#1 Posted by Raven_Sword (3442 posts) -

Right now I have a iphone 5S, but I'm thinking of using a windows phone. I'm using my friends old lumia 920, but app selection is abut if a sticking point maybe.

Anyone else using one and can offer their take on it after some time using it? Is it worth getting or switching to?

#2 Posted by Hyuzen (446 posts) -

I've had an HTC 8S since last February, it's a pretty low end phone, the 920 is probably much better. I think nokia has a couple newer versions of phones out already. I chose it originally because I was a poor university student and couldn't afford an iPhone or high end Android phone, but didn't want to buy an older version of those phones. The 8S was less than a year old at that point so I figured I'd get longer support from it than if I bought some random Samsung phone.

Windows Phone 8 has definitely gotten much better since I got my phone a year ago. It feels like I can do what you should be able to do on a phone. I really like the 'Me' page because it lets me send a message to facebook and twitter at the same time, and it pulls in notifications from both those services into one feed. No clue if android or iOS can do that though. I like the home screen setup, I think it looks pretty cool and probably my favourite home screen on a mobile device.

In terms of apps: the twitter app is great, I think GPS navigation works well, there's vine, instagram, and the like if you're into that stuff. If you have a hotmail/outlook address already then it'll sync photos and notes and I think maybe even texts to SkyDrive/OneDrive. It of course doesn't have near the selection as android or iOS does. I have a Nexus 7 for android stuff, but I don't feel left out if I don't have the latest app available on my device.

If you don't need to be on the cutting edge I think Windows Phones are pretty good, and reading the Verge's info about Windows Phone 8.1, the update coming later this year, they're adding in more stuff like information on which apps are draining your battery the most, and Cortana their own virtual assistant like Siri. If you're thinking about switching I think at this point there's enough to justify it being a worthwhile phone and competitor to the other two phone OS'.

#3 Posted by Schlorgan (206 posts) -

The recent 8.1 update fixes a lot of the issues with Windows Phone. It's viable but try it out first.

#4 Posted by Dixavd (1331 posts) -

My Dad uses a Windows Phone but he keeps losing it. Take that how you will.

#5 Edited by handlas (2672 posts) -

I had two different Lumias. The first one that came to the US and then the next iteration of that. I liked the OS quite a lot. I still prefer the live tiles and the way the home screen is set up on that over my iPhone.

Problem was after less than a year of use on the last Lumia I had there ended up being a design flaw in it. I keep my phone in my pocket and what would happen is dust and lint would collect inside one of the ports and find it's way to the top speaker and break it.

So I ended up just switching back to the iPhone because I was also a bit tired of there not being a ton of apps even though I generally don't download many of them. Also I had to buy an extra cable for my car to play music whereas the iPhone cord works in my car. Plus I use Spotifiy and, at the time, the Spotifiy app was better on iOS. I don't know it's current state on Windows Phone though.

Thus, if I were buying a phone right now. I'd still get an iPhone. (I've never had an Android though but I've never been inclined to buy one)

#6 Posted by AlexW00d (6230 posts) -

After having a Windows phone for 2 years I'd happily use it over an iPhone any day of the week. But I really couldn't go back to it now I am in the Android ecosystem.

#7 Edited by bigjeffrey (4904 posts) -

Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8.1 update is pretty slick adds the crazy tile count to any phone which i love since Literally every app I use fits on the home screen. I love it.

just Stick with IOS.

#8 Posted by Raven_Sword (3442 posts) -

Why? Is ios better?

#9 Posted by TooWalrus (13153 posts) -

My cousin is the biggest Microsoft fan I know, she uses a windows phone... She fucking hates it, but she's stuck in a contract for another 7 months. She hasn't gone into specifics as to why she hates it though, other than to say "it's fucking garbage."

#10 Edited by Snail (8593 posts) -

I bought my first iPhone in 2008. I switched over to Windows Phone 7 in 2010, got my first Windows Phone 8 device last December, and I definitely want to go back to iOS next time I buy a phone (probably not in the near future).

For years I wasn't using any mobile OS other than Windows Phone 7. Then I started using an iPad 2, and enjoying the huge app selection from the App Store felt so refreshing, and relieving, like I was letting go of some years-long self-inflicted pain - it was so great to delve into the App Store and discover great new apps and games, as well as downloading dozens of popular hits I had heard about over the years. You know when you see an add for an app, and it has the little "Available on the App Store" logo, sometimes right next to the "Available on Google Play" or whatever logo? That never happens for Windows Phone. It's a barren wasteland. Well, not exactly barren: it's more like a landscape full of shit, with some hidden treasures buried in there (and even a few on the surface).

