Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


My first days with a Windows 8 phone

  1. #1


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7

    My first days with a Windows 8 phone


    I became adventurous and spent $79 for a Windows 8 phone. I said to myself what can you lose, I spent similar money for a USB stick. But what I can gain is some experience - as if I needed that at my age, LOL.

    My first impressions are mixed. There are really 3 parts to it.

    1. The Nokia part - they make the hardware. It clearly shows that they once were the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world. The phone is very well put together. It makes a solid impression.

    The little Qualcom CPU does a decent job and operation is fluid. The screen is ok, not more. It has a bit of a reflection and it is certainly not high def at 800x480. But even with my bad eyes I can manage. The touch works well once I had peeled the protective foil off. The camera takes pictures - not more. You are not going to win a photo contest with those.

    2. The Microsoft part - W8P is neatly organized and I had no problem with all the setups. It took me about two hours to 'tune' it my way. It feels a bit like a mini Android but it has a lot less options than Android. That is also the major weakness of W8P - compared to Android the whole infrastructure is pretty poor - e.g. few apps in the store. The best app is the navigation app, but that is from Nokia. I can now see why people prefer Android over W8P.

    A little aside - I had a question and called Microsoft where I bought the phone. They told me that they do not support the device. The person literally said that they do like Walmart.

    3. The T-Mobile part - although the phone is contract free, if you want a contract, you can only get it from T-Mobile. They want $30 minimum without data. I said thank you because for the two calls per month we would be making that is steep. Their mother company in Germany offers a minimum of E9.95. That is still too much for my purposes but more reasonable. I am now scouting the terrain for a reasonable VoIP - here again Android is a lot better. With GrooveIP the calls are free, even from Europe to the US.

    Well, as I said at the beginning, it is to gain experience. I don't really need a cell phone.
    Last edited by whs; 07 Mar 2014 at 00:54.

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  2. #2


    Southern California
    Posts : 788
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center x64


    Why is my favorite part about the phone the updates? lol

    You got the 'black' update yet? I assume they release it worldwide.

    So far I haven't had any problems with apps. I use my calendar, facebook with address book, weather, music, and that pretty much has me going clean. All other stuff is just fun add-ons
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  3. #3


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    What is the black update?
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  4. #4


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Their mother company in Germany offers a minimum of E9.95. That is still too much for my purposes but more reasonable.
    In France I pay €2 per month for 120 minutes national and international - enough for me. In Germany this one from O2 has a monthly fee of € 0 which may be good if you don't make many calls.
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  5. #5
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  6. #6


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Thanks HG. The Beamer looks interesting. Maybe a way to get the wife to watch her sods on the internet. In Germany I have Internet capable TVs. Now I have to only figure out how to get a US proxy IP on the phone because they block the US networks like ABC, NBC, etc. on the German Internet.
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  7. #7


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by whs View Post
    Their mother company in Germany offers a minimum of E9.95. That is still too much for my purposes but more reasonable.
    In France I pay €2 per month for 120 minutes national and international - enough for me. In Germany this one from O2 has a monthly fee of € 0 which may be good if you don't make many calls.
    Sounds like a good deal. The problem with this phone is that the SIM card is a T-Mobile card. I am wondering whether other SIM cards would work too.
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  8. #8


    You're quite welcome, whs.

    Yes on the Beamer. First time I've seen it. I'll have to check it out.

    Overall with reading your evaluation; I’m quite sure you realize that you got what you paid for. It’s a low-end Nokia. A Pinto vs a Ferrari. It’s certainly not a 1520 believe you me. Looking back for what we paid for handsets, $79 is a steal for what we get today.

    Confused as to how you can compare it to a “mini Android”. I thought you said this was your first cell device. Yes? Or are you comparing it to a pad?

    Continuing from W9 forum:

    The Walmart story really p'd me off. They sell you a product and then they don't even want to talk to you.
    I sympathize with you here. Depends on the question I would guess. What was it? Hardware or software? Any which way, although MS is in the process of buying Nokia, they are just a retailer of their products for now. Even though in this instance it’s a MS OS on the phone, the fact is that Nokia bought the license to install it. In dealing with a corporate retailer today, if one has problems with a product the retailer refers the customer to the manufacturer. Unfortunately it’s not similar to dealing with a Ma and Pop small-town retailer where one would get more service.

