And so begins my journey of being a Windows Phone user. It was a journey that I half volunteered for and half was forced into. You see, Microsoft sells a contract-free Windows Phone locked to T-Mobile’s network for $130. I ordered it, but discovered that it wouldn’t work with my Simple Mobile SIM card without being unlocked (or so I thought). Coincidentally, a week later, I would take an unfortunate fall in the street and crack my Nexus 4 phone screen, rendering half of the phone’s surface not usable. So it goes.
This amusing turn of events left me forced into using the phone I intended to gingerly toy with. I promptly ordered an unlock code. Magically, before I had to enter an unlock code, I placed my SIM card into my phone and it just worked. It gave me an error, but it worked all the same. I had to enter an AT&T SIM card into to get it to show as locked, just to unlock it. The unlocking process was a waste of time (and money) for me, but at least I can use the phone in Europe, that’s a victory.
Now begins the real trial. I am the proud owner and user of a Nokia Lumia 635. Using both iPhone and Android, this is going to be quite the learning experience. I think it best to chronicle my experience, simply to look back on one day. I reckon that brief observations, periodically posted here, will be easily palatable.
What is there to say about the phone as far as standing on its own two feet? It works well, it performs the functions that you would expect a phone to perform in 2014. It has a voice-command function, similar to Siri and Google (called Cortana). One giant plus this phone has over the iPhone is that the keyboard has Swype-like functionality. Once you begin using Swype or a similar entry method on an Android, it’s hard to go back to tapping your thumbs on the screen like a neanderthal. Now that the Windows Phone is equipped with this, transitioning became exponentially easier (for me).
What I’m having a tough time with: the apps just aren’t there. A lot of companies don’t even bother to make an app for Windows Phones. Instagram has a “beta” app. Facebook’s app is reminiscent of Facebook, as it appeared in 2007. Fortunately, some third parties have picked up the ball and made some great (and in some cases, superior) apps in the official parties’ stead.
The one thing I’m having the most trouble with is app-to-app functionality. I haven’t used an iPhone since 2010 and can’t speak on how it functions, but Android was excellent at launching things in the appropriate app; e.g. browsing a website and clicking a Youtube link would launch the Youtube app, or at least prompt you with the option. Instagram would be able to pull pictures from your local phone library as well as cloud-based libraries like Dropbox, or Dropbox would have a built in “export” feature that allowed you to send the picture to a different app, such as Twitter. This doesn’t appear to exist on Windows Phone and is something that I dearly miss.
I can tell as a self-professed “power user” that I will probably use this phone for a while and really discover if my need for Android’s more intricate functions is need or want. Put simply, I’m dating my Lumia 635, and it’s nothing serious yet, we’re just having fun. I’m willing to see where it goes. No rush in declaring that “she is the one.”