Not only that, but the OS has some frustrating and crippling issues that often seem to be there as a stomp-of-the-foot sort of attitude, in an attempt to establish pride over competitors, like Steve Ballmer somewhere decided "Well, Apple has an undo button, and we won't copy them that much". There's even more bizarre stuff, like the fact that any content you've cut or copied onto your clipboard vanishes completely from existence if you so much as lock the phone.

Bottom line: It's a great OS with some really good ideas, a great design and incredibly fluid usability - but it's got its fair share of unacceptable issues, often of the sort that seem stuck 6 years in the past, and, more to the point, its app Marketplace is a fucking desert compared to Google's and (especially) Apple's.

So I would say stick with iPhone. While versions of iOS prior to 7 kept me from desperately wanting to go back to iPhone, the latest iteration of Apple's mobile OS has definitely changed that. That's going to be my next phone, whenever that is.

In the meantime, the Lumia 520 is a great budget phone and I really like mine. There are things I really, really like about Windows Phone, not the least of which is the way it looks and navigates - sometimes I just enjoy looking at it, and moving around its amazingly fluid and good-looking menus (it's soothingly hypnotizing). And I enjoy having been part of that niche, near-cult community right from the start, eagerly awaiting the next update that's going to bring what the competition has had for two years (up next in 8.1 is a notification center and a voice assistant! Imagine that!). But lacking those features sucks, and I really hate whenever Spotify crashes because support for that app is dead, because who uses WP - and so why would Spotify support its WP app? The fact that Spotify even has an app there is something I'm glad about. And in the end it comes down to that: you'll have a better experience in iOS.

This is sort of a stream of thoughts that I hope elucidates your opinion on the matter. Not particularly structured, and it could probably have been shorter, but I hope it helps nonetheless!

#11 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

I do tech support for HTC and I can tell you no one uses Windows phones. We get maybe 2-3 calls on them a day compared to the hundreds for our other phones. Maybe that means they are super stable and no one needs to call us for help with them, or the more likely scenario of no one has them.

From my time dicking around with them I actually prefer a lot about them to android to be honest. I like the front end interface and just general UI stuff is a lot nicer to look at and use once you learn all the little quirks and differences the OS has. As you mentioned in the OP though, the APP store is non existent. If you are the type to want all the latest crappy phone apps then WP is not for you. If you actually use your phone for the built in stuff like pictures, texts, phone calls, etc. then it's a great phone.

#12 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4185 posts) -

I have an old HTC Radar right now, and I'm thinking of getting a Sony Windows Phone like in July.

#13 Posted by ninnanuam (274 posts) -

I went from a iphone 4 to a windows phone about 2 years ago (I think its a windows 7 phone).

The reason was pretty simple, it had nothing to do with OS, or apps it was that Nokia generally make good quality phones. My time with the iphone was nothing but a headache on the hardware front, poor reception, shitty battery life constant switching off. To me it doesn't matter if you have the best apps in the world if you cant use a phone to make phone calls. I would have to say the Windows phone I ended up with was pretty good in that department. The only real bummer was how shitty their podcast interface is for anyone outside the USA.

I'll probably upgrade to a new Nokia (which means windows forever now) when this phone dies, but ive had it a little over two years now and the battery still lasts about two days without any charge and I don't see the need to rush out and get a new phone.

#14 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

I'm not really into Windows Phone myself, but I hear Cortana's okay I guess. I don't have much Windows Phone-specific advice.

App availability is going to be an issue, especially since you're coming from a phone with a much bigger app ecosystem. I suggest trying to find apps that suit your needs before committing. If it's missing an app you want, is there a decent alternative? Can you live without?

#15 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I have one, yes. I have it because it was the best value for what I needed from my cell provider. My usage is minimal. Web browsing and basic phone functionality. I would not like this phone if I needed it to do more complex things. When you find yourself needing additional programs for things, the selection available for Windows phone 8 is paltry slim. Some mobile sites still do not display correctly in IE on my phone.

My review is: good enough if you don't give a damn. If you give a damn, this isn't the OS you want on your phone.

#16 Posted by TheCreamFilling (1225 posts) -

I had a Lumia 920 and now I have the 1020. I like Windows Phone because the UI is nice and clean and simple to use. I don't care about apps, it has a calculator and calendar so I'm all set.

