Everybody makes a mistake and then to correct it, makes an even bigger one. That’s what I did. I bought an Android phone – Xperia S, with a reasonable assumption that it will give me a good smartphone experience which it did (or I thought it did) for few months, before it started crashing, getting hung on calls, slowing down apps and poor battery life.
So I decided enough is enough, I am done with Android and its array of problems. I went looking for alternatives. My main motives were good battery life, decent user experience and reasonable pricing – a combo I found in Lumia 640. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It felt good at first, but after the honeymoon period was over, it started showing its true colours. Below are the few things which particularly irritated me about Windows phones.
Rudimentary App Support
Yes, the majority of the apps which are present in Android and iOS are completely missing from Windows phone. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of using a Windows phone. Many popular apps, such as Snapchat, are not even interested in developing a Windows phone variant for their app. Most of the app developers target only iOS and Android, Windows platform often comes as a last thought. Even those app which is available for Windows is not up to the mark compared to their Android counterpart. Take the LinkedIn app for example, by the look of it, it’s evident that hardly any thought went into developing it for Windows. It’s not updated for a long time. I would rather use their mobile site than their app.
No Google Apps
If you are addicted to Google apps like YouTube, Gmail, Maps or Chrome, then you are better off than using a Windows phone. None of the Google apps is available on Windows Store. I don’t know if it’s market rivalry or just a strategic thing, but the end-user is definitely losing. You have no alternative but to use web site version of these apps, which is not a very pleasant experience either if you are using Internet Explorer browser.
The most bizarre of all is the poor support for one of its own popular app – Skype. In Lumia, I was not able to move my own video frame around, a thing which is a piece of cake in Android. Sometimes, I don’t see my typed messages being sent, whereas I am able to see another person’s response on that. I can not navigate to contact profile by clicking on the name, again a very easy affair in Android. I am not sure how can you promote other people to write apps on your platform if your own apps have such poor support on it. duh!
Metro UI looks good initially and it does provide some good features such as pin to Start, Live Tiles etc., it fails completely when doing day to day tasks. Secondly, it is not consistent, for example turning on a WiFi takes just single click, then why turning it off takes you to WiFi screen where you have to again click to turn it off is beyond me. Simple settings such as display settings are often not as intuitively labelled as they are in Android. The only positive side is that there is a search button which often turns out to be a lifesaver, given the complexity of UI.
Occasionally I found that app gets closed randomly or phone restarts automatically. Sometimes, you can’t connect to mobile data even though your phone has full network signal and requires a restart. Sometimes, you get unusually bright or dim colour contrasts on your home screen and it won’t go back to normal without a restart. Often times, you won’t be able to connect to WiFi even though other devices connect to the WiFi perfectly, again a restart is required to resume normal operation. The frequency of these hiccups will increase as your usage of the phone increases.
This surely tops the list of common issues which are highly irritating. In Android, you can very easily download a pdf as an attachment and save it locally. As simple as it looks, this operation is nearly impossible to do in Windows phone. Surely you can download the attachment and open it, but you won’t be able to save it to the device memory. You won’t be able to forward it again either to anyone. The only other option is to save it to SkyDrive and then share it as a link. What an elegant way to share your content to the world!
Lousy predictive keyboard
Windows phone boasts of the fastest predictive keyboard in the world, but in reality, it’s no better than Android’s Swype keyboard. Prediction is sometimes very lousy, for example, suggestions like “al”, “ask”, “afl” instead of much normal “all”. Looking at the positive side, Hindi keyboard looks much better and easier and prediction is a lot better.
All in all, I would definitely not recommend Lumia 640 or for that matter, Windows phone, unless you are a Microsoft fanboy or don’t use too many apps. If you are looking for a true smartphone experience, you can get better Android phones in the price range of Lumia 640 or shell a few more bucks if you want a decent battery life too.