25
Jun
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After a two week stint with the BlackBerry Z10 last month, I happened upon another chance to go across the platform border, this time into the Windows world - with the Nokia Lumia 928.

Microsoft and mobile have had a tumultuous, off-again on-again relationship. However, there is little doubt that MS's smartphone success peaked with Windows Mobile 6, and then very, very rapidly fell off as iOS and Android rolled onto the scene. I remember the announcement of Windows Phone 7, in 2010: a bold step forward visually, though in the minds of many a WinMo diehard, a huge step back functionally.

The Windows smartphone platform went from a productivity-based, power-user-centric experience to... live tiles. I mean, that's simplifying it, but it's also basically what happened, painting in broad strokes. Whereas BlackBerry struggled for years to change the direction of the sinking ship that was pre-QNX BB OS before finally letting go, Microsoft scuttled Windows Mobile after version 6.5 dropped with all the heartfelt sentiment of taking out the trash.

For me personally, that's always made Windows Phone a very interesting platform - Microsoft clearly took no issue with going for broke once it realized it was on the fast track to irrelevance. Basically no backward compatibility, and absolutely no deference to the previous OS's design or workflows came with Windows Phone 7. This has no doubt been a major reason behind the company's rapid loss of market share in the smartphone space, but as someone once told me: "Microsoft doesn't think about products in terms of 2 years or 3 years. They think about 5 years, 10 years - or more." That's part of the reason I think Windows Phone is bound to eventually achieve some level of success: Microsoft has no intention of letting it die quietly, and has the means and motivation to ensure it doesn't.

Anyway, that's getting off track. Here and now, we have Windows Phone 8, which as far as technological underpinnings are concerned, was actually a major advancement over the CE-based WP7. WP8 is based on the NT kernel, and shares many components with the Windows 8 desktop OS. Microsoft's goal is in some sense eventual platform unity, with apps and services moving seamlessly between Windows Phone and good ol' desktop Windows. Right now, though, that obviously isn't the case.

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Enter the Lumia 928. This is one of the most recently released Windows Phones on the market, and it's something of an oddity. As a Verizon exclusive, the 928 stands alone in Nokia's lineup, though it is closely related related to the Lumia 920 and 925.

I've spent three weeks with the 928, and I've come away impressed with the Windows Phone platform in some respects. While it is obviously still teething (a lot, in some areas), as long as Microsoft can keep pushing Nokia and HTC to build handsets, I think it's going to be a legitimately competitive platform within the next year or two. The 928? Well, it wouldn't be my Windows Phone of choice. I'm just not a big fan of it. I hear the 925 is really nice, though.

Hardware: The Lumia 928

Nokia's smartphone designs have long been praised as very clean - very Scandinavian. This is no different on the 928. While I have heard from other reviewers that the 928 definitely feels a bit more "phoned in" (pun absolutely intended) than some of Nokia's more refined handsets, it's still a million times prettier than the Galaxy S4. The buttons are extremely flush with the bodywork, and the piano color scheme is eye-catching without being as silly as some of the more neon-themed WP8 handsets out there.

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Nokia's devices also blend the highly geometric look of Windows Phone 8 effortlessly into the design of the handset itself. Even looked at side by side next to HTC's aluminum beauty, the One, it is difficult not to admire the aesthetic unity of the 928, particularly when the OS is displayed.

The 928's downfall is that it does not quite seem to live up to that beauty in quite the same way as its sibling, the 925, does. The odd chromed metal stripe along the camera feels like a very forced design decision, and is constantly covered in fingerprints. The speaker grille on the back also exhibits some flexing and "popping" noises when pressed, which I have heard is very un-Nokia. (Though the rest of the phone does feel super solid.)

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It's also incredibly thick. Like, I feel like I've gone back to 2010 and bought an EVO 4G thick. The listed thickness for the 928 is 10.1mm, but it seems much more like 11 or 12mm, and it weighs 162g with a 4.5" display. That's within 10g of the 5.5" Optimus G Pro. This phone is very heavy for its size. Some people say this is characteristic of Nokia handsets - even that the heft is preferred - but I can't agree at all. A heavier phone is harder to hold at awkward angles, easier to drop, and will drop with more force, making a display fracture more likely. The compromises are not worth any sort of emotional placebo (which is exactly what it is) the dense feeling provides.

Basically, I think the 928 occupies the opposite extreme as the Galaxy S4 in terms of construction. If they met in the middle, you might get the perfect polycarbonate device. I wish Samsung would learn that.

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Moving on, battery life with the 928 has been very good - certainly better than what I've come to expect of flagship Android devices. I easily made it through a whole day of email, Twitter, and a healthy amount of Reddit browsing on a regular basis. I've heard a lot of mixed reports on Windows Phone battery life, and much of it seems to stem from apps and live tiles. Much like Android used to, I think WP8 is suffering from poorly optimized 3rd party software still being fairly common in the ecosystem, and it only takes one hungry app to ruin your battery life. My experience, though, has been quite good in this regard, and that's probably because the older dual-core MSM8960 Snapdragon processor has always been something of a power-sipper.

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The display is an AMOLED panel (1280x768), though unfortunately it is a PenTile subpixel arrangement, meaning it's not a true "retina" experience. Text aliasing is readily visible upon close inspection, though WP8 as a platform doesn't exactly encourage you to look closely at the OS - fonts are large, and live tiles promote "at a glance" scanning behavior. I think the primary reason Nokia used AMOLED is for the very low black levels. I imagine WP8 looks substantially uglier through an LCD's not-so-black blacks. It's an acceptable display, but paired up against the Galaxy S4 or One for more nuanced tasks like photo viewing, it does fall flat. And, as AMOLED displays are wont to do, it provides disappointing sunlight performance.

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The external speaker is crazy loud, though it doesn't exactly sound good. Wireless performance has definitely been up to snuff, and Verizon's LTE network provides an excellent mobile data experience in my area.

Now, let's move on to the part that actually matters.

Software

I'm going to do this a bit different than I did the BlackBerry piece, and make it a little more directly comparative to Android - so bear with me on the format.

Email / Calendar / Contacts

Let's get to meat of it: if you're an Android user, Google is probably your standby for email, contact management, and calendars. On Windows Phone 8, this is problematic. If you have Google Calendars shared to your account, those don't work (your personal calendar will). And Gmail-specific contacts are only half-functional, in that you have to search a particular email account's "directory" (as opposed to the People app) if you want to query your full Google / Gapps contact list. It's easy enough, but it is a couple extra taps. Custom Gmail folders are supported, but Microsoft makes you dig to find them (3-dot menu, folders, then "show all folders"). Labels are not supported, and like most 3rd party email clients, there is no "archive" command.

