Phones Nokia Icon.....first time Windows phone user.....any advice?

jamezr

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
12,690
10,232
US
Hey Guys....think of getting a Nokia Icon. It will be my first Windows phone. Any advice? I played around with the Icon at the Verizon store the other day and was quite impressed with it! It is very fast and the UI really surprised me. It was very responsive seemed to have everything i would need. Does anyone have an Nokia Icon? Have any words of wisdom you would like to pass on! :)
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
This is the right place to ask, but speaking from my own experience, Windows + phone = nightmare...I'm not a total Apple fan boy, and have tried many devices over the years, but the Windows phone I and ( Also a Nokia but much older) was truly the worst I've ever owned.

I'm sure others here will know more, and things my well have improved, but in order of preferred systems that run on phones I'd go:

IOS
Andorid
Windows ( if that's all I could get)
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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Well matey I have the Lumia 1520 - so the bigger brother of the Icon.

Windows phone has come a long way and the experience is always consistent and hassle free - much like iOS.

The negatives are mostly at the lack of some of the most common iOS / Android apps that many of us use without thinking, but the situation is certainly no where near as bad as it was just a couple years ago.

Nokia really do have a great build quality, and phone reception / call quality is very good on my 1520. Indeed call quality is better than any of my previous phones from last year.

There are quirks to the OS GUI that are frustrating. The settings menu needs to be categorised and tabbed, because it often feels randomly laid out. Takes longer to find your brightness controls than it really should for example.

App folders which are only a recent addition are also not very well implemented, and need much more refinement.

Text messaging and the keyboard on windows phones is great for me - the auto correct is as good as the best android and the best on iOS.

Voice control is poor enough at the moment, but with the forthcoming 8.1 update it looks set to sort that out with Cortana.

Notification centre would be handy and is coming. A way to put all your notifications in one place especially when you have a notification from an app that you don't necessarily want to have pinned to your desktop home screen.

Battery life on my 1520 has been genuinely unbelievable. I can get through a day of normal usage with only 25-35% gone and thats with 3 email accounts / twitter / Facebook / snapping some photos / editing photos / reading emails / sending texts and making phone calls / reading news feeds.

Standby drainage likewise is exceptional in my experience.

If the Lumia ICON has it (and I bleive it does) - the tap to wake is great (as you know from your HTC M8) and the Nokia applications are of a very good quality.

Nokia MixRadio is my main music app - I much prefer it to Microsoft's MUSIC & VIDEO app. Indeed the whole suite of Nokia apps are excellent including Nokia maps and Nokia Drive.

Bluetooth and Nokia Drive are great, with the phone having no issues pairing to my car and having hassle free bluetooth experience.

Sound quality through headphones has been fantastic - and the device supports Dolby Digital for the headphones and it shows. The sound quality is subtle but also noticeably better than it was on my Note 3.


Windows Phone software on Mac is actually not bad - especially given HTC Connect and Samsung Kies ....

Gmail accounts sync without issue with the stock email and your calendar and contacts likewise all sync without issues - however you may indeed miss things like Google Play Music especially if you are a subscriber.

My legacy .mac email addresses all sync fine - but Calendar and Contacts didn't. However as I migrated those over to gmail a good while ago this didn't pose a problem for me.


Negatives are that customisation is limited compared to what we are used to - but hopefully 8.1 brings more customisation to the table. I would love to either put a background image on my tiles or even behind them. I'd like an easier way to choose whether I want a tile to be a live tile or not. Font resiszing can be fussy with changes to font size in settings effecting only parts of the OS and not all of it. Internet explorer for the most part works ok, but it does at times have issues with text font sizing too.

Sometimes third party apps - used to fill the hole of missing apps like YouTube just don't feel as good often. MetroTube as good as it is - just isn't as good as the stock YouTube app on iOS & Android.


I'm not sure I could live with just a windows phone - but it could and has been a daily driver for me and for the 90% of tasks we do on a smartphone - it does them very well and with no delay (other than its GUI animations/transitions).

I'm excited to see what refinements and additions 8.1 brings to the table.
 
Last edited:

jamezr

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 7, 2011
12,690
10,232
US
Well matey I have the Lumia 1520 - so the bigger brother of the Icon.

