This is my 3rd time to post on this phone. I suppose I’m still writing on it because although I purchased it nearly a year ago, it was almost a $600 investment, I use it everyday, there have been some improvements with updates, and in my opinion there are still some things left to be desired. So I’m gonna pick this thing apart.
After a year of use, what have I used it for the most?
- First, I don’t talk on the phone much. I’m a single dude, and I’m quiet to begin with.
- I text more than I talk. Texting is definitely a primary function I use. I like the word prediction, and texting is easy and intuitive.
- GPS. No major problems with the turn by turn GPS voice navigation.
- Podcasts. I listen to these regularly at work. They download overnight over Wifi connection. Catholic Answers, How Stuff Works, and the Dianne Rehm show are my most listened to ones. Definitely helps get me through the day.
- OneNote. A handy app I use to make lists, random things to remember, or even keeping a journal.
- Camera. 8.7 MP camera takes some good pictures, and is good for low-light. Has a video camera and rapid photo taking option, but I haven’t used either of those much.
- Checking my e-mail.
- Weather updates. Checking for rain in the forecast, how hot or cold it will be in the upcoming days, looking at the radar if a storm is in the area.
- Calendar. Making reminders for upcoming plans.
- News, Sports updates. I like the Bing News app alot. However, the Bing Sports app has been frustrating. When trying to get some news or scores, several times the connection is “unavailable”.
- Games. I player Solitaire every now and then, not much more than that.
- Flashlight. It has a strong light, def has come in handy.
- Alarm. Use it every morning for work and many times for my nap during lunch.
- Dictionary app. Use it when reading. I remember when you used to have to get a big book out anytime you wanted to look up the meaning of a word. Now every word can be on your cell phone. Amazing.
So that’s 14 different functions I use my phone for. That’s impressive.
I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent for a second. I think it’s important to keep in mind the main point of a phone — communication. It’s about reaching out to the people you care and love. Some people let their phones own them. I avoid Facebook and Twitter for that very reason. I believe that some people check their phone compulsively for unimportant events or conversations when they should be focusing on relating to the people right in front of them. Cell phones and the several different “apps” have hurt our social skills in some ways. If you ride a bus in these times, you will see less conversations, and more people hunched down looking at their 5 inch phone screen. The connection between your eyes and your phone screen acts as a barrier to interacting with other people. I think it’s a good idea to keep your phone away at dinner and when you’re having conversations with people. Keep yourself open to friendly conversation. That’s my 2 cents on that.
What has improved?
- They’ve fixed the problem where I couldn’t text over Wifi. That was a major frustration. Good job there Windows/T-Mobile.
- Notification of a text not sending isn’t sent through a separate thread anymore. It’s within the text now, which is much more user friendly.
- If you hold the “back” button down on your phone, it will show all your open apps, and you can X out of them completely rather than having to push back multiple times. Particularly comes in handy for Internet Explorer.
- Haptic feedback is now an option instead of mandatory. I’ve never liked the feel of it, and I also hated thinking about how it was unnecessarily using my battery.
- Even though it’s not ALL the way there, you can see turn by turn directions to a place in Here Drive BEFORE you click on “Start” to begin the navigation. It’s better, but Android has it where you can switch views DURING the navigation. It seems like a very important feature to me to be able to see what turns you’ll be making in 2 or 3 turns down the road instead of only being able to see the immediately next one. Especially if you’ve got someone riding with you…then they could give you the rundown of the turns, and you wouldn’t have to rely on the phone voice.
What is lacking? (First world problems, I know..)
- As mentioned above, GPS still does not have a turn by turn menu. You can see it before you actually “start” the map, but once you start it’s no longer available to see.
- Battery life. According to the AT&T website, the 925 model should have a battery life of 12 days if on standby. Well, I’m not a heavy user, and I don’t even come close to that. I basically need to charge daily. I’m looking at 50-60% of battery left after half a day of moderate use (maybe listening to an hour long podcast and light texting, no calling). If I use GPS for an hour or more it drains even more quickly. That’s really disappointing.
- The Microsoft sports app continually says “Service not available” or something similar when I clearly have phone service. This is very frustrating when I’m trying to check the score of a game currently going on.
- Manually having to update through the Windows store for apps and your phone. You can auto-download podcasts over Wifi, but not important software updates.
- Privacy on the internet. History is automatically saved, and you have to manually delete it. I want an auto-delete upon exit feature with the browser. You can do it for Internet Explorer on your computer.
- Audio on the video camera. My friend and I went to the Formula 1 race in Austin last year, and we both got video of a passing of the cars. He has an Iphone (not sure which one), and his audio sounded like you were there. My audio was pretty crappy compared to his. Mine sounded much more quiet and less crisp.
- Internet explorer doesn’t have a homepage. Really? If you pull up IE, it goes to the most recent page you were on. I’d rather have a homepage of Google every time. There’s a work around, but then your tile looks weird.
- There’s no “stop” button for audio. If you pause an audio, and lock your phone, anytime you change the volume, the track you were listening to stays on the audio status bar at the top of your phone for a few hours, kind of annoying. You can pay for an app for a “stop tile”, but I would expect a stop button to be programmed on the phone already.
The Lumia Cyan update
There is an anticipated update for the Windows 8 Phones called the “Cyan” update. It’s actually already available for AT&T users (AT&T is also the provider that carried the Nokia Lumia 1025 Model, which has a 41 MP Camera rather than my 8.7 MP). I have T-Mobile, and still not available for me. T-Mobile has stopped selling the 925 Model, so I’m hoping this update doesn’t get put on the back burners because of that. I would hope this month sometime.
There’s really only a few things I’m looking forward to in the update:
- A notification center. Consolidates your notifications into one place (texts, updates, news(?)).
- Windows Store updates will auto-update over Wifi. It is a pain to manually update your apps and features all the time.
- Another 2 columns for your live tiles so that you can fit more tiles onto your screen. I think this will come in handy as there are several useful tiles.
- “Cortana” is the female voiced “assistant” that can help you make calls, get directions, etc., through voice command. I honestly don’t see myself too hyped about this one. If I’m going to query my phone or perform a task, I’m more comfortable using my fingers than my voice.