From 2010 to the end of 2012, I was exclusively an iPhone user. I owned an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S during that span. Prior to that I owned the original Motorola Droid and afterwards, I purchased both the HTC One X and Galaxy Nexus. My level of experience with both iOS and Android had reached somewhat of a God status, and being the tech whore that I am, I simply wanted to try something new. Windows Phone intrigued me from the moment it was announced, but I couldn't bare the thought of leaving my beloved iTunes ecosystem. But now that Microsoft has had time to perfect and improve upon it's fledgling OS, I figured now's a good a time as any to give it a shot. And though there are a handful of WP8 phones currently on the market, it's clear that Nokia's Lumia is THE Windows Phone to get. Note: I'm well aware that there are multiple Lumias on the market, but for the purpose of this article, we're gonna refer to the Nokia Lumia 920 as the Nokia Lumia, because really...it's the only one that matters.
But Nerd, there are barely any apps for Windows Phones!
This is the cheap cop out of arguments against Windows Phone, so I'm gonna get this out of the way right now. I currently have virtually every app (or at least, a more than suitable alternative) on my Lumia that I had on my iPhone or Nexus. Most of what I'm missing are games, as titles like Temple Run, Scramble With Friends and others don't exist on the platform yet. And yes, I know: there's no Instagram. But everything else? Twitter? Facebook? (Which actually exists better in the People Hub than the standalone app, but I'll save that for another article), Pageonce? (for finance management), Dropbox? ESPN? Amazon? Paypal? DirecTV? I HAVE ALL OF IT! The apps that I'm missing, I must not have used much anyway. Let's be real. The majority of us want our phones to be able to tweet, take pictures, play music, stay up on FB notifications, and occasionally make phone calls. The Lumia does all of these things, and remarkably well I might add.
But Nerd, iOS and Android are both much more mature operating systems than Windows Phone!
Yea? Says who? How do we measure maturity in software? Is it by the usefulness of it's interface? Because I'd argue that WP8 has a better front end than either iOS or Android (and I'd probably win). Is it by the lack of bugs or glitches? Because both Android and iOS have had their share of snafus over the past month or few. Is it by feature count? Because ALL smartphones offer damn near the same set of options. And the few that set iOS or Android apart from the crowd tend to be novelty features that no one uses more than once. When is the last time you touched your phone to a friends phone to send a playlist? When is the last time you used Siri to order movie tickets? It's all fun and cute for commercials, but these are not real world applications that people clamor over. They're selling points. And they work, but they're not practical.
But Nerd, Microsoft, and Windows by extension, just isn't COOL anymore! I want my phone to be cool!
OK, you wanna pull out your iPhone 5 in a crowd and get a few gasps. I totally get it. But pull out a Lumia and see what kind of reaction you get. It's one of the most beautifully designed smartphones I've ever laid my hands on, crafted with arguably the same amount of painstaking precision as Apple's darling. Christina Warren drew stares from a restaurant full of people and got stopped on the street because of her Lumia. You will STILL be plenty cool, trust me.
So what you're telling me is the Lumia is BETTER than the iPhone 5?
It's becoming harder and harder to quantify "better" in the tech industry. Any manufacturer worth their salt will be sure to include their handset with the top of line specs necessary to compete with their contemporaries. But it's time to look at facts. iOS is great, but arguable aging platform. Android is great, but is just only now, after nearly 4 years, matching iOS in terms of usability and aesthetics. The door is wide open for Microsoft to swoop in and snatch up their lunch money. And if phones like the Lumia continue to be made, who's to say they won't do just that?
I really liked my Galaxy Nexus. I LOVED my iPhone 4S. But there's something about this Lumia that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's the newness of it all. Maybe it truly is the next big thing. Only time, and Microsoft's commitment to continued perfection of their platform, will tell.