Back in January, I got my hands on a Nokia Lumia 920 and decided to give Windows Phone 8 an honest try. I'm a fan of Windows 8 and I own a Surface tablet, so I thought it might be cool to somewhat unify all of my computing platforms and immerse myself in all things Microsoft. As you can read in the original post, my experiment did not end well. I found the actual device and OS to be nice, but the Windows Phone 8 app ecosystem left me wanting.
I took a ton of flak for that post. Some misconstrued it as some sort of in-depth review of Windows Phone 8-it wasn't. Others came to the conclusion that I must be a paid shill, unfairly ripping Microsoft for the lackluster state of the Windows Phone apps store at the time. A few readers seemed to understand where I was coming from, but their voices were quickly drowned out in the comments. To be clear, these little experiments of mine are not meant to be all-encompassing deep dives, designed to sway consumers into buying into one mobile ecosystem or the other. It's simply me using a mobile phone in my everyday life, the way I like to use a phone, and posting my thoughts on the experience. That's it-nothing more nothing less.
I think my usage model is similar to that of the vast majority of smartphone users out there. I use my phone mostly for email, calendar and in-box maintenance, web browsing, and social networking on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I also use it as a companion diagnostic device, alongside my laptop, for scanning Wi-Fi networks and the like, and I'll use my phone to remotely control a PC in a pinch too, when I don't have access to a full Windows system. I do some casual gaming and use my phone for some entertainment as well, to watch and capture video while out and about, and take pictures, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary.
For the time being, the Nokia Lumia 920 represents the flagship of Windows Phone 8-based devices.
When I first took Windows Phone 8 for a spin, I thought the OS itself was fairly nice. It's definitely more fluid than Android and iOS in my opinion, and I found app switching to be much faster too. Tapping the Windows button on the Lumia 920 takes you to the home screen almost instantly. Not so on my Android devices. The email app is also fast and responsive, which I can't say about my current daily drive, the Galaxy Note II. Disregarding the Windows Phone app store for a moment, I think anyone who picks up a high-end Windows Phone 8-based device and uses it right out of the box will likely be pleased. What I didn't like was the quality and selection of apps.
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