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Daniel Irvine on building software

One week on: the Nokia Lumia 620

14 April 2013

This is a great phone, and I’m feeling pretty happy. You can read plenty of reviews online so I won’t bore you with all that again, but I will point out the various highs and lows that weren’t obvious from the reviews:

Positives

  • The integration of text messages, Facebook and Twitter into “threads” works really well.
  • love the Nokia tones and melodies. The text message tone, and the ring tone. They are the same ones they’ve had for years and years, and I’m very fond of them. Better than anything HTC or Samsung ever had.
  • The Facebook integration is great; mainly the People app and the “Me” tile. Now I can use Facebook without having to look at the hideous Facebook blue header or read any advertisements (seriously, it’s brilliant).
  • The interface is simple and for the most part works well.
  • Live Tiles are great; photo rotation is especially fun. They give the phone a personality, which was definitely missing from my Android phone.
Negatives
  • WhatsApp isn’t integrated with “threads”, and the app takes a while to start up. It’ll probably get better over time. Windows Phone 8 will often kill WhatsApp when it’s not in the foreground, i.e. it can’t do multi-tasking very well.
  • Internet Explorer sucks. Really sucks:
    • Pop ups don’t load;
    • Pages can’t launch new tabs.
    • Pressing ‘back’ causes the page to refresh, rather than just display the old content.
    • Because I’m in the UK, the keyboard has a button for typing ‘.co.uk’ rather than ‘.com’. This is stupid. I never type ‘.co.uk’. So this button space is wasted.
    • Also to do with the keyboard, the question mark ‘?’ is not on the main keyboard page; you have to go to the symbols page which makes it three taps instead of one. I appreciate there isn’t any more space on the page for it, but I type question marks a lot. It’s the small screen that causes this; I think I just have to get used to it.
    • My phone has crashed twice because of apps. The phone actually restarted itself. Android never does that. Once it was Spotify, once was UC Browser.
    • Nokia Music is a good idea but the playlists are tiny: six songs. If I skip over three songs because I don’t like them, it’s basically given me three tracks and then I have to find a new playlist.
    • It’s impossible to find covers to buy online. It seems there are no UK stockists of the colourful skins that were advertised as a unique feature of the Lumia 620.
    Overall, I’m very happy.

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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