1. dashrendar's Avatar
    Hi all,

    I thought I would share my experience. I have been an Android user for 4 years, using the same phone (Samsung Galaxy S2). I've been through Android Gingerbread, then Cyanogenmod (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, and KitKat).

    I have always been a Microsoft fan, sometimes a frustrated one, but still. Until the middle of last year, I have always read and heard about Windows Phone. When my daughter was born last year, I decided to buy Lumia 630, which had Windows 8.1, for two purposes:
    1. Use it temporarily to transfer my landline to Google Voice via AT&T as an intermediate step (since Google Voice only allows transfers from mobile phone numbers).
    2. Use it as a media player for my daughter for baby night music and lullabies.


    Windows 8.1 looked and behaved very nice. However, I couldn't give it my full judgement because I wasn't using it as a daily driver phone. I had a couple of apps (Flipboard, Windows Central, MixRadio, etc) on it that I used with my WiFi and that's all.

    I wanted to make the jump because honestly I grew a little bored of Android and wanted a brand new experience. Meaning I could have a few trade-offs, but not many. I was contemplating the Lumia 830 but I wanted a real flagship, so I waited and waited and here we are. Lumia 950 and 950 XL at the doorsteps.

    Before investing ~$500 in a brand new mobile OS, smartphone and ecosystem, I wanted a taste first. A couple of weeks ago, I migrated everything I can migrate from my S2 to the Lumia 630 and I have been using it since then as my main phone. I currently have build 10549.4 on it.

    Below are my thoughts...

    What I Like So Far
    • Live Tiles: I am loving the live tiles very much. The transparent tiles coupled with the background gives my phone a pleasing and unique look.
    • Performance: Considering it's a preview build, the OS is very fluid in general. I can't wait for build 10575.
    • Battery Life: Of course, it has a 10% more battery capacity and the S2 has an older CPU with 45nm die. In general, it feels like WP sucks less juice than Android. With Android, I turn off many things like Bluetooth, Mobile Data/Wifi when not needed and Location.


    What I Don't Like So Far
    • Action Center: Many notifications are non-actionable even though they are supported (e.g. I noticed calendar events can be snoozed from the notification center but I'm not sure if they work correctly). In Android, I am able to snooze events, delete e-mails, etc. Again, it's not an OS issue, but an app developer issue.
    • Security: There is no OS option to keep the phone unlocked yet still turn the screen off after several minutes. Android (or Cyanogenmod) has options for both.
    • Profiles: There is no OS setting or app to create profiles for controlling multiple settings at once. For example, when I drive I like to press one button to disable WiFi, enable Mobile Data, turn on Bluetooth, set the music volume to a high value, turn Location on, turn vibration off, and set the screen brightness to auto. For sleep, I like to turn Quiet Hours on, turn the brightness all the way down and turn the alarms volume somewhat high, but all other volumes down, turn Bluetooth off. In Android, the OS doesn't have a setting like this but its API allows apps to do it. I'm told that since Windows Phone is trying to be more secure, the OS doesn't allow apps access to settings like that. If that's the case, why doesn't Microsoft create the ultimate profile tool built right into the OS? Even feature phones like those by Nokia and Sony Ericsson had them.


    Bugs I Encountered
    • Voice dialing with Cortana through Bluetooth is very unreliable. When it does work, she doesn't call the right number that I choose (e.g. Mobile or Home). She always defaults to "Other" or the empty ones.
    • HID Keyboard (e.g. Satechi Media Button) does not work properly. It connects to the phone fine, the phone recognizes it as a keyboard fine. However, I can only increase/decrease Bluetooth volume. I cannot pause, play, rewind or skip tracks. I don't know if it's a Windows OS HID support issue or an app issue (e.g. if the app needs to handle the HID button events or not). This doesn't work with either Groove or Core Music Player.
    • Navigation: So I have a nice setup that I'm comfortable with in terms of quality and safety. I have my Lumia phone connected to 3 things: 1) Satechi Media button to control music. 2) My Plantronics Voyager headset for phone calls only. 3) My Audioengine B1 Bluetooth DAC for music over Bluetooth (connected to AUX in my car).
      Issue #1: While music is playing and a navigation instruction plays, the music stops and the instruction plays in my headset. That's fine. When the instruction is done. The music continues playing again but now it continues from the phone speaker, and not the prevoius Bluetooth output for music, which is the Audioengine B1. Not sure if this is a bug with the OS or the app.
      Issue #2: I tried to see how phone calls are handled while playing music and while having navigation on, and my phone locked up when the phone started ringing. I don't know if it's a fluke or if it's an unsupported behavior. I had to power cycle the phone and just not use navigation for now.
    • Mobile Device Management: I currently cannot connect to my work e-mail and calendar using MDM even though the OS seems to support it (via the Work Access setting). Not sure if it's a bug or something else.


    I'll keep updating this as I find/learn new things.

    In general, I'm enjoying the experience but I wish it was as functional as Android.
    10-23-2015 12:07 PM
  2. Manmikey's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing your experience, similar to my own, I started smartphone life with an iPhone 3G then android with a Samsung Galaxy s2 followed by an HTC One M7 and after a brief fling with a Yotaphone 2 I finally decided to try a Lumia 640 to test the windows phone waters

    The biggest plus for my is the stability and battery performance, I have every thing turned on , wifi, bluetooth, NFC, Sense core, location and brightness to auto and the battery lasts all day even with heavy use, with my androids I was scared to turn on bluetooth and the other things due to battery use, I always had to charge my androids early evening if not the afternoon, with the 640 I don't think I've ever charged it during the day and it is liberating. Example.....WP I get in my car and the 640 pairs with the car........Android I get in the car forget to turn bluetooth on, stop, turn on bluetooth, wait , eventually pair and away we go.

    The biggest minus for example is the poor app support by which I mean missing features an development on WP apps compared with others, that's really frustrating as many apps I'm familiar with on android are rubbish on WP, Footmob for instance and words with friends.

    I like it enough to seriously consider a 950 but with that big hi res screen I fear battery performance may not be on a par with the 640, but I really want the iris scanner, the number of times I type the pin in each day is just not funny. I'll wait for the first reviews before I finally decide.
    10-23-2015 02:37 PM

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