I’ve been using Windows phones for about 4 years starting with the Lumia 900 which replaced my Blackberry. The Lumia 900 is still going strong and my son uses it as a music player and web surfing device. My wife still uses my workhorse Lumia 920. She loves the Qi charging (I’m jealous) and the solid performance. I was using a Lumia 1020 as my main phone for the last two years and I had a Lumia 925 as my backup phone and for travelling with a foreign SIM. In early 2015 the USB connector on my 1020 started to be a bit flakey and the camera grip/battery pack stopped working. I also found that I was struggling to get a full day out of a single charge. Especially on long days which typically have more photo opportunities. Annoyances for sure but tolerable as I anxiously awaited the Lumia 950 and 950XL. Then it happened. I was on a speaking tour with MVPDays for a week in the fall of 2015. I was in Vancouver on the first day of the tour and I dropped my phone in the elevator and cracked smashed the screen. I couldn’t find anybody that could replace the screen (Although there were dozens of services to fix iPhone and Samsung screens). I ended up putting packing take on the screen and living with it for the week. It was not fun.
When I got back to home I used a combination of my backup Lumia 925 and a 1020 that I borrowed from David Smith awaiting the expected launch of the new CityMan and TalkMan Windows 10 phones in October. When they launched I was fully expecting to pre-order a Lumia 950XL. While I was on vacation in November I listened to Peter Henry guest on episode 21 of the Surface Smiths Podcast and he convinced me that Windows Phone was a platform on life support undergoing experimental treatments. Even though Peter tried to order a Lumia 950 he eh was nto even able to pre-order one. All he could do was get on the notification list for when pre-orders would be available in Canada.
I tried throughout December to find a place in Ottawa where I could order a Lumia and was unable to find one. I ultimately decided to buy an iPhone 6S Plus because it had two features that the Windows Phone did not:
- I COULD TOUCH IT.
- I BUY IT.
What I like
There are lots of things I like about my iPhone. Here’s the first ten of many that I could think of.
- I love the form factor and the screen.
- I love the Biometric access. The fingerprint reader is just brilliant.
- I love the battery life and the charging speed. I am a heavy user and I typically only drain my battery about 20%-30% in a regular day. During the week, I often just charge it on my drive to and from work (about 15 minutes each way) and I’m good to go. I thought I’d miss Qi charging but with the great battery life, it’s not that big a deal.
- I love the music player it’s much better than WP.
- I love the headphone amp. The sound quality is better than my Lumia 1020 and it drives high resistance loads with ease. I no longer need a separate headphone amp for my audio integrated ski helmet or my over the ear Sennheiser headphones
- I love the Podcast App (and the other podcast apps available for iOS)
- I the MS Office products on iOS (like Outlook, OneNote, Office Lens, etc.)
- I love the life hacking apps like banking apps that let you deposit a cheque with a photo (This saves me lots of time and I get my money faster. Alos I don’t wash cheques in my jeans as often)
- I like the lightening cable. It’s just so simple (no wrong way to insert it and no pins to bend)
- I love all of the accessories available for the phone. There just weren’t too many for WP.
What I Miss
There are definitely things I miss from my WP experience. Microsoft did get a lot of things right. Here are some examples.
- Camera – I miss a physical button to start the camera app and to take a picture. Sometimes a good shot is missed because it takes too long to launch the app depending on what context your phone is in. I also miss the shutter button. I’m convinced that touching the screen to actuate the shutter (is there even really a shutter anymore?) makes it harder to keep the device stable as you are pushing it on a horizontal axis and this leads to blurry shots. Overall I still think I got better shots with my Lumia 1020 (and maybe even my 920 and 925)
- People Hub – I hate that only contacts that I have in my phone are displayed as part of caller id info. I don’t have pictures for all of them and many acquaintances that I have in LinkedIn and Facebook will never be in my local contacts list. I know I can manually synch them but that’s a pain and needs to be done on a regular basis. I loved just having them all integrated automatically and seeing callers profile pictures without me having to harvest them myself.
- Quick Settings – Quick access to settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. I play around with these settings often and they were easy to access in WP – Just swipe down and there they were. The quick access settings were also customizable to the settings your used the most. I also miss the ability to turn off Wi-Fi for a set period of time. I used this feature regularly when presenting. When the Wi-Fi isn’t stable I’d prefer not to use it but I don’t want to remember to turn it back on again later.
- Live Tiles – It was so easy to check the weather or my next meeting form my home screen and much better use of screen real estate
I also miss Cortana but I’m getting used to Siri. She makes me laugh at how she mispronounces people’s names.
What I don’t like
There are definitely things about my new phone that drive me crazy. Maybe I just haven’t figured out how to use them yet but here’s an example of some of them.
- I hate the iOS copy/cut/paste interface. It is painfully inaccurate and needlessly confusing and time consuming. WP just worked.
- I hate that not all phone numbers can be dialed as a hot link
- I hate having to use iTunes to manage my music
- The Bluetooth is flakier than my WP. I am often fumbling with it trying to get hands free to work. Not a good idea when a call comes in when
I’m driving. WP just worked.
- I don’t like how the GPS functions
I’ve tried the following accessories and I will be posting reviews of each of them in the coming weeks.
- Otterbox Case
- UAG Case
- UAG Screen protector
- MagGrip CD Slot Magnetic Universal Car Mount