Microsoft’s Windows 7 mobile did ok, and more recently, Windows 8 mobile, has been getting some good press. The first attempt at creating a phone OS in the form of Windows Mobile, like Microsoft’s earlier adoption of the web, was not what one might call a huge success, though multiple manufacturers did attempt multiple devices with them. With the promise of the much better Windows Phone platform, and Nokia having backed it quite solidly (especially with their Lumias), this is back as a serious contender once again.
In fact, an IDC report claims that Android will soon be hitting its peak growth, and its Windows that will gain the most as a mobile platform – getting to 19.2% market share past iOS at 19% by 2016!
So here are we – taking a look at Lumia 920 device, with an Android lens. Oh well, not really – but from the lens of a user who has been using Android devices for the last 2.5 years.
First things first : I have been* using Android devices for the last 2.5 years and currently have 2 active Android devices – HTC Desire S and Lava N400.
I moved to Lumia 920 a day ago and this is a quick rundown of my first 24 hours with Lumia 920, after having spent a considerable amount of time with Android.
Please note that this isn’t just a device review, but is a quick rundown of the overall experience (i.e. OS + device).
#1: It’s a different experience. And is a lot better.
Of course you have read this before, but Lumia is a different experience. To me, Android (still) feels like a ‘wannabe iOS’ (or in Bollywood terms, ‘inspired by’), but Microsoft OS doesn’t seem to be a wannabe platform. There is a great degree of UX awesomeness that one experiences in the device.
Sure, Lumia 920 has a great hardware to support the OS, but I am assuming that the experience doesn’t change drastically with low-cost models like 620/520 or so.
Of course, I am not even talking about the awesome 920 camera, as I haven’t managed to explore it a lot (will do in subsequent posts).
#2: The App Ecosystem.
Android has too many, iOS has way too many and both Nokia and Microsoft need to really get more app developers to sign up for the Windows Phone platform.
While the number of apps are lesser in MS ecosystem, the good news is that Nokia Apps like HERE and CityLens truly rock.
In fact, being a (relatively) new platform, Windows App system can focus on curated set of apps, but ensure that there are enough funky apps to play with.
TLDR; Microsoft and Nokia need a whole lot of #randomshit (or in hindi, #fullyfaltu) apps like iFart or FB’s Bang with Friends, as they push the ToS limits and end up creating a new category. In fact, some of these apps also showcase the passion of developer audience and the hope they have in the platform.
Note to Microsoft/Nokia teams : Get dirty. Get more open. Challenge developers. Challenge yourself. There is a huge pool of I-have-made-no-money Android App developers waiting for their payday.
#3: Windows Errors Needs better messaging.
Gone are those days of cryptic error codes like 0x38b484. While Microsoft team is trying to fix errors (we hope so!), the team should also take a cue from the new product era and wrap errors around meaningful messages.
It just helps carve a nice experience around the product. Least of all, suck less.
- How Helpful Are Your Error Messages [DNA of Great Products]
- How to Snuggle Softly With your Product Error Messages
- You Have Got An Error Message! Who Do You Blame?
#4: Lumia 920 is an experience…and..
Sounds repetitive? Well, Nokia has done more than justice to Windows platform and one would like to think hard that if Nokia ever designed an Android device, the combination would have been <fill in the blank!>
#5: Setting up / Switching
Setting up Google Apps/social etc account in the device was fairly simple. The challenge, I faced was of finding ‘corresponding apps’ from my Android device to Lumia device.
I’d recommend Nokia team to revisit this and see if they can help users with an easy switch. And it has to be a Windows app (Android has an app for managing switching, by the way)
#6: Android VS Windows Phone
The verdict? Who wins?
Sorry! Let’s talk something more meaningful?
We believe that people do not buy OS (except for Apple fanboys!). People buy experience, in future they will buy for ‘what else can I do with this device‘ and experience is what Nokia Lumia 920 brings to the table. And by the way, experience is what Samsung also brings to Android.
In short, the ecosystem of apps/developer support etc will drive device buying decision and it’s going to be interesting!
The mobile ecosystem is growing at a phenomenal rate and a combo of access (i.e. rightly priced devices) and usage (i.e. apps) is what will drive the market penetration.
As we go along, we will bring a detailed review of Lumia 920 and importantly, some of the cool apps in the Windows phone app store that you should be in the know of.
If you are a Lumia user, please share your review of the device and the Windows ecosystem.
* : I am no gadget freak, but I currently have : iPad, Macbook Pro, HTC Desire S (CM 7), Lava N400 (4.1), Samsung Hero and Windows Lumia 920 to play with.