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Daniel Irvine on building software

"Downgrading" to the Nokia Lumia 620 from the Samsung Galaxy S3

8 April 2013

For the past six months I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S3, the “flagship” Android phone, but from tomorrow I’ll be using the entry-level Nokia Lumia 620, running Windows Phone 8.

This phone is half the cost of the S3 and has much less total functionality but I am convinced the Lumia is a better phone. I would like to convince you of this too as I believe the S3 and the forthcoming S4 are pulling the world in the wrong direction.

Reasons why the Samsung Galaxy S3 sucks

  • It’s too big for my small hands and too big for my pockets
  • Signal strength is poor compared to my Nokia C2 candybar phone
  • Somewhat related to the last point, I’ve experienced issues mobile data connection issues (having to restart my phone a few times a week)
  • Android is so busy (see below)
  • Samsung corrupted the default Android experience with loads of tat that I never use

A comparison of Windows Phone 8 vs Android

I’m so bored of Android. It’s good in that it works but it’s bad in that it’s more complex than it needs to be. Let’s compare it to Windows Phone 8.
  • Windows Phone 8 has no notification screen. Incredibly,  some people think this is a bad thing! On the contrary, it has no notification screen because it doesn’t need one. The Live Tile mechanism merges the home screen with notifications. It’s simple. Android’s notification system annoys the hell out of the me. Every time I get a message I have to unlock and swipe down, then click. Why do I have to do that? That seems to me to be at least one unnecessary gesture, possibly two.
  • Android has apps, widgets, a home button bar, a launcher, multiple home screens, a shortcut bar, and an app list. Windows Phone 8 has a scroll-able home screen and an app list. Simple and instantly usable.
  • Android’s lack of colour co-ordination is distracting.  Windows Phone 8 is based around the idea of minimizing the UI and letting the content present itself.
[For what it’s worth, I consider the iPhone a “Fisher-Price” Phone--and that’s not even its worst point--so it’s out of the question.]

Why the entry-level Lumia and not the flagship Lumia?

Simple: phones are primarily communication devices and communication devices don’t need much juice or much size. The flagship Lumia is stupidly big and heavy. I want the smallest and lightest phone that will do what I need. If I can browse the web and write emails with ease, then that’s all that matters. I think the Lumia 620 is a step in the right direction.

Please think about your phone choice

Under no circumstances buy a Samsung Galaxy S4. You do not need it. Start buying phones that suit you. Perhaps if we all do that, we’ll end up with better products.

About the author

Daniel Irvine is a software craftsman at 8th Light, based in London. These days he prefers to code in Clojure and Ruby, despite having been a C++ and C# developer for the majority of his career.

For a longer bio please see danielirvine.com. To contact Daniel, send a tweet to @d_ir or use the comments section below.

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