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March 29, 2012

First Person: Lenora Owens, 6th grader

Lenora Owens, age 12, shows off her new Samsung Focus Flash

Lenora Owens—a bright 12-year-old with sassy blue streaks in her brown hair— was a kid on the go, zipping from dance class to horseback riding lessons to her church youth group. There was just one element of her life that wasn’t so speedy.

“I had a really stupid flip phone,” she sighs. “Every time I wanted to send a text, I had to go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, okay, got it.” Lenora knew what she needed: a smartphone. The problem? Her parents didn’t seem to know it.


It took a few months of lobbying, but on Christmas Lenora woke to find a toy phone in her stocking—the signal that she was getting her wish. Her parents, Sean and Teresa, then gave her a choice: she could have an iPhone like her mom’s or a Windows Phone like her dad’s. After carefully weighing pros and cons, she chose a Samsung Focus Flash and never looked back.

Why did you choose a Windows Phone?

I really wanted to have music on my phone, and I don’t like my mom’s music. My favorites are Taylor Swift, Cody Simpson, and Sara Bareilles. With an iPhone, I would have had to buy it all on iTunes. With a Windows Phone, I could use a Zune subscription and get all the music I wanted.

What’s your favorite thing about your phone?

The music, and I listen to podcasts on the bus. I really like How to do Everything, Planet Money, and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. And I like games—my favorites are Falling Man and Words by Post.

What are your favorite apps?

I like to change my background practically every day, and Backgrounds Wallpaper has more than 10,000, with abstract art and all kinds of things. I used Tunafish to find guitar tabs for my favorite Taylor Swift song. I am using Freda, which is an app for Project Gutenberg, to read A Midsummer Night’s Dream right now. And Service Bell—I just tap it and tap it and tap it.

How does your phone help you with school and life?

I use the app when I’m doing homework on the bus. My mom sometimes texts me to tell me that she’s picking me up, so I run to the bus, check my phone, then run backwards to the pick-up zone. And my friends text me for boy advice.

Has your phone ever saved your butt?

Yeah! One time I took the wrong bus. I hopped on the school bus before mine, then I missed my bus and had to text my dad. And some days I’ll check my calendar to see if I am going to my grandma’s—my mom will text me and say, “Check your phone.”

If you could add a feature to Windows Phone, what would it be?

I would add a way to get Java onto it, because I like online games. Or, when I’m at school I have to have the volume off, so I would like a way to have an alarm come on automatically after school, even if I forget to turn the volume back on.

What would you tell a friend who’s thinking about getting a Windows Phone?

I would say if you have an Xbox, get a Windows Phone because you’ll love that. You can use it with your Xbox LIVE account. But I had to change the gamertag, because at first it was my dad’s, and I was friending my friends and they were saying “Who’s this weird guy ‘Sean O’?”

And sadly, I can’t get blue streaks for my avatar’s hair.

Related: How to control access to apps on your kid’s Windows Phone

Our occasional First Person series spotlights real people and their Windows Phones. Know someone interesting whose Windows Phone plays a key role in their job, business, research, or hobby? Shoot us an email and let us know! –Ed.