The Windows Phone Holiday Swap Wrap-Up
Product Reviewsby Erin | on January 9th, 2013 |
Well… it’s official. The Windows Phone Holiday Swap is coming to a close and that means letting you all know how it faired out. Many of you asked me, way back at the beginning of the holiday swap event, if I was going to be able to set aside my iPhone for the duration of the challenge and if I was excited about the Windows Phone. A few of you told me that I wouldn’t survive without my iPhone as it’s nearly always glued to my palm. At least one of you said that I might as well just send the phone back because I’d fail the challenge completely and revert back to my iPhone in the deep, dark, loneliness of the night.
Well, I survived.
In fact, I was also surprised along the way. Surprised at how I went through a transition from, “I miss my iPhone, I hate this phone” to “Okay, this phone has its perks” to “So, Windows, do I NEED to send it back to you?” The range took me by surprise because I’m generally a creature of habit. I like iPhones so therefore I use my iPhone. I like iPhones so therefore I don’t look at alternatives. The Holiday Swap challenge forced me to look at another phone, the Windows phone, which I may never have done on my own. Remember, creature of habit over here.
Once I got past the initial stages of grief over losing my iPhone, I was able to clearly look at the Windows phone and play with it. Test out the different apps, the functionality and the features to see how it could fit into my active lifestyle. There were days when I carried both of my phones with me (I had a temporary SIM card provided to me as part of the challenge so I could use both phones if needed) and I found myself reaching for the Windows phone more and more. When I wanted to read something on Twitter, I more often than not grabbed the Windows phone because the Rowi app, with its ability to customize the home screen and add lists that you can easily scroll through, was ten times better than the native Twitter app on my iPhone. When I let the battery die out on my iPhone and didn’t think about charging it for two whole days, I realized that I had reached a point where the Windows phone was meeting my needs.
Here are the top ten things I love about the Windows phone now that I’ve tried it:
- Customizable home screen – I can pin whatever I want and arrange it however I like
- Rowi Twitter app – mentioned above, it’s an awesome Twitter app
- The camera / video camera – easy to use; great picture quality
- The people feature – having the ability to see all of my contact’s going-ons in one place is awesome
- The games center – I love having all of my games in one dashboard; makes things easy
- Kid’s center – I love that I can set up an area for Willow to use so she doesn’t delete apps or buy things
- Live updates on apps – I like seeing updates without having to login to an app – I use them mostly for the calendar and mail apps
- The alarm clock – I know this sounds funny but until you’ve been woken up by an iPhone and then woken up by a Windows phone, you won’t understand…
- Xbox SmartGlass – I’m new to this one as we just set up our Xbox at Christmas and bought a Kinect system however SmartGlass is an amazing app that turns my Windows phone into a remote for my Xbox
- Messaging – I love that all of my text messages, Facebook messages, etc. get funnelled into one spot on my Windows phone – makes tracking conversations super easy
Here are a couple of things that I think need improvement:
- Screen brightness – right now there are two options: auto brightness and low, medium or high brightness. The thing is, when I’m putting my daughter to bed at night, the lowest setting is still bright but the kicker is that the home button, the arrow and the magnifying glass never dim so it’s incredibly bright – huge distraction to her. Having the ability to dim the ENTIRE phone (including those buttons) would be amazing and maybe a slider, like the iPhone, to better control brightness would be amazing.
- Contact management – I need an easy way to delete a bunch of contacts, old Facebook profiles, etc. as it imported my entire Google contact list which has a few thousand people on it – mostly business colleagues that I don’t want on my personal cell phone.
- Fix phone freezing – a few times during the holiday swap, the Nokia Lumia 920 froze on me. To make it work again, I had to Google ‘soft reset’ and follow a series of steps. The soft reset isn’t difficult to do but the fact that the phone just quit working a few times would be unsettling for someone who didn’t know to Google soft reset.
- App store options – I know this will come in time and as the Windows phones grow in popularity but I can’t wait until more of my favourite iPhone apps hit the Windows app store *cough* Hey Day *cough*
All in all, I had a very fun time reviewing and playing with the Windows phone for the last few weeks. At the end of it all, I actually really, really enjoy the Windows phone and with a few minor tweaks, I think it would be the perfect phone.
Erin is a mom to a very outgoing little girl named Willow. Willow was born on November 24, 2010 – three years after Erin and her husband decided to start planning their family. Erin is the owner of an online media agency and also vlogs much of her life on YouTube. She loves reading, writing and sharing her life with others.
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