1. The Arsonist's Avatar
    What's happening guys?

    I'm a huge tech nerd (work as a SysAdmin by trade) and huge Windows Phone advocate. I know my Windows Phone options very well but I'm stumped on making a shopping decision this Christmas. Right now, I've got the whole family on T-Mobile/MetroPCS on 3 Lumia 521s and I'm thinking it's time to upgrade them to new phones for Christmas. I'm a Lumia 925 user, so I think I'm going to stand pat for the next high-end Lumia phone. Unfortunately, the Windows Phone landscape is kind of a mess at the moment.

    Here's my preferences:
    1) Preferably cheaper handsets since I'm buying 3 handsets at full price (since the 535, 735, and 830 aren't options for T-Mo USA, all that's left is cheap options, anyway)
    2) I have a T-Mobile Cellspot, so Wi-Fi calling devices would be preferred because the new area of Phoenix I just moved to doesn't have 5 bar coverage everywhere like NJ did (coverage was flawless in NJ, it's a little more moderate here outside of Phoenix. Still get LTE and 4G in most areas though.
    3) Speaking of coverage, T-Mo LTE compatible devices are preferred because they're future-proof, obviously, and that may help make the signal better here in the Phoenix area.

    I expect these to be midrange handsets. They're for middle aged relatives of mine who aren't really "App crazy" like the younger generations. They've loved their Lumia 521s and I trust Nokia, so I've been eyeing the Lumia 635. Only downside is the lack of RAM and no FFC make it almost seem like a lateral move from the 521. Essentially, it's a 521 with ClearBlack and LTE, which are welcomed editions but maybe not substantial enough to fork out $200 for existing, working phones.

    The deal at the Microsoft Store has me thinking about taking a chance on the Blu Win HD 5 (There's two MS Stores in my area). But with that, I'd be giving up Wi-Fi Calling and it has no LTE on T-Mobile. I'm also unsure of Blu's antennae/reception quality (I know Nokia is rock solid in that category), Blu's Support (in case of Warranty stuff or potential Win10 upgrade hopes). Also, is the Snapdragon 200 an improvement over the Lumia 521's Snapdragon S4? The Lumia is perfectly fine but a performance upgrade wouldn't hurt.

    I know this is a loaded question with no exact answer but any insight from other T-Mobile WP phone customers or people with the Lumia 635 or Blu Win HD phones could be a huge help in making a decision. Maybe the only way I'll find out is buying them and seeing if the lack of LTE and Wi-Fi Calling are really as substantial as I think they are.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by The Arsonist; 12-09-2014 at 10:42 AM.
    Guytronic likes this.
    12-09-2014 09:33 AM
  2. mhc48's Avatar
    The 635 will seem more than a lateral move to people who have had the 520. It's bigger and the screen size makes it feel like a big, welcome change. It also feels more substantial. I was never comfortable with adding three rows of program icons on the start screen on the 520, but it works great on the 635. It also has sensor core to track activity. If they do a lot of picture taking though, they may miss the dedicated cameral button (the cameras of both are the same and neither have a flash).
    12-09-2014 10:41 AM
  3. worldspy99's Avatar
    Lack of LTE will not be an issue. I had a Lumia 810 for one year straight before it died on me and I had absolutely no issues in terms of data speeds. On TMO HSPA/HSPA+ I routinely got 18Mbps down on 3 bars. I used my 810 on all my trips to AZ in 2013 and 2014 and I did not have any issues with download speeds so I think you will be fine.

    So if you want good data speeds and you want Wi-Fi calling the Lumia 635 is not a bad choice. Look for it on eBay or Swappa and you can get them for $75 or so. I do wish that they made the 635 with 1GB of RAM. There are some good deals to be had on a used Lumia 925 as well so instead of the killer deal for the Blu Win HD today you might try that route as well.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with your search.
    12-09-2014 10:42 AM
  4. The Arsonist's Avatar
    Greatly appreciate the feedback.

    If T-Mobile or some retailer was running that $39 deal for Lumia 635, it would be an absolute no-brainer. I'd buy one for a neighbor even, at that price. I'm thinking that I might just take a trip to MS Store and have the family pick between the Lumia 635 and the Blu Win HD 5. That way they get their color preference, accessories, and all that good stuff. Depending on their selections, who knows what we'll end up with.

    All the feedback I've heard about the Microsoft Store's customer support is phenomenal (I haven't had to return anything to them yet, thankfully), so I might just take a stab at the Blu and the Lumia and see how it goes. If anything goes wrong, I'm sure they'll make it right.

    Can anyone speak for the Blu Win HD 5? I know they're a fairly new company, so there isn't much to go off of.
    12-09-2014 01:13 PM
  5. worldspy99's Avatar
    Greatly appreciate the feedback.

    If T-Mobile or some retailer was running that $39 deal for Lumia 635, it would be an absolute no-brainer. I'd buy one for a neighbor even, at that price. I'm thinking that I might just take a trip to MS Store and have the family pick between the Lumia 635 and the Blu Win HD 5. That way they get their color preference, accessories, and all that good stuff. Depending on their selections, who knows what we'll end up with.

    All the feedback I've heard about the Microsoft Store's customer support is phenomenal (I haven't had to return anything to them yet, thankfully), so I might just take a stab at the Blu and the Lumia and see how it goes. If anything goes wrong, I'm sure they'll make it right.

    Can anyone speak for the Blu Win HD 5? I know they're a fairly new company, so there isn't much to go off of.
    Blu is getting good reviews but it is their first year with WP devices. Need to see how they support their devices long term. A good idea might be to research their support of their Android offerings if they don't update those too much then you cannot expect them to support the WP devices too much as well. One good thing is they provide a case and screen protector along with the phone so you don't have to spend anything on accessories with Blu phones.

    Now TMO 635 might be more but you can buy it on a plan and then the pinch out of pocket is quite small. Just my 2c.
    12-09-2014 04:37 PM
  6. mgerbasio's Avatar
    The problem with not buying a T-Mobile branded phone is it won't support WiFi calling. Not sure if that's important to you, I need it because I sometimes work in areas with poor cell coverage.
    12-13-2014 07:22 AM

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