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November 26, 2014

Life Meets #Lumia: Ted Nguyen

PR pro, social-media extraordinaire and avid shutterbug Ted Nguyen uses his Microsoft Lumia 1520 to share his adventures and sense of fun not just with family and friends, but with his hundreds of thousands of social-media followers around the globe.


Ted’s motto,“Life’s Short: Live Big,” perfectly captures his adventure-seeking, bubbly and gracious personality in a nutshell.

As public-communications and media-relations manager for a transportation agency in Orange County, California, he helps his organization better connect with and serve its millions of customers. He also shares his social-media and PR expertise–as well as his love for travel, food and other passions– with his many fans on Twitter and Instagram, among other social platforms.

Earlier this year, Ted was a featured panelist at Social Media Week Los Angeles (read our story about it here), where he talked about how his Lumia 1520 helped him document his travels. We recently caught up with the award-winning communications pro to learn more.

How do you use your Lumia 1520 day to day?

I can’t live without my Lumia 1520. I use it not just for business, but also personally. Our business and personal worlds are now being shaped by images and photos, and there is no question that the Lumia camera is unparalleled to anything else in the market. I love capturing images and videos and, best of all, sharing them with family, friends and loved ones, and my digital network throughout the world.

I hesitate to call the Lumia a phone because it’s beyond that. It’s a lifeline and connection to my world. Conference-calling capabilities are robust and its speaker-phone volume gives the richness of a true conversation.

I can pick up the nuances of my colleagues’ or friends’ voices so I am more fully aware of their tone, mood, et cetera. This helps me become more fully engaged with them rather than having to second-guess those verbal cues because I can’t readily hear them.

The Lumia’s many organizational features and apps also help me keep on tasks. I’m more efficient and rarely miss a beat.

Why did you choose the Lumia 1520 over other smartphones?

I don’t think I chose the Lumia; it picked me. Based on my sense of professionalism, style and fun, it’s among my top go-to devices. I’m a huge photophile and videophile; I almost feel helpless if I don’t have a camera with me.

I can’t go anywhere now without somebody asking what the device is; even celebrities inquire about it. My Lumia’s canary-yellow color is an obvious show-stopper. Its vibrant color perfectly matches my personality!


How does your Lumia 1520 help you do your job better?

My photos taken by the Lumia feature a visual quality and depth that makes storytelling more compelling. I’ve seen social media engagement increase 10, sometimes 40-fold thanks to a great photo with an interesting caption.

Visual media helps people connect to a business or organization. I’ve been an eyewitness to the power of pictures, infographics, videos and other visuals to cut through the clutter to capture interest but most importantly, to move people.

What are your top three features of the Lumia 1520 and how do you use them?

Number one: the 20-megapixel high-resolution camera. How do I not use this eye-popping feature? The photo quality perfectly highlights the attributes of the photos, giving them the emotional resonance I strive for.

Two, as a directionally challenged individual, I love HERE Maps. I’m always grounded with this feature whether I’m close to home in Laguna Beach or traveling the jungles of Cambodia. I also enjoy the destination features so if I’m craving a certain food or want to discover a unique boutique, I can use Here Maps for that.

Number three, I don’t know where I’d be without OneDrive. My contacts, photos, work files and everything important is seamlessly stored there. It works automatically so I can devote my precious time to doing my work and pursuing my passion.

You travel a lot. Tell me about a trip where the Lumia 1520 really came in handy.

It’s got to be my trip earlier this year to Bora Bora, Tahiti. It was a magical destination to celebrate a milestone birthday at the Four Seasons Bora Bora.


I was live-posting my experience on Twitter, Vine, Instagram and other social-media sites. You can’t believe your eyes when you see Bora Bora’s impossible-to-describe colors. The Lumia camera captured those different hues of blues and greens so well that I generated a frenzy of social media engagement.

The photos and videos from Bora Bora yielded more than 1,000 social media shares, generating a whopping 13.3 million impressions and reaching more than 2.8 million internationally on Twitter alone.

What’s your favorite product of all time? It doesn’t have to be a phone or tech gadget.

As a time-tested traveler, I must say my favorite product is a high-quality pillow. I love to rest on a good pillow like a Japanese buckwheat so I can dream deliciously of the next adventure until the break of dawn.

Has Ted whetted your appetite for travel or more Lumia photo-taking? Let us know!

And if you’d like to learn social-media tips from Ted, sign up for his “TedBits” newsletter and you’ll get a free social-media guide.