Here’s Why Windows Phone 8 is a Bigger Deal Than the iPhone 5
By on November 6th, 2012

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 has two flagship devices–the HTC 8X and the Lumia 920. Both these devices have been received well by the lucky few who got to review them. In HTC’s favor is the wide-angle camera and the light & thin form-factor. In Nokia’s favor is the NFC, PureView camera and exclusive apps, it’s weight being a huge letdown. The difference between the two was the price. According to a preemptive pre-order initiative by Best Buy, the Lumia 920 was priced at $149 while the 8X was $99. It was tough choice which made me hold back on pre-ordering either phones through Best Buy. Turns out, it was a wise move.

Earlier today, AT&T announced prices for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, and they are a good bargain. The Lumia 920 is priced at $99 & the Lumia 820 is $49, both on a two-year contract. In addition to these attractive prices, Lumia buyers will be getting a free wireless charging plate, that costs $49. For anyone in the market to buy a smartphone this holiday season, the Lumia 920 is a very enticing choice. The ones who wanted to buy an iPhone 5, already got theirs. The ones who didn’t, are still on the fence; they’re like the undecided voters (go vote America!). The price of the phone and the free charging plate in addition to exclusive apps, better maps, features like music streaming, Nokia has a lot to offer if the sales representatives get the word out. Microsoft’s pop-up stores will definitely help the company.

Windows Phone 8 brings in several innovative features for an everyday regular user, and has features that competitors are trumpeting. For example:

If you go to Apple’s iOS6 page, here’s are the features they’re promoting:

  • Maps (they suck, and everyone knows that by now.)
  • Siri (good improvements, still useless)
  • Facebook integration (Windows Phone 7 has had this)
  • Shared photo streams (SkyDrive, that’s a Microsoft product)
  • Passbook (pretty neat, actually)
  • FaceTime (Skype)
  • Phone (love the geo-fencing features)
  • Mail (inline photos is nice)
  • Safari (IE10′s not bad at all)
  • Find my Phone & Friends (WP7 has Find my phone, but not friends)
  • Panorama (it’s actually very easy to use)

Now let’s look at what Windows Phone 8 offers:

  • Interactive Start screen (it’s actually a big deal being able to track people & apps acting like tiny widgets)
  • SD Storage (sorry iPhone users, you can’t simply transfer pics between devices without a cord)
  • Rooms (shared OneNote, Calendar & location sharing makes this very unique)
  • Kids Corner (seems like a useless feature to the 20-something hipster, but if you’re elder brother or parent, you’ll want this)
  • DataSense (useful to everyone who owns a smartphone, depends on carriers though)
  • Enterprise-readiness (this is huge!)
  • Wallet (a good attempt that needs developer & merchant adoption, Passbook wins here)
  • Office (no, iWork doesn’t come close to the fidelity Office on Windows Phone offers)
  • Bing’s music tagging and local scout–very useful

As I said in an earlier piece, Joe Belfiore introduced Windows Phone 8 as an operating system for humans, not tech enthusiasts. The new OS has pretty much everything Apple’s iOS6 has to offer, barring some features while compensating for those with its own personalisation and communication capabilities. When it comes to the hardware, there’s something similar. Windows Phone 8 hardware pushes the envelope of phones to beyond what Apple has stuck to. iPhone 5 is purely a form factor upgrade. The chips have gone smaller, the phone’s lighter and thinner; it offers nothing new in terms of features. Nothing. As opposed to Nokia. Let’s take a look.

Here’s what Apple promotes on their iPhone 5 page:

  • Bigger retina display (Nokia’s is as big. And has a higher dpi than Retina display!)
  • LTE (lol!)
  • Faster processor (A6 and Snapdragon S4 are pretty equal A6 is better than the S4)
  • Camera (Lumia 920 has the same camera resolutions)
  • Tinier connector
  • New ear pods (HTC has Beats, Lumia 920 has Dolby Digital)

Now compare this to what Lumia 920 brings to the table:

  • PureView camera (springs in the camera assembly are breakthrough technology in mobile cameras)
  • NFC integration for streaming
  • Wireless charging
  • High sensitivity screen allowing use of gloves

If I have to, I will stand in line for the Lumia 920. The phones will be available from November 9th, and AT&T begins pre-orders from November 7th. Long story short, Microsoft and Nokia have pushed the envelope with Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8, something Apple failed miserably at with iOS6 & iPhone 5.

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Author: Manan Kakkar Google Profile for Manan Kakkar
Manan is a technology enthusiast keenly following the consumer products from Microsoft, Google & Apple.

Manan Kakkar has written and can be contacted at manan@techie-buzz.com.

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