#17 Edited by Raven_Sword (3442 posts) -

I'm thinking that maybe windows phone aunt for me. But I'm also thinking of android now. Because I want something with some customizability

#18 Posted by bobafettjm (1440 posts) -

I am still using a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7. I REALLY like the way the OS is laid out and works, and I of course love the fact that I can get achievements on my phone. However the apps are very lacking and it is always frustrating to see the iOS and Android logos on EVERYTHING and have seen the Windows Phone logo maybe twice. That said I think I might upgrade to the new Nokia one this summer and try the new version of the OS, especially with them making the development easier between Windows 8, phone 8 and Xbox One. If it fails to provide me what I want I will probably switch to iOS after that contract is up even though I really dislike the iOS layout.

#19 Posted by Tblockkiller (63 posts) -

I switched to a w8 phone when my iphone screen cracked a while back and i really don't like it. I miss all the games and apps i had on the iphone.

#20 Posted by LiquidPrince (15901 posts) -

Android is the best operating system for phones, if you like a huge library of apps and a ton of customization. iOS is good for people who just want a lot of apps, but don't really care about changing anything about their phones. Windows phone is for no one. Only reason to get a Windows phone is if you want a Nokia phone with the ridiculously high MP count on their cameras, but at the point, you may as well just get a dedicated point and shoot and go with a better phone.

#21 Posted by AndrewB (7567 posts) -

It's my favorite mobile phone OS. Apps are less of a sticking point with me because I tend not to like simple phone games, though I do miss the ones that are good and also delayed/not available for WP. Most of the major apps find their way over to the Windows store, but just like games there's some exceptions that sting (how often do you hear commercials promoting their iPhone/iPad/possibly Android app - you never hear Windows Phone). It still seems weird that people argue over the total number of apps when the majority of them are crapware and I'd only ever want a fraction of them anyway. Even for those services where there's a lacking "official" app, you can often find a superb independently developed one.

Mostly, I just love the hardware and the slickness of the UI. I've been using a lowly Lumia 520 with only 512mb of ram, but for all but the heavier games it's more than enough because the OS just seems to have a smaller footprint. I've been feeling like Windows Phone 8.1 has bogged it down somewhat, but I've also heard reports from others that it runs better (it's a "Developer" build - final bits, but without support from carriers/phone producers).

I've liked it enough that I've been looking upgrading to a "real" phone - the 520 is so barebones with a poor camera and no front-facing one, tiny screen & resolution, etc).

#22 Edited by xyzygy (9935 posts) -

I do and it's the most reliable OS out there. I've had my phone for over 3 years (it's not on contract any more, I'm in Europe and had to cancel last year) but I got a cheap SIM card over here for it. I can't tell you how many other iOS and Android owning friends I have who have had problems with their phones slowing down after a year. My HTC HD7 (which BTW is a first gen WP7, very old) is still buttery smooth as the first day I got it. The app selection for WP7 was never good, but that isn't really an issue any more with 8.1. There are so many apps for it now that that argument is kind of invalid, and the user base is growing so publishers are releasing more ad more apps for it every week. My sister owns an HTC 8X and they're wonderful phones, and I'm hoping to get a Lumia 1020 when I get back to Canada. It's a really outstanding OS. I've also converted about 5 or 6 friends to WP after they saw and used mine.

8.1 is releasing next month and the overwhelming majority of reviews for it are very positive, saying WP is finally worthy of Android and iOS. WP is in a good place right now :)

#23 Posted by Snail (8593 posts) -
@xyzygy said:

8.1 is releasing next month and the overwhelming majority of reviews for it are very positive, saying WP is finally worthy of Android and iOS. WP is in a good place right now :)

Just saying that reviews say that on every update, and then competitors come out with amazing features immediately after that takes us at least two years to get.

#24 Posted by m4r71n2012 (45 posts) -

I have a lumia 1020 and i really like it, had it since december. The way most apps conform to the guidelines for a uniform experience seems much better than what I see on my galaxy tab 2. I don't use too many apps, have usual Facebook and twitter, vine and instagram are on there though im not sure if Nokia make them as they seem to push a lot of the apps on windows phone. I use nextgen reader for feedly, puch for pocket. A lot of the rest are Nokia or Microsoft apps. If you were to just go through the store though its like looking through the android market store circa 2009 with so many ringtones and strip poker crap. You need to know what you are looking for to root through the junk

#25 Posted by AndrewB (7567 posts) -

@snail: But also to be fair, it does include a whole lot of features.

