- 11-23-2012, 08:13 PM #1
I have used Windows Mobile phones since they were first created. I have been using Android devices for the last several years and participate in the forums over at Android Central. I am not a troll, but looking to offer some thoughts about my experience with the 8x compared to the old Windows Mobile and Android.
I have been using the 8x for a week now. There is a lot to love about this phone and a lot to hate. I will list the pros and cons that I have found see if some of the more experienced Windows Phone users on this forum can provide solutions.
1. Excellent call quality through speaker and Bluetooth. This is one of the best phones I have owned in regards to call clarity, volume and Bluetooth connectivity with my Nissan Maxima 2012 model.
2. The size and feel of this phone is almost perfect for me. Maybe a 4.5" would have been even better. I have tried everything from an iPhone to the Droid DNA and everything in between. Excellent build quality.
3. Nice screen. Actually brighter and whiter than the Droid DNA that I am currently using. Text is sharp and colors more natural than what you get on OLED displays.
4. Fast and intuitive UI. This phone is very easy to use. I would not have a problem recommending a Windows 8 phone to my mom or others that aren't that technical. I believe this is what Microsoft was going for: to compete with the ease of the iPhone.
5. Wireless charging. I have missed this since my days with the Palm Pre and have been waiting for it to return again. I believe within the next two years almost every smartphone will have the Qi charging technology built in.
6. Microsoft Office capability. This is both a pro and a con. I will explain later.
7. WiFi and LTE signal strength and quality of signal are excellent. Actually some of the best I have experience with any smartphone. I get signal where other Android devices have failed. There is the known Windows Phone 8 WiFi bug, but that should be fixed in a software update.
8. Voice through Bluetooth. This is probably the feature I am most excited about. This is the only smartphone that has a working Bluetooth driver for voice dialing, texting and emailing through a Bluetooth headset or carkit. Many of the Android phones have the capability, but not have added the proper codecs for it to work in any of the cars I have owned. If I want to use an Android device, everything goes through the speaker on the phone and not through my carkit. I drive a lot and this feature might be the main reason I keep this phone.
9. Beats audio. This is hands down the loudest and best sounding smartphone through a corded headset that I have ever used and I switch smartphones about every two months. With most smartphones you have to turn the volume up all the way just to get at an average listening level. With the 8x I can hardly turn the volume up over 15 out of 30 levels before it hurts my ears. The music sound is full and rich, not just loud. I have compared it to the Droid DNA and HTC Rezound and neither of them come close. I listen to a lot of music so this is another huge plus.
10. Front Camera. Is excellent for Skype. Back camera is above average but not as good as the OneX, iPhone or SGIII.
1. 16GB of storage. Enough said. With only about 10GB available you better use the cloud for pretty much everything. A 32GB option would have been nice.
2. Battery Life. Many are getting great battery life. I am only getting through most of my day. It is comparable to the Droid DNA and SGIII as long as you don't use the display on the high setting. I keep mine on medium, but really hate that I have to sacrifice my screen brightness just to make it from 8am to 5pm. It is certainly acceptable for an 1800mAH battery though. If you keep a wireless charging pad at work and leave it there during downtime it should meet everyone's needs in the battery department.
3. Limited screen standby options. There might be a solution for this, but I have not found one. I hate that the maximum screen on time is only 5 minutes. All of the Android devices have a never turn off option and even the iPHone has at least a 15 minute option I think. The problem is when you are streaming music through Slacker or some other type of service your screen shuts off and you have to turn on the 8x, unlock the screen go back into the streaming app in order to skip to the next song. If I have my 8x plugged into power in my car I should have an option to never have the screen turn off. This is probably one of my biggest cons of this phone, since I drive a lot and need to be able to skip songs. None of the streaming apps that I have tried have an option to keep the screen on. Slacker does on IOS and Android, but not Windows Phone 8 so I am assuming it is a problem with the Windows PhoneOS.
4. No email attachment capability for documents. You can attach a picture or video but no documents. What? Isn't Microsoft trying to promote Mobile Office? I know you can create an email from within Mobile Office and send an attachment, but if I need to reply to a current email and attach a spreadsheet, pdf and word document I am screwed. This is the same butthead mistake that kept the iPhone from getting into the enterprise market for such a long time. If you don't want business users to buy your phones then don't promote such an inefficient and unrobust email system. (There are third party Office apps for Android and IOS that offer a more robust experience and feature set than Mobile Office on Windows Phone 8. Formatting is terrible and the options are very limited. Sure it syncs with SkyDrive and other Windows 8 devices, but I want an Office Suite that actually allows me to do real work on documents while I am away from my office. Microsoft really could have done better with this. The one plus is the One Note integration which at least allows the viewing of One Note notes that have inking from a tablet pc. That is a plus as none of the third party One Note plugins for Android or IOS offer that feature. I use One Note a lot and this is another feature that might force me to pick the 8x.