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The email app itself is pretty nice, though. It's very fast, I love the way it organizes threads and displays information, and it syncs Gmail both push and pull through IMAP flawlessly. Good work, Microsoft. Not so good work? You can't attach full-sized images to emails. The app automatically compresses them. You can't adjust this setting. This is infuriating at times (full-sized images can be uploaded to SkyDrive or via other sharing services).

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Pictured: typical Outlook.com inbox contents.

The calendar situation is mildly better than on desktop Windows 8 (where Gmail calendars no longer sync at all), but is still basically frustrating with no shared calendars available. The only other viable solutions are to use the mobile site (ugh), or to export your calendars into your Outlook account.

The latter is what Microsoft really wants you to do, and they want you to do the same with your contacts, and forward your email there, too. Sorry, I am just not on board with the notion of making Outlook And Friends my second "home" on the internet. There's a reason iOS has standalone Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Now apps: people like Google services for the features and integration they provide. For an OS that gets significantly less hate from your average Android fanboy than iOS, Windows Phone 8 is much less friendly to Google products than our favorite iPunching-bag. Part of this, of course, is on Google (for not making apps), but Microsoft has made it abundantly clear of late that it's not friends with Google anymore and is taking its ball and going home to make its own ecosystem.

For this reason alone, I cannot see myself ever - personally speaking - switching to the Windows Phone platform. As long as Microsoft and Google are so stand-offish with one another, the sacrifices will never be worth it for me. Heck, WP8 can't even use the new Google Mobile homepage. The cold war of Scroogled ads and ActiveSync nukes needs to end. It's bad for everyone, and it ignores a huge market segment for Microsoft.

Search

Microsoft has not opted for a universal search system, which is probably a good thing. I didn't really enjoy it on BlackBerry OS 10, and I'm not totally convinced of the usefulness of such a feature in general. Your Windows Phone has a dedicated capacitive key for search, and the way it's currently implemented sucks. I'm not sure what kind of kool-aid the Bing UX team is drinking, but I don't want any.

The search key has multiple personality disorder, and makes actually searching the internet way more difficult and busy than it needs to be. So, tap the search key, and what comes up? You get a Bing page with a search box (with microphone), and a big picture splash. The picture splash has clever little caption squares, because Microsoft can be fun, too, or something. At the bottom of the screen, you have three icons: one of some buildings, the other a little eighth note, and the third an eye. Those give you "local" (nearby places, organized in tabs by category), song search, and image search (limited to barcodes and books / CDs /DVDs). To the left and right, you have tabs: local deals, top headlines, top videos, movies in theaters, and local events. Yay clutter.

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Well, let's say I actually want to do a old-fashioned web search. Tap the search box, and enter your query. Let's say I type "Starbucks." Your Google-fu should tell you that such a search should probably yield some local results, but also a list of relevant web pages. Right? Well, no. Microsoft arbitrarily decides that whenever you type the name of a place it thinks is nearby, it's going to send you directly to the "Local" tab with a set of location listings, and only location listings. 75% of the time, this is probably what I want. But the other 25% is why Google doesn't force-feed you a specific type of result by guessing what you wanted. Those location listings don't even have quick shortcuts to call or get directions - you have to go a tap deeper, into the individual place's listing page, to get that stuff.

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The tab for actual web results is one right-swipe away, but it's hidden, and so most people will end up doing three left-swipes to get to it. This is horrible, horrible search UX. Anything, and I mean anything, that gets in the way of me getting to my desired result as quickly as possible is bad.

On Android, if I tap the search widget, I see a drop down of my recent searches, a weather card, and the keyboard pops up. Can we all agree that sometimes, maybe, when someone initiates a search command that they actually want to search for something right now? Searching for "Starbucks" gives me Starbucks.com as result #1 with various quick shortcuts to other sections of their site, and a map of nearby locations underneath, with three of the nearest locations listed below that, with shortcuts to call them, get directions, or go to their webpage. Microsoft, this is why people don't like Bing. Re-label that capacitive button as the "random Bing shit" button, or immediately pop up the keyboard and let me type a query and give me a set of unified search results.

This is probably the, shall we say, darkest part of the software review. Most things in WP8 are much less offensive coming from an Android perspective, but I felt this needed special, up front attention, as I can only assume most Android users will be greatly aggravated by these issues.

Maps / Navigation

Nokia's HERE Maps come as standard on Nokia Windows Phones, because Bing Maps apparently aren't up to Nokia's rigorous standards. They're OK. The performance of the app itself feels decidedly laggy when compared to Google Maps (the maps are actually locally stored, too. Like, the whole of the USA), and searching for addresses takes oddly long. The directions interface is exceptionally clunky and feels unfinished. Nokia's Drive+ Navigation app is also packed in here, and it's.. a navigation app. I'm not a cartographer, and I don't drive 150 miles on backroads or through complicated urban avenues every day. I can't tell you how good the navigation or directions are in a meaningful way. If you want to know, I'd suggest Googling it.

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HERE Maps does not use a layer-based interface, something I think we've all come to take for granted on Google Maps, and it makes multitasking within the maps app basically impossible. You cannot have satellite and road traffic views simultaneously, for example, or simply browse points of interest around your end destination while directions are up.

The other downfall is in points of interest. There aren't nearly as many, and I think that's almost expected, in a way. Google has amassed so much location data for businesses and landmarks that Microsoft, BlackBerry, and Apple just can't hope to compete at this point. Searching for "Joe's Pizza" - a locally famous pizzeria in downtown Santa Monica, CA - Nokia's maps yielded a result in Hollywood for their second store, but could not find their Santa Monica location. Google, of course, nailed it immediately. This is the kind of thing we take as a given with Google Maps, and I think any alternative will disappoint in this regard.

A note on comparing services

Here are a few grains of salt to take all this with stuff about maps and calendars and email. One: my world did not collapse and I did not miss important meetings with the President because I didn't have shared calendars or an email archive button. I really like the WP8 email app itself, and not having labels wasn't the worst thing in the world. I adapted, and pretty quickly. As for the calendar, if you're desperate, the mobile site works. Two: there is an official Google Search app, but it's not very good or up to date in terms of layout or the general experience. It's serviceable, I guess, because I really don't like the Bing experience. Three: if you're willing to fully jump ship to the Windows World or aren't really a Google diehard, most of these points are moot. You can live with Windows Phone 8 as a Google user, I just don't think it's as good a world. Moving on.

