Lumia 928 First Impressions and Pictures

I just bought my first Windows Phone after being an Android guy for years (having used the Droid Incredible, then the Droid Thunderbolt, then the Galaxy Nexus), and figured it was worth sharing my initial impressions:

Pros:

  1. Great battery life - Still >30% left after a full day of playing around with my new phone, hardly letting it sit.
  2. GPS connects instantly, everytime - Might be more of a con for my Galaxy Nexus, but that would take over a minute to get a lock on the GPS signal.
  3. Everything is super snappy. I'm constantly impressed how fast it is... and I was a power user who flashed different ROMS on my Galaxy Nexus to get the best performance as possible.
  4. Wireless charging is amazing.
  5. Super cheap flagship device for off-contract device... I got mine for $450 at an official Verizon Store, $250 less than the GS4.
  6. Amazing camera - Definitely the best phone camera I've used... but it's nothing like the 1020 pics I've been seeing online. I mostly find the color reproduction is it's main strong point versus my old Galaxy Nexus... pictures just seem much more natural.
  7. Dedicated camera button - Can't figure out why every phone manufacturer doesn't do this.
  8. The update cycle. While I haven't actually seen it myself yet, all reports sound like Microsoft is much quicker and uniform at getting updates out to their devices than Android.

Cons:
  1. Missing tons of apps - While I'm finding replacements for most, it's really frustrating that some big apps aren't there (like Dropbox, Gmail, Google Maps, Hangouts (Google), MyFitnessPro, MLB At Bat, theScore, etc)
  2. Big name apps that do exist aren't nearly as developed as their Android counterparts. (Facebook, Rdio, Twitter, etc)
  3. Small UI things can be frustrating (no way to display battery percentage on the main notification bar)
  4. Most apps and UI elements seem too simplistic... I miss the busy Android apps, like Beautiful Weather Widgets. This just seems to be the design aesthetic between Android (busy) and WP8 (simple). It's a blessing and a curse.
  5. No LED notification light... mostly offset by the lock screen being super useful, and it lighting up when getting notifications. But I miss being able to use LightFlow to coordinate different colors for different types of notifications on my GNexus (purple for SMS, Red for Gmail, Green for battery, Blue for work email, etc). But, I can't count the colored notifications against it too much since Samsung is the only Android OEM who does this, and I've vowed to not buy their phones until they take build quality seriously.
  6. Notifications are far more fleshed out on Android than Windows Phone. Supposedly, this is what WP8.1 is going to address, but that's a rumor.
  7. All volume is tied together. So Ringer, Notification, and Media all share the same volume level. Super annoying when you want to silence your phone, but still watch an occasional video.

I originally had Xbox Music as a plus, but after I realized it doesn't sync with my Zune desktop client (which I've been building a library in for years), I am frankly quite pissed. I had already been slowly switching over to Rdio, and that was the final nail in the coffin for me paying Microsoft for a Music subscription.

Overall, I went into this with the intention of trying it out for 2 weeks, and then returning the phone, but I've found that just the performance and battery life were enough to keep me here. Those are things that would require drastic rewrites of the Android OS to achieve, and I believe (obviously my opinion) that Microsoft can catch up on the other things quicker than Android could fix their issues. Plus, I love Nokia, and it really feels good to be supporting them again. Then again, I'd feel good supporting HTC as well, so it's not like I can't get that good feeling on the Android ecosystem.

In closing, I'd like to share some pics of my White Lumia 928 with a Cyan colored case on it. The case really made me love this phone even more (I wanted some color on my phone, but there were only options for white and black versions on Verizon).

http://imgur.com/a/CXb0W#0

Personally, I'd give the phone an 8 out of 10. If any Android people have questions for me, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be the first to admit it's not a seamless transfer, but I'm at a stage that I'm confident I'm going to be happier with this device.