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January 17, 2014

My Nokia Life: one month on

As some of you may recollect I have recently resurrected my Nokia membership with the ownership of a shiny new Lumia 925.


Following more than a decade of testing and owning practically every brand and handset under the sun, I’ve now been living with the Nokia Lumia 925 for a month and thought you might like to hear my experience to date.

Making the transition to Windows Phone has been a refreshing exercise. I’ve loved the look of the mobile operating system since getting my hands dirty with the first demos at Mobile World Congress 2010. However, the software has changed immeasurably since and today’s partnership with the powerful and flexible Lumia 925 puts it at the top of its game.

Now, I’m not a tall chap and the Lumia 925 is the biggest smartphone I’ve ever owned. Pre-conceptions about it being too chunky for my paws were quickly dispelled; the svelte width means I can hold it comfortably and perform most tasks in one hand, while the 139g weight contrarily makes it the lightest fully featured smartphone I’ve ever owned.

After adorning the Start screen with a mixture of Live Tiles and icons, and using the ridiculously simple Transfer my Data app to shift my contacts from iPhone to the Lumia 925, I decided to hit the Windows Phone Store to install a glut of my most-used apps.

While a few niche programs I use are still in development for Windows Phone (I have one that controls my central heating – yes, really), most of my favourites were downloaded and ready for use in a few minutes; Spotify, Netflix, Kindle, SkyDrive, Instagram and TuneIn Radio, but to name a few.

To my delight I also installed a few now-indispensable apps. Battery is a great little utility that displays your remaining charge on your Start and lock screens. It also tells you how long you’ve got until a full charge is complete and offers quick toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth, Location, Mobile Network and Flight Mode.

As regular readers will know from my post last week, I’ve also found the Cal app great for up-to-the-minute scheduling information with its Live Tile capability, the NextGen Reader essential for my breakfast RSS feed, Unify accurate for quick system searching, and Here Maps providing a great pocket asset when on venturing out on unknown bicycle jaunts (I also use the Lumia-specific IPX4 Waterproof Bike Mount Kit).


With the Nokia Lumia Black update, I’ve also sated my OCD and used App folders to sort my Start Screen into something resembling organised.

Over the festive and new-year period, I spent a lot of time with Nokia’s suite of photographic apps, adding some creative flair to my images quite simply. Colour Pop within Creative Studio impressed my family, as did the radial and tilt shift feature. Combined with the genuinely impressive 8.7 MP PureView camera and my shots were a cut above this Christmas. Even if my cooking wasn’t.


Since Refocus was also made available as part of the Black update, I’ve been getting to grips with what I think is the stand-out element of the Nokia Lumia imaging feature set. It’s not just fun, it’s addictive and the results are just as good as shots I’ve taken on the much-vaunted Lytro camera. I now possess hundreds of dinosaurs-in-the-garden photos, too.


Another life-changing feature on my Lumia 925 is Kid’s Corner. Having a two-year old with the remarkable talent of wiping my smartphone’s most-important emails, being able to give him his own personalised Start Screen when nothing but distraction is needed has been a blessing.

However, the biggest change since switching over to a Lumia is with regard to battery life. It now lasts for days rather than hours – perfect for days on the road and traveling. The wireless charging plate has also reduced my collection of MicroUSB cables – admittedly by one, but even one is good when you have a box of cables as tangled as I do (as do many of you, I’d imagine). Just knowing that you can perform all essential (and non-essential) tasks without needing an emergency re-juice has reduced my stress levels immeasurably.

Any essential apps I should download, or Lumia tricks I should know about? Tell me in the comments below. Thanks!