stuff (I have another year with my Trophy, so I'm learning as I go).
Vern: "Yea, we don't have a one year contract."
I'll spare you the rest of the torture.
Scene 3: Still trying to convert her
Anyway, when we got home we walked through some of the stuff on my phone. She doesn't really care for some of the aesthetics and intentional design elements of WP. Her opinion is that it's boring and has too much "sameness" to the point that you can't tell what you're doing (eg. actually being in the Facebook app as opposed to the What's New section in People). The calendar/agenda/to-do is too drab for her tastes, and the lack of customizing the background on the main screen is boring.
I'm not giving up, and I wonder if WP8 will bring forth some of this functionality.