Apps, app design, and the Windows Phone Store

Supposedly it's growing, and I can believe that. It's much harder to find big name apps missing from the WP8 store than it is on, say, BB OS 10. But it's not complete, either. Here is a list of a few major apps not published by their respective owners on the Windows Phone Store.

  • Google: Everything except Search - and it's an old version - including YouTube (there are plenty of awful, terrible 3rd party YouTube apps)
  • Facebook (the official WP8 app is published by Microsoft), Facebook Messenger
  • Dropbox
  • Amazon MP3
  • Mint.com
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Here are a few that are on the Windows Phone Store.

  • TuneIn
  • Spotify
  • Slacker Radio
  • Amazon Mobile
  • CNN
  • eBay
  • Flixster
  • Hulu+
  • Netflix
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pandora
  • Adobe Reader
  • Speedtest.net
  • Yelp
  • The Weather Channel
  • Whatsapp
  • IMDB
  • PayPal

Far from a complete list (and not meant to be), but if I were to estimate, I'd say way fewer than half the above apps are on BB OS 10. So, while the Windows Phone ecosystem does have some notable holes (*cough* Google *cough*), it's clear that most major companies are taking the platform seriously and putting time into applications. So, are those apps actually any good? It greatly depends.

Some of the apps are actually a lot better, if you can believe it. From what I understand, Microsoft heavily pushes its basic app UI framework (swipeable tabs with giant header font and zero chrome), and the result is that most apps actually look and function a lot alike. It's kind of what I think Google wants to achieve with its own design guidelines, but Microsoft actually seems to be much more intent on pushing it. I just don't know if it always works out.

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For example, the Netflix app for WP8 looks gorgeous and runs way more smoothly than the Android app, though I'm not sure the tabbed scrolling lists Microsoft so loves are the most efficient way to navigate it. Having a dedicated search button is nice on most Android apps, and that is simply not a feature of WP8 (the hardware search button has no context sensitivity). Same goes for the PayPal app - much prettier and faster, to my eyes (sorry, you'll have to dig up your own screenshots!). But the PayPal app on WP8 seems even buggier than the Android version. I had even worse issues with Speedtest.net, which simply won't open anymore even after uninstalling and reinstalling the app. In fact, every app I seem to use can be described this way: prettier, faster, but buggier and sometimes lacking equivalent functionality.

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Microsoft's heavy use of swipeable tabs also isn't gracefully implemented by some developers. Amazon Mobile, for example, appears to be slapped together with all the grace of a Chipotle burrito. It screams "we did this because we had to, not because it made for a better experience." Navigating the app is painfully inefficient, and Amazon has plastered a universal search bar above some tabs some of the time - seemingly in defiance - as a makeshift solution.

Microsoft also seems to encourage a bottom "action bar" area that houses various context-sensitive actions, and a 3-dot menu button. In PayPal, some screens have + and - action buttons, for adding and withdrawing funds. Amazon has home, search, and shopping buttons. These icons apparently must be displayed by default only as visual representations of the action. Hitting the 3-dot menu button exposes text below them explaining what each does, and any overflow options available. This has caused me significant frustration, because oftentimes the pictures make little immediate sense in terms of function, so I have to hit the 3-dot to look at what each one is. For apps you use one or twice a month, you may never remember exactly what each button does. I think for things like email, Twitter, or very commonly used apps, a few such buttons can be good. But in many, they just cause confusion and "hide the ball."

All of these growing pains are to be expected of a platform that is still nascent in its popular adoption by developers. Whatever Microsoft is doing to encourage UI consistency is working, though, and app performance seems pretty good as well. That said, the amount of interesting, novel apps on Windows Phone 8 will definitely take time to catch up with Android and iOS. There is little incentive to code a beautiful, functional, unique app for a platform that makes up a sub-5% share in basically every major market.

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Oh, there's an Office app. It opens Office-format documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It works with SharePoint and Office 365 / Office Online (via SkyDrive). It's a very pretty app, though it obviously does not allow you to create any of said documents, just open and edit them. (Edit: You can create documents. For whatever reason, the "New" button on my phone kept giving me a SharePoint URL dialog, but now it seems to be functioning just fine.) It seems to work pretty well, but I am far from an Office guru.

Anyways, that's apps. How about the OS?

The operating system, generally: Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone is an extremely simple operating system from a user-facing perspective. You have two main splashes: your live tiles, and the list of apps on your device. Those are your homescreens, and your only ones. There is no slide-up/down notification area (there is no notification area period), and you won't be finding much in the way of customizing your experience outside of the options Microsoft gives you.

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Let's talk about live tiles. The idea behind live tiles is, essentially, widgets. They're a bit like Android widgets, but also significantly less powerful, so it's really better to think of them as icons on steroids that can also be resized, if that makes sense. Live tiles are meant to house the apps and services which are important to you. They can serve simply as app shortcuts in their smallest size (though notifications will still show sometimes), or at their largest, can be stretched to display content previews or other pertinent information.

Any app can have a live tile. It's up to developers to code that live tile in a way that is useful. Live tiles come in three sizes (not all tiles support all three sizes) and can be arranged on the homescreen basically any way you like. The pictures app does a slideshow of pictures on the live tile. Email accounts and social networks display unread notifications. Email can even show a preview of the newest message in your inbox. CNN shows the current top headline and a pretty photo.

Some apps, though, don't really make much use of the larger tile sizes. Twitter, for example, is just a giant blue rectangle at maximum size unless there's a notification, which I believe it will then display. The even greater oddity is that many of Microsoft's own apps do absolutely nothing as live tiles. Local Scout (think of it like Google Maps Places), Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Phone Store, and a handful of others have no live tile functionality whatsoever. This is why I really am not on board with live tiles: even Microsoft can't figure out ways to use them effectively in many situations. It seems silly to orient all phone interaction around the live tile experience when that experience doesn't really do anything great.

My phone's homescreen being a giant scrolling vertical list also does nothing for me at all. It's a novelty. It's not horrible, but nor is it very good at providing structural organization to the whole live tile experience. At the bottom of this list is a right arrow which will move you to the next homescreen. I guess that's useful for people who don't realize swiping on your touchscreen smartphone is a thing. You know, on that OS that is absolutely obsessed with swipeable tabs in every single app. Yeah.

