I have this habit of going for something that is not mainstream. Example: people are buying Samsung, HTC, iPhone, Sony smartphones. But I would buy CSL, Lenovo and Lumia 800 back then. I have this feeling that I can’t shake off.
To me, it’s not the brand that matters, it’s how you make it work.
If I want the best of the best, I will be just like my best buddy Ronny who looks for devices that has the highest specifications regardless of brand. But not me. I bought the CSL Spice a few years back because it’s cheap and yet the hardware specification is on par with HTC Desire HD (back in 2010/2011). What I did with it was that I rooted it and I installed custom ROM in it such as CyanogenMod. I managed to turn something simple and cheap into a very fast and responsive device. That’s what I like to do.
But my best purchase among all the “unknown” devices was my old Nokia Lumia 800 running the old Windows Phone 7.5 OS. Not many of my friends uses a Windows Phone. In fact, none of my friends were using it. They saw it, they played with it, they liked it, but they won’t buy it.
The reason is obvious. While Android and iOS offers tons of apps available to install, Windows Phone offers only about 30% of the total apps as compared to what Apple App Store offers. They don’t have Instagram at that time, other apps are incomplete and YouTube is non-existent in Windows Marketplace.
But that was 3 years ago. Now it’s a different story.
With the recent launch of the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, things are looking bright and sunny for WP devices. The 0.1 addition to the previous 8.0 version brought in tons of improvements. Although the small number in version, the difference is huge. The hardware that comes with the device itself is also getting better.
Android based devices has been getting all the high-end specifications. To me, it’s because the consumers are pushing the phone to its limit and demanding more power so that they can run power hungry apps.
It is somehow not the case with Windows Phone devices. 1GB of RAM is more than enough to run the WP8.1 OS without any lag. I’ve known this for a long time. Any WP device uses very little memory and would dump the cache and data when you close an app. Hence why it will run very smoothly even though you only have 512MB of RAM on some of the older devices.
I have listed a few reasons below why a Windows Phone will be my next phone.
This is what made Windows Phone different from the rest, and the most obvious difference. Apple’s iOS uses good looking icons, Android has widgets and Windows Phone has Live Tiles.
What it does is that it should more than just icons. You can check out messages, notices and email notifications displayed on the Live Tiles itself. The new WP 8.1 version does it even better. The Live Tiles are now supports background images and the icons can be semi translucent so that you can see the beautiful special effects. It is what made the Windows Phone even more beautiful.
The first time I use my Lumia 800, I find it a little bit awkward in the beginning. I thought I have to learn a whole new OS on how to use it. But as soon as I switch the phone on, everything is simple. It is so easy to use that I kinda mastered it within less than half an hour. One thing for sure, I love the responsiveness.
Sure, iPhone have their iCloud for your to store data online. But One Drive is more open so that you can use it with any other devices that you have. The integration with multiple devices is very welcoming. Say if you have an Android phone and a Windows phone, both can use the same account in One Drive and sync photos or documents from both devices.
Of course we can do this with other 3rd party apps such as Dropbox and Box but this one comes preloaded in the OS. Plus, you get about 15GB of extra space in your One Drive when you purchase a new Windows Phone. I already have 50GB, so after this I can add it up to become 65GB. Nice.
In this context, I meant consistency in all the devices in terms of interface and functionality. Ever since the release of Windows 8 (desktop computer OS), the interface has been streamlined to look similar with Windows Phone OS so that users can easily adapt to the new Windows environment. So technically, you can now use your PC, laptops, Windows OS based tabs and smartphones, all the same way.
You can also sync and use a single account across all your other devices. This is becoming the norm for Windows (mobile) environment. That is why your life will be simpler from now on because you don’t need to re-learn everything at once. All the same now, well, similar.
Who? Well, Cortana is Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now. What made it different and somewhat better than Siri and Google Now is the ability to learn everything new about you on daily basis. Cortana will learn your favourite type of food and where is the nearest restaurant that serves your favourite dish. What it does is that it will ask you a few sets of questions as you bond with your phone, asking you what you like to do and what kind of music you prefer. It is Cortana’s way of getting to know you.
Google Now can learn your location and where you always hangout but that’s about it. Cortana will tell you can things that is going on around you, without you asking. And the name “Cortana”, sounds way cooler than Siri…right?
Let’s face it. The first thing we’re going to look at when buying a new phone is the camera, right? There are cheaper phones out there with better camera but none can match the camera technology made by a Windows Phone. The camera software itself is beautifully done. The interface is easy to use and the functions are more professional like. Plus, there are so many other cool extras that comes with it.
Many camera software makers are trying to mimic the overall interface of the WP camera software. Most of them don’t do well.
Best of all, most of the higher end Lumia series Windows Phone is equipped with an Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) for better shooting in the dark. With OIS, you don’t have to worry about blurry images at all. The technology of OIS in smartphones was first introduced by the Lumia 920. From then on, many other manufacturers are pushing their devices to be equipped with the same technology.
It’s not that I don’t like Android OS or iOS for that matter. Trust me, I have been an Android user for as long as I can remember but I always love to adapt to new things. To me, Windows Phone is not a new thing because I used to own a Lumia 800 which I loved. Reason I sold that one off was because the OS is stuck at version 7.8 and no further upgrade is available. Version 8 and above uses a totally different programming platform so my old Lumia 800 couldn’t support it.
One concern that most consumers have about a Windows Phone is the availability of the popular apps. 3 years ago, the Marketplace don’t have much to offer. Today, there are tons of popular apps being added. They don’t have Instagram back then, they have it now. Few hundreds, if not, thousands of apps are being added daily. And the number is still growing rapidly.
Now is the right time to make the shift to a Windows Phone environment. I know that I will be saving some cash for my next upgrade, and it will definitely be a Windows Phone.
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