I’ve been a Droid phone user for some time now and really, couldn’t have imagined using anything else. One of the things that is always important to me is, efficiency in work. That being said, Droid has always been quick to find what I need, actually makes calls and has the tools I need to get the job done. So why would I even consider going to a Windows 8 Phone? Well, “Look, Shiny!!!!” No, really, that wasn’t it.
I went out and purchased the HTC Windows 8X Phone a few days ago. The reason this diehard Droid guy went to Windows 8 Phone was the complete integration across devices and information. That’s a mouthful so let me explain by showing you the devices I have, helping me get my job done, daily.
Currently I am running Windows 8 Pro on a ThinkPad W530. Since this W530 was right out of the box recently, I chose to not mess with the preinstalled Windows 7 image and stripped it of its glory right away and went to Windows 8 Pro. Why? Windows 8 Pro I believe has the efficiency pieces that help me eliminate many 1-second delays in the day. I haven’t been let down at all with Windows 8 Pro either and can’t imagine going back to Windows 7. In fact, I adapted so quickly to Windows 8 Pro and the tile, navigation and utilization changes, I’d say that is the single largest win of the new OS. However, this isn’t a Windows 8 Pro review (maybe later).
Throwing into the mix of my work machine, I have a machine I use for presenting and working on articles/demos. That machine was quickly upgraded to Windows 8 as well. Both machines are using VMWare Workstation so I can’t really lose here. I need Windows 7 or Windows Server 2012 or 2003 to test something, bam, done and pushing forward.
Here comes the phone – thrown into all of this, I have a Droid RAZR. Awesome phone! This Motorola phone feels great in your hand, , quick to get what I need done, has excellent battery life and I have no real complaints. Why would I change that? Well, Windows 8 in short. Recall, I’m into hardcore efficiency in each day of how I get the job done. Whether you want to argue there are ways to do all kinds of things or not, the fact is, Droid and Windows 8 are not the same thing. I had some pains from that and what I would have to do in order to get everything working nice together. Even the corporate sync for mail and opening an Excel or Word attachment on the Droid was painful at times.
Microsoft, in my eyes, is doing one thing that I’d wish the entire industry would do: seamless integration with all devices. Now, this would be like asking for world peace to get the big dogs all making the same thing with a slight twist for marketing. They won’t do it. They never have. That’s why third party applications and interfaces are in business. So my reasoning for what would obviously be a few days of pain by switching my phone OS was, seamless integration between all of the technology I put my hands on for work and personal use.
With Windows 8 across the landscape of my devices, it makes me more efficient. I could care less if you have issues with Windows and love your Droid or iPhone, bottom line is, you have to admit, having one OS across it all lends itself to efficiency. Now, if that OS was crashing every 5 minutes or plain old, sucks, that isn’t efficient. However, Windows 8 has proven to fit right into my work and personal usage without such ease, I could not avoid the fact, it made sense to make it so across the board.
Review – 2 day
It’s been two days now since I picked up the HTC Windows 8X (Verizon). So far, there has been some pain. Duh, I just changed the OS on my phone! If you know me, you know my phone is attached to me so changing it will be painful at first. Luckily, Windows 8 is pretty much Windows 8 from Laptop to Phone to Tablet. See where my reasoning was?
With all of that, there is a few things I have found irritating, now being the 3rd day of having the phone.
- Seriously, Microsoft has Bing Maps but we don’t get a voice navigation like google Maps? Yeah, in order to get navigation I need to use the costly VZ Navigator or buy an app. Now, an app that is $4.99 may be worth it. I just nee to read the reviews. I’m still a bit irritated it doesn’t have a default GPS navigation option built in.
- Some apps do not rotate. Windows 8 Phone is young still and I foresaw this issue. A lot of application simple are being updated almost every other day. Facebook for example, will not rotate the screen when I rotate the phone. That’s annoying for someone with big hands and can’t stand typing on a phone in horizontal view.
That’s it! Really, that is it. Other than navigation, I have been able to find every app I need to get right back to where I was with Droid.
So, what’s good about it? It’s too early to give a down and dirty, pro vs. con, review. I will do that as it is always helpful in making decisions on moving to a new device and OS. The one thing I will leave you with is activity.
Activity Quick Glance
That is what I’ve deemed the best thing about Windows 8 Phone. The one thing I don’t think I’d want to give up in just two days of using the HTC Windows 8X phone is, I can see everything in one tile for activity across email, text, twitter and on. I open the tile, look at all the things that happened since last looking at it, and I’m up to date without opening 5 or 6 apps. That is really cool! Now, Droid may have been able to do that, in fact, I think I remember finding it once but it was horribly done. I can’t go into details about Droid and that option because, well, I *think* I found that once. Windows 8 just gave it to me. I like just being handed what is useful. The other nice thing about the activity on the phone is, if I open the view and I don’t read something, it doesn’t persist to keep telling me I have new activity. I like that a lot too. My Droid would constantly think I had new emails even knowing I would open email and just read the subject lines.
That’s about all I have for the start of my 3rd day with the HTC Windows 8X phone. I can say, if you are up on Windows 8 for your tablet device and laptop, it really does make sense to be there on your phone. Hopefully this and the upcoming reviews or the phone will help make that choice for you as well.