Confessions of an Ex-Windows Phone user

I used to own an HTC Radar (T-Mobile), before switching to the HTC One S (T-Mobile). Any day now, when Microsoft announces the next WP version - or Nokia the next flagship - I will be jumping back to my beloved, beloved windows phone platform. This is despite the fact that my android phone has much better specs, much more functionality, a lot more apps, usable multitasking, a notification center, widgets that work better than livetiles, and universal usage by the masses.

Here's my (slightly overblown and personal) take on why

So I read the post "Confessions of a Windows Phone User" and shook my head, many times. Many times. Windows Phone is still in the "early adopter" stage, occupying only around 5% of the total marketshare. Right now, windows phone (version 8.0) isn't for the techy functionality freaks. Nor for those who like to have what everyone else has. Or snapchat sluts. It's sad, but windows phone isn't there yet. I can't recommend windows phone to business people, teenage girls, or power users. It's a flaw for sure, one that 8.1 will address - to what extent, I don't know; but I will say it's easier to catch up in features than it is to create features for competitors to catch up to. My hopes, admittedly, are a bit high. As long as it is half decent though, I will take the WP flagship come November. And to a lot of those people who have not used windows phone, you may wonder why.

It's because Windows Phone speaks to me. I'm not talking about how livetiles "offer information in innovating ways," because in all honesty, widgets on Android serve that purpose probably just a little bit better. Windows Phone feels cohesive. Perhaps it's that universal design language, that sexy Metro (Modern) font that is all over Windows Phone. Everything feels together, and beautiful. When I stare at the screen, little things move, tiles flip over, all in its minimalist awesomeness. It feels alive, maybe. I remember I'd change my theme color every other day, and that was WP 7.5 which only offered half the colors, and feel like my phone was refreshed. I used to also admire the beauty of the lock screen. Take any nice looking picture, put the time and date in metro font on top - and it looked simply artistic, and that was in fucking 480x800 resolution (see below some examples I found on google search). When I look at my higher resolution android device, it doesn't move- it doesn't look beautiful. It just is. My lock screen is just my wallpaper with nice options to go to messages, camera, etc, but it doesn't look nice. It doesn't feel satisfying, even though it offers more options. Maybe it's the boring, inconsistent font... the icons laid in a grid on top... or the fact that it's completely still, frozen in time. I simply can't love an android device; I can only appreciate its use.

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But even then, there are problems. When I select something on windows phone, the tiles swim away and a new screen animates itself all in a blink of an eye, vs. on android, the screen disappears, with a half second lag during which my screen is blank, before the next screen disappears. The result is that I feel windows phone is cruising through my use, while android is a machine that is processing my tasks. Not to mention the random blips here and there where my android phone gets a bit laggy.

I've also come to think that the beautifully creative and lively designs of windows phone are not a coincidence. It's a representation of the OS, or something that was inspired by it if you will. I don't think it's a coincidence that android phones tend to be black/white rectangles, since that is what android "feels" like. Obviously there are exceptions, and I do find the HTC One a marvel, but it's obviously a bit industrial (which has a beauty of its own) vs. something lively/creative like the HTC 8x or Nokia 920. In this sense, I do give credit to whichever reviewer called the Nokia 928 staid, because I was also disappointed in its design. I also understand verge reviewers when they negatively say that the 925/928 should have offered in more colors, even when the iPhone isn't, because it's almost an injustice to the creative OS (though I do think the 925 is still beautiful as is).

Lumia820920-1_medium

Now I'll end it here, and many of you may still not fully understand why I'm a fan of windows phone. I was a bit vague, because I want to say that the main appeal of windows phone isn't objective. There are a few objective points, like Nokia's cameras, strong hardware design, and a lot of small ones (certain apps are better, windows ecosystem, office, xbox music player, xbox connection, etc etc) that I intentionally didn't mention. The main appeal of windows phone is the impression it leaves on you. Compared to now where when I'm bored, I whip out my phone, flip between empty screens to burn a few seconds, taking out my windows phone was something of a hobby. I enjoyed using it, plain and simple. Subjective things like "user experience" are hard to articulate to people, who only see windows phone as a limited "not-yet-there" or "not-yet-popular" device. Windows Phone offers an incredible experience, one that isn't for everybody, but one in which you might find yourself unexpectedly admiring. You might find yourself... slightly emotionally attached, or in other words, one of those - dare I say it - fanboys.

In any case, to me Android is like a nice expensive apartment complex, filled with everything I need, but not in the way I want it. I like it though, don't get me wrong- it's a competitive system and I'm obviously using one right now. Windows Phone is that cottage with the squeaky couch I've come to cherish, put together in a way that pleases me - save for a few rusty pipes and a leaky roof (which are due for repairs soon!!). My HTC One S is my device, but my HTC Radar was my phone.

Thanks for reading.