5. No select all in email accounts. No explanation necessary.
6. No instant HTML formatting in emails. You have to hit the download pictures every time. Really Microsoft? This hasn't changed since the first Windows Mobile devices that had the styli.
7. Not real multitasking. I tried to reference some information from an email while on a call the other day and after a few seconds in the email, once I talked again it automatically kicked me back to the phone screen and I had to exit and reenter the mail app just to get back to the email. Every time I got back to the email it would kick me back to the phone app. Android does this perfectly. I know there is the holding of the left arrow key to pull up open programs but it still kicks me back to the phone app.
8. No way to setup pauses in voicemail dialer on a Verizon phone. Most of you Verizon customers know how much of a PITA it is to access voicemails while driving since they force you to enter a password every time. Fortunately on most phones you can program 2 pauses and add your password in the voicemail number so that you can bypass that step. I have found no way to add pauses on the 8x to allow for this. If anyone knows how please fill us all in.
9. No Flash, No YouTube, No HBOGO, No Flipboard, and many other apps. That is the nature of the beast with a new Operating System. Most buyers understand that the app selection will take several years to build up.
10. Poor maps app with no turn by turn directions. IOS doesn't either (at least one that works). Nokia Drive is great but not compatible with the 8x and nothing compares to Google Maps and Navigation for free.
There are many others on both sides. I just tried to list the ones that affect my usage the most. Everyone has different needs and many don't need the capabilities that I do. For users that just want an excellent, simple to use smartphone and save everything in the cloud. I would highly recommend this device. I would not recommend it to business people or those that need a lot of storage or apps. Please let me know if I have incorrectly portrayed this phone as I could certainly be wrong. And I hope I am because I really like this phone.
I am not here to ruffle feathers as I have always been one of the largest supporters of Windows Phone throughout the years, but the stakes are high and Microsoft cannot afford to take 6 years to get all of the features added that IOS and Android users enjoy right now. Add more storage and removable batteries Microsoft! I know you are targeting the consumer market, but you need geeks and power users too.
11-23-2012, 11:24 PM #3
- 295 Posts
Con #4 I agree with. But not #9. m.youtube is better than any app for most uses and there are alternatives in the Store that suit other needs. Android also uses the mobile YouTube site (albeit more fuctional being a Google site on a Google phone). The no flash argument holds less water each year as flash becomes less utilized and more obsolete. Apps will come as more users come.
- 11-24-2012, 12:26 AM #4
I'm getting my 8X on Monday and I'm very excited but also slightly concerned. While I really love everything I've seen from the OS, the app situation is now starting to concern me slightly. I know more dev support is on the way especially with how well sales are doing on the new W8 devices, but I was assuming that a staple app like YouTube was a given. The mobile site is ok but it is nothing compared to a fully functioning app developed by Google. Even IOS has a great YouTube app now after having a very meh app for years. I was really hoping to see a cool Metro/Modern style YouTube app.
I've been considering grabbing an Ipod Touch just to use as a device to fill in the place of some apps that I'd consider a personal must have. (That and I'd like to own something from each of the 3 major ecosystems)
Flash isn't a bother since no new Androids phones will have flash support anymore.
Storage is a slight concern for me as well considering my G-Nex has about 10G left and I don't even have any music on there, I stream everything from Google Music. Honestly don't know what is taking up all my space anymore.
- 11-24-2012, 01:00 AM #5
- 11-24-2012, 03:55 AM #6
The browser is completely new system so it faces the same problems as every system that is new. That said it should be exactly the same rendering engine as the w8 browser so I think there is an incentive for both MS and the web developers to make the site work for that browser.
- 11-24-2012, 04:50 AM #7
On number 8 I've used commas to give me a pause, 3 are usually enough. Number 7 I don't get this issue with either WP 7 or 8, I can check other apps on the phone whilst on a call. I know there are a number of apps for youtube but the Html site has always worked well for me.
- 11-24-2012, 05:02 AM #8
Regarding the email attachments I agree it's an awful system as there are 3 methods from what I can see:
1. From the email screen you can only attach photos/videos.
2. From SkyDrive you can only send a link.
3. If you open the doc, xls etc then you can attach the entire file.
I would have expected more integration from Microsoft.
11-24-2012, 12:04 PM #9
- 245 Posts
Yeah the email attachment stuff is definitely lacking and was disappointed it follows the iOS method of having to email something from the app as opposed to just having options within the email client. Especially since the device has some notion of local storage.
My car has the ability to skip tracks, etc. and most newer cars do as well so I don't really need the phone active all the time. One thing I found odd is you can skip tracks via the lock screen as long as music is playing, as soon as you pause any music, the pause/play/skip function no longer displays on the lock screen.
