Normally whenever a new piece of software or hardware comes out that claims that it will improve upon the way that I’m currently doing things, I’ll switch over to that new gizmo completely for a full two weeks before passing judgment. With the Lumia 1020 though, and more to the point with Windows Phone 8.1, it’s taken me double that time to be able to articulate my opinions.
As I’ve said many times when comparing an Apple iPad with a Microsoft Surface, the iPad is a mobile entertainment system that just happens to allow you to do some work, whereas the Surface is mobile productivity system that just happens to do entertainment. Both are great systems, which one you decide to get depends entirely on whether entertainment or productivity is your priority. (Insert rants from Apple enthusiasts here)
To be fair though, with regards to the Surface Pro 3 its more appropriate to compare it with notebook computers, the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. Amazingly, the Surface Pro 3 manages to take on all three of these types of computers, plus tablets. (Insert additional rants from Apple enthusiasts here) But I digress…
Similar to the comparison between the iPad and Surface, the Lumia is a mobile productivity system that just happens to provide some entertainment. The problem is however, I really don’t want to be all that productive on such a small device. As long as I can check email, my calendar and contacts I’m a happy camper. I don’t want to edit Word documents, Excel documents and PowerPoints on a phone. If I want to do that, I’ll use my computer.
Packing so much productivity into a phone also impacts performance. The battery life on the Lumia is horrible. That whopping 41 megapixel camera takes great pictures, but is s-l-o-w to respond, which more times than not makes me miss the shot that I was trying to get, and it takes forever (figuratively) for the picture to save so that I can take another shot. As for Cortana, I love Cortana, but that’s probably more about my being a fan of Halo than anything else.
So though I can’t say that I necessarily dislike the Lumia running Windows Phone 8.1, the powerful productivity tools that it packs into a phone really aren’t of interest to me. I would much rather have a phone that allows me to do the simple things, like check email, look up a contact, schedule an appointment, take pictures quickly and have a decent battery life. Oh yeah, and make phone calls. Anything beyond that is all about the apps, which currently fall short for Windows Phone as compared to iOS and Android.
And so, the Lumia gets a grade of “C” from me. Bring on the iPhone 6.