After being an iPhone user since v2 (I skipped the non-3G v1 effort) I recently decided to jump ship and try Windows Phone 8.
The iPhone experience, although tweaked here and there over the years, has largely remained the same and I was a bit bored of it.
I went for a HTC 8x, three main reasons…
- Rave reviews
- The Nokia 920 was only available (when I bought it in the UK) locked to Orange and associated networks. I wanted to take it back the Cayman Islands!
- Although big (smaller than the Nokia 920 though), it does feel pretty slick.
Rather than writing a novel on the subject, I’m just going to push out some bullet points.
The good ( OS )
- The WP8 UI is beautiful, its smooth and very modern.
- I love how my social networks are integrated directly into the phone, in the people hub for example. This is a big plus.
- Contact pictures auto downloaded and merging contacts works well.
- Live tiles, love this. Seeing a little calendar, weather etc info directly on the tile.
- Maps – although not better than the Google maps on iOS, considerably better than Apple’s disgraceful effort in iOS 6.
The bad ( OS )
- Apps, apps, apps. The app store has pretty slim pickings, although the main contenders are there, its clear the investment in developing those apps (like Facebook, whats app, BBC news) is pretty poor as they are simply crap compared to the iOS version. To the point that they just don’t function correctly, let alone poorly. Although not directly a fault of the phone…it hurts the WP8 eco system.
- Slow, I don’t mean the OS itself, which is very snappy. Refreshing data in apps, opening web pages, its just slower than the iPhone.
- Search. Why the hell does that search button default to the web? It should search my phone first, then the web.
- Mail live tile. Shows number of new items, going into the app, whether i read them or not, removes that number. That’s crap.
- The keyboard and auto-correct is not good. I make more typo’s than ever before.
- Closing apps. Perhaps this is me, I’m missing something. But I want to force the closure of apps. Mainly because they are crap and need to restart in order to refresh. How?!
As a user of the MS online eco system (live mail, skydrive etc) I would say that the WP8 integrates really well with that, but iOS has some nice apps that do the same.
The good ( Phone )
- Great to hold, love the feel of it.
- Screen is really clear
- Although quite big, its really thin and fits really well into a pocket.
The bad ( Phone )
- The buttons for power, volume, camera are just not good.
- The phone is too big to operate well with one hand. I can’t hit the power/lock button without pressing the camera button.
- The battery is poor. I’m lucky to get a day from it. On my iPhone 4 a day was easy…i could stretch it out.
- The camera, although the MP is high, getting a good shot is tricky…you need a very steady hand. This might be the OS, but still…its not great.
In general I am pretty happy. I don’t think the WP8 is as good as an iPhone. In software or hardware. Perhaps with some investment in apps it will be better.
I’m happy to be using something different from an iPhone though – a change was needed.
On another note, I’ve recently been given a Blackberry from work…now that is total rubbish!!!!!!!