Your other homescreen is a vertical list of all your apps. You can tap and hold to bring up various actions (pin to Start [live tile homescreen], rate and review, share, and uninstall. You can search your apps or tap one of the alphabet headers to instantly go to a particular letter, which you may do because A.) the scrolling is locked in at a stupidly low max speed and B.) it's a god damn vertical list of like 80 things. I'd say you have a quasi-homescreen in the Bing search splash, but I already talked about how annoying that is.

There's also your lockscreen, which sometimes shows notifications for apps. I have no idea how it works out which to show or when, but sometimes it does. They're usually just email unread count numbers. Up top, you have things like network connectivity, battery remaining, and the time. By default, only the battery and clock are shown, but tap at the top edge of the screen and the little network icons will drop down with a cheerful bounce. Pull on it like you're grabbing a notification bar, and not only will the icons tumble down, they'll fill your soul with a deep sense of functional inadequacy.

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Supposedly the next major WP update is getting a notification center. You do that, Microsoft.

There are some notifications in WP8. They're little toast notifications that appear at the top of the display (you know, where that notification bar would be) and disappear after sitting there a few seconds. They don't collect while the display is off, and there is no way to keep them around longer. Tapping once while it is up, should you be so lucky, will take you to the respective app that spawned this proto-notification.

The keyboard in WP8 is awesome. I love it. It's extremely fast, smooth, and accurate. Suggestions are pretty average, but the typing experience itself is brilliant. I like keyboards that get out of my way and let me type out my words, and do so accurately. Microsoft seems to have done a bang up job here.

The main settings menu has most of what you'd expect in a modern smartphone, though for whatever reason Microsoft has decided you, you easily-confused simpleton, do not need an actual slider or any kind of fine-grain control over your display brightness. Low, medium, and high are your options. Or automatic (which is always too dim). Gee, thanks. There are also two areas to check your storage: phone storage and storage check. One lets you see exactly what is using your data along with a storage overview, and one just gives you a storage overview. And this makes sense because...?

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Multitasking. Let's talk multitasking. Windows Phone 8 multitasks kind of like BB OS 10 does - applications that are not in the foreground are "dormant," and unless they have explicit permission to run in the background (MS has rules about this), they're frozen in a sort of "app stasis." This does mean that app recall is usually very, very good. I almost always go back to exactly where I was in an app even hours after last opening it.

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A set of horizontally scrolling app cards appears when you hold down the back button, and that whole system works quite intuitively. The way the back button works in general, though, is really, really weird. So, the back button is designed to be extremely rigid in its interpretation of going "back." Hit the home button while in an app, end up at the home screen, and then tap the back button - what do you think will happen? Most people would expect it to do nothing, but not so fast: you'll go back into the app you just closed, exactly where you were. I want this to be useful, but it just feels so... weird. Microsoft's developer guidelines enforce very strict rules about back button behavior (it does seem to work very reliably), in that it must always take you to the last displayed "page" in the app. At least they're better than Google about it.

With that, I think I've covered most of the OS. WP8 is very weird in some ways, and strangely inefficient to navigate, I find. It's also very smooth (even with annoying capped scrolling speeds), fluid, and pretty. It just feels so... empty, though. There are very few customization options, and very few features to really dig into. It doesn't quite come off first-gen, but it definitely doesn't seem finished, either. If I were to describe Windows Phone 8 in a word, it would be "soulless." There is nothing here that makes me feel techno-lust for the platform. No killer features. Part of this is the app selection. While there are many big-name apps, some are less than totally functional, and smaller developers are still staying away for the most part. Because of that, it's hard to get a good feel for what makes WP8 special other than what Microsoft has stuffed in there, and it's kind of bare bones on that front. The makings of a great smartphone platform are here, but the content and innovative features are not.

Camera

I'm going to close out this little review and talk about the camera and camera app here for primarily because I forgot about it initially. Spoiler alert: the camera app is AWFUL. I mean really, really bad. It is painfully apparent Microsoft has never developed a camera UI.

Capture is done via tapping the screen on your focal point or by hitting the hardware shutter button. There are quick controls for flash, front / rear camera switching, a "random function button" (as I call it - Microsoft calls it "Lenses"), and a video capture mode button. Alright, so where are all the other settings? Hit the 3-dot overflow button and you get a 2-item menu: photo settings and camera settings. I can already tell this is going to be fun. Photo settings houses all the tweaks and tuning options you'd expect of a camera app. Some of those items, like ISO, pop up a little drop-down list of selectable settings. Pretty standard. Some, like exposure, bring up a full-screen UI of options to choose from, for no apparent reason other than "because Microsoft did it that way." Lack of consistency aside, the fact that I have to open three distinct menus to change the scene mode is absolutely absurd. Just... no, Microsoft.

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Night mode (which works very, very well, by the way) is also housed in this menu as a scene setting, which is all the more frustrating because as far as I could tell in my time using the Lumia 928, the phone either does not automatically turn on night mode, or is very picky about situations in which it will use it.

Oh, and literally as I am writing this, the camera app has broken because I let the display time out with the app active. It's just sitting here giving me a green screen and no output. There is no way to force kill apps in Windows Phone 8 (yep, really), so just opening and closing it over should fix the problem, right? Nope. Still green. Hey, there's a "Reset camera" button in the camera section of the application settings menu, this is surely the conundrum which it is devoted to solving. Tap. Annnnnd still green. Guess I'll have to reboot the phone. (It worked.)

The 928's camera itself is quite good. I don't have a bunch of sample shots to provide (this isn't a review, after all), but take a look at the difference between these two photos. On the left, you have a photo shot without Night Mode turned on, and on the right, it is on (as well as the bottom).

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Now, as soon as you zoom in on the night mode photos, you can see a lot of this is Disney Magic post-processing. The foliage at the bottom of the lower-right image is so softened as to be unrecognizable, and the sky is significantly brighter than it was when I actually took the picture. In fact, the photo on the left in both instances represents the sky significantly more accurately. But the amount of extra detail and objects drawn out in night mode make it a no contest win for the photos on the right. Night mode shots are difficult to take, though, because they turn the shutter time way up, and many of the ones I snapped were unusable. They also take a long time to process.

Still, you can't argue with the results - that's a damn amazing picture taken with a smartphone at 9:00PM - well after sunset. I can't wait to see what the beastly EOS phone is going to be capable of in similar circumstances.

There's a Xenon flash on the 928, too. It works pretty well. The resulting pictures look substantially more natural than those taken with a traditional LED flash, but you can still very obviously tell that a flash was used. It'll be interesting to see if Apple's rumored dual-color LED setup or this Xenon configuration become the standard in next-gen smartphone cameras.