    e.g. Recently I bought a memory foam mattress from a fairly large regional corporate retailer. Much to my surprise it came folded in a fairly small box for a mattress. Once unpackaged and laid out it’s supposed to unfold to its original manufactured state within 72 hours. “Ok, after all it is memory foam” so I thought. It didn’t unfold properly, so I call the retailer, which contacted their “vendor” who contacted me to rectify the defect. In their first email to me was a request to send them a picture of the tags attached to the mattress for “verification of manufacturer”. My first questions in thought > What makes them think I have the time? Why wouldn’t they send a rep? What makes them think I have a camera??!! After all I’m the customer! Ugh!! Having had past experience with similar situations, I bit my tongue and sent them pics. After a dozen emails, setting up separate pickup and delivery appointments, and one month’s time later I received another mattress of which I am finally happy with!!!

    I have a T-Mobile SIM card, but I do not plan to use it. I really need no phone when I am out and about. And in all the hotels we stop, they have WiFi.
    Although we can’t/don’t think of everything, I would have thought you checked that out before purchasing. Cokie and azasadny are probably the two that know more about WP8 than anyone here. You may want to PM them. That’s not to say there are others.

    So you have a T-Mobile SIMM, but no service. Not all that sure, but I would think you could slip any carrier’s SIMM in as long as the phone is compatible with that carrier’s Network requirements. There’s probably T-Mobile software on it that you may not be able to uninstall unless you jailbreak it. My Droid was like that too. In fact I think they’re all branded like that.

    Weren’t you going to use this for navigation also? Can’t do that without carrier service, unless you wait for Super WiFi.
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  9. #9


    Germany/Florida
    Posts : 4,514
    Vista and Win7


    HG, I am not at all complaining about the little guy. It is a cute gadget and you are right, for $79 you can't expect the world. The only Android comparison I have is my Nexus 7. That has great apps from the Playstore and I assume that Android phones can get those too.

    The Walmart story is odd. I never got to ask my really simple question regarding the protective foil on the screen. The lady cut me right off. As far as a phone contract goes, I really don't need that. I would get something where you pay per call (if it is reasonable) but a fixed monthly fee is not practical for my possible 2 or 3 calls.

    Yes I will use it for navigation and you don't need a connection whilst you are driving. You only need a connection to set up the route. I have practiced that many times on my Nexus. But the Nexus is in Germany right now. Tomorrow I will be navigating to Yalahla about 65 miles from here - try to find that on the map. The Nokia Here+ found it. It's a lone bakery in the nowheres that makes good German bread which I need because I cannot eat this sponge stuff they sell around here.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    I am glad to see you taking an interest in the WP and giving it a shot.

    I can certainly sympathize on the apps side. But keep in mind, the WP is still an infant by all other standards.
    The Android has had several years lead on WP and App Development has been several years ahead.
    I am certain that a lot of those apps will be coming, quite a few already have.
    But some of the better more polished Apps, I think are right around the corner after the 8.1 update.

    Namely because of a lot of the business/enterprise additions to the 8.1 update that are not there now.
    Once people start incorporating them more in to the Corporate world, and they will. We will see a turn for the better App wise.

    One App that I think has been on Android and iPhone for a while (not sure though) is Waze Maps App
    https://www.waze.com/
    I am quite impressed with this app. I had a chance to take it on a 4+ hour round trip, and it saved me a couple of times.
    Very cool idea, and ran well on my Lumia 928.

    The other one that I peaked at, but haven't used, because it's a limited trial and not free, and the important stuff to test doesn't work in trial is,,, GPS Voice Navigation
    It looks like it has some better options than Waze, but similar features.

    However, Here Drive+ works very well also.

    I can tell you, from the Android that I used, the one my Mother in Law had, it was a nightmare even for me.
    She had a heck of a time with it and messaging. That thing was all over the place to get to anything significant
    My wife handed her, her Lumia 928, and she picked it up pretty darn quick.
    She took it back and got an iPhone (which is a lot better than the Android she had) cause that is what my Brother in Law got her as he is paying the bill for it.
    Still lacks simplicity in essential use stuff. Such as messaging. That was my experience anyway.
    WP8, just works, get's you to where you want to be much quicker in my opinion, has better sorting and not a lot of fluff.

    As for options,, they will come as well.
    Such as, more personal tone settings. I would like to see some custom Toast tones etc.

    What apps are missing that you were looking for specifically, besides Map/GPS apps?

    Apps | Windows Phone Central
    Last edited by Tepid; 23 Mar 2014 at 22:33.
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My first days with a Windows 8 phone
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