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My Windows Lumia Phone: Review. Best Phone I Have Ever Had!

Updated on October 13, 2015
TessSchlesinger profile image

Tessa joined Olivetti in 1975 as a WP Installation Clerk. She learnt to write machine code & continued to learn geek stuff ever after.

Android vs Windows Phone

I’ve had my Microsoft Lumia phone now for four months. Suddenly, last night, I realized I loved it – the first time ever, in my long line of cell phones (mobile phones, call them what you will) usage. I've being a cell phone user for twenty years on three continents and mobile phones were always a pain in the proverbial. Let’s put it this way. A year ago, I was offered a brand new iPhone with the monthly tariff paid and I turned it down flat. I was given a Samsung Galaxy S6 instead, and seven months later, I couldn’t have been more pleased to drop it. Simple reason. I totally loathe Android.

Mostly I hate it because Google insists on syncing my google plus account with my gmail and my gmail with my contacts list. I, therefore, have all the people I’m following on my phone contact list. The statistical chances of my wanting or needing to phone someone I have never met who lives in Timbuktoo are not high. So it’s just plain irritating have to wade through dozens of phone numbers of people I’m never going to phone because Google doesn’t grasp that my phone contact list comprises different people to my email list which in turn, comprises different people to my google plus account which, in turn comprises complete different people to my facebook account.

Windows Lumia Dual Sim Phone

I truly love this phone! Mine is all black, though.
I truly love this phone! Mine is all black, though.

Appearance of Windows Phone

Microsoft Lumia is a Nokia phone, and Nokia has always made a good phone. They also always had the benefit of being substantially less expensive while providing decent (if not better) quality. My very first phone in the 90s was a Nokia and I’ve always been partial to the brand. Since that time, however, I’ve done the full spectrum – from Blackberry which I hated to, of course, my last phone before this – a Samsung Mini Galaxy.

The phone is a good size, sort of half way between the Galaxy mini and the full sized Galaxy. It has a neat design (all black), is slim and lightweight. One of the issues I had with some previous phones is that the back would often come off by accident. With the Nokia, it’s rather the other way around. Try as I might, I couldn’t separate the back from the front until I went into the store and they told me it was a corner operation. When putting in a new sim card, SD card, or simply removing the battery, etc. then open it at the corner. Works like a charm.

The swipe screen is large enough to see without straining one’s eyes (didn’t like that on the Mini Galaxy and couldn’t afford the maxi version). It’s also small enough to put in the back pocket of your jeans without busting a seam.

Unlike some of my previous phones, there isn’t a button to use the camera (that’s part of the touch screen operation). There are only two buttons – the volume control and the on/off switch.

I shot this with my phone. Wish they would make movie cameras that one could film landscape as well as portrait

Lumia : The Operating System

I bought the phone a few months before Windows 10 was released so started off with Windows 8. Being something of a Ludite at times, I couldn’t quite figure out how to upgrade, so I reset the phone. That did it! I have to say that 10 is an improvement on 8. For me, personally, it wasn’t an issue resetting because I had just switched continents and needed to buy a new sim anyway. More about that later.

The software comes with Cortana (when you feel like talking to your phone rather than talking on your phone). I like it. Never having talked to a phone before, I was quite taken that it got my accent pretty quickly. While living in America, my South African accent confused automatic switchboards to the degree that would often have me yelling four letter words at the phone. Then again, I bought the phone in London, and maybe the British accent is close to the South African accent. Just joking! J

After using Android for years, I have to tell you that I totally love the simplicity of the operating system on this phone. On Android, I was constantly trying to prevent various apps from downloading and using bandwidth. With this Nokia, it is the simplest matter in the world to permanently delete the app with no harm coming to the phone. Try that on an Android. Don’t know how many times I got the message, If you delete this, then it may impair the operation of your phone. “ Yup.

An interesting newbie for me was the People icon. It combined my contact list with facebook, gave an option of inviting people to a ‘room’ where one could share calendars, photos, make notes, and have group chats. I liked that feature. In addition, there was another icon called ‘group’ where you could invite another group of people and see the social updates of just those people.

Unlike Android, it was not a nightmare to see which apps were on the phone. One swipe, and they are all listed in alphabetical order with a simple uninstall if you don’t like it. Android you had to move from screen to screen and from life to invisible to death by elimination. And then the next time you looked, it was back again.

