We’re through two days of challenges at the South Coast and Mission Viejo Microsoft Stores, and Windows Phone is sporting a 37-0 record against some of the best smartphones in the business. We’ve taken on the iPhone 3G, 4 and 4s, along with a huge spectrum of Android phones including the DROID Charge, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S and S II, HTC EVO 4G and EVO 3D, LG Thrill, Samsung Fascinate, HTC MyTouch 4G, LG Optimus V, HTC Sensation, Motorola Atrix and more.
Today we wrap up our tour at the San Diego Microsoft Store, where we’ll be showing why Windows Phone is simply faster at the things that real people do on their phones from 1-7pm. Come by and say hi – or try your luck in the challenge – if you’re in town.
And remember, be sure to follow me on Twitter for real-time updates on the action!
By any chance, will you guys come over to Singapore? I've managed to successfully convert 1 die-hard iPhone and another Android user to the Lumia 800! Can't do it alone, need more help!!!!!!! Hopefully i'll be able to get my Mozart upgraded to the Lumia by mid-this year!!!!!
1. Look, I know some people don't use their PHONES to make PHONE calls. But I DO! It's a PHONE, right??
When I'm calling potential clients and clients, hundreds of them a week, extra presses to get to the dialpad = lost time and productivity for me. Even moving to a smartphone with only a touchscreen is bad enough (can't dial blind anymore ala standard flip phones), thus, I have to look at the screen to dial the number. WP only adds the added trouble of forcing me to read the menu when the Phone menu is brought up to locate and bring up the dialpad.
Voice calling doesn't do it for me - when the system makes a mistake, it takes far longer to correct it than to simply dial the number in the first place. (No, I'm not going to put everyone into my contacts list because I don't need to dial them often. And it's pointless having to pick between this Bob, that Bob, and that other Bob with similar names; useless with foreign names. Faster to dial out 10 digits.)
Look, EASIEST, SIMPLEST, most OBVIOUS solution is to stick a tile on the home screen that says DIALPAD.... but that's not even a system option??! (or a physical button) (Yes, I've seen the voice command feature and phone hub looking for the dang dial-pad option on home screen tile.)
2. I've used flip phones, BBs, Symbians, iPhones, etc. In fact, I've got both the Symbian and iPhone in use right now. But there's something odd when Smartphones keep getting dumber about the basics...
3. Feature-wise, not much I miss on other phones.
A) Web browser?
Opera on the Symbian works just fine on 99% of the sites I visit vs. IE on WP, Safari on iPhone, etc. Not missing much that I can't do, and it's even got Flash which means I can see sites I can't on WP or Safari. (3rd party Skyfire, etc. aside.)
B) Texting, MMS, Email integration.
Does all of them just fine. Pop, IMAP, webmail - all works fine with Nokia Email along with attachments, etc.
Not fully integrated like WP, but I'm not one to sit for hours babysitting Likes and Retweets. Pretty much just jump in now & then, catch up, and post a few replies. That's it. Not really important even if these services die tomorrow.
D) Music, Video, Radio.
MP3 player works fine, Videos look great, Radio picks up all the FM stations in my area, and I can easily add more anytime to my MicroSD card. Not into watching MKVs for 2+ hours on my phone, so not missing that feature. But UC Player does a great job at streaming TV, full length movies, etc. for the rare moments I'm bored and not near my big screens. Internet Shoutcase radio stations work fine, too - can listen to my favorites for hours, streaming live.
E) GPS & NAVI.
I really really use these features, and nothing like TRUE multitasking having Nokia Maps + Google Maps (slightly faster at providing road condition updates) + Web browser up and running simultaneously with Voice Navi, off-loaded, free maps, and true GPS on-board.
I've yet to find any other platform that provides me this - Go Symbian!
Not often used since I can just call up my buddies and it's faster, but Nimbuzz and Nokia Chat get them done just fine across the usual lot of IM services.
G) Camera & Video.
Take a photo of a letter sized page, I can read the words just fine. Grab videos of whatever is out there, looks fine. I've got my HD camcorder for the serious stuff, so no zoom = no point worrying about super HQ phone camera capabilities here. And for the basics, simply 'photocopying' letters quickly is all I need. FB/etc. doesn't care about either since they always downsize for display.
H) VOICE contacts calling.
