Android User Switching to Windows Phone

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Cnasty, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Cnasty macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #1
    So I have been on Android for the last 3-4 years or so, before that iOS.

    I am looking to try out Windows Phone as I have liked what I have seen with the 8.1 update and some of the potential from the system. Not to mention I really like the Lumia 930.

    I have some questions though for those that have used both.

    What are the big things that will be missed from switching from Android to WP? (I am not a heavy google user)

    I wanted to get a starter phone if you will before making the plunge. Was going to buy off contract. Any places to look for cheap ones besides the budget phones from the carrier?

    How are notifications such as Facebook, apps, etc? Are they real time push and brought to the user or are they in the app and you have to go find them (not sure I am asking this correctly)

    Is battery life better on most devices due to the operating system?

    I didnt find a WP dedicated thread so I started my own looking to keep it going if I make the plunge.

    Thanks
     
  2. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    Central California
    #2
    Biggest things you will miss from iOS and Android? First party apps. There are many 3rd party apps for things like Snapchat and Dropbox and even some first party apps can be crappy. Depends on the developer and how lazy they are. i.e. Twitter app on WP is average at best, but nothing close to iOS or Android. A new app popped up just the other day and is in Beta still called Tweetium that puts Twitter to shame. The app is just as good as the iOS/Android versions. Modern Combat 5 and all Gameloft games from here on out will go to Windows Phone at the same time as iOS/Android, which is a bonus.

    Battery life won't be an issue. WP doesn't have the biggest batteries, but the OS is optimized. My 925 goes all day without issue and gives me SoT equivalent to iPhone and my Nexus 5/MotoX. Roughly 4 hours of SoT.

    I don't use Facebook, but GMail/Outlook push to the phone in real time. And just like Android, you get a notification pop up in the Status bar telling you there is an email from so and so. Then slide down from the top, just like in Android and view all of your notifications. Swipe right to dismiss those notifications from within the Notification Center.

    Windows 8.1 really gives you most of the features you will find in iOS and Android. It's just the apps that are lacking, especially in niche areas.

    Your best bet to find a cheap WP is ebay, Craigslist, here sometimes and ocassionally the carriers have sales on them. ATT had a crazy sale for a mid-tier WP off contract for $80! T-Mobile just ran out of the Lumia 925's it was selling off-contract for $150. If you are interested in my Lumia 1520, I'm going to be selling it, but can't discuss in an open thread. PM me if interested.

    Whatever you get, make sure it has 1GB of RAM (so no 635 or 520). IMO, the best Windows phones out are the 925/1020/930/1520.
     
  3. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    Jul 2, 2008
    #3
    Great feedback as I knew you would be a ball of knowledge. :)

    I dont use many apps honestly:

    Facebook
    Instagram
    Yahoo Fantasy sports
    Pandora
    Youtube

    No games, not many at all really. I really dont want to spend a lot on a test phone so catching a deal like you mentioned on ATT would be ideal. Did you find that by just consistently perusing their site or sign up for notifications or something?
     
  4. viskon macrumors 6502

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  5. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #5
    I've never bought a phone on ebay so unsure how that would all work with my carrier and such. Not sure I trust that process but again, I've never done it.
     
  6. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2011
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    UK
    #6
    Aside from apps, my only real issue with WP (compared to Android) when I tried it was lack of consumer-focused device encryption function (corporate management of device is required for encryption).

    Also, lack of notification LED & home screen folders are slght annoyances for me.
     
  7. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    Jul 2, 2008
    #7
    Can you elaborate some on this? Do you mean utilizing your personal phone for work functions such as work email and calendars? It will not work?

    My Note 3 is required to be encrypted in order to add my work email address and calendar on it.
     
  8. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #8
    I go to this site a lot and usually find the deals from other people that spot them:

    http://www.wpcentral.com

    And I check out T-Mobile and AT&T's sites about once a week, just to see. (Although T-Mobile is basically dead now when it comes to WP. The 925 and 521 were all they had anyway. Supposedly they are going to have the 635 vand 1525 and that will be it.)