Conclusion

I didn't come away nearly as disappointed with Lumia 928 as I thought I would. That's probably pretty high praise for someone who has no desire whatsoever to switch from Android as a phone operating system. Windows Phone 8 has received plenty of "meh" since it was released, though, and it's easy to see why. The platform as a whole has one thing really going for it right now: Nokia (and Nokia fans). The 928 is Nokia on an off day, and even then, this phone could be used to physically beat a Galaxy S4 into smithereens. It is too bulky and heavy, though. And that bezel. No - bad Nokia. I am far more intrigued by the 925, which is much thinner, lighter, and just generally better-looking in my eyes. It's still hard to deny that the 928's biggest downfall isn't the phone, though, it's the OS.

I was talking to someone earlier today about Windows Phone, and I came up with a pretty succinct way to describe it: it's "the dad phone." Microsoft will have the most success with WP among the 40+ crowd, I think, because the OS is relatively easy to understand, and does most of what your average person wants a smartphone to do. I also think Microsoft is going to have a resurgence in the enterprise and business space with Windows Phone, just because other Microsoft products will work with these devices better than they will on competing OSs.

WP8 really doesn't strike me as an enthusiast-friendly platform, though, and I'm not sure it ever will be. It's certainly not a Google-friendly platform, and that's my biggest dealbreaker with it at the moment. I'm not going to give up the handful of very powerful services Google offers (or in Gmail's case, gimp them) to live in Microsoft's world. I don't want to Bing things. I don't want to HERE Maps stuff. I think, eventually, this cold war will end and Google will warm up to Windows Phone as it gains market share, which I'm pretty confident it will do so consistently over the next few years. Microsoft certainly isn't going to let it die.

But at the end of the day, as an Android user, there's little about WP8 that really excites me or makes me envious at this point, other than the fact that because of a special licensing deal with Microsoft, Nokia only makes Windows Phone devices. I'm not sure how Nokia would do at Android, but it would certainly be interesting to see them try.

wm_IMG_6233

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Mastermind26

    My boss' 925 was a complete.....uh....disaster.
    The camera, the charging, the compatibility. EVERYTHING about that phone that was hyped turned out to be a disappointment.

    He went out, yelled at a customer support rep (at&t) and came back with an iphone.

    • sri_tech

      I think you meant 920, because 925 not released in US yet.

      • Mastermind26

        TY. corrected. :P

  • Tim Richardson

    what a great review. Very interesting and even handed.

  • Tony Byatt

    I wish Nokia would make an Android phone and stop being d***s...

    • Gunzta

      and I wish people like you would stop making comments that make them look astonishingly ignorant.

      • Tony Byatt

        Maybe you should adhere to your own wishes...Snap?

  • bondx99

    Dear Nokia..only a green robot can save you!

  • jep-miner

    First off there are several things wrong here:

    Yes you can create documents within the office app by tapping the plus key.

    There are a lot of crap third party YouTube apps but there is metrotube which isn't under that umbrella at all.

    The second storage app is a Nokia exclusive to help fix the 'other' storage problem because Nokia seem to care more about the platform that Ms at this point.
    And yes some people do still enjoy having a phone that feels like it's there, which would be why I switched to a Lumia 920 from an xperia play, because the s4 for instance is uncomfortably light for me and many others

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      1.) Noted. I'll correct that.

      2.) 3rd party YouTube apps should not have to exist in the first place, and it's problematic in and of itself that they do.

      3.) Uncomfortably light? Yeah, this is the same placebo crap I alluded to in the hardware section.

      • jep-miner

        There is a YouTube app published by ms in the store but its more like a bookmark to the YouTube mobile site, then last month or a bit further back ms released a proper app that everyone loved and then Google told them to take it down because it didn't include ads (understandable) ms said they'd be willing to add ads if Google let them and how ironic all this happened after Larry page kept talking up wanting companies to work together but ms pulled the app down and butchered it back into what it was before, a bookmark and so everyone ran back to metrotube which still is and was awesome

        • gumbedamit

          I downloaded the MS app , and never updated. It still works, still able to download video's. BTW: its the best youtube app.

      • illuzn

        The heft comes from the fact that the phone is built like a truck - which is a tangible benefit to me. See this video for an example of just how beastly it is: http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-920-torture-test-iii

    • Eric

      The S4 is light but I wouldn't say 'uncomfortably light'. The S4 feels better with a case on since it adds some slip resistance and a bit of thickness. As for the Lumia 928, though it is thicker than most modern devices, it is still easy to hold and its weight isn't that bad. I don't get how it is described as easier to drop.

  • sri_tech

    Fantastic read as always.
    Actually you(being android only) are more neutral than some of the other tech sites :)

    I own wp earlier and the main problem with it is lack of apps and games. There are some features missing but for most users that won't be a problem and MS will add those features.

    Now I'm a galaxy nexus owner and I'm happy with it. I bought it even though its not available in my country.

    Personally I feel Nokia should continue with WP. It needs strong OEM dedicated to it.

    What I am worried is people are buying cheap galaxies with ugly touch wiz rather than HTC one's and nexus phones.

    I wish the likes of HTC, Sony are more successful with android phones.

    • miky

      hidden samsung hater detected! (⌐■_■)
      your comment would be more appreciable without that "cheap galaxy" parts..

      on topic, I'm waiting for Call Blocker & SMS filter app for WP platform.
      that's the only thing prevent me to use WP.

      Android, BB7, and iPhone have good Call Blocker app since long.

  • jmckinl

    Made the transition from a Samsung Galaxy Nexus to WP8 (first HTC 8X, now Lumia 928).

    I miss some of the apps and capabilities of Android but don't think that I'll be going any time soon... Battery life and the camera on the Lumia are top-notch over the Nexus and the nearly seamless integration with Office and Exchange Server make it the clear choice for my needs and hopefully I have backed a winning platform.

