Answer to Lumia 900 review
First, i'm using a first gen. windows phone (omnia 7) and i know the evolution of windows phone a bit. Also i'm creating an App for this platform, just for fun.
I think after the review it is time for some statements in this forum to this review.
Before i read the review of Josh, my first thought was "oh no, a Android OS/Mac user / fanboy tries to review this, this will not end in a good review". But, after reading the review i have to say that it was one of the better reviews of Joshua @TheVerge. Why? 'Cause he attempts to look at the Nokia Lumia 900 without any bias and overall for me, a windows phone user, the article really tries to like the device.
The Review (Joshua) really tries to like this device. But i think this time Joshua really tries to hide his own fanboyism and only concentrates to love the Nokia Lumia 900. In the end, the question is will a Android or Iphone user really switch to this device? I don't think that many critics about the Hardware (Camera, Video resolution) really interests many "normal" consumers and if At&t sales people want to sell the Nokia Lumia 900 they are trained to speak about all the great things for less money. In my opinion it is a very good review from a standpoint of a Android/iOS user.
The main problem - Windows Phone OS
Now, my answer to Joshuas only big critic point: The Windows Phone OS. Cause the software and ecosystem part got 5 (4) points. The average point of this would be a 7.25 ~ 7.3, but Joshua takes this rating down, to a 7.0 rating. Why? I don't know, maybe he thinks that the Ecosystem/Software OS must have more weight to the score than anything else.
If Joshua would give 6 or 7 points to ecosystem and software this would lead to a 7.6 or 7.8 rating. At the end, there would be no possibility to get a right like the iphone or HTC one X. Which is, in real not possible due to the specs and the OS.
Before i will respond to the OS problems, what really disappoints me with the new Nokia productline "Lumia" is the overall bad review for the camera. How is this possible? A company like Nokia with the expertise from Carl Zeiss have to create the best (!) camera experience in the market. There is no other possibility for me, it has to be overwhelming! So Nokia, where are the great experiences from the past? Some aspects maybe occur due to WP7 and the support but this can't be an excuse for Nokia.
First, i really love the overall design, typography of the WP OS. I love the way it works, great smoothness, no lag! There are many Androidphones out there which are dealing with some responsiveness issues. I have used a lot of them for a day or a week (Galaxy S2, Nexus S, HTC Sensation, Motorola Milestones(1 and 2), Razr...) at the end many of them have some issues with the smoothness. Also the difference of the UI and the simplicity give WP OS a differentiation to other OS.That's it. I really have to agree i some points that after 2 years of WP OS there was no real suprise. No differentiation. There is the Microsoft Office branding, the Xbox Live branding but that's it. It is only the branding, in the end there are (free) or cheap Apps for Android/iOS which are much, much better than office mobile. Skydrive Sync is great but is not working all the time, there are many issues if you use it heavily, like me.
OneNote, Word are nothing else as simple Note Apps, really limited use is possible. It would be great if MS would offer greater experience, more functions for office mobile, maybe for .99$ or for free but there has to be more options in the mobile space.
Xbox Live is nothing else than a branding. Many people, me too, thought it would combine the console experience with the mobile world in a innovative and new way but nothing. It shows you the xbox live friends, offers you to send some messages and to look up your awards, avatar. No big games, no exclusive innovative games which combine xbox live arcade/ indie games with mobile. There will be some support with the new Sonic Game but again there is a frustrating point. You have to buy the mobile app for 5$ and than the console version for maybe 10$ or less, at the end 15$ for a basic cross-platform experience. No bundle opinions, no marketing effort to push such functionality to studios. There are many indie developers out there which are developing great games for the Xbox 360 but no one really cares WP OS. Microsoft says that it is easy to "port" games between the platforms but if you ask developers they will say that WP OS is a bit limited.
Three, the ecosystem. After nearly two years and only some interesting, for other platforms "old" , games for a much hgher price, e.g. in Europe you have to pay 2,99€ for angry birds on WP whereas iOS user pays .79€ or free for Android. So how a user, who wants to discover new apps and to install a lot of them, is interested in using WP OS if "blockbuster" titles are four-times or more higher than on other platforms? There are great apps for many use-cases, like Pulse or Flud for RSS, Carbon or Rowi for Twitter, Pinspiration for Pinterest, WeatherView or AccuWeather, WhatsApp/GroupMe/HeyTell/Im+ etc... there are enough apps, but these apps are not "new" in the mobile space and for many users "blockbuster" apps are essential. If someone buys a WP OS phone and can't find some interesting game, like Draw Something or Instagram or Angry Birds Space for example than many people will be afraid. For example i'm using Pulse as a RSS Reader and on WP there are a lot of features missing if you compare it with same Apps on other platforms. Further, the applications is really sluggish. The same problem with FLUD RSS. The core OS feels great, in fact "blockbuster" apps feel sluggish or buggy and there is no or less interest for fixing these problems with updates. Want an example? Download the Rdio Application. After the last Update (2 or 3 weeks ago) the application is crashing and not usable, which is often described in the ratings but in the end for the end customer, like me, it looks like no one really cares or is not interested in fixing such problems within 1-2 days. So if no "great" developers care the platform, how should end customers? Another example, one great indie developer, Elbert Perez, describes in his blog that he sees a drop in income - ok , he says the app stores gets more competitive, but i don't think that this is the only reason - and is focusing on HTML5/Win8 and maybe other Platforms (Android/iOS).
Four, multitasking. Here Joshua is right. Many Applications are not really supporting the WP OS multitasking or at least it doesn't feel so. For example, loading a RSS reader from the multitasking view back to the front, it needs some seconds to restart. It feels like there is only a simple image snapshot and if you select it the whole application has to restart. I don't think that MS has created such a bad multitasking functionality 'cause there are some apps which are great working with multitasking but my thought is that many developers don't care it..
I don't care a lot about apps, i'm using pulse/flud/whatsapp/im+/rowi and some other "indie" apps and at the end for my daily business use there are no huge issues but i'm understanding Joshua and his thoughts that after 2 years the WP OS feels the same. There were some background optimization with NoDo or Mango Updates (C&P, Pseudo-Multitasking) but these features are not ground-breaking.
At the end i have so say, IF Microsoft and Nokia or Microsoft and the vendors are not creating a big Apollo update with innovative and really huge functionality shift with new interaction methods, e.g. Kinect for Xbox, something ground-breaking is needed. This could be a better NFC payment service and agreements or a great way to interact with the Xbox 360 ( for example: WP and Xbox ) or a whole new experience combined with win8, xbox and "apollo".
Dear Joshua, this review was really good and dear Microsoft/Nokia if you really want some margins from the smartphone market 2012 is you're real last chance! If not, i have to switch to another plattform which will lead me to Android or iOS.