30 days with a Lumia 925. A switcher’s tale

I’ve recently been sent three Lumia handsets by Nokia to trial in our business. I’ve decided that I’m going to utterly take the plung and dive in to Windows Phone, how long am I going to be able to leave my iPhone 5 turned off for?

Day One – The Lumia 925 arrives

Cool. A big box of handsets has arrived from Nokia. A 520, a 625 and a 925. I’ve got the SIM out of my iPhone 5 – first fumble, we’re going to need a Nano-Micro SIM adapter. £2 from the local phone shop later, and we’re running. However our office is in a basement, and whereas the iPhone can just about hold a signal and make and receive calls, the Lumia is really struggling with any kind of network connectivity down here.

A big box of phones from Nokia

A big box of phones from Nokia

Of course, it needed an update

Having managed to get the phone connected to our WiFi network, the ubiquitous updates started to arrive! I’m now running Lumia Black. But this does seem to have improved the cellular reception somewhat – I can now make and receive calls in our basement office.

Dropbox Fail!

We use dropbox for some document collaboration. There’s no official DropBox app for WinPhone 8 – this is a major fail at the moment :(

Day Two

Mixed feelings at the start of day two. I normally listen to a show or two using BBC iPlayer on my drive home. There are couple of patches on my route where I know my iPhone will struggle to get the data, and I’ll get some buffering, not so with the Lumia, it streamed iPlayer as sweet as you’d like all the way. But the starkness of the UI is starting to get to me already! Give me at least a little colour, please? I was all for ditching Skeuompophism, and I really do like the iOS7 UI, but Windows Phone 8 sometimes feels like I’m living in 1970s Eastern Europe.

There’s an app for that – or is there?

Everyone knows the Apple App Sotre has the best selection of apps on it. Or is it Google Play? I’m not getting in to that debate, but the Windows Phone Store is definately devoid of apps. Here’s my list of apps that I’m missing:

  • DropBox
  • StarBucks Card
  • Google Maps
  • BBC News

There are a plethora of third-party imitation apps for these. I don’t want to put my StarBucks card details in to an ap by Fred Furglebee… All the GameCenter-based games which I played are of couse not available (LetterPress) plus a few other challenge games (QuizUp!) – so it looks like I am going to be using my iPhone for some gaming duties…

Day Three – Metro Fatigue

Oh Metro, you’re so – well bland. Today’s been all about changing accent colours and being thoroughly unimpressed with the look of the UI.

Keyboard Accuracy in Windows Phone 8

I don’t think that the keyboard is very accurate. It takes me a long time to type an email as I’m making so many corrections.

GPS Accuracy

The GPS doesn’t seem to0 be as accurate as the iPhone 5s either. I have seen several occasions when navigating (both with Nokia Drive and Waze) where my location either stops being recognised, or jumps. This is particularly noticeable at Motorway junctions.

Day 4 – travelling!

Day 4 with the Lumia involved a trip to London on the train. The lack of GPS accuracy was really noticeable when trying to navigate my way round the streets of London using Nokia Here maps. I couldn’t even get the compass to calibrate using maps on a city street.

However the underlying phone and data performance really do feel better than my iPhone.

Days S and 6 – the weekend!

The lack of apps has hit me over the weeknd, all the games I really enjoy playing are multiplayer, based round
the iOS GameCenter. Obviouly there’s no interop between the same game on two platforms there,
I’d kind of forgotten that all my music was now in iTunes match and not on my device too, so I’ve not really
got my music any more. Kind of makes it hard to get it on my Lumia.

I’m starting to get really frustrated with my lack of accuracy when using the keyboard on the Lumia too. Is
this just my muscle memory, I’ve used essentially the same keyboard on a phone since the iPhone 3G, am I just
hardwired to an iPhone sized keyboard now?

Days 7 and 8

I’m finding the Office viewers are far better than those on the iPhone, certainly looking at PowerPoint
presentations on the Windows Phone 8 is leaps and bounds better than with the iPhone. But my lack of accuracy
with the keyboard is killing me, I used to be able to rack the emails out on my phone (Currently running at
over 125 emails a day – I rock a lot of emails) but the Lumia doesn’t let me do this. I think there are two
issues.

Firstly as I mentioned previously, my muscle memory, but I don’t think that the autocorrect works as well on
the Windows. ThereTh nothing I can prove here, just a gut feeling.

Day Nine – hello iPhone

This morning I used my iPhone to activate a SIM I’m using when I travel to the USA (Cheap data abroad) – and instantly I felt more accurate in my typing on the iPhone, and even though I’m running a beta build of iOS7.1, it was far more performant.

I decided to do some side-by-side comparisons between teh two platforms. A side-by-side run of Waze idneed showed that the iPhone is faster and more accurate with its GPS than the 925.

As I’m going away and will rely on my phone for email and navigation next week, this has signalled the end of my trial with the 925.

My phone needs to work well for me as its an essential business tool…

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