The windows phone in 2018

The windows phone!
It wasn’t long ago that I became part of The 1%
The elite. The unique. Windows phone users.
Oh. I know. We’re late to the party
Microsoft is quiet on the future of WP
With no new hardware as of recent, and nothing but rumors to follow.

Look. I was never attracted to the windows phone. Talk about the app gap, CPU and RAM specs that didn’t seem aggressive on paper. It never felt like an option to look at.

Until my cheap doogee android phone died for the last time.

I needed a phone quick for a job interview. A friend came out with his old 930.
I got hooked. Simple solid design. unintuitive OS. Sleek fast interface. First time I grabbed a phone and just felt… Well.. Wowed.

With that I went out and found a used 920 for myself and loaded windows 10 on it. It’s my primary phone

Before I returned the 930 I lent it to my wife. Same thing. It just worked. And as someone who relies on it for the job, it was perfect.

She had gone from an iphone 5 – got frustrated being tied down to itunes for basic file transfers. Traded it in for an S5, which had it’s issues, with the inclusion of massive bloatware slowing the phone down, battery drain issues, to odd behavior and occasional instability. I had recommended jumping to a community rom, but remember, most consumers aren’t really willing to do so. Anyway, the phone was in general fine with no major issue pushing a change. But with the intricate style of the ASUS zenphone 2 she made another trade for a brand new model. Similar experience, minor issues over time, yet good enough. But then the 930 comes along. Selling the zenfone 2 and grabbing a much cheaper 930 at 70€ while pocketing the difference

So what is it about these phones?

Let’s take a look.

We’ve got protective covers on both.
For two reasons.
One – it dampens energy when dropped, adding a bit of protection
Two – These phones a super smooth, especially the 920, it just wants to slide out of your hand. But I guess it’s to be expected, seems like most phones are
Anyway. For about a euro a pie, I think it’s well worth it

We also have cheap tempered glass screen protectors.
It looks ugly. The Lumia’s screen has a slight curve… Which looks fantastic, but won’t fit well with still glass screen protectors which won’t fit well and will gather dust around the edges. The glass on the 920 is gorilla glass 2, and the 930 uses gorilla glass 3 – which is likely fine for most. But to me, in my use, and in my experience. spending a euro on protective glass is worth it. All really depends on how well you treat your gadgets – plastic protectors should stick on fine if you go that route.

The screen itself is a 4.5inch IPS LCD screen for the 920, nice clear vibrant colours. Pureview tech drops LCD response time down below 9ms reducing motion blur and great contrast. It’s a great screen
but the 930 is where it’s at, with the incredibly high contrast super crisp full HD AMOLED 5 inch screen. The technology shines with windows phones vibrant colours and an incredibly high contrast interface.

The phone itself It’s a bit thicker than today’s phones. But at 9.8mm and 10.7mm. It’s a comfortable size.

The 920 is in a nice vibrant red colour, while the 930 is a standard black

Both have the standard four button layout on the right hand side.
Volume, on/off button, and a dedicated camera button that can be pressed halfway to focus.

And that’s were lumia’s had always shined.
Nokia’s floating lens hardware, along with the addition of software based stabilization makes for the recording of incredibly smooth footage.
The 920 has an 8mp camera that has excellent optics taking clear crisp photos.
The dual LED flash gives adequate lighting.
While recording video at 1080p – most of the video on this channel are recorded with this lumia.
The 930 ups quite a bit with its 20Mp camera and ability to shoot 4k video
(my adventures of RAMCPU are recorded at 4k with this camera)
It also allows to record up to 120fps at a lower resolution of 720p

As a note, in this video, video of the 920 is recorded with the 930, and vice versa.
Except when both are on screen, then that’s with an older camera at 720p.

The camera app on both phones allows for manual control of white balance, iso sensitivity, shutter speed, and exposure compensation. This allows for a lot of control in your photos, while also allowing for nice control in videos for what is a smart phone.

Both phones are LTE capable, with the 920 limited to Cat3 Lte at 100Mbps and the lumia 930 at 150Mbps LTE.
Look. I’m all for improving technologies and faster speeds… But honestly…. For most users won’t be able to tell the difference day in and day out.
We’re cheapskates. So 4 euros a month for unlimited capped at 384k is plenty for low quality youtube videos, voice chat, and simple web browsing on the go. At home we’re on we’re on wifi. Anyway, the tech is there, so you should be able to get decent speeds if you want it.

The battery life is good. These are old phones. We find that both phones do about half a day to a day depending on the charge. Which is still reasonable. At their age at some point we’ll likely need to swap out the battery – but even despite the internal battery, lumia’s are quite simple to take apart and repair.

Apparently they both have an array of three microphones to keep audio clear (I’ve recorded this audio on the 920). Speakers are loud enough… Actually the set of two speakers on the 920 can get too loud, loudest I’ve witnessed on a smartphone

920 uses a microsim, 930 an even smaller nanosim.

32 gigs of internal storage, I think most of us offload are photos and videos elsewhere anyway.

Wireless charging for both on the Qi standard. More convenient then I had initially expected.

Now for The processor and RAM. And here’s were I have to say…. As long as the experience is fluid, these specs can’t be judged on their own – a snapdragon S4+ chipset in the 920, and a snapdragon 800 in the 930. paired with 1gb of ram in the 920 and 2gb of ram in the 930. when you compare these specs with android phones with faster processors and more ram, it doesn’t look great.

But pain and simple. Wm10 and its apps are built more efficiently, and the OS isn’t shipped with bloat. Ok. the S5, It has more ram. It has a faster processor. Yet. It felt slow whenever I would use it.

I don’t get that on the windows phone. Not on the 930. not on the 920.
And this is what changed my mind on specs. It doesn’t matter if you have the best hardware in town…. If it doesn’t FEEEEL fast

It’s why apple gets away with less.

Yeah. Side by side. The 930 outperforms the 920. a phone release in 2014 vs 2012. but. For a five year old phone, the 920 still holds its own.

And that’s what amazes me. The consistent experience.

Now. Everything I read says it wasn’t always this way. In its infancy the OS was buggy. But now? Look. The 920 isn’t even suppose to support windows 10… And its solid.

But the apps. The app gap. What keeps people away. I thought it would bother me… Until I realized I just didn’t use that many apps. Any microsoft app works fast, and really a great experience. Most other apps seem fine as well. Google not only didn’t port their apps to the platform, they actively sought to prevent it, so you won’t find hangouts or maps. Outlook works fine with gmail. And alternatives for chat like whatsapp and skype exist. Facebook and messenger…. Well. They are slow to load, which is pretty crummy. but here’s the thing. We might not even need apps in the future, as there is a recent trend towards webapps. The industry must be noticing that not everyone is upgrading their phones to the latest hardware with supported version of iOS or android. Today. If an app doesn’t exist in the store, most apps are beginning to have web support.

Continuum has the promise of reeling in developers back into the mobile platform.
So as an app is developed for the xbox, hololens, or desktop, it’s not a stretch to make it available for the windows phone.

But! Take the app gap for what it is. I know for some it might be an impossible hurdle. For me. It turned out to be a non issue. I mean. Who needs 100 calculator apps?

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