I was using iPhone 3GS for about two years until in August 2011, when I first switched to using Samsung Galaxy S II, partly for work. I was immediately impressed on the capabilities of Android, which encouraged me to ‘upgrade’ to a Samsung Galaxy Note in December. Life was good and I felt I could ‘conquer the world’ with my ‘phablet’. That was until in mid-February this year when I decided to handover the Note to my brother, as the device was sold out in stores. I took that opportunity to try out something different – a Windows Phone 7 device – a Nokia Lumia 800.
It was a little disheartening to switch to a device with a smaller screen, and losing the ability to sketch and write with a stylus (which was the main reason I adopted the Note) and while the Marketplace was filled with many great apps, there isn’t any supported app for Path and Pinterest. My first gripe was discovering the sluggish WhatsApp software and being unaware of how to view downloaded photos from the program. (On Android, tapping on an uploaded image instantly saves it into the phone gallery for offline viewing, whereas on WP7, tapping the image only allows for magnified viewing within the App, but in order to save the image into the phone, I have to tap longer on the image which prompts for an option to ‘save’. I realise later that this is a good process to prevent unnecessary additions of images that i wouldn’t need to have in the phone. An in-built FAQ would have helped.
I also realised how useful is it to be able to link my MSN, Facebook and LinkedIn contacts together. They’re useful for me to link people who have multiple social networking site accounts together. This leads to a discovery of a very useful feature with the Nokia Lumia 800 – being able to receive messages (other than through SMS), over MSN, Whats App and Facebook chat even though the phone is on standby mode (i.e. screen went blank). This allowed me to respond immediately to a wider group of people using various communication software/hardware, thus making it an effective communication tool.
Another feature that impressed me was the ‘Back’ button. With it, I could immediately switch back to whatever I was viewing previously – webpage, contact list, game, etc. I’m amazed by its speedy response. (PS: If you think your non-Windows Phone is faster, take up this challenge below)
The other feature that entertained me well is its Xbox Live integration. Being a gamer myself, I welcome the reward to earn Achievement Points for my Xbox LIVE gamertag for the mobile Xbox LIVE games I play. I’ve played countless mobile games on iOS and Android but while they have their respective platforms to track your progress, nothing beats connecting to my Xbox LIVE profile. This is the only way to brag about my effort and progress in Angry Birds!
So naturally, as with any new romantic relationship, when something heartbreaking happens, anyone would feel disappointed. After adjusting to the phone for about three weeks (since mid-February 2012), I was filled with mixed emotions when I accidentally dropped my phone at the bus stop, causing the screen to shatter. Having watched this public promotional video, I had absolute confidence that the drop would not affect my Nokia Lumia, especially since I’ve experienced similar drops to my Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Galaxy Note, as the screens of all these phones are made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass.
As I stared at the shattered screen of my Nokia Lumia 800 on my way to work on Monday morning, I was disappointed and feeling disbelieved. Later that day, a chat with a staff at a Nokia boutique confirmed that while the phone has Gorilla Glass, there were a couple of factors involved in the drop. Between the angle of the drop and the type of surface the screen came into contact with, I could just attribute it to bad luck. To make matters worse, somehow something caused the battery to go critically low once I plug it out of the socket, despite having it charged for about two hours in the afternoon. I was forced to make a conclusion that the impact had somewhat affected the phone’s battery and since Nokia Lumia’s battery was built-in, it appeared that I could not continue using the phone for much longer. I spent my Monday evening visiting a couple of mobile phone stores looking at alternatives, and due to financial constraints, the only option is to get a sub-$100 budget phone (without all the bells and whistles) just so I can be contactable. When I couldn’t revive my phone despite having it charged overnight, I had lost all hope to continue using the phone. I was ready to be unreachable for a couple of hours until I get a temporary phone.
Alas, a silver lining occurred on Tuesday morning when my friend posted about a new firmware update. While the phone was connected to the power socket, it started to display a battery charging icon on the screen! A few minutes later, the phone switched on automatically and started synching to my laptop. It then recognised the latest firmware update and proceeded to do the needful once I tap on the confirmation button. Moments later, the phone resumed its operation and I could use it again, albeit through a shattered screen. When all the messages and notifications started beeping non-stop (among them was 62 new messages on WhatsApp), it was nevertheless a much-welcomed distraction.
Today was Day 2 of using the phone and so far there were no more problems with regards to the battery. Although my Nokia Lumia 800 now bears a shattered screen, I managed to look beyond that to appreciate the beauty of its firmware and other software features.
Will I upgrade to Nokia Lumia 900? I’m not sure, but I’m happy to continue using a Windows Phone.
… Thanks to Eugene Yeo for the alerts, and the wonderful people on Facebook who sympathised with my situation on Monday. Perhaps I need to consider getting rugged phone cases such as those featured in this video.