I recently picked up a Lumia 640 for testing. To get another perspective, I asked my girlfriend, Leah, to help us out. Here’s her experience:
I confess. I’ve been an Apple person. I’ve had Apple phones for the last 2 or 3 years, and they’ve been alright. They’ve worked perfectly until some software fault develops or until the Wifi won’t turn on – an Apple fault. So when Sean said, here’s this brand spanking new Windows Phone, use it for the weekend. I thought, fair enough I’ll give it a go, so here’s me – hesitantly leaving my apple security net.
Let’s talk about the looks, because let’s face it, you want a good looking phone. I have an iPhone 5, it’s about 18 months old and doesn’t have a scratch on it (can you tell I’m pretty proud of that?!). So in comparison, the Lumia.. Is roughly 20% bigger all round and give or take the same weight.
The weight is completely natural; it’s definitely no brick but at the same time it’s no twig. I’ll be honest, I have hands the size of a 10 year old (no joke. My hand span, from my palm to my pinkie, is the size of this phone) so I’d actually have a really hard time using a phone that was any bigger. So for me, this is a really important feature. It’s a really sleek phone! I’d actually call it elegant. Smart, good size, nicely curved edges…this is the sort of phone you’d take home and show your parents.
I’m not gonna lie; the initial transition was tempered with me saying:
‘How do I do this…?’
‘Ah that’s pretty cool’.
Using Windows products is definitely outside the box when you’re so used to the iPhone homescreen with formulaic folders for every app. Plus, the start screen is entirely the grid system, which on first impressions is a bit sensory overload. But I accept that the Windows system is far more fluid, no flaffing around to different folders for an app, that is SO 2007.
The battery is unbelievable good. No really. The battery is really REALLY GOOD! Let’s give this some perspective; I think we all know how bad the IPhone 5’s battery is, during a 60 minute commute I listened to music and answered the odd text messages. My iPhone’s battery at 5 o’clock in the afternoon was an average 49%. The Lumia, which I’d used all day for sending Facebook messages and emails (Don’t judge me – it was a boring day at work!) was at a ridiculously good 88%!! And that’s relying solely on the Lumia’s WIFI! This is the start to the rest of my life. I’m a changed woman. Here’s a few other things that stuck out to me:
- Excellent call quality.
- The glance screen; why is this not in every phone? This question basically set the scene for how the entire weekend played out.
- Double tap to unlock (GIVE THIS MAN A COOKIE).
- Swiping left to have all of your apps in a list.
- The Wordflow keyboard. Do not underestimate how cool this keyboard is! After a day typing at work and especially if I’ve been texting a lot in the evening, I can feel the strained in my wrist and thumb. I feel like the Windows team sat down one day and said ‘if everyone’s getting repetitive strain injuries, why don’t we just get rid of that when you type on our phones’. I LOVE YOU RANDOM CITIZEN! GENIUS!
In my opinion, the best thing about this phone is the way it’s been designed. This is a brilliantly designed phone. Consciously designed – I think that’s what I said at work when I heard someone ragging about a Windows Phone while this bad boy sat on my desk, with its hipster orange glow for the whole world to see. I’ve gone back to an iPhone feeling like I’m sat typing in a flow-chart system, compared to how fluid it is. I actually feel like an old man, squinting at the screen and tapping away with my index finger to text.
Was it all fun and games? Well no. A few minor points include;
- I went through all of the apps I normally use and found the odd one wasn’t on Windows; my banking app and a few games. That’s not going to change my life, but it’s inconvenient.
- The camera. I don’t do selfies. I actively laugh at the teenagers I work with if I see them pouting and taking pictures. (kids actually do this…I don’t understand either…it’s embarrassing) But if I were obsessed with taking pictures of things like MY FACE, then the camera quality isn’t that good.
- The fluorescent orange cover makes it a little hard to discreetly text at work. Not cool Windows not cool. But it is a pretty nice colour so moot point.
After a couple of days I handed back the phone. Yes I’m still using my iPhone, yes it feels weird after the bigger screen and easier typing and texting, but the formulaic layout feels familiar. Especially after finding out that a new Lumia 640 is cheaper than a used iPhone 5, why is this phone not more popular?! It’s really good! To be honest, using the Lumia, how new and cool and different and ingenious it was; it felt like I was back in the Golden Days of iPhones when I first got an iPhone and it was completely different to everything else on the market. I think in the next few years we’re really going to see a transition into the WINDOWS PHONE GLORY DAYS… because they’re on it! And soon, everyone else is going to realise that too.Further reading: iPhone 5, Lumia 640, Microsoft, Windows Phone