Top 3: Lumia 920, Z10, iPhone 5

by Volker Weber

I like to use one phone and a backup. Nokia Lumia 920 is #1. BlackBerry Z10 is the backup. If I would lead two lives, the Z10 would be #1. It's fun to use, and BlackBerry Balance is outstanding. Without the need for Balance, the Lumia wins hands down. Solid, smart and pretty, with the best camera.

I'd really like to push the iPhone back to #1. It has one thing going for it: best ecosystem. If there is any software out there, it works on an iPhone. There is nothing wrong with the iPhone. The software looks just very quaint, once you used the other two.

Comments

It's interesting to me that I'm broadly in agreement with you over the facts but have come to a completely different conclusion.

I ran a Windows Phone 8 for a week. I declined a Z10 because if it proved to be a dud I'd be stuck with it for 24 months.

So I chose an iPhone 5. The OS has been looking tired for ages and doesn't compare well. But it's all about the applications for me. WP8 had a paucity of worthwhile apps and for me that's way more important than the OS.

Apple have to innovate or die because in a year or two the apps that are missing on the other platforms will be there.

Jason Hook, 2013-02-24 16:13

I've never owned an iPhone but I do have an iPod touch. Quite frankly I'm bored by it and the battery life is awful. I know you'd expect me to say this but the Lumia 920 is fantastic. Given that it's my business device and I have no desire to play games on it, I can't think of any apps that are missing apart from something to check the National Lottery numbers. The Facebook app for Windows Phone is far better than its iOS counterpart, there are some excellent Twitter clients (such as Cowlick and Mehdoh), but actually I don't go into the apps very often because the native integration into the people hub does most of what I need. The live tiles add that extra vibrancy that's really missing from iOS - and that live tile approach was borrowed quite nicely for BlackBerry 10.

We have a lot of customers piloting Windows Phone 8 at the moment, this could be where the uptake will be in the next year.

Darren Adams, 2013-02-24 16:27

Darren I must have missed those apps because the Twitter and FB apps I used on WP8 were dreadful.

Jason Hook, 2013-02-24 20:13

Jason, Windows Phone works differently from iOS. Most information is available around groups, in rooms, with people. If I select a particular person, I can see their tweets, their Facebook updates, phone calls, appointments, their text messages, their emails.

In other words: a piano is a terrible violin.

Volker Weber, 2013-02-24 20:23

Volker, I understood that I probably needed a bit more than a week to appreciate it however...

I can't argue that WP8 is much more modern OS, it's just that for me it's the Violin and not the Piano.

WP8 doesn't have the music making apps I like (ThumbJam, ProChords, Figure and many more) or many of the other apps I use a lot.

I have bought heavily into the ecosystem and I get a lot of value out of it. I think it's about time iOS surprised us.

WP8 doesn't (or didn't in January/February) have enough apps for my taste. It might have in time.

Jason Hook, 2013-02-24 20:46

I tend to agree with Jason. Whilst the people hubs are fantastic in WP8, they are only useful (to me at least) if you know the people you want to view or to add (e.g. it's much easier to follow all my wife's activity across all networks on WP8 than it is on iOS).

As a means to follow streams of content or to discover new information sources WP8 adds nothing, and the very very poor quality of the apps (including Facebook - completely disagree with you there Darren) was a major disappointment to me.

I approached the Lumia 920 and WP8 with a very open attitude, looking forward to the innovative UI and trying really hard to forget its Microsoft origins. In many ways it delivers, particularly against the tired basic UI of iOS (agree with you there), but once you scratch beneath the veneer, I believe that iOS is still the mobile OS that makes me most productive and delights me most often.

(My review of the Lumia 920 is at http://stuart-mcintyre.com/trying-the-nokia-lumia-920/)

Volker, would love to hear more about your experiences with the Z10...

Stuart McIntyre, 2013-02-24 20:46

"trying really hard to forget its Microsoft origins"

Hmmh. This looks like a problem.

Jason, if you need those apps, you are on the right platform. What I am describing here is what works for me, not what should work for you. I find myself using ever fewer apps.

Volker Weber, 2013-02-24 20:50

I recently found myself looking for a replacement for my iPhone 4 - battery was tired and I was looking for something new and exciting, sadly iPhone 5 wasn't it. Also, I just couldn't justify the cost of a new iPhone 5 - where's the value proposition these days? OK, when no one else was close, it was justifiable, but not any more.

I spent some time looking at the Nexus 4. I even felt guilty for considering anything non-Apple :). The more I looked though, I was able to find every app that I had (and used) on the iPhone, available for Android. I jumped ship for less than half the price of the iPhone 5.

I still feel guilty. The three other members of my family all enjoy their iPhones and of course, I am now out of the iMessaging loop, but Whatsapp does a reasonable job there, (except my wife doesn't use it) but I still feel like I've left the (iOS) family and run away!

I do like the Nexus, it's so fast, I am no longer waiting for my phone as I did with the iPhone 4. It did need a system update to stop it chewing the battery, but now that it's a good deal better I can leave the house without having 'range anxiety' (OK, time anxiety).

I already used Gmail's smtp server on the iPhone, so moving over to Gmail completely was a no brainer. I use the Google Music Player to 'iTunes Match' my iTunes library to the Google Cloud and so I have all my music available to me in a way I was never able to achieve on the iPhone. I'm impressed!

I feel like I've upgraded finally, a feeling that I don't think I would have got from the iPhone 5. As a tinkerer, I like the idea of being a little closer to the metal than Apple lets you get with iOS too - I'm no rooter or ROMfreak, but simple apps like Cerberus do so much more than Find my iPhone whilst both set out with the same use case.

Windows Phone? I'm not sure I could do it...

But when the next iPhone comes out? I shall be looking very closely!

John Ash, 2013-02-25 00:11

I always liked Mondrian, so WP8 looks promising. The concept of having "little squares in a big screen showing information from different places" is nicely implemented (Portal sported that idea but struggles under its own weight). Once my employer supports it in the official infrastructure I might add one to the zoo.
Off course the other new kids on the block look promising too. With a backup phone to fall back to (learned that from Vowe) I can play with peace of mind with FirefoxOS or UbuntuPhone

Stephan H. Wissel, 2013-02-25 01:51

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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