1. eeewing's Avatar
    Alrighty...having been intrigued by the Lumia 929/Icon since its initial leak back on October 2, I finally managed to snag one yesterday. This is my first foray into Windows Phone ownership on Verizon...and, boy, am I disappointed. *sniff*

    Verizon is clearly proud of this phone, and they clearly want you to be proud that you're with the carrier who's proud to carry this phone. To that end, they've branded the phone EVERYWHERE -- front, back (x2), the phone tile, the dialer (the DIALER? Really?). It's a small thing, but it stands in such stark contrast to Windows Phone's purposeful minimalism that the silliness of it sticks out like a sore thumb. Honestly, Verizon, your logo on the back of the phone is alright...it's a decent size, and understated. Heck, even your "4G LTE" logo ain't bad. But branding the thing in half a dozen places? C'mon. I promise I won't forget which carrier I'm writing my checks out to each month.

    Annoying branding is annoying, but do you know what's worse? A gimped flagship. Compromises on a phone which bills itself as "The One" by which all other Windows Phones should be measured. In the first day, that's been my experience so far...the Lumia Icon is a compromised device. To wit, everyone is aware of a few of the compromises which have received the most attention: lack of Nokia's "Glance" screen/double-tap to wake being the big one, right up there with the conservative hardware design. I knew those things going in, though, and I was cool with it -- the trade-off was that Snapdragon 800! ...and that gorgeous 1080 x 1920 screen! ...and the camera, OMG the camera!

    So, imagine my surprise when I go to check my voicemail for the first time...and discover that visual voicemail is nowhere to be found on this phone. Oh, I suppose that's not true, not completely...for $3/month, I can download a separate app (made by Verizon) with which I can emulate the feature. But that's another compromise, and for two reasons: first, VVM has been built-in to Windows Phone since 2012, so I don't want to install and use a separate app! Second, $3/month for VVM? I have a second phone -- an iPhone 5 -- on Verizon that both 1) uses the VVM feature built-in to iOS, and 2) is FREE. What's up with that? But, whatever...I guess I'll go back to using voicemail the same way I did on Windows Phone 7. Nevermind that my $60 Lumia 520 has suddenly become already more capable in this area that my brand-new $550 "flagship."

    Peeved, I start going through the Settings to configure the phone as I like: turn on all the location settings, sort my contact list by last name, set my Caller ID to only display to my contacts...WAIT! What? Verizon/Nokia has stripped out the Caller ID preferences, too? You've got to be kidding me. At this point I'm scared to see what else is missing.

    The Lumia Icon is a good phone. A REALLY good phone. The camera lives up to its billing, the screen really is gorgeous, and I love having the extra row of live tiles. Qi charging is a godsend. Yet, for customers used to the Windows Phone experience on other carriers there are too many give-and-takes on this device for it to be a GREAT phone. I supposed what irks me most about this is that everyone who is a Windows Phone fan is already making compromises just to stay on the platform -- we delude ourselves into thinking that it's "OK" not to have radio in Spotify, because we didn't really use it that much anyhow. Or, it's okay not to have apps like Dropbox, because we've got OneDrive...or Snapchat, because Rudy Huyn is a freakin' genius. It's fine by us that our phones don't have fingerprint readers, and retina scanners, and whatever else Apple and Google('s partners) are dreaming up these days. But it's all still a compromise, because we love the potential of Windows Phone. Honestly, I'm still fine with a lot of the trade-offs...but, for the love of Heaven, Verizon and Nokia, throw me a bone here. At least give us real VVM.

