This is a counterpoint post to my previous post on Why I Love Windows Phone 8 and Why I Won’t Switch to it.
As you know I am an Android user who at least for now is contemplating purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for Verizon for my next phone. You also know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920. As it stands, either phone would be a significant upgrade from my Motorola Droid2Global running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
My reasons for sticking for Android are many. I love the custimizability, the pseudo-openness of the platform and the selection of devices. Not to mention the fact that almost everything I need is available for free through Google’s own services. Email, documents, spreadsheets, calendars etc. If I were never to switch from Android I would be perfectly set.
But in a way, I am itching to switch to something new. Why? Because I am bored. I am bored of the widget-icon metaphor. I am bored of side-scrolling home screens. I am bored of an operating system that while it is distinct from iOS, it very similar on a fundamental level.
I am also frustrated. I am frustrated with Android manufacturers that can’t put a good camera on a smartphone. I have yet to find an Android smartphone with a better camera than the camera found on the iPhone. I am frustrated with the fragmentation of the platform in that some apps will work on some phones but some won’t because of custom app stores. I am frustrated that the carriers consistently block the applications and features that I want to use. I want Google to start throwing their megabillion dollar weight around but they refuse to do so.
Also, Google is starting to make me nervous. “Don’t Be Evil” has been the refrain we have heard from Mountain View for some time but as they grow ever larger and begin to control greater amounts of the internet, I am starting to worry that Google will become synonymous with the internet. In many ways, it probably already is.
Call me a paranoid conspiracy theorist, but I am starting to question the wisdom of letting Google know as much about me as it already does. Every time I sign up for a new service with them, I feel like I am making some sort of Faustian pact for the services they provide. They read my email in Gmail, they know my daily plans in Calendar, they know what I’m writing about in Google docs, they know my search history from Chrome. The list goes on. It’s not hard to imagine that Google could build a pretty impressive and accurate dossier about me if they wanted to. In fact, they admit to doing just that in Google Now. Should I take my tinfoil hat off yet?
I am under no delusion that Microsoft doesn’t seek to do the same via their own services. However, I don’t know that their data mining is as advanced or as polished as El Goog’s. I do however like that Outlook.com doesn’t read your email, unlike Google in Gmail.
When it comes to me switching to Windows Phone 8 generally and the Nokia Lumia 920 specifically, I like that their system looks like it just works. From what I can tell, lag, FC’s and forced reboots don’t affect Windows Phone devices nearly as bad as Android devices. I want something that is super stable. Kinda like –dare I say it–an iPhone.
What attracts me to the Nokia Lumia 920 so much is the fact that it is different. It doesn’t look like any of the myriad of monotonous black slabs on Android. As vain as it is to say, in the debate of form over function, form means a lot to me. Also speaking to my vanity, I want to have an attractive phone that will stand out. I like the idea of being on a system with a small market share. I’m dork. I know
I like the fact that the Nokia Lumia 920 looks to have, hands-down, the best camera in a smartphone to date. Heck with megapixels, it’s the optical image stabilization that intrigues me. This is real image stabilization, like you get in DSLRs and high end lenses. This isn’t that crappy digital image stabilization where they bump the ISO and dirty your beautiful image with unsightly noise or an ugly harsh flash.
As gimmicky as may seem at first, I really like the wireless charging option. I like the fact that I can charge my phone without wearing out my charging port. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to have a phone that won’t charge unless it is sitting in a dock just so? All because the micro-USB charging port wore out 8 months into owning it? Wireless charging would prevent that for me.
Finally, I want to switch to Windows Phone 8 as my own way to contribute to technological innovation. By giving my hard-earned dollars to Microsoft, I am telling them that I approve of what they are doing. I am also telling Google and Apple that they need to do something different, something exciting. I am telling them that as far as this customer is concerned, Microsoft is more innovative than them.
I know that in someways I am being irrational. However, being a tech geek, it is hard for me to completely divest my identity from the products I own. (How’s that as statement on our society for you?) I want to own products that speak to me and in a subtle way speak for me and let others know who I am. It looks like this round Microsoft speaks to me better than anyone else.
That all being said, if the Nokia Lumia 920 doesn’t end up on Verizon, none of this matters. That is the only phone I would switch to Windows Phone 8 for. I just hope rumors that the Lumia 920 will be on Verizon turn out to be true.
Am I silly for thinking this way? What are your thoughts?