Yes, I can press and hold a button to say "CALL BILL", too. Not very exciting since I've got my peeps on speeddial and that's way faster. Vlingo can take care of the speech to text for other users, but I'd rather make sure my first draft is correct rather than having to review and correct my texts.
Got that, too. So I'm easily 'texting' faster than typing on WP. I don't like iPhone or WP because they don't have any continuous text input system built-in. It's almost like flip phones before T9 came out.
J) Sports tracking
Yep. That's in my Symbian, free, too. And I can heart rate monitor, log GPS tracks, and get all the usual stats on my bike, jog, run, etc. Don't see this built-into iPhone/WP yet.
K) $80 used.
Yep, all the above for only $80 my used Symbian, and I can't fathom why iPhone/WP/BB doesn't have all these features in one phone for free yet. I mean, things as basic as voice navigation GPS maps offline. A built-in radio. Swyping. All these PHONE features that aren't the primary PHONE feature (dialing and making calls), yet I've got them all.
Seriously, I'd be Downgrading moving to other platforms in terms of the feature set I have now - esp. the GPS feature since I use that constantly for business. The lack of TRUE background multitasking KILLS me because I hate having to kill apps and not have background apps update while I'm doing other things. (Even as simple as running three maps - Nokia Maps, Google Maps, Opera to web based map - at the same time. No, they might not all be to the same location at once.)
L) Yes, there are downsides.
a) Slower CPU = slower response. I'll take care of that soon upgrading to a Belle.
b) Not the highest resolution, big screen smartphone out there. More scrolling.
c) FB/etc. not fully integrated across the system. Slower to reply across various socials if I become a heavier user.
d) Not a great camera/camcorder. I'll take care of that soon upgrading to a Belle, and I've got my HD camcorder gear for those special events.
e) Not 100,000+ apps. Like I care. I'm trying to make money here, not play games all day long. Plus, not one platform has WoW, COD, etc. on a phone, so why bother with the Birds?
f) No universal IME for all major worldwide languages. Then again, haven't encountered one platform yet that can do this. Only a desktop can right now. I can't jump from entering English to handwriting Chinese & Japanese to another language right now, but it seems phone designers always have to come up with an excuse they can't put it all in there.... when 32GB MicroSD cards and large on-board RAM/ROM exists.
(Yello? Do we not recall last year's Fujitsu Japan's combo Symbian + Windows 7 pocket smartphone?????)
g) It's not running a desktop OS.
So no full Office, etc. yet on-the-go, even though the Japanese have already done it.
h) Not waterproof, drop-proof ala Casio GZone's or other Japanese phones.
i) More secure than other OS platforms in general.
Yeah, can't get hacked into as easily because Symbian is much tougher built. iPhones that can get jailbroken visiting a simple website, and Androids that come with holes galore (not to mention the 1,000+ open defects listed on the android bug list).
j) Can be used as a mass storage device. Yes, I can run into a business and sneaker net their files onto my phone.
k) PDF/Office document support is weak. Nothing like GoodReader for PDFs or large office document support. That's why I have the iPhone.
l) Downloads in the web browser are limited to 2GB (FAT limitiation) max. Oh, well. No serious torrenting or ISOs on-the-go.
m) Bluetooth OBD montioring on the phone isn't as pretty as other platforms, but I can get all the basics for hypermiling.
I KNOW the competition isn't about 100% perfection across the range of features. But SERIOUSLY, does anyone here actually do BUSINESS and MAKE CALLS?? Basics a PHONE should do well? Or is everyone sitting on their arses playing Birds?
@adorable What;s amazing is that you can figure out how to use a symbian phone yet you can't figure out how to use the people hub or voice command to dial a number. I hardly use the dailer since I never had the need to use it!
I do agree with you though about joining this blog. No live ID login? couldn't join this blog via firefox and safari on mac. worse, couldn't join via widows phone! Why no option to join via windows live?
Shorter version: Hold down start button, say "Dial: 1234567" end ;). (Seriously though I use the dial pad all the time, it's no harder to get to than any other smart phone I've used. Obviously it's harder than my old flipphone)
I was about to agree that the dialpad is hard to get to, but then I went and tried it - Maybe this is a post-Mango thing, because I really did think it was harder to get to...
1 - I hit the Phone tile from the home screen.