    As for your apps, the 'official' YouTube app that Microsoft promotes is *****. I use a couple of apps that are far better and allow for downloading of videos. They cost between .99 and $1.99 though. One is myTube and the other is YouTube HD.
    Pandora works exactly like it does on iOS and Android. No issues there.
    I don't use Yahoo sports, Instagram or Facebook, but I just searched them and here is what I found.
    Yahoo Fantasy Sports? couldn't find anything labeled like that? Not sure what to look for to be honest.
    Instagram: There is an official app, but it is still in Beta. However, it has a 4 star rating with 40,000 raters, so it looks like it is pretty good.
    Facebook app looks iffy. Only 3 stars with 65,000 reviews. Reviews don't look promising. Probably best to use the web browser for Facebook in this case.

    Game wise though, some big hits are on Windows Phone, should you ever want to play them. Most, if not all Gameloft Games. Many EA games. The Asphalt series is on there as is Modern Combat 4 and soon 5. Some games are Moga controller optimized too.

    As 8.1 continues its rollout to the world and developers start updating for it, things will only get better. Will it replace Android or iOS for you? It really depends on your use case. Def don't spend more than $150 for a 900-series phone. They aren't worth any more than that. If you can find a Lumia 1020 for around $200 (in like new condition), that is a good deal. A Lumia 1520 for $250 or under is a steal.
     
  9. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    Jul 2, 2008
    #9
    This is disappointing to hear regarding the limited apps I do use and them not having a good reputation thus far based on your info.

    How reliable is the operating system? The reason I am leaving my Note 3 with Android is the unstable KitKat on the Note 3, weird battery issues with no consistent levels, and random lag and restarts.

    Also it looks as though I will need to find a device capable of running 8.1
     
  10. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    UK
    #10
    I think you'll be fine. As I understand it, encryption is enabled once an Exchange Active sync account is added to the phone - if that is the policy required by the employer. My issue is there is no way to turn it on without an exchange active sync account / remote management. i.e. Windows phone doesn't cater to consumers who might want device encryption even if they don't have a work account on their phone.
     
  11. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #11
    The OS has been rock solid on all my Lumia's (which are all on 8.1 Dev Preview). I really enjoy the OS, but that is just me. The apps are the Achilles heal of WP. Can't really sugar coat it.

    I suggest you see if you can find a deal on a 520 (ATT) or 521 (TMobile) for around $40-$50. It may only have 512mb of RAM, but 95% of all apps will work on it. Plus it has an SD Card slot that allows for up to 64gb more space. If you hate the OS, you won't be out but a few bucks.
     
  12. Savor Suspended

    Savor

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    Jun 18, 2010
    #12
    Tried WP way back when it was on Mango. Not really for me but it was a stable and smooth OS.

    But after seeing the Nokia Lumia 930 without any awkward rear hump, it has made me reconsider. I'm just more comfortable with Google's ecosystem right now and the many choices of skins, sizes, specs, and unique features that Android OEM's offers right now. The versatility of Android is catered more for my liking. But WP is excellent in its own right when I was I had a Samsung Focus as a daily driver for 5 months. I think Nokia make some of the best cameras for smartphones ever since the N-series when they used Carl Zeiss lens. Nokia, Apple, Samsung, LG, and Sony have some of the best sensors. Motorola, HTC, BlackBerry, and whatever company are generally a step below. But camera has never been a main priority for me. That's why Nokia phones don't interest me like before.
     
  13. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #13
    How hard is it to load 8.1 on one of those budget phones for a WP newb like me or if you even can?

    ----------

    Not sure if this is a new announcement but this could be my best option

    http://mobile.theverge.com/2014/7/23/5929091/microsoft-lumia-530-specifications-release-date
     
  14. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    #14
  15. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #15
    Didn't know it could be done on a 520, thats great.

    I have seen them for like $50 and according to most reports on the link I posted, the 520 is better then its new predecessor. Weird
     
  16. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #16
    It is extremely simple to put 8.1 on a Lumia phone. I have 8.1 on my 520. ;)
     
  17. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #17
    and (nokia wise at least) even easier to debrand it and flash it with a carrier less firmware.

    It's honestly the easiest of any device I've owned to rebrand and bypass carriers.. its great.
     
