Windows Phone 8 – thoughts after using for two weeks

I mentioned previously that I had switched from Android to Windows Phone (previous post). Now I’ve had some time with it and figured I’d inform you how I was getting along.

My Homescreen on phone 6-29

My Home screen on phone 6-29

This is the current view on the first half of my home screen. I have changed it quite a bit through the short time I have had it as I either find other apps I prefer or information I’d rather see in a larger or live tile.

Frankly it didn’t take me long to get used to using the phone. While Android has a lot more ability to customize, I found myself not knowing what I wanted to do, it was too open for me. Widgets are slightly better than live tiles I’ll say, but you end up wasting a lot of screen space with the widgets.

I also find it better to scroll vertically rather than have 5 home screens and have to figure out where I put things. A quick flip of the screen to the left and I get a complete listing of all apps that I can quickly jump to using the alphabet. There is no separation in stock Android, it is just a grid of tiles. True they are in alphabetical order but you cannot quickly jump to certain letters. Windows Phone really makes it quick and easy here.

It is possible some of my improved experience with Windows Phone could be the carrier and phone. I was with Boost Mobile using Android 2.3 on a ZTE Warp and now I am using T-Mobile with WP8 on a Lumia 521. The older operating system and terrible phone may have impacted my enjoyment of Android but even the carrier service is far better. I found poor service with Boost often (part of Sprint) and while I have 4G now which I didn’t before, I still get service in places Boost would often struggle.

There are some cons with the Windows Phone, like no notification center and lack of an equalizer (higher Lumia phones have it but not this model). Apps are generally a reason why people don’t get a Windows Phone and while I’m not a heavy phone/app user, I have had almost no issue with apps. If an official one isn’t there, there is almost always an unofficial one to fill the gap.

An example of an app I liked to check often but doesn’t yet have a good equivalent on Windows Phone is Quora.

I’ve included a couple of pictures I’ve taken with my camera on the phone. I have never taken many but then again the quality was terrible on the ZTE. It appears much better on my Lumia, and it is the same megapixel. There isn’t a flash which could be an issue for some, but since Windows Phone has “Lens”, I can do panorama and other effects easily.

WP Pros:

  • Live Tiles/Home Screen
  • Speed of phone, fluidity
  • Apps (more consistent and easy to use)

Cons:

  • No notification center
  • No flash (but knew that when I purchased it)
  • Limited ability to use microSD card

This wasn’t meant to be a review of either Windows Phone or the Lumia 521, just a quick idea of what I thought about my new phone. I’d like to hear anyone’s thoughts for or against. Gallery below (sorry if images are huge, I wanted to do them unedited for this post)

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