The Windows phone also links you to Office, One Drive, and One Note. This is major when one is a writer on the road. Actually, it’s great if one’s a writer anyway because while sitting on the beach you may come up with your next major novel (I’m only writing mini ones at this moment). I somehow could never figure out how to do that with Android.

One problem. Attaching a PDF document on the Lumia is hard work. Doable in a roundabout-let’s waltz way, but a pain in the proverbial.

Photo with Lumia at night

A friend took this photo of me with my Lumia phone. It was twilight in Olvera. Spain. 8/2015
A friend took this photo of me with my Lumia phone. It was twilight in Olvera. Spain. 8/2015

The 5mp camera

I have to admit to you that I’m not a phone camera person. I also have to admit to you that the Samsung Galaxy S6 might have taken better pictures than this one. That was mostly due to size. The S6 was a 14 or 15 mp camera while the Lumia is a 5 mp camera. I do prefer to use a proper camera though, and my Sony takes 20 mp photos and has the ability to take shots that a phone camera simply cannot do (not easily, anyway). So this was not a buying point for me. It might be for someone else, though. I use my phone camera simply for emergencies – like the time I saw a singer in Spain and my camera proper had run out of battery

The price

I simply refuse to pay $600 (about $450) for a phone. The Nokia cost me under £100 in London. I generally use the phone for email when I’m out and about. This is essential for me because cell phones can be expensive when roaming around the world. To give you an idea, During the last 15 or 16 months, I have been in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Campeltown, Amsterdam, Cordoba, Malaga, Olvera, Seville, Cadiz, Oban, Cape Town, George, Knysna, Sedgefield, and I’ve probably forgotten a few. Have phone, will travel. What’s app looks wonderful.

I also have to tell you that I hate being tied into a contract. Part of this is my aversion to having to pay bills at the end of the month. I like to have my money coming in with only the bare essentials to pay - like rent! When you are tied to monthly payments it means you can't just decide that you don't want that anymore. That, incidentally, is why I decided never to buy a house again. The last time my house took six months to sell and I wanted to be gone the day after I made the decision to move.

In the next year, I’m anticipating being in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, San Diego (Can’t miss comic-con), and London – all things being equal. Must have phone that’s easy to use on the road, and I don’t want to be under contract for two years. So I always buy my phones upfront and use prepaid. Whatspp is also pretty cool. Did I say that? In any event, it’s much easier on the Lumia 535 than it was on the Galaxy S6. Not sure why. Just easier to know what you’re doing when you’re a bit of Ludite with phones. I think I said that before as well.

I took this photo in Portobello Road, London. Be careful when using phone camera not to put finger on top left. 8/2015.
I took this photo in Portobello Road, London. Be careful when using phone camera not to put finger on top left. 8/2015.

The Lumia as good storage. I shot several videos and photos without running out of storage.

Windows Lumia Phone

Microsoft Lumia 535 RM-1092 Dual SIM Factory Unlocked Cell Phone, US Version, 8GB, Black
Microsoft Lumia 535 RM-1092 Dual SIM Factory Unlocked Cell Phone, US Version, 8GB, Black

I truly cannot tell you how pleased I am with this phone. After more than 20 years of cell phone usage, this is the first phone I have ever fallen in love with.

 

When it comes to phones, I prefer

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Wow! I'm not alone in my love of my Lumia Windows Cell Phone! :)
Wow! I'm not alone in my love of my Lumia Windows Cell Phone! :)

The best feature is a dual sim capacity

Awe inspiring! Imagine. When I’m in London and Europe, I have my prepaid London sim and when I’m in Africa, I have my other one. Then when I get to America, I can put a prepaid sim into one slot and keep one of the other two. *!!** (insert epithet) awesome! By the way, if you just want one sim buy the Lumia 535 and if you want the dual sim, buy the Lumia 535 Dual Sim.

In the interests of fair disclosure, I’m a 64 year old geek who was a geek before the word was invented, but who eventually got to the point where learning something new with every new invention just became too much for my brain. So here I am, completely satisfied with my Windows phone. And now I’m done. I mean, a girl’s got to stop raving sometime, right?

© 2015 Tessa Schlesinger

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