    All of that said, I suppose I'm a little more frustrated than I should be. Perhaps Windows Phone Blue will fix everything and shoot us leaps and bounds beyond the competition. Here's to hoping! In the meantime, I've got a week and a half left to determine whether I keep this phone, or defect back to AT&T. Sigh.
    Matt Bee likes this.
    02-25-2014 10:09 AM
  2. donebrasko's Avatar
    I never noticed Verizon in the dialer.....that was pointless to do
    02-25-2014 10:21 AM
  3. jlzimmerman's Avatar
    The only thing worse than the repetitive branding is their ugly azz logo. It's horrible. I tweeted them about the advent of disappearing bezels and how it's good to not see their ugly logo. But you see two VZ logo's on the back? I only have one.
    02-25-2014 10:33 AM
  4. eeewing's Avatar
    But you see two VZ logo's on the back?
    I counted their "Verizon" logo and their "4G LTE" logo as two separate logos. Perhaps that was unfair...but it's still ugly.
    02-25-2014 10:44 AM
  5. Chris Lawrence's Avatar
    The branding in the dialer isn't actually branding. Not like you think it might be, anyway. When you take the phone globally, it picks up whatever carrier you're using and displays it there. Think of that field like a variable. $carrier = whatever carrier's network you're currently connected to. It's like that on all Windows Phones. I find it useful when I'm abroad.
    02-25-2014 10:45 AM
  6. eeewing's Avatar
    The branding in the dialer isn't actually branding. Not like you think it might be, anyway. When you take the phone globally, it picks up whatever carrier you're using and displays it there. Think of that field like a variable. $carrier = whatever carrier's network you're currently connected to. It's like that on all Windows Phones. I find it useful when I'm abroad.
    You're right. I guess I just never noticed it before. :-/
    02-25-2014 10:49 AM
  7. airjeff's Avatar
    You're on a different carrier that gives you free vvm right? I'm guessing VZW has and app because they charge for the service.
    02-25-2014 11:24 AM
  8. Indistinguishable's Avatar
    fargo03.jpg

    Marge Gunderson: Say, Lou, didya hear the one about the guy who couldn't afford a personalized smartphone, so he went and changed his name to Verizon?

    Lou: Yah, that's a good one.
    02-25-2014 11:29 AM
  9. DustinRyan's Avatar
    I used to own an iPhone, and I was shocked last year when my parents tried to access their voicemail on their Lumia 928's and said they had to dial. I was like, WHAT? This is 2013 (at the time), there's no way visual voicemail wasn't standard on a smartphone by default for free!

    But alas, it was true. It's ridiculous. I was not surprised to see visual voicemail was not on my Lumia Icon, since I knew from past experiences with my parents' 928's. But it absolutely sucks to have a separate charge for a feature that is standard, and built into the OS.
    02-25-2014 11:48 AM
  10. Tjarren's Avatar
    I've been using Google Voice longer than I've had a smartphone and am completely spoiled by visual voicemail as it's all I've known for the last few years.

    I guess when (not evil) Google locks out all 3rd party GV apps in May and likely doesn't release an official one I'll know this pain as well ...
    02-25-2014 12:18 PM
  11. willied's Avatar
    If enough people pressure them they may make changes in our favor. That's how it was when the 822 and 8X were released. Neither had group messaging from the start but that luckily came in an update. I would imagine Glance will come in an update; I don't see any reason as to why it can't be added (but then again I really don't know). The fact that you have to pay for VVM is downright stupid, though - just Verizon trying to milk money out of us WP users. I wasn't aware of the Caller ID preferences. Was that in WP7?
    02-25-2014 01:05 PM
  12. David Fleetwood's Avatar
    I've been using Google Voice longer than I've had a smartphone and am completely spoiled by visual voicemail as it's all I've known for the last few years.

    I guess when (not evil) Google locks out all 3rd party GV apps in May and likely doesn't release an official one I'll know this pain as well ...
    GV is the only Google service I use. I'm looking into how to do the same thing with Skype. Skype can be had for the same $3/month that Verizon charges for VVM, but is vastly more useful. I figure if I'm going to pay it I'd rather the money go to the better product. I'm just not certain how it will work or how to implement it. Anyone got a guide?
    02-25-2014 01:17 PM

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