Windows phone has come a long way and the experience is always consistent and hassle free - much like iOS.

The negatives are mostly at the lack of some of the most common iOS / Android apps that many of us use without thinking, but the situation is certainly no where near as bad as it was just a couple years ago.

Nokia really do have a great build quality, and phone reception / call quality is very good on my 1520. Indeed call quality is better than any of my previous phones from last year.

There are quirks to the OS GUI that are frustrating. The settings menu needs to be categorised and tabbed, because it often feels randomly laid out. Takes longer to find your brightness controls than it really should for example.

App folders which are only a recent addition are also not very well implemented, and need much more refinement.

Text messaging and the keyboard on windows phones is great for me - the auto correct is as good as the best android and the best on iOS.

Voice control is poor enough at the moment, but with the forthcoming 8.1 update it looks set to sort that out with Cortana.

Notification centre would be handy and is coming. A way to put all your notifications in one place especially when you have a notification from an app that you don't necessarily want to have pinned to your desktop home screen.

Battery life on my 1520 has been genuinely unbelievable. I can get through a day of normal usage with only 25-35% gone and thats with 3 email accounts / twitter / Facebook / snapping some photos / editing photos / reading emails / sending texts and making phone calls / reading news feeds.

Standby drainage likewise is exceptional in my experience.

If the Lumia ICON has it (and I bleive it does) - the tap to wake is great (as you know from your HTC M8) and the Nokia applications are of a very good quality.

Nokia MixRadio is my main music app - I much prefer it to Microsoft's MUSIC & VIDEO app. Indeed the whole suite of Nokia apps are excellent including Nokia maps and Nokia Drive.

Bluetooth and Nokia Drive are great, with the phone having no issues pairing to my car and having hassle free bluetooth experience.

Sound quality through headphones has been fantastic - and the device supports Dolby Digital for the headphones and it shows. The sound quality is subtle but also noticeably better than it was on my Note 3.


Windows Phone software on Mac is actually not bad - especially given HTC Connect and Samsung Kies ....

Gmail accounts sync without issue with the stock email and your calendar and contacts likewise all sync without issues - however you may indeed miss things like Google Play Music especially if you are a subscriber.

My legacy .mac email addresses all sync fine - but Calendar and Contacts didn't. However as I migrated those over to gmail a good while ago this didn't pose a problem for me.


Negatives are that customisation is limited compared to what we are used to - but hopefully 8.1 brings more customisation to the table. I would love to either put a background image on my tiles or even behind them. I'd like an easier way to choose whether I want a tile to be a live tile or not. Font resiszing can be fussy with changes to font size in settings effecting only parts of the OS and not all of it. Internet explorer for the most part works ok, but it does at times have issues with text font sizing too.

Sometimes third party apps - used to fill the hole of missing apps like YouTube just don't feel as good often. MetroTube as good as it is - just isn't as good as the stock YouTube app on iOS & Android.


I'm not sure I could live with just a windows phone - but it could and has been a daily driver for me and for the 90% of tasks we do on a smartphone - it does them very well and with no delay (other than its GUI animations/transitions).

I'm excited to see what refinements and additions 8.1 brings to the table.
Thank you! Thank you for the great information! You sir are indeed a gentlemen!
I am going to exchange the M8 for the Icon today after work. I love the M8 and it is one of the best designed phones i have ever owned. But the camera is just not up to par to to the rest of todays smartphone cameras....
 

GroundLoop

macrumors 68000
Mar 21, 2003
1,561
35
Thank you! Thank you for the great information! You sir are indeed a gentlemen!
I am going to exchange the M8 for the Icon today after work. I love the M8 and it is one of the best designed phones i have ever owned. But the camera is just not up to par to to the rest of todays smartphone cameras....
FYI...the Lumia Icon does NOT have the double-tap to wake feature or Glance. The absence of Glance doesn't bother me that much, but I do hope that the Icon gets double-tap to wake with WP8.1. Other than that, I love my Icon.