  • MM

    Have this phone for 3 weeks as well, and liking it a lot. Liking the
    weight in particular (don't need to hear that "emotional placebo" crap)
    -- and my wife likes the weight as well. (She also got the white one,
    which is far more striking visually than my plain-looking black one.) I
    would prefer a 920 aesthetically, but we've decided to abandon AT&T
    for Verizon because of the coverage. My main reasons for wanting/getting
    one of these phones the review doesn't even mention -- it's the optical image stabilization and wireless charging. Also, the offline maps
    is kind of a big deal (not sure why the sarcasm in the review -- yes all
    of the USA is there, plus whatever else you download), and it came in
    handy recently in Alaska outside the 3G range and in Italy on roaming.
    BTW, I'm a 40+ daddy (though I'm guessing I started programming before
    the reviewer started to read), coming to 928 from a Nokia N8, which is a
    step back for me in terms of the camera quality, but the rest of the
    phone is far better. I have no need for Instagram whatsoever, and for most other famous "missing" apps. The tile screen handles my 4 email accounts
    beautifully and promptly (all connected as outlook, including the gmail
    ones). As for my wife, she has happily switched from a Samsung Galaxy
    (one of the early ones, with never-updated OS; the highlight of her
    experience with Android was the hacked gmail account the very next day
    after she connected it to her Samsung. Which was just a coincidence, of
    course.)

    • MM

      Forgot to mention -- if the screen brightness is set to auto, it is very bright and usable in direct sunlight (at least next to an iphone). I've also never felt that the screen is "dim" in other conditions on the auto setting.

      And oh, Finland is not exactly a Scandinavian country (google-map it), perhaps the reviewer meant "Nordic?" :)

      • Himmat Singh

        Lol, really? I thought it was, together with the 4 or 5 other countries. And isn't Nordic and Scandinavian one and the same (maybe Nordic refers to the 2 or three northernmost Scandinavian countries).

        • MM

          Scandinavian peninsula has Norway and Sweden on it (I vividly remember my embarrassment at school at the geography class, when I named "Scandinavia" among the countries on Scandinavian peninsula :) Though I've just checked wikipedia and it turns out the term Scandinavia also includes Denmark and "sometimes Iceland and Finland". "Such usage, however, may be considered inaccurate in the area itself, where the term Nordic countries instead refers to this broader group."

          • AceTheInhala

            Norway calling. Yep, the Scandinavian peninsula is Norway and Sweden, and for some reason, Denmark is also counted in. The Nordic countries also include Finland and Iceland. I might be wrong, but the Faeroe Islands are also included. Sometimes. I think. What a mess.

  • EMullins

    David...Google's goal is to replace Microsoft's offerings entirely. They want to starve out Windows Phone and kill it in its crib by not giving it any kind of Google service, as that would attract users to Windows Phone and make it successful. The Youtube app debacle for example, was Microsoft's calculated chess maneuver to force Google to end the starvation via bad PR with something as undeniably popular as Youtube.

    Until Microsoft can get to a point where Google can no longer continue to starve it out without looking like the ruthless company that it really is, you will never see Google warm up to Windows Phone on its own accord.

    • palto

      not really.
      I believe Microsoft will do the same (or even worse) if they on Google position.

      not even counting how MS 'lock-down' its WP OS.
      if WP were more open (can test app on phone without requiring silly Dev Token), I'm sure right now there'll plenty of good youtube apps on WP platform.

    • Drew M

      There's probably some bad blood between the two, especially given Microsoft's patent racketeering toward Android manufacturers, and their hypocritical "scroogled" ad campaign. If MS wants Google to support their application suite on WP, they need to clean up their behavior and become a partner. Othetwise, if Google is going to invest the resources to develop and maintain, either internally or by contracting an third-party developer, it has to be worth the investment. WP7/WP8 fragmentation and combined meagre marketshare likely doesn't make it worthwhile.

  • Kosimazaki

    Hi. That was great read.

    Soo... You've covered BB, now Nokia, how about testing iPhone 5 for us? ;)

    Thanks and keep it up.

  • Paul Smith

    Don't really get why anyone would want this. The camera low light performance is ok, but nothing that Sony weren't doing in 2011 with the Xperia arc with exmor CCD sensors.

    live tiles are basically widgets that can only be square, only show basic information and b have to be a garish color.

    Phone as a whole is a buggy and feature lite "experience". Bluetooth is broken (audio streaming stutters, no file transfers) proximity sensors are flakey, is gets sluggish. No multitasking

    A high end Nokia offers nothing that a mid range android can't v do better for much less money

    • bashar

      I had xperia arc, and i own now Lumia 920, there is no way to compare the two mobiles in terms of camera performance. The lumia is miles better then the xperia arc.. you dont have to judge from only one or two samples, you should try it to see youself....
      I already did and I'm happy that I choosed the Luima 920 and the WP8....

      • RichardCurtis

        I think he was saying the low light claims of the Lumia are old hat, not that the performance is the same. However the Xperia Z blows the Lumua 925 away easilly in all areas of camera performance.

        Nokia needed to fake their footage, Sony didn't. Nuff said.

        • bashar

          oooooh, then again, i will respect your viewpoint if it came from a personal experience, but saying Xperia Z blows lumia 920 in the camera field, then you are mistaken !!! give me a proof, whatever the link is !!!!!

          • gumbedamit

            +1

    • gumbedamit

      And what phone are you talking about...

  • Vineet Chawla

    I just moved to android from Windows phone. Still love windows phone but HTC One was too good to ignore.
    Most of the things that you have hated are things that you haven't spent time on at all.

    Apart from lack of cool apps, notifications and maps, there is not a single thing that I have loved about android over windows. Infact, even though I love sense 5 and nova, My current launcher is Launcher8.

    And I have live email account so that helps a lot. Plus skydrive is a whole lot better than gdrive and dropbox. Office can be used to create new docs and notes. Mail client is much better than android mail client's and most of the apps are more beautiful( and buggy!!)
    The camera interface is good and can be easily enhanced with lenses, and there are some pretty awesome lenses for lumia's.

    • Ballmer Guy

      So many Micro$hit shills...

  • Mo3tasm

    Using WP from an Android perspective is just like driving a car from an airplane perspective...
    Very nice review though, Nokia rock it all whatever OS is onboard...

  • James

    Great read, thank you. About the storage check and the phone storage settings. The storage check is Nokia's own setting, which should work a bit better and gives you more options such as downloading maps to SD and clearing temp data.

  • Sean Thomas

    "Supposedly the next major WP update is getting a notification center. You do that, Microsoft."
    lmaooooo BURNED

  • Nigel Emmerton

    Used a 920 while my gnex was getting fixed...loved it. Especially liked the unified messages and contacts, that was amazing! Oh and the Facebook pictures in the gallery... Basically I liked the deep Facebook/twitter integration. Android would be amazing if it had this!!!

    • mgamerz

      I have a windows phone. I really hate the people app. There is way too much wasted space and it takes forever to find anything.

