My Experience With Windows Phone 8 – The Last Mobile Platform From Microsoft

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My experience with Microsoft dates back to the original CE phones back in 2003, I wanted something different and that phone was different and to configure it you needed a doctorates degree in physics. But I like the bubbles game on it, then i tried Windows 3.0 for work and that had decent integration with Microsoft exchange. But nobody did integration like Apple & Google did, so I switch to Android the moment it came out and before that I was on the SonyEricsson platform.

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With the introduction of the Windows Phone 8 they are finally trying to make a decent competitor to the Apple & Android platform and right now its a few steps behind but still impressive. With Windows Phone 8 has some decent integration with Windows 8 such as auto photo updates, and the Microsoft Office Suite integrates nicely with the Windows Phone 8, especially OneNote which is probably the best note taking tool I have ever used, even better then Evernote. As well as SkyDrive integration which can sync your photos as well as your documents, trying to be a better DropBox for Windows which isn’t too bad.

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The operating system itself gets a little getting used to, its like visiting somewhere for the first time, you know enough to get around but need some time to get really familiar with it. There is smooth feeling to the operating system that I like, and after 6 months of abuse the phone has not hung on me once which is great for a smart phone of this caliber.

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What I Like:

  • Easy to sync Google Contacts and emails with the WP8 interface, even after Google extended
  • The App store is pretty decent, has some junk in it but they all started off that way, they have about 80% of the Apps that iOS & Android have.
  • Music integration has been fantastic, you can load up all your iTunes playlist as well spotify which is exactly what I’m doing.
  • Has some fun XBox integration so the games you play are displayed.
  • It sort of between the strict Apple platform and the loose Android platform, its formed but flexible and I really like the tiles and options of the live tiles.

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What I Don’t Like:

  • The email display feels wrong, it just doesn’t do a good job of displaying emails no matter what email I use. I think they can do a better job with that.
  • They don’t have instagram, I won’t kid myself I’m addicted to it.
  • Slow to get the necessary Apps into the App Store, App Store needs some more Apps, not everyone is developing for it yet
  • Better integration with Windows 8, I want it seemless, just as Android is integrated with everything Android.

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Hardware:

I’m using the HTC 8X and I’m honestly loving it, its a light phone with an excellent camera. And the battery lasts over a 30 hours with a lot of abuse. Even when I was riding over 5 hours in San Diego while listening to Spotify the whole time it only lost 25% of the battery which is insane, if i did it with the Nexus 4 it would have lost 50% and with the iPhone 5 only 20% battery would be left.

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My Top Apps

  • TVShow – Best TV Show App I have seen, better then anything on iOS or Android
  • Weather Flow – Great Weather App
  • SkyDrive
  • Spotify
  • WhatsApp
  • NextGen Reader – Fantastic RSS Reader – Displays Images and information perfectly without having to visit the site
  • Flixster – For the movie fanatic
  • Battery Status – Updated information on your battery
  • MyTrips – For the TripIt Addicts, I use it all the time when I travel

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Conclusion

Overall I’m honestly loving the windows platform. This phone got a high rating for stability and the long lasting battery and a great selection of Apps. Microsoft have a good thing, they just need to clean up their App store and integarte it with Windows 8. They really are in need of Youtube and Google Maps, there are replacements but they don’t beat out the originals. They built an excellent product I just hope they keep on improving it, and I love that when other phones run out of battery this one is still going. The success of this platform depends on the Apps available and Microsoft knows this, Blackberry failed because of this, thats why they are throwing everything they can at it and hopefully it will keep growing. They have substitute Apps for most of the major ones, but hopefully the major App developers will develop for Windows.

Rating:

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A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great review and also thanks for most of the apps they are great I downloaded all of them and found them super useful

    waiting for more great posts from you Z!

    Good luck

  2. @HaMaNiYoo – Any time buddy! Happy the post was useful!

  3. Khalid

    If you use Nokia Lumia, you will get awesome apps such as Here Drive, Here Transit and Here City lens specially if you travel a lot.

    There are 4 replacement instagram apps (fully functional) I think already.

    One thing this OS lacks is our local apps (banks) but all other OSs started this way.

    Tip: Under Language+Region settings change country/Region to USA for more apps.

  4. @Khalid -Thanks for the tip, that is the best part you can change the region and the shop that easily, which makes things flexible! For me the Lumia was just too bulky, I like the HTC 8X a lot more! Haven’t really found a good Instagram replacement, when you do let me know! The local Apps will take a while for them to appear, at least a few years, lets hope that Microsoft stays consistent!

