Windows 8: To phone or not to phone

As I mentioned in previous blog posts, I just got a new computer with Windows 8, which I really like and I’m getting fed up with the teeny tiny screen on my iPhone, among other gripes.

So instead of just jumping back to an Android phone (I think I blogged about my experiences with my Samsung Galaxy S a few years back), I’m taking a serious look at the Windows 8 phones.

OK, first, I understand Win8 has nowhere near the amount of apps that are available on Android or iPhone. I get that. I look at my iPhone and I have a ton of apps.

But how many do I actually use? Only a handful. Mostly email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Amazon, eBay, Kindle, and WordPress. And except for WordPress, all of those are available on Win8. Mostly everything else I do, I do through a browser any way. Banking? My bank is bassackwards so no app. I use a browser. I visit a couple message boards and use the Browser.

The only thing I might miss is my Sky Junk app that let’s me hold the phone up to the sky and show me what star is what and sometimes track the International Space Station. But to be honest, the iPhone astronomy apps aren’t anywhere near as good as the Android app I had years ago, so no big deal if Win8 doesn’t have them.

Games? I don’t play games. Period.

I do write, however, and aside from the iPhone’s teeny tiny piece of fucking shit virtual keyboard, my biggest gripe with the iPhone is I’ve had no documentation compatibility. I haven’t been able to write. Not as prolifically as I’d like. Is it really too much to ask for a free app that can open and edit docs in any format, including .ODT? I guess so because I never found it.

So yes, I’m seriously looking at a Win8 phone. I really would love that Nokia Lumia 1020 with that awesome 41megapixel camera. YouTube it. There are some demonstrations of it that will blow you away. They show a picture of a haystack and they zoom in and in and in and the detail gets sharper and sharper until you can see each individual piece of hay, complete with the seed head and there! Look! You found it. The needle in the haystack! And you can zoom in and see the eye with no pixelating. No distortions. Well, at least they could.

Unfortunately, there are two problems with it. The first is, even with a 2 year contract, it’ll cost around $300. The second is, it’s only available on AT&T and even though my Verizon Wireless contract is up and I could jump ship, I won’t. We had AT&T for a while. Was not a fan of their service, which was so poor our phones would cut out AT HOME! The basement? Forget it. No signal. But even in the rest of the house, we’d have to go upstairs to talk. Nor was there customer service much to speak of then. Maybe they’ve improved, but at this point, better the devil you know than the one you don’t know.

So for Verizon, the flagship Win8 phone is the Nokia Lumia 928. What I like about it:

1) It’s Finnish.
2) The camera has a Carl Zeiss lens and a Zenon (not LED) flash.
3) Win8 means its compatible with my laptop and files, unlike the too numerous to mention here current iPhone/PC laptop issues (no more iTunes! Yay!).
4) Did I mention it’s Finnish?
5) It has a speaker that they claim can achieve 140 decibels (the same as a jet taking off)!
6) Se on Suomen!

Reviews mention negatives like:
1) A dull design. Oh, like my iPhone is so great looking.
2) Poor battery performance that won’t make it to evening. Again, my iPhone isn’t any better. On average, I have to plug in around noon because the battery is down to 30 or 40%.
3) No external memory. Hello! iPhone.
4) No removable battery *waves his iPhone*
5) The Verizon Nokia model only comes in black and white (no brilliant red!). Because, you know, my iPhone is so colorful.

So essentially, the Nokia Lumia 928 negatives are exactly the same as the negatives I’ve been living with for two years with my iPhone. No big deal.

The only real issue I have with Win8 is the feature they seem to think is the most important one. Live tiles. So you’re connected and informed the minute you wake your phone or laptop. Well, maybe I’m weird this way,, but I shut all my live times off. To me, that’s just wasting juice. It’s like leaving the TV on when no one is in the room. Sure, as soon as I walk back I’m instantly aware of what show is on, but is that really necessary? I don’t think so. So I’ll probably turn off all the live tiles on my win8 phone just as I turned off all the notifications on my iPhone, thereby saving battery power and my reducing monthly quota of data usage.

Really, I don’t want my phone constantly buzzing and bothering me. If I want to know what’s going on with Facebook, I’ll open the app. Twitter? I’ll open it. Email? I’ll open it. eBay? OK, that you can notify me. I don’t want to miss out on a watched item. But everything else? Stop notifying me!

Sorry. Minor rant. So there you have it. My reasons why I’m going to get a Win8 phone.

Besides, that new Samsung Galaxy S 4 with the ability to pause when you look away from a video? That’s like electronic stalking. Bad enough the phones keep bothering me with notifications, now it’s watching me watch it? That’s just so NSA creepy. No thanks.

Update 07August2013: I stopped at the Windows Kiosk to look at the Win8 phones. That Nokia 1020 takes some awesome pictures! Too bad it’s only available on AT&T, which begs the question, why do all the new exciting phones come out on AT&T and Sprint while Verizon offers all the decrepit, old phones? The newest phone Verizon offers is from November of last year. They don’t have the cool HTC One or the Nokia. And even the phones they do get are boring black and white. Where’s the Red Nokia Lumia 928?

And I talked to the Windows store rep who said, “The Windows 8 phones come with Microsoft Office apps so you can edit your docs from your phone!” (He didn’t speak with exclamation marks. That’s just how I felt.) “On the phone? As in free?” I asked. “Yes! Free!” (Again, the exclamation marks and excitement was mine, not his.)

Take my money!



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