#26 Edited by Lunnington (171 posts) -

I worked in a Verizon store where I had to mess with a lot of different phones. The Windows Phones never really seemed to offer much that the other phones didn't. Is there any reason you're mainly thinking about getting it? The only thing I can think of is the UI, which a lot of people actually do like. The apps conform to a uniform look a lot better than on iOS or Android, and the live tiles can be very useful and nice to look at once you get it customized just right.

Besides that I just wasn't that impressed with it. I used to prefer iOS until Android got the 4.0 update, and now Android looks good and keeps its customization and tweak-ability.

#27 Edited by xyzygy (9935 posts) -

@andrewb said:

@snail: But also to be fair, it does include a whole lot of features.

This is without a doubt the largest update that adds the most feature of all WP updates, ever. The other updates added small features like live tile sizes, battery management, etc. This one does a lot more than previous updates. I also remember reviews saying more like "it's getting there" with 7, 7.5, and 7.8, it's "almost there" with 8, and here we have "it's there" with 8.1.

#28 Posted by Snail (8593 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

@andrewb said:

@snail: But also to be fair, it does include a whole lot of features.

This is without a doubt the largest update that adds the most feature of all WP updates, ever. The other updates added small features like live tile sizes, battery management, etc. This one does a lot more than previous updates. I also remember reviews saying more like "it's getting there" with 7, 7.5, and 7.8, it's "almost there" with 8, and here we have "it's there" with 8.1.

Wait until the next WWDC and Google I/O so we can all instantly start feeling stuck in the past missing out on the latest cool feature they announce that's going to be available on existing iOS and Android devices (probably wearables this year), while we wait out for next year's BUILD, and hope they catch-up again.

That's what the experience of being a Windows Phone costumer has led me to expect anyway!

#29 Edited by xyzygy (9935 posts) -

@snail: While that's true, I have noticed that Microsoft is a changing company. With Windows 8 and Xbox One they've been pushing frequent updates for months. If you have Windows 8.1, since October there has been a large-ish update every month since, usually between 50 - 200 MB. And actually the update for April added huge new features that went over very well with mouse and keyboard only users as classic context menus and bars are now integrated into the Modern UI. If you set your Windows Update to not automatically download you'll see them. And as you might know they've been pushing out monthly updates for the Xbox One as well that consistently add features. I'm hoping this will carry over into WP8.1. But wearable? IMO I don't think I'd want that on a phone lol.

Edit: Just read that WP8.1 is going to get two big updates after the initial launch in May that are spread throughout the year. So probably one in the summer and then one in fall/winter.

#30 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4185 posts) -

Oh, and the websites to look at about Windows Phone news are: Windows Phone Central, and WMPowerUser. Both are pretty solid, and WPCentral has solid forums that follow this stuff very consistently. Kevin Michaluk is a damn good contributing gust writer for what its worth, and Daniel Rubino is the head of WPC, who is very good too.

#31 Edited by PimblyCharles (1361 posts) -

I'm using the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer's Preview on a Nokia Lumia 822 right now. I've owned Android devices and have a lot of experience with iPhones. WP is my favorite mobile OS, but comes with a fair share of issues like another other mobile OS's.

For gamers, Windows Phone is NOT recommended. I barely play mobile games, and live in an enterprise environment at work, so having a Windows Phone is ideal. If you want to play the latest and greatest mobile games, iPhone and Android are the way to go. WP's store is filling up with games daily, but many are not XBox related due to heavy certification processes. Most of those games are just late ports from iPhone/Android. Very few WP exclusive games are around, and in my opinion, not worth it overall. Halo Spartan Assault is a perfect example. Skulls of the Shogun is an exception of this rule (great game).

My WP 8.1 Homescreen

For people who want an efficient, stable and enterprise orientated device: WP is the way to go. The new WP8.1 update does makes a huge difference.

Also, photography is a plus for WP. Buy a Nokia Lumia 1020, and you'll never have to buy a camera again for 5 or so years.

Many Windows Phone models have removable batteries and MicroSD card slots, which are a huge advantage.

Since you already own an iPhone 5s, I'd stick with that for a bit longer, especially if you're concerned about mobile gaming.

#32 Posted by Bumpton (444 posts) -

I know this is slightly off-topic, but I actually attended a Microsoft app workshop last week and made my first app ever. It's a Giant Bomb app that displays their Youtube videos, and has rss feeds for news and the Bombcast, etc. It's pretty basic, but if anyone would like it, I figured it'd be you guys! Feel free to check it out!