  • MasterMuffin

    Bing needs its own article

  • Promethean

    Lack of proper Google integration is what put me off WP. I had a brief stint with the HTC 8X, and while the phone itself seemed nice, the OS and lack of apps left a lot to be desired, and most of the 3rd party alternatives had to be bought. I gave in with it and sold it to my friends dad... I chuckled when you mentioned 'dad phone'!

  • needa

    well i was going to buy the eos and jump the fence. but not now. i guess i should thank you.

    • gumbedamit

      You should make you own decision about the phone , not go by what someone else rants about. Did he mention the wireless charging, the NATIVE integration with all the social media and no need to install their apps. I can text your phone, write on your FB wall, send you a inbox text to your FB, send you a message on Linkedin or any other social media site, all natively from your contact without having to launch an app. I was an android guy for years, it's a good platform, just wanted to try something different.

      • needa

        that is kinda why i wanted to switch to wp... the try something different part, the eos camera was just icing on the cake. im not much on social sites. i mainly use my phone.. outside of calls, emails, and texts, for search and internet. nothing else. the deal breaker for me was the search walkthrough. i didnt like it nor do i want to get used to it. i dont like things acting crazy either. i went through that enough back in the 2.3 days. there were some other things also that i cannot remember from 14 hours ago. maybe the y will revamp for 8.1 and i will reconsider. but for now... wp is not for me. if it had a dedicated gmail and google now... i would be all over it. i dont want to be a statistic for a negative ad campaign either. so outlook and bing are two things i am not willing to use. some things you forget with the excitement of a bad a$$ camera. posts like this are friendly reminders.

      • Ballmer Guy

        Why so many lame ass Micro$hit shills commenting on this blog. How much are you paid?

  • donzebe

    Google is the one not wanting to support it's Apps on WP and not Microsoft. Good example is the Youtube debacle.

    • Wesley Modderkolk

      And on the other hand it is microsoft constantly throwing mud at them. Google services are, like this article shows, quite a decent point of attention and Google has them by the balls on this(is that a good expression here?).

  • J88NYr

    Its interesting, because I own a Lumia 920 and a Nexus 7. And a lot of the stuff you complain about the way WP does things (like the back button) really annoys me on my Nexus 7. It makes logical sense to me for my back button to go back 1 step at a time through each thing I have done. If you want a app to stay running press windows, if you want it to quit press back. It so simple and works great.
    Yes Live Tiles are similar to widgets, but I find them infinitaly more useful, the only widgets I use are Twitter/Facbook/Reddit/Email and Weather on my N7, but they are always far more clumsy than the actual app, and nothing matches. With Live Tiles I get the information that I would actually want from a widget, everything matches, and because its easy for Devs to include them, the majority of apps have them, There a many apps that dont have widgets on Android that do have Live tiles on WP (Toshl being one that I find incredibly useful.)
    I dont actually miss the notification centre, because every app that I actually want to recieve notifications is pinned to my homescreen, the more important they are to me, the higher they are up the screen. I'm not saying I wouldnt like one, but I dont miss it too much.
    For search, I love the fact it inteligently searches. Like you said 90% of the time if I search starbucks I want to find one, for that 10% It still searches the web, you just swipe to the right and its there.
    As for the maps, I stopped using Here and just resorted to Bing and Gmaps, but they updated it yesterday and I gave it a quick go and I am not massively impressed, not only does it have everything in my Tiny Village, but they are named correctly, unlike in Google.
    I like both my N7 and L920, but going from one to the other can be frustrating because of the different thoughs of how things should work on both devices. After using them both for a long time, I find WPs methods far more intuitive and thought out.

  • Paul

    That's awesome. Sounds exactly like what I did over the past 3 weeks. I have my Note 2 as my primary phone, but when my iPhone broke, I kept it around as a secondary or for reference or just to learn the competition (In which case, the Note 2 blew the iPhone 4 out of the water in terms of speed), so when my iPhone broke (oops), I put my secondary chip (stuck in a 2 year contract) into a Windows Phone 8, an HTC phone, we had at work. I used it for 2 weeks, got to know its interface, and it's 'not bad' definitely needs improvements in some places, and the lack of apps hurts, but overall it was ok. Mine would randomly reboot though and mysteriously ran out of disk space, but it was a demo/trial unit, the disk space ended up going to some sort of debugging SW HTC had running on it and logging everything. But overall I liked the phone, a good secondary. When I got bored of it, I put my chip into a Blackberry Q10 and used that for a week. That took some getting used to. But App support was slightly better, in part thanks to them making it real easy to port Android apps over. Long before Android and iOS, I was a Windows Mobile user, 5/5.5/6/6.5 on HTC devices. I hated iOS because of how locked down it was and when Android began getting real popular, I made the jump. But I was using smartphones before smartphones were 'cool' when they were more computer than phone and tended to freeze, crash, reboot, funny little quirks, but mostly usable.

  • MM

    One more point -- Xenon flash is not there to make the pictures look more "natural," it's to freeze the motion. Xenon flash fires for a much shorter time interval than any LED, making it possible to avoid motion blur. (Image stabilization takes care only of the photographer's shaky hands, but not of the subject's motion, which is where a real flash helps.) The Xenon flash on the 928 was what made me get this phone and not wait for their next big thing. Note that neither 920 nor 925 has a Xenon bulb; my old Nokia N8 had it (and was indispensable) and the EOS is supposed to have it, too.

  • James

    Did you do three weeks with this as your primary device or as a secondary device you referenced a few times to keep up on this article? Some of the things you missed / were confused about strike me as someone that spent less than 24 hours total with the device and not someone that actually used it consistently over three weeks.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I used it as my primary for 2 weeks, and as a secondary for the third week. I use enough smartphones that "missing" things pretty generally means those things are not obvious enough for the average person to figure out, and I'm not even sure what things it is you're alluding to.

  • duncanator

    Overall I'd have to agree with this review. I currently have a Lumia 920 and a Galaxy S3 and after a few weeks of switching between the two, I mainly stay with the S3. There are so many google services that I've come to rely on so leaving them behind would be uncomfortable.

    • gumbedamit

      I don't understand about which google services you don't get? I have a 920, love the phone. My email, calender all sync gchat works, as well as MetroTalk,(Google Voice). All works on my phone. I do miss the layered GPS, and which side of the street my destination is on.

      • duncanator

        Mainly google hangouts and google+. Sure, I could use google+ from a browser but other family use hangouts to send messages so converting them to something else like whatsapp wouldn't work. I have also grown to like the voice recognition inside google search.

