Friday, September 21, 2012

Why I would choose a Nokia. Specifically the Lumia 920.

With the recent introductions of Samsung, Nokia and HTC Windows Phone 8 devices, I have told myself that it's going to be the Lumia 920. What are my reasons? Read on.

Wireless Charging
I know some are skeptical towards wireless charging, ranging from interference to charging time. While it might be true that wireless technologies may have a negative impact on the human health, I believe that can be mitigated with some workarounds. The demarcation of a charging area can effectively leave the phone to charge away from you at night. Since the phone will be charging at night, I wouldn't be bothered with the charging time either.

I personally find wireless charging useful for me as I do have a standard area on my table for the sole purpose of charging devices. I do wish other companies will adopt Qi and produce more Qi-Compatible charging devices. My wishlist will be a large wireless charging pad that I can crowd all my devices to charge at that area in future.

I used to own a Nokia 3210 and covers (Express-On cover) can be changed. That was how it started where people personalized their phones and expressing themselves. When iPhone came along, people still buy assortment of covers.

In my point of view, even though the Lumia would have coloured covers, it will not stop anyone from adding another cover to it. But I would visualize this: I've just place my Yellow-ish Lumia on the dining table where everyone else is a Black or White iPhone or the standard Android black phones. Wow, my phone just stands out by itself. Of course if you have that Tiger Beer bottle cover on your iPhone, it does stands out too. At the end of the day, I do welcome the inclusion of colours.

Touch Screen / PureMotion HD+
While the touch screen may not be is Gorilla glass based (Update: A bit of digging and found out it's Corning® Gorilla® Glass), it also boosts advanced touch support by Synaptics that allows users who wear gloves or have long finger nails to be able to operate the touch screen.  Great for ladies and those have to work with gloves on.

This is yet to be proven, but I hope the PureMotion HD+ display contrast will work well under the Sun.

Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia City Lens, Nokia Transport
I've tried Nokia Maps on Lumia 800 and it is way better than HTC Locations and Microsoft Bing Maps. This is probably because of where I live and Bing maps suffers from details at my location. iOS6 suffers a bit of problem with their Maps too ( You can try Nokia Maps at I'm wondering why people missed this!

I don't think we need to really discuss this in detail since iPhone don't have it and not that this will make a difference for now. There will be accessories and services that will work with NFC, but the impact should be low. I do however appreciate this extra feature.
(IMHO, Microsoft might just kill Lumia again by not providing an update to Windows Phone 9 when it's planned which makes the early adoption useless.

You may not feel it, but a successful product does depend on the accessories available. Nokia has done well in this area with speakers, charging stands and Bluetooth headsets already in the pipeline. These accessories utilizes NFC to activate a pre-defined app, plays music with wireless NFC connection and can boost volume while charging. I bet more will come when Lumia launches.

Upcoming from Nokia
Now in beta is Nokia Pulse, which is likely to be a commercial product, is an app for you and your friends to check-in, message each other, share photos, places and more. I will view the app as an upgraded Whatsapp.

Recently in US, Nokia launched the free music streaming service exclusively for Lumia owners. I do not think this will be extended beyond US anytime soon but is still a nice feature to wait for.

Nokia Play To
I probably can consider this as a competition to HTC's DLNA solutions for Android. The app is currently in beta, to allow you to show pictures and videos to DLNA-compatible devices. Planned future developments is to include music.

The above shows that Nokia is indeed serious about the Windows Phone, although at a point I thought that Nokia wants to resume with Symbian because of PureView 808.

Other trials available:

Aren't you a HTC fan?
For the record, I have and still have HTC Touch HD, HTC HD2 and HTC Titan. So yes, I'm a HTC fan but why I'm not going for HTC 8X now?
  • Screen size - At 4.3 inches, it's just slightly bigger than iPhone 5 while 0.2 inches smaller than Lumia 920. Come on HTC, you did 4.7 inches on the Titan!
  • Screen - HTC screen are usually top notch. This is a plus point except that Samsung's AMOLED is better. Nokia did not do well in this category, but then there's PureMotion to look out for.
  • HTC Location - I wonder if this will be included in the package but I would say that the current version is not as good as Nokia Maps.
  • Camera - HTC's ImageChip is good too, but Nokia PureView should be able to beat this hands down judging on the reviews I have seen so far.
  • Sound - Beats audio is really hard to be beat. If I have a choice I would like Nokia to include this.
  • Customer support - Their service centre is probably one of the better ones out there. But I hate the team for deciding against to sell HTC Titan to Singapore. I had to order one from Taiwan without contract. A few months down the road, they announced Titan II. I had enough!
  • Experience - I must say their Windows Phone support is lacking so far. I wonder if they will perform better in future since they have investments in Android already.
Why not Samsung?
Due to the fact that I never had a good experience with them and long lasting products, I will not consider it at all.

For instance, I once had a DVD Recorder that died during a firmware upgrade. Samsung got the motherboard replaced for free and it died again in the next 3 months. The warranty you might ask, happens to end when it died subsequently. Of course this has no relation to the mobile phone they are releasing, but I not going to trust the brand for now.

Samsung had Windows Mobile series of OMNIA (sounds Lumia) phones. The firmware was buggy together with some confusing bundled software and custom interface. Though this might not end up the same way with Windows Phone 8, I'm not taking any chances with it. However I must note that their physical design are rather good, like the screen size of 4.8 inches (Hey HTC, LOOK!).

Lastly, the announcement of ATIV to me is literally an announcement. Samsung's product is not fully functional and lack accessories to begin with. They are an Android camp after all.

The success of a mobile is not only the platform and user friendliness. The surrounding eco-system that extends the product is important which in Nokia's case would be the accessories, exclusive apps and roadmap. The inclusion of wireless charging that's Qi-compatible and NFC support for wireless connections gives other manufacturers flexibility to support the device. The only question now is how much market share can Nokia garner to entice manufacturers to embrace it.

So that's. I have decided on the Nokia Lumia 920 for now. However, as the release date draws near, I might have a change of mind. When that happens, I will update in the future posts.

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