#10 I don't really need turn by turn navigation since my cars all have it built in but I would expect the non-beta version of Drive (rebranded as "Here") to be available to all WP8 phones once it goes out of beta. The iOS version is somewhat crippled since it only does turn by turn for walking, but maybe the WP8 will have driving as well as a differentiator.
11-24-2012, 12:18 PM #10
- 249 Posts
My bluetooth voice sucks basketballs. My gf says it sounds muffled like crazy and same with the voice with the handset so I am guessing those drivers don't work well with my Samsung bluetooth headset but worked well with the GS3. The handset call quality is weird. All the males seem to say it sounds clear and quiet but all my female contacts say it is muffled and muted. Go figure. LOL
I can't figure out if it is just my handset or everyone 8x so I am keeping it and just bought a headphone with mic for calls with my gf.
And folks, this is why you do not buy HTC, they have some kind of border line deal breaker in everything. The One X crossed over into deal breaker for me though.
11-24-2012, 06:33 PM #12
- 1 Posts
Just jumped off the GNex to the 8X. I am loving WP8 so far. In my 3 days of ownership, the one app that I'm dying to have ported over for WP8 is Voxer. It seems on Voxer's forums that a thread was started petitioning them to build for Windows Phone but the response from their mods wasn't too encouraging. Of course, if enough people jump on board, they'll do it. Will look forward to a good turn by turn nav app as well, which I'm sure is just a matter of time.
Anyway, I'm delighted with WP8 so far and it's making me excited for the Surface Pro in a few months!
- 11-24-2012, 09:53 PM #13
I appreciate the feedback. I have a few more days left to return or keep the 8x. I like it and understand there are shortcomings with a new OS, but I have the Droid DNA and aside from some Bluetooth connection issues it is really hard to keep the 8x over it. The other really annoying thing is the loud beep on the 8x when you either plug in a charger or set it on a wireless charging pad. Anyone figured out how to shut it off?
11-25-2012, 02:59 PM #14
- 75 Posts
Loved my 920 & thought sound quality on calls was fantastic, Nokia drive worked really well. Unfortunately, the email issue was a deals breaker for me. I'm on the road a lot for work & don't have time to come up with fancy workarounds to what should a simple processes.
Totally agree with the comment that if MS wants this to be adopted for enterprise use (do they?) they need to make email easier to work with. Can't forward an email with an attachment without it converting to an .eml is ridiculous.
- 11-25-2012, 05:15 PM #16
11-26-2012, 11:21 AM #17
- 2 Posts
On the voicemail/stored number dialing issue, you can use a "w" for wait or "p" for pause in the number, and Windows Phone will handle that appropriately.
Unfortunately, there's no obvious way to do it, but you can either sync a contact with a "w" or "p" in the number, or you can copy a "w" or "p" from another text field, then paste it into the number field on the phone.
If you have a "w", the phone will dial the digits before the "w", then display a "Send" button in the call control screen; when you press it, the remaining digits will be sent. I use this frequently for recurring conference call PINs. With "p" the phone just pauses for a few seconds, then continues with the remaining digits... probably what you're looking for on the voicemail login.
- 11-27-2012, 01:31 AM #18
I've only had the 8x for a day but already having buyer remorse. In addition to what you list, how about the following:
1. No working notification light. if you are away from phone and receive a text you have no idea unless you at least go to lock screen. this is very ios like!
2. No profile setting. My BB had this 5 years ago
- 11-27-2012, 02:05 AM #19
As a business user I wanted to give WP8 a go to see if I could make it work with my daily needs. I purchased a 920. Whilst I loved the hardware, except it had to be returned as it kept rebooting.. I didn't get fully on with WP8. My opinion is, ms need to step up their game and pretty quickly as well.
Apart from the cons mentioned already, I also found that exchange didn't sync how I wanted it to. Any changes made on your phone wouldn't sync back until you physically pressed refresh or your phone carried out a timed interval sync.
This meant my mail was out of sync between handset and desktop.
Now I know someone will say, that's how it supposed to be according to MS. But every other handset I've used doesn't do it this way. Any changes made are instantly synced back.
Ms.. listen to your customers.. Nokia, pick up the hardware issues raised and carry the common required hardware features onto your next handset.
If this happens.. I will happily switch back to WP8 and bring my 40 handset user base with me from work..
Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
- 11-28-2012, 05:20 PM #21
- 11-29-2012, 12:37 AM #22
Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
- 11-29-2012, 11:39 AM #23
I have a few problems with WP8 but the main one is the music player. I can't forward or rewind a song by dragging the location of the song left or right, you have to hold down the rewind or forward buttons. Second there is no volume control on screen, and the third, when the phone is in locked I have to hit the volume rocker to get to the music controls and it feels very unnatural.
You also cant drag in youtube either, you have to acutally tap the rewind button, you cant even hold it down.
12-01-2012, 10:31 PM #25
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