  18. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #18
    Not in the US. I tried to load T-Mobile firmware on an ATT phone and it simply won't let you. Even if the phone is unlocked.
    In Europe it is likely easier to do, because it is the same hardware in the phone on the same communication architecture.
     
  19. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #19
    Really? Was that using the Nokia tool over on xda ? I'm genuinely surprised by that, I managed to do it no bother. Damn AT&T.....
     
  20. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #20
    Yeah. Actually, I think I got the link from one of your posts. I tried different firmwares too, just to see and it would always give the hardware error in the middle of the upload. Def looked like some code that ATT adds to prevent any other firmware from being loaded, even if the phone is unlocked.
     
  21. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #21
    With you guys knowing what I am trying to do, do you recommend me getting a 520 and loading 8.1 or get the 635?

    I have ATT.
     
  22. ozaz macrumors 65816

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    UK
    #22
    I'd get the 635 just because of the larger screen. If you're used to 4.5"-5" Android devices, comparing them to a 4" device - which feels a bit cramped IMO - might give you a bit of an unconscious bias towards Android.
     
  23. jeff123816, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014

    jeff123816 macrumors member

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    #23
    I've actually just been through this same exercise. Windows Phone has a lot of potential and I like a lot of things about it. I really wanted to adopt it for good. However, I've had a Lumia 1520 for about a month now and have decided to sell it and go back to Android. The major issue for me boils down to the fact that the OS is being shown poor 3rd (and surprisingly) 1st party app support. This is not to say that apps do not exsist for the platform. I find the "app gap" theory to be way overstated. Almost every major app you can think of is available on WP. The issue is that these apps lack the general functionality that their counterparts enjoy on other platforms. This is somewhat to be expected, as WP has such little marketshare. However, I've found that it has become more and more irritating. The positives of WP just don't outweigh the negatives for me. Case in point- Amazon Kindle and Audible apps. They're available but they have major bugs that have gone unaddressed for years. For example, the Audible app ALWAYS loses your place in an audiobook once it's been closed. The Kindle app is missing the functionality to sync your personal documents and public domain books. This isn't the case with IOS or Android. This sort of thing repeats itself over and over with 3rd party apps on WP and it is a shame. Unfortunately, Microsoft isn't doing itself any favors either. Its own first party apps are bug-ridden and perform poorly. I'm thinking specifically of the Podcast and Music player apps. The podcast app in particular is a mess. It has few options and, for some reason, draws hundreds of megabytes from my celular network throughout the day when the phone is asleep. It routinely loses one's place in a paused podcast and is limited in many other ways. The 3rd party podcasts apps are not much of an improvement because they lack many features which are, unfortunately blocked from developers by WP's locked down API's. The music player is an abomination and there's much you can glean from the internet on that subject. I must qualify and say that my experiences are coming from the WP 8.1 developer's preview and so, while I realize I'm technically using a beta OS, I also happen to know that the version of WP OS that I'm on on was eventually finalized and made the official release and so these issues will continue even on new retail phones sold over the counter today.

    If Microsoft really wants this platform to succeed, they need to be putting resources more into development and quality control of their own 1st party apps and improve their efforts to make up for the functionality that the 3rd party apps lack (like the have with the Facebook app, for example). There is talk about Microsoft opening up their API's to allow developers more access to the OS. This is a good idea but there's a long pipeline before we would start seeing results from a change like this. Microsoft been so slow with everything. And just when you think they're starting to make progress they rewrite the OS and start from scratch again. This is coming with Windows 9. Everything will be diffent yet again, as now their plan is to consolidate PC, tablet and phone into a single OS. As long as they keep doing this, everything will always feel like a beta product. I'm sorry to go on like this but I just hate to see so much potential wasted by continual mismanagement.
     
  24. gumblecosby macrumors 6502

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    #24
  25. Cnasty thread starter macrumors 68020

    Cnasty

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    #25
    Good info Jeff.

    I get worried regarding those small tools within an app even though they may have the actual app.

    I really dont want to go back to Apple (even though everything else I own is apple from the AppleTV, to the Mac, to the Macbook Air. Just cant stand their phones).

    This is why I want to test on a WP budget phone and play with the operating system prior to the Iphone 6 release. Android, unless an amazing stock experience can be offered, is done for me for a while.
     

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