  5. DVLz

    If I did not own a Windows Phone 8 I might have bought one based on your review, but since I own a Lumia 920 I’ve got to say that I gave a chance for both Nokia and Microsoft and they both failed me. Although I’m a Windows guy to begin with I still have hope when it comes to tablets but not so much with phones as I have the worst experience ever. Lets start with the hardware from Nokia the phone is heavy which is good what’s wrong with men these days can’t handle some weight! The camera is crap at all times, screen under sunlight is great, hypersensitive screen does not work on most objects like plastic or wood but mostly metallic items. The thing I like about Windows Phone design is the camera button which makes sense. Other than that the Lumia has a flaw in it’s design but I won’t talk about that. As for OS I would give it a 1 star or maybe 2. Couple of reasons why I say that and to be fair I’ll ignore the limited number of apps. First let’s start with the bad. The notification is crap, the browser is bad limited to 6 tabs only,can go backward but not forward if you wanna go back to the same page, no flash and it’s still alive not dead yet. No rotation lock for the phone which is idiotic, capturing screen shots cannot be shared using other apps. Customization is not even close to Android. Multitasking is slow and you can’t kill tasks. Last if you share your internet connection you cannot connect it to your Ps3 but works OK with Xbox go figure! Now the good I would say the keyboard was impressive, video links are easy to open on webpages unlike Android. That’s mostly it, nothing is really great to mention. Now just to talk about my experience with apps, Nokia maps and apps are all crap nothing compared to Google. I even had Bing as my default search engine which wasn’t that great but had some goodies of it’s own. As for famous most used apps in Kuwait like whatsapp man that thing is laggy and lacks so many features like you can’t send videos and the emoji (smileys) has Windows 8 style which sometimes I choose the wrong expression based on stupid looking emoji. Viber on the the other hand was released with just text no voice, now it has voice but no emoji and stickers common!. Skype on Android and IOS has more features than the one on Windows Phone. Battery Status apps does not update by the minute so that’s useless. I skipped a lot of details just to make this comment shorter lol. Finally you said ” TVShow – Best TV Show App I have seen, better then anything on iOS or Android” so you’re trying to convince me that you checked every app on android and iOS and you found this to be the best, seriously have you checked the apps on the Android store if so just put the list of the apps you’ve used for TV shows. That’s all for now ^_~

  6. @DVLz – The main reason I went with the HTC 8X is because it has a pretty good camera and a light phone, its not bulky like the Nokia Lumia line which I didn’t like. I prefer HTC Hardware, they usually do a pretty good job.

    On the software side I agree with you on the notifications, its crap and requires major improvement. The browser limitation is stupid but it browses smoothly for me, I would like chrome on the phone but not expecting it any time at all. Regarding PS3/XBox thing I think they just haven’t tested everything but they might not fix that either! lol WhatsApp lags but not too bad, its a bit lacking but has had some major improvements over the past six months. And your right about the Emoji! Screen rotation lock isn’t a huge thing it can be added and they should add it, but since iOS & Android are a long way ahead it won’t feel like it can compete yet.

    For me whats important is that Microsoft is throwing everything they can at it, and it might not be for everyone as I mentioned but it still is a good phone and a decent platform.

    If regards to the TV Apps, I have tried ALOT of them, meaning at least 6 different Apps on Android and a few on iOS, this is by far the best! Try it out and you tell the difference if you have had a better experience with an App I would use it.

    Keep this comments coming!

  7. DVLz

    I have used couple ones which I didn’t like but they could have been updated and improved by now. Anyways Here is a list of the ones I’ve used

    Old Apps :
    TV Shows Favs
    SeriesGuide
    TV trakt
    Traktoid

    Newer Apps :
    Cliffhanger
    Traktato

    I’ve been using Traktoid for a while now which I like the design but the only problem with the app is that it has not been updated for a while now and maybe no future updates since the developer is a student. Traktato seems to be following the same principle with more updates cause it’s new. As for anime the best app you’ll ever find is Atarashii! beta it just has more features for now. Most apps I mentioned above requires an account at trakt.tv , as for the anime you just need myanimelist account. If you have access to US Play Store you may wanna try TV.com app as you can watch full tv episodes. Most apps have similarities but how you use it is up to you. The TVshow app for Windows Phone is nice but at the time I downloaded the app it wasn’t that great and I know that cause I use another app from the same developer which is Fuse as my primary reader app which is similar to the one I use on android which is Taptu. Just Try these and tell me what you think v(^_-)v

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