My next Windows Phone - Seth Brodeur

As an IT consultant, my approach to technology is one best described as practical. I examine the circumstances and then try to decide which solution will best fit the needs of my clients.  So when we here at Windows Phone Central were asked to write a piece about what our next Windows Phone device would be, I took that same practical approach on deciding how I would replace my current phone, the HTC Arrive.

I use my Arrive in every facet of my life: personal/work, information/entertainment. It’s because of this that I am looking for a phone that is practical, versatile and does a lot of things well; a Swiss army phone, if you will. For this reason, I am choosing the Nokia Lumia 820. Let me explain.

Firstly, I know I want a Nokia phone. While the Samsung ATIV S is a fine offering and HTC’s 8X (and possibly other phones) will likely be very nice, Nokia, simply put, has just nailed it. Their designs are sleek and their hardware top notch. However, even more importantly, Nokia takes Windows Phone to a new level with their suite of exclusive apps and custom accessories. Therefore, while I can get the full Windows Phone 8 experience with any of these companies’ offerings, I can get even more with a Nokia.

With the choice of manufacturer out of the way, the next step is deciding on a model. The Lumia 920 is clearly the flagship phone, and is mighty impressive and hard to ignore. But frankly, I don’t need all the bells and whistles that distinguish the 920 from the 820.

The camera is fantastic, but I'm no Ansel Adams, so it’s not something I would use to its fullest potential. The 4.5” display and larger battery are great, but I would rather sacrifice a little bit of size and battery life for less bulk in the front pocket or lightness while jogging or biking. I am also very drawn to the versatility of the expandable MicroSD storage, which lends itself more file space for work or more music (punk rawk!) for those weekend road trips. The interchangeable backplates are a nice touch too, though I am more about function over fashion.

Now that I have identified which phone works best for me, I am ready to go, right? Well, not quite. If you remember which phone I am looking to switch from, the HTC Arrive, you may have realized that I am a Sprint customer. This is a huge problem for me because Sprint is in no hurry to jump on the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon. Not only have they not announced that they will offer the Lumia 820, but they likely won’t be getting any WP8 phones until early 2013 at best.

Don’t get me wrong, even though I have been a happy Sprint user for well over a decade, my loyalties only go so far. I would gladly jump ship to a carrier that offers devices that I actually want. Aye, but here’s the rub: I am a practical guy, which relates to my technological decisions and my financial ones. I was fortunate enough to land on one of Sprint’s SERO plans back in the day, which means I get generous minutes and unlimited everything for forty bucks a month. That’s a tough thing to relinquish.

So what’s a pragmatic boy to do? I REALLY would love to get my hands on a Nokia Lumia 820, but I am not sure I am ready to give up my sweet, sweet SERO plan. In all likelihood, I am going to hold on to my HTC Arrive, which I do love, and wait to see what Sprint has in the pipeline. If they do have something worth waiting until early 2013 for, then I can be strong. Sprint be warned, though…if you take too long to realize the potential of Windows Phone, here’s one customer that won’t stick around.

And something tells me I won’t be the only one.

Seth Brodeur