GL
 

MRU

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Aug 23, 2005
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FYI...the Lumia Icon does NOT have the double-tap to wake feature or Glance. The absence of Glance doesn't bother me that much, but I do hope that the Icon gets double-tap to wake with WP8.1. Other than that, I love my Icon.

GL
That's a shame because its a very handy feature indeed :)
 

CyanLite

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2013
110
0
Sometimes third party apps - used to fill the hole of missing apps like YouTube just don't feel as good often. MetroTube as good as it is - just isn't as good as the stock YouTube app on iOS & Android.
I have found that MyTube has far more features than YouTube on Android, especially ones like keeping audio playing while screen is turned off and similar things. Why do you think third party alternatives are not as good?
 

MRU

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I have found that MyTube has far more features than YouTube on Android, especially ones like keeping audio playing while screen is turned off and similar things. Why do you think third party alternatives are not as good?
I find seeing my subscriptions and such requires a lot more navigating on windows phone than android or iOS.
 

b166er

macrumors 68020
Apr 17, 2010
2,062
18
Philly
My best advice for WP8... give it an honest chance. I went back and forth a bit, now with the 1520. A couple weeks should be enough for you to figure out if it's the right OS for you.

For now at least, until 8.1, anything you don't want to miss out on, pin to your start screen. Notifications in WP8 are weird. If you don't have that app pinned, and if you don't see the toast as it's happening, you'll likely miss the notification.

Many popular apps have showed up recently or are on their way. The development has really begun to kick in for WP8 recently. Other apps that aren't available often have a 3rd party option. Some of the 3rd party stuff is actually great.

Most of Nokia's own apps are awesome and free.

Some of my favorite apps- Lockmix, Readit (reddit), Messenger, (facebook messenger), Amazing Weather HD, Breaking News, Camera 360, CycloMeter, Evernote, Mehdoh (twitter), Metrotube (youtube), Pandora.
 

dgr874

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2012
88
21
Texas
Go buy a Lumia 520 on ATT or a 521 on tmobile. Both are less than 100 bucks and contract free. Use it as your daily driver for a week and then see how you feel.
 

MRU

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^ That was a rather silly and unnecessary snidy comment.
 
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three

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2008
1,072
196
Washington State
Go buy a Lumia 520 on ATT or a 521 on tmobile. Both are less than 100 bucks and contract free. Use it as your daily driver for a week and then see how you feel.
I'd recommend doing this. Sure the 520 / 521 isn't as big and nice as the Lumia Icon but it's the same software.
 

Lloydbm41

Suspended
Oct 17, 2013
4,043
1,439
Central California
I'd recommend doing this. Sure the 520 / 521 isn't as big and nice as the Lumia Icon but it's the same software.
Same software, but the 520/521 only have 512mb of RAM and therefore can't get many apps in the store. A lot of apps require 1gb of RAM. Additionally, the screen is much better on the Icon (true HD) and the CPU and GPU can play any graphic intense piece of software required. The 520 is good, but it is an entry level spec'd phone.

Point being, the experience on the Icon will be better than with the 520.
 

TacticalDesire

macrumors 68020
Mar 19, 2012
2,286
23
Michigan
The App store feels like a wasteland/dumping ground. The app store is till missing a lot of major apps aside from the social ones. There's lots of 3rd part apps however, although a lot of them are crap.

I have some minor niggles with the OS but some of that is being fixed with 8.1 from what I see.
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,638
1,102
Same software, but the 520/521 only have 512mb of RAM and therefore can't get many apps in the store. A lot of apps require 1gb of RAM. Additionally, the screen is much better on the Icon (true HD) and the CPU and GPU can play any graphic intense piece of software required. The 520 is good, but it is an entry level spec'd phone.

Point being, the experience on the Icon will be better than with the 520.
The Nokia 525 is coming out soon I think. 1gb of RAM.
 

three

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2008
1,072
196
Washington State
Same software, but the 520/521 only have 512mb of RAM and therefore can't get many apps in the store. A lot of apps require 1gb of RAM. Additionally, the screen is much better on the Icon (true HD) and the CPU and GPU can play any graphic intense piece of software required. The 520 is good, but it is an entry level spec'd phone.

Point being, the experience on the Icon will be better than with the 520.
Good point, didn't realize that.