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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Top Apps
- TVShow – Best TV Show App I have seen, better then anything on iOS or Android
- Weather Flow – Great Weather App
- 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
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.