2 - I hit the Dialpad icon at the bottom of the resultant History screen.
Not so rough, actually. Now, I DO wish it would search the contact list while dialing, to bring up any matches along the way - a feature I enjoyed on several other phones... but the act of getting to the dialpad is not hard or cumbersome.
So you're saying that you don't' like Windows Phone because of 1.5 features that don't perform how you like? 1.5 features? Really? Basically if the phone hub was streamlined you would think WP was perfect.. Right? Well the whole point of the SBWP challenge is not to prove that WP is perfect, or can do each and every little task better than the competition, it proves that WP can do a VARIETY of everyday task much faster, almost instantaneous in some cases, than the competition. And, your issues with not having removable storage are going to be resolved with in a few updates, so I don't even want to talk about that. After WP has proven to "smoke" the competition in so many important areas it kind of seems petty to say "well it can't do this or that". Whatever... :)
Now, I do agree with you, It takes just to many presses to make a simple phone call on WP, but you can make calls much faster on a old Nokia 3310 from 2001. I guess you would take the 3310, because it "smokes" WP in that area. Or, you could also argue that a old rotary dialer from 1930 would be better than WP because you can get to dialing faster..LOL! Nevertheless, I still agree that MS needs to streamline the entire "placing a phone call" process, because it is still one of the most used features on a mobile device,,, for many.
No OS is perfect,,, and I can name more things than you did that bug me, and need to be updated, on WP,, but are you saying that Symbian has a more streamlined UI/UE than WP? Did I hear you right? Am I missing something? Hey,, LOL! I can even admit that Android is better than WinMo!!!! Now, that took a lot of maturity on my part, but I did it. Now it's your turn dude.....
1. ODD. A Microsoft site, but can't log in with my LIVE account?!?!? What in the world?!?! >.< (FAIL!)
2. Simple. I can SMOKE ALL WINDOWS 7 PHONES today ALL THE TIME with my Nokia Symbian smartphone.
a) Put both on table.
b) Bring up the dialpad to dial a phone number.
Ka'Ching!!!! What? It takes more than 1 screen press on a Windows Phone to bring up the dialpad??? (From home page -> Press the phone icon -> scroll to dialpad -> bring it up). Nokia? One press on the DIALPAD icon and I'm good to go!
Let's see. COMMON --PHONE-- task.... that must be MAKING DIALING PHONE NUMBERS to make calls, right?
One of the BIGGEST and TOP reasons I don't upgrade to Windows Phone is simply because it'll take me HUNDREDS of extra steps each month DIALING PHONE NUMBERS for business! Why on earth IS THERE NO DIALPAD ICON smack dab front & center (or attached to one of the hardware buttons) is BEYOND ME!
3. Not to mention, the next most ANNOYING thing about WINDOWS PHONES is the LACK OF A MICROSD card slot! Can't easily get documents, photos, music, videos onto and off that phone - much easier with my Nokia. Which, BTW, can even act as a MASS STORAGE w/o extra software just plugging it into a computer or Bluetooth connecting.
I don't WANT to have my phone 'unavailable' for use while huge files are copying over to memory - much easier to pop out the card, and have my PC read/write to it while I'm on the phone. Again, NOT smoked by WP at all here.
4. That said, I do love the layout of WP, the idea behind making things simple, and Skydrive/Office integration. Just can't USE it simply because basics like dialing phone numbers quickly hasn't fixed yet.
@ Ben Rudolph
Ben, if you decide to come to Dallas, and need a sidekick, I am here to help. I've got to be the BIGGEST WP supporter around the DFW area, and I'm pretty familiar with the everyday functions, and then some, of the platform. I know it takes someone who's got personality, loves talking to people, and who can get the message out that WP is the fastest at performing the most used everyday task. Here's my contact info... firstname.lastname@example.org .. Thats my live ID!
Just, yesterday I heard from a friend who is to get his 710 this week. He was at my house the day before Christmas, along with another buddy of mine who loves Android, and he pulled his Captivate out. He said he wasn't to excited about it, so I went on about WP, and he was really impressed. My Android buddy just keeped his mouth shut because WP was center stage, and his HTC Incredible already got smoked by my Focus in a browser comparison. So, yet another converted to WP for me, which makes 5 now. LOL!
Thanks for the SBWP challenge Ben, Rodney Jones...