Why I’m Getting A Windows Phone, Someday.
First, a little back story. I’ve owned a cellphone for about 8 years, a smart phone for the most recent 2 of those. My earliest phone was a Trac phone, something simple so my parents could pick me up after sports practices at school. Then I moved up to a flip phone, then a different flip phone, and then finally, after I graduated from college, my first smart phone.
That first smart phone is still the same phone I use today, and it’s a Motorola Droid X. I’ve got to say when I first got it I was in love. To be able to browse the internet, check on Facebook, Twitter, and a bunch of other social networks, download applications, send emails, record video, take pictures, listen to music, sync with my Google account, and of course make phone calls, was incredible to me. It was like a whole new world of connectivity was opened right in front of my eyes.
I remember when I got the phone that it came with the Froyo version of Android. I wasn’t all that concerned about this as I just didn’t think about those things at the time. Eventually I was upgraded to Gingerbread, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
Everything was a dream, for a while.
It was clear the phone was slowing down.
At some point along the way I noticed that my phone felt slower. Apps would take longer to load, when I dialed a phone number I would press three numbers before the screen even registered I was typing anything, and then rush to catch up, the browser wasn’t moving as fast. It was clear the phone was slowing down.
I’ve experienced this sort of thing before with my computers, and when it happens I just reformat the hard drive that houses my operating system and I’m good to go, back up to a swift operating speed. Smartphones were a new frontier for me, and not one that I felt all that comfortable making software changes on. So I did what I thought I could to help, I stopped leaving the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS running, and I uninstalled as many applications as I could. It’s amazing how many applications you can download, use once, and then forget are on your phone.
That worked for a little while, but eventually it started happening again. Only this time, I couldn’t seem to reverse the problem. Around the time my phone’s performance started to decline, some friends of mine bought new Focus phones, with Windows Phone 7. Wow! What a difference. Where my phone has always had some lag swiping around the screen, theirs were butter smooth. Where mine could take up to 10-15 seconds to launch an application, theirs would do it nearly instantaneously; at least that’s how it felt to me.
I was impressed. Very impressed.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get one of these shiny new Windows Phones. I still had about a year left on my contract, and I didn’t have $500+ to buy an unsubsidized phone, or break my contract. And being on Verizon I couldn’t easily buy a used phone and swap a SIM card. Rats.
Then I heard about the Lumia 900, and my spirits picked up. It looked like everything I wanted in a phone. Beautifully designed, very nice hardware, LTE speeds, AT&T (which has very good LTE coverage in my area, at least according to their coverage maps), ClearBlack screen, decent camera, etc. I was dead set on getting the 900.
That was earlier this spring.
My fiancé suggested that we should wait, and get a plan together. Ok, that’s perfectly fine with me, we’ll be married, right? Time to get off the family plan’s. She needs a new phone too, badly. She is still waiting for her first smartphone, and had decided on the iPhone 5, or whatever the new iPhone would be called, back in May.
We got married at the end of June and decided to start looking into phones. We discovered that the new iPhone wouldn’t be announced until September, so I convinced her that she should probably wait. Why get a 4S when the next big thing would be announced in 3 months? Then I found out that my beloved Lumia 900, which I was still planning on getting, would not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Ouch.
I’m not one of those people that has to have the latest and greatest every time, but having been left far in the dust with my Android phone, the prospect of being left behind again on a brand new Windows Phone was not ok with me. Especially since all of the new apps, all of the good apps that will be written once WP8 and W8 are launched, would not be compatible with my phone. Not happening. So I told my wife that we would have to wait.
After all, Nokia was having an event September 5th. Surely they would announce the new phones for Windows Phone 8, and provide some valuable information about when and how I could get one. You see, I’m set on a Windows Phone.
I’ve had Android, and while I’m sure my Android 2.3.4 experience is nothing compared to the new Android 4.0 or 4.1 experience, I’m done with Android. It’s left a sour taste in my mouth that no amount of flashy new GSIII’s or Nexus devices can cleanse. As far as iPhones go, I think they have fantastic hardware, but the software drives me crazy. I had an iPod touch, and there’s nothing about iOS that would make me want an iPhone. I don’t enjoy using it, I don’t enjoy how it works, and I live in a primarily Windows ecosystem. As solid as iOS is, it feels stale to me. I want something new.
Plus I love, love, love the look of the Lumia devices, as well as the exclusive Nokia apps that come with them. A Windows Phone has been my next ever since I saw my friends Focus, and a Nokia has been my choice since the Lumia 900.
So that was then, and this is where I stand. My Droid X is on its last legs. I have to keep it plugged in at work to keep it on and running, but it still randomly shuts itself off for no reason. When I browse the web while it’s not plugged in the battery will drain within a matter of minutes. I’m not exaggerating. Then when I plug the phone back in, the battery will miraculously be at 60% full. In seconds.
My wife’s phone is just as bad. Her phone will randomly turn off, and cannot last through a 10 minute phone call. She doesn’t have internet so battery life while browsing is not an issue, but texting is a huge drain as well.
Flash forward to last week, September 5th, the Nokia event starts and almost immediately I see the phone that I have to have. The Lumia 920. It’s beautiful just like the 900 was, except it’s far and away better. And it will have Windows Phone 8.
And then, all of a sudden, the presentation is over.
And then, all of a sudden, the presentation is over. No mention of pricing, no mention of availability. I don’t know why I thought WP8 would be released ahead of W8, but I did. Shame on me. I guess I hoped that Nokia wouldn’t host an event and make me drool over a device that I need, and then leave me hanging without a way to buy it. But they did.
So now I wait. And it will be uncomfortable. As of now I still only have rumors on when my device will be available, and it’s looking like November 2nd is the magic day at this point. That’s ok, it’s only 7 weeks away (read: it’s not really ok). Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 that my wife has been dreaming of was announced, is available for preorder, and will be in consumer’s hands in a week. But not hers.
I’m fairly new at this marriage thing, only being married for a little over 2 and a half months, but I know that when my wife is not happy, I’m generally not happy. I can’t wait to spend the next 7 weeks explaining why she can’t have that shiny new iPhone, the one she’s been dreaming about for 2 years ever since I got my Droid X, the one that she needs for nursing school because the hospitals have applications that provide on the spot information about drugs for the patients, because I need to wait for my phone too.
I will get a Windows Phone. And I very much hope it’s the Lumia 920. But for now, I’m still waiting for that magic date to be released, the one that I can circle on my calendar and say "look honey, this is the day we can finally get new phones."
I hope it comes soon.