  • Matthew Fry

    Sounds like Microsoft is harping on the right things with app developers and the OS design keeping it snappy and polished. On the other hand, the live tile/huge font list look might be very limiting and inapplicable in some cases.

    Personally, I've never quite understood what sense it makes to have text be too large for the screen. Obviously, I know that Office in the screenshot above is Office but it drives me nuts that it says "Offic." Not good for the OCD.

    • MM

      Actually, this ("Offic") is a visual cue that there is something else on the screen to the right, where you need to swipe. Once you are on that screen, the screen title moves to the fully visible position. This is very clever, actually (given that nobody reads the manuals).

  • brunodmjr

    Nokia, do a Droid, please! :(

  • Craig M

    40+yr olds will like it because it's easy to understand? This is the second time as of recent that you've insinuate people in their 40's aren't technology minded. I wish I was smart enough to blog about phones and apps in a bitter, spiteful manner on the internet. You won't be getting any more traffic from me, thanks.

    • needa

      yah i feel the same way. i have left here a couple of times... but i always end up coming back later on to see if they have picked up on anything nobody else has.

    • Peter

      You have a right to your opinion but it is a good point. And lets be honest, if someone doesn't know how to operate a phone who is more likely to be the culprit a 18 or 40 year old? He also didn't say "everyone over 40 years old should use windows phone because it is simple so the people in their old age won't get confused." It was a generalization and it was not done in poor taste imo, he was trying to make a point

    • MM

      I was amused by this as well :) But, insult aside, he nailed it -- it's a dad's phone, in a good way. I did have my share of linux kernel patching, writing my own sleep/resume scripts for my laptops, my own spam filter,
      etc. Now at 40+, I have a life and I don't want any more of that crap,
      period -- no jailbreaking, no rooting. I want sysadmin (or Microsoft or
      whoever) make everything just work for me. I don't even want having to
      customize my phone beyond selecting a theme color and arranging icons on
      my start screen. I want my phone to have decent signal reception,
      handle email well, have a decent web browser and maps, and have a good
      camera. It also has to look good -- hardware and software. Windows Phone
      on a Nokia fits this description, while Androids or iPhones don't
      match.

  • Knowah

    The reason you were getting SharePoint dialog is because you were hitting the plus on the 'folders' page. You were trying to add a folder instead of a document.

    Otherwise, I think the article, albeit it fairly biased, was pretty fair considering.

    I use all 3 OSes on a daily basis (HTC One/Note 2, iPhone 5, L928). They all have things I love and hate, but what you claim is a hindrance/problem (lack of first party support) is easily my most favorite thing about WP8. I'll take the 3rd party offerings on WP8 any day over most first party options on the other 2. After seeing what the apps could look and function like when using WP8, it's hard to accept the archaic design flow (or completely lack their of) in first party apps of iOS and Android.

    As someone who uses all 3 OSes on a pretty similar level, I'm not upset WP8 doesn't have better first party support.

    I'm upset iOS/android doesn't have on-par third party support.

  • hwangeruk

    Not a bad article indeed. I don't think there needs to be "One Winner" either.
    Perhaps the different phone OSes can servers different people.
    I am a super-gadget-freak, and right now I prefer WP to all others. I like the "high quality" solid, robust nature of WP and I don't need to fiddle with Widgets. (Not a fan of Googles intrusion on me either). But I know some folk who like the hackability, and don't care that Google knows their habits they don't feel its anything to hide or worry about and its great for them. I actually think the lack of twiddability is one of WPs strengths as it helps the system retain robustness. I know many friends with Android who need to "reboot"! Reboot, I just don't reboot my WP phone, ever! MS could though as you say add notification centre and some more customization options which we all hope will come with 8.1 Fingers crossed. And good luck to all mobile OSes and fans, even BB ;)

  • Paul_Werner

    You can get shared calendars into a Windows 8 phone... there is a trick to do it though. If you use chrome on your computer, you can use an add-on (user-agent switcher). Then switch to iphone 4. Once you do that go to m.google.com/sync/settings/iconfig/ and you will be able to choose your devices and your calendars. The last step would be to disable javascript while you are at that website and change the word "false" to "true" in your url bar. Then select your calendar and do not forget to press save changes!

  • Gandalf Teh Ghey

    the author sounds like a whiny litlle doesnt-get-laid much mangina. Pretty girls dont blow him so he doesn't like good looking OSes, I bet when Android gets too pretty he will start hating it too, so long Hand Solo xD

  • Ammy

    Thanks for the review. I was really considering the Lumia, but wasn't sure about what would happen with my favorite droid apps and what kind of disconnect there would be with Gmail/Google. I got my answer and am sticking with droid for now. By the way, I am nearly the big 4-0 and wasn't offended by your comment. It's not that the technology is too much to understand -- I build websites -- it's that my days are so busy that I just want a phone that will do what I want it to do without spending hours learning about it and messing around with it.

  • Pk

    I've had the Nokia Lumia 928 for three months now; the background is we switched from Sprint to Verizon, thank god, but that is a different topic. We were both Android phone users for years. She went with iphone 5, I decided on the Lumia. At first I liked it, pictures are great, camera app is not as bad as writer described. Also, I have no problem with calendar, gmail or contacts integration with google platform at all. Nokia's Cinemagraph is by far their best app, everyone who sees the pictures it takes is blown away. Traditional apps are useless and that is the problem. Facebook is almost unusable, slow interface, even on wifi. Youtube was available, then it wasn't, then it was, now it's not again. I purchases 5, yes 5 different pay youtube apps and none work. Any refunds, nope. No instagram etc... I could go on. The games are good, Halo, Modern Combat. I am at my wits end with the lack of apps that 99% of other people can use though, so I'm off to Verizon to see if there is anything they can do about switching phones, Samsung or Apple here I come. I gave it the old college try.

  • RJ

    I agree, I'm using a 928 now. Biggest turn off is google support. I will most likely go back to android because of this.

  • james braselton

    hi there you like live tiles with more apps then windows 8 i notice live tiles on ios mac os chrome os android all it takes goggole live tiles for what os your running

  • james braselton

    hi there yeah live tiles on android ios chrome mac ox

  • james braselton

    hi there yeah saw about 16 live tiles

  • MSCCAG

    DIY the case for nokia lumia 1020 with no extra cost,only COST USD8.0 each
    the design is a leather case with a lens cap. looks cute and funny for his turning 360degrees, search the site: gadget2us and found it leads in leather injection

  • MSCCAG

    Orange case Lumia1020 with oreo lens cap