#33 Edited by PimblyCharles (1361 posts) -

@bumpton said:

I know this is slightly off-topic, but I actually attended a Microsoft app workshop last week and made my first app ever. It's a Giant Bomb app that displays their Youtube videos, and has rss feeds for news and the Bombcast, etc. It's pretty basic, but if anyone would like it, I figured it'd be you guys! Feel free to check it out!

Just tried it, and don't want to rate it yet. Since GB has a responsive web site design, I find using IE11 (via WP8.1) a more ideal way to get to the information your app should bring easier. I'd concentrate more on better forum navigation over everything else. That's where I'd see myself using it. Just being honest duder. The world of graphic design and program development can be a cruel place, though VERY rewarding. Never messed with the GB API, so good on you.

#34 Posted by T0MBraider (33 posts) -

The OS is simply the best and most reliable out there (especially with the 8.1 update). Unless you use your phone as a gaming device (all I needed was Rayman) then the lack of apps shouldn't be too disappointing, plus it's super easy to make your own app for it :P. I own the Lumia 620 and have had no real issues with it besides from a couple of crashes here and there.

#36 Edited by Fram (553 posts) -

Had a Lumia 1020 for a while now, and am loving it so far. As stated previously if mobile gaming is what you want, Windows Phone is not the way to go. Be prepared to hear about tons of cool new apps that sound interesting and useful only to find out that they're only available on iOS and/or Android.

That said, the OS itself is the best I've used. Social media integration is amazing if that's your thing, and the People hub is fully featured enough that I barely ever use the dedicated Facebook and Twitter apps. Also the camera on the 1020 is incredible.

#37 Edited by hellerphant (96 posts) -

I'm a reviewer, so I currently have an iPhone 5, Lumia 920 and a Nexus 5. Android is my platform of choice, simply because all of my accounts (work and personal) are tied into the Google Apps system, so it makes sense for me as my calendars, contacts and emails work seamlessly with the platform.

I will say that Windows Phone 8.1 is a huge step up for Microsoft and I've definitely enjoyed using it (doing some testing). My major problem is a lack of apps, and I'm one of those weirdos who listens to FLAC music so I need to find a good Windows app that will cover that for me.

Definitely try and play with one for a while and see if you like it. I might make the switch for a few more months, but I really love the Nexus 5. For the price point (here in Australia at least) it can't be beat!

#39 Posted by caesius6 (180 posts) -

HTC Windows Phones are pretty much a joke themselves. Not sure this is a good indication of how many people are using a Windows Phone or not...

I do tech support for HTC and I can tell you no one uses Windows phones. We get maybe 2-3 calls on them a day compared to the hundreds for our other phones. Maybe that means they are super stable and no one needs to call us for help with them, or the more likely scenario of no one has them.

#40 Posted by caesius6 (180 posts) -

@snail: I hope you're joking when you say that existing android devices get future updates. The percentage of old android devices that are supported is absolutely disgusting. It's gotten better, but it's still pretty gross.

#41 Posted by AcidBrandon18 (724 posts) -

I have a Lumia 925 and love it. It is my first smartphone so take that as you will.

#42 Posted by Bumpton (444 posts) -

@pimblycharles said:

@bumpton said:

I know this is slightly off-topic, but I actually attended a Microsoft app workshop last week and made my first app ever. It's a Giant Bomb app that displays their Youtube videos, and has rss feeds for news and the Bombcast, etc. It's pretty basic, but if anyone would like it, I figured it'd be you guys! Feel free to check it out!

Just tried it, and don't want to rate it yet. Since GB has a responsive web site design, I find using IE11 (via WP8.1) a more ideal way to get to the information your app should bring easier. I'd concentrate more on better forum navigation over everything else. That's where I'd see myself using it. Just being honest duder. The world of graphic design and program development can be a cruel place, though VERY rewarding. Never messed with the GB API, so good on you.

Hah, honestly I went to art school so I can deal with critiques. I appreciate the feedback! Considering it's the first I've made, I wasn't exactly expecting rave reviews... Thanks for checking it out!

#43 Edited by kadash299 (278 posts) -

@raven_sword said:

Right now I have a iphone 5S, but I'm thinking of using a windows phone. I'm using my friends old lumia 920, but app selection is abut if a sticking point maybe.

Anyone else using one and can offer their take on it after some time using it? Is it worth getting or switching to?

I hear windows phones are EXTREMELY...

repeat: EXTREMELY

Susceptible to dust on the graphics card causing extreme degrade of graphical quality.

Love you @raven_sword :)