Windows Phone Left Me Underexposed

Thanks to Microsoft, I recently had a chance to test out a Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) for about a month… and the timing couldn’t have been better since it arrived on the day I returned from a vacation to Paris where my iPhone 4s was stolen.

The Sumsung Focus with Windows Mobile is a tight phone and 4 years ago when I was still using a BlackBerry, this would have been one hell of a great upgrade.

The interface was easy to figure out and I really like how the interface emphasized the people who were important to me.  Most of the apps worked well enough and I was pleasantly surprised how many of my favorite iphone apps were represented in their windows app store (evernote, yammer, foursquare, etc.).

However, even with Microsoft paying all the bills, after a month of using the Windows Phone, I couldn’t continue without the 4s any more. Yesterday, I broke down and bought a new iPhone 4s.

Interestingly, the thing I missed the most about the 4s was the camera… and all the photography apps that make an iPhone so slick.

Despite the fact that my mother is a brilliant photographer, not much of that brilliance has ever rubbed off on me.  And yet with a iPhone 4s, I started to feel like I could take some great shots. Going back to the Windows Phone where the camera was (only) decent, and the good photography apps were almost non-existant (no instagram, snapseed, diptic, photoshop express) was just too hard.

Whereas I probably took over 2000 photos in the month before my iphone was stolen, I think I took about 35 photos with the Windows Phone.  The quality wasn’t there… and while I know that wasn’t all Microsoft’s fault (it was Samsung’s hardware afterall), it was part of the overall smart phone experience that made the windows phone unworkable for me.


Curious aside.  

What’s the proper etiquette for dealing with a phone that was given to me for free that I’m no longer going to use.   Do I send it back?  Is it okay to sell it?  Is it okay to give it away?   The phone works great (as a phone) including minutes/apps paid for by Microsoft, but it came with no instructions, so not sure how long it will last that way.

4 responses

  1. As you might have guessed, I’m a big WP7 fan. I’ll take it as a positive development that you found the biggest shortcoming was the photography app & hardware situation (which I personally think is the iPhone 4s biggest strength) after a month of use. I assume you tried BubbleGum, Apict or Thumba on WP7 before you gave it back?

    Despite the fact that WP7 came up short in this evaluation, I can’t wait to see how Nokia’s upcoming WP7 handsets will compare. HTC’s & Samsung’s attention has been divided with their Android loyalties and getting the attention of app developers has been an up hill battle for Microsoft.

    I’m optimistic Microsoft and Nokia will make things a lot more interesting in 2012. HP’s WebOS is done, RIM/Blackberry is imploding, and Google will be distracted by the Motorola merger and Android issues (platform fragmentation, security & legal problems).

    Anyway, enjoy your iPhone 4s (until the iPhone 5 comes out anyway).

    1. Thanks a bunch Robbie for the comment. I’ll admit that I didn’t try any of the photo editing apps you mentioned, but found it wasn’t even taking all that great original photos unless the light was just right, so I got out of the habit of taking photos all the time.

      In retrospect, I almost definitely should have asked for your ideas on apps I should try (and I do still have the phone, so might have to try downloading the ones you mentioned!).

      1. On my HTC Arrive (Sprint), I was disappointed with the camera hardware on my WP7 phone as well (it’s only 5 MP). It’s fine for outdoor photos, but for low light photos, I found it lacking.

        I think the Samsung Focus only has a 5 MP camera as well. However, both of those phones are nearly a year older than the iPhone 4s is (which has an 8 MP camera).

        How did Samsung Focus compare with the iPhone 4 (which has more equivalent hardware)? A better comparison would be to try a more current WP7 phone model, such as the HTC Titan or the Nokia Lumina (800 or 900) which do feature 8 MP cameras against the iPhone 4s.

        Aside from the camera shortcomings, what other things did you like / dislike about WP7 vs your iPhone 4s?

  2. “The interface was easy to figure out and I really like how the interface emphasized the people who were important to me.”

    That quote is what makes the Windows Phone my favorite every phone. Highly recommended by me to other “Nana Girls” So easy to use and keep up with the kids and grandkids.

    The Windows Phone and iPad on a combined basis are pretty much all I need…except it’s still easier to blog on a laptop. 🙂

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