Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Windows Phone Experience

Windows open
I got my windows phone some time ago, that was the time when windows phone 7.5 (Mango) had just entered the market.  I desperately needed a new phone to replace my Nokia N97, which was going out of fashion at very fast pace. So, I decided I will buy another Nokia to replace my Nokia. I didn’t want to go for another Symbian phone, so I decided to look at the Lumia models. But, at that time Lumia was just beginning and the models in the market didn’t impress me much. The only Lumia model that I liked was the Lumia 900 and it was not available in India yet, and furthermore I thought it was overpriced. So I decided to hunt for other Windows Phone models.
Samsung it is
After a lot of research on the available windows phone models in India, I decided to buy the Samsung Omnia GT- I8350.  The phone had
  • Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS
  • 5 MP Primary Camera
  • 0.3 MP Secondary Camera
  • 3.7-inch Super AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 1.4 GHz Scorpion Processor
  • Wi-Fi 
    Samsung Omnia GT- I8350
As far as the windows phone models available then this seemed like a great buy, and looking at the Samsung phones available in the market now, the build quality of the Samsung Omnia GT- I8350 is amazing, and completely non plastic and has a premium feel to it. Well I am not writing this piece to praise the Samsung phone, but to tell you about my experience with the windows phone operating system.
Windows Phone Begins
After I got the phone I was impressed with quite a few things, of course I need to tell that I had neither used IOS or Android till then and I had neither tried to use all the features of the Symbian phone I had. The first thing that impressed me was, contact sync. I mean all the contacts I stored on the phone went directly to my live id. Wow that was amazing, no more worries when I have to change the phone. All, I will need to do is log into the new phone and all my contacts will be there. Of course android and IOS offer the same facility, but I didn’t know that then . Anyway, a good start to the whole windows experience. And yes you can also sync your google contacts to your windows phone.
Facebook and Twitter Integration
If you are a user of facebook then you will certainly fall in love with the kind of integration a windows phone offers. The facebook sync is built directly into the operating system. You have the option of displaying your facebook and twitter contacts with your regular contacts. So it’s like direct connect , you want to send a normal SMS or write on someone’s facebook wall or tweet someone, its direct connect. Apart from this the regular Facebook and Twitter apps are available in the Windows marketplace.
Apps and Games
The windows marketplace or store as it is now called wasn’t such a happening place when I bought the windows Phone, but it has improved a lot now. Of course all Google apps are not available yet, only Google search and Gmail integration is available. But then I don’t miss it much. The store has quite a few apps which I think I require. For example,
Instagram ( Windows 8)
Temple Run ( Windows 8)
Kalpana ( Something similar to Temple run maybe better)
Skydrive ( Cloud Storage)
You can find the whole list of apps available on http://www.windowsphone.com/en-in/store

About the performance of my windows phone, I can tell  you that it has impressed me a lot. Though my device came with windows 7.5 it has now been upgraded to windows 7.8. What windows 7.8 has done is it has give the interface a fresh new look and it looks like windows 8. But,  That’s where all the comparison ends.  The apps for Windows 8 are different from the apps for 7.8 , so a lot of apps are available only for 8 and not 7.8. Windows 8 supports Bluetooth data transfer and has given the manufacturers the option of adding external storage i.e. micro sim card. From my experience I will tell you that my windows phone has never hung. Its fluid , its smooth and fast . Though, the only drawback I find in my phone is the limited 8 GB memory, which also has to accommodate the operating system.
Why Windows ?
I know that there are some die hard android and IOS fans in this world, okay make it a lot of die- hard fans. So, I won’t try to convert you people, you will always have nice things to say about your phones.  So here are some facts.
Android needs a lot of resources to run smoothly and hence buying a cheap Android phone is not that great an Idea , because even if it runs smoothly in the beginning, it is bound to slow down ans you go on installing apps into it. I have a cheap android phone, My Sony Xperia J  was a great phone when I brought it, but now it feels like a rotten cheap plastic piece of junk and guess what it’s not that cheap either , just about Rs 2000 cheaper than my windows phone.  So, my suggestion is if you are going for an economical device then windows is preferable, because it requires less resources and doesn’t slow down or hang.
IOS is a good operating system with some awesome drawbacks, no Bluetooth file transfer and syncing songs using ITunes is painful, of course windows 7.8 makes me use Zune which is equally painful, but Windows 8 is Zune free, so its direct drag and drop. From dropping I just remembered, if you have an Iphone, don’t you dare drop it, it just gets shattered. Furthermore, the apple phones are too expensive. Even the Iphone C is priced quite high.
The windows phone has truly come of age, and with Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia you can expect better integration of hardware and software. Further I would like to tell you about a few features which are by default available on Lumia Phones.
Here Maps ( Formerly Nokia Maps) : This is one of the best maps available in the market, I loved Nokia maps from the time I had my Symbian Phone. Imagine completely downloadable maps. You can download maps of complete countries. I took my N 97 to Singapore and I didn’t use any sim card, the gaps helped me navigate the streets of Singapore. This same superior map and navigation system is available in your Lumia windows Phone. So, you will never get lost anywhere. There is one more cool feature in the here maps. The maps of the interior of Malls. This is available in India I don’t know about the world. But you can navigate inside malls and go to your favourite store in a new mall by using your phone’s navigation software.
Camera : The camera on every Nokia Phone is simply superb. If you didn’t know, Nokia sells more camera phones than any other normal convectional camera maker. If you can just check out the camera of the Lumia 1020 its pure delight.  Furthermore, the software for the camera is also amazing, it gives you aperture and shutter speed settings like a DSLR. 
Nokia Music : Free music downloads for the first two months , unlimited music.
These are some of the awesome features of a Lumia. Having said that , I would like to state, like any other windows phone user that I love it and I will be a windows phone addict for some time to come, unless Microsoft decides to do something horribly wrong with it. My Android phone is just a few months old and its performing like an accident victim. But, my more than two year old Windows phone is still performing as good as new. In the end just take an informed decision after making your own comparisons and buy a phone based on your requirements. But, one thing I would like to state from my experience is that , if you are on a budget then go for a windows phone, it will give you good value for your money and wont hang and desert you at every given opportunity. 

Old Nokia Adverts

Go to Amazon or Flipkart and check all the specifications , as far as quality and user delight goes I strongly recommend the  Windows Phone.

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