My Next Windows Phone - Robert Brand

We have all been asked to write about our next Windows Phone, of course it will be Windows Phone 8. It is a tricky proposition as I have yet to see what HTC are going to bring and I haven’t yet had the chance to touch an ATIV S or Lumia 920. Regardless of that, I’m at the point where I can be fairly certain what I’m going to get when the time finally comes..

There is still much to learn about future Windows Phone 8 devices, but I think it’s reasonable to say that HTC and Samsung are simply recycling their recent Android flagships and using those for their next generation Windows Phone handsets. Based on the leaked specs we have seen, at least one HTC unit could be based on the One X. I wrote a detailed article about the new HTC and Samsung Windows Phone 8 hardware, in case you missed it.

Before continuing, I have to state that both the Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are superb hardware, they will make fine additions to the Windows Phone 8 line-up. Personally, I would have liked some fresh new devices from Samsung and HTC but this is not the reason I am going to buy a Nokia. The Lumia 820 will be my next Windows Phone, and here’s why...

Both Samsung and HTC make great phones and I look forward to seeing Windows Phone sailing sweetly along, on their previously Android flavoured devices. However, this isn’t just a question of hardware, it’s also about the software. HTC and Samsung invest huge amounts of money in their Android devices, developing software to distinguish them in the marketplace.  

It's a different story when we consider Windows Phone, aside from a few token efforts, they do not invest in new and ground breaking software. As neither company has shown a willingness to really compete with Nokia in terms of software and services, it sends me a worrying message of nonchalance to the Windows Phone platform. Where are the unique elements to help really sell the phone, distinguished software designed to take full advantage of their hardware?

The Lumia 820 will suit my needs perfectly, the camera is more than sufficient for the purpose of quick snaps, the weight is reasonable, snap on covers are fun and the Lumia 820 has the expandable/replaceable storage option. Those can all be taken as my counter reasons why I will not be grabbing a Lumia 920, it is a nice juxtaposition, a perfect other choice, but not the one for me. 

When I still had my older camera, I looked at a smartphone as a camera replacement, I tried the Lumia 800 but realised I will always need much more than a phone for my photography needs, after that I have moved on and bought the wonderful Sony NEX 5N.  Being worried about taking low light photos is an outdated concept for me now, my Sony seems capable of taking photos in almost total darkness. By the time the next generation of devices comes along I might not need my dedicated camera.

Size and weight of a smartphone are very important to me, if I am going out, a big chunky phone will simply get left behind. The Lumia 820 is a little heavier than my Lumia 800 but also a little thinner too, so it shouldn't feel any more of a burden. The swappable colours are fun and practical; those back covers when replaced make the phone look rather new again. If there was one sticking point it would be the screen resolution, I had hoped to max out the pixels with this device but alas, I will be sticking with good old 800 x 480.

Nokia has brought some amazing innovations to our platform, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Camera Extras, Nokia Transit, Pulse, Nokia Music, Nokia Reading and Nokia City Lens. They have built a rock-solid set of applications and services that, for me make buying a device from anyone but them inconceivable at this point. The best thing is, Nokia are just getting started, much more is coming, I personally want to be a part of that. For me, the apps and services that Nokia are creating form a major part of my buying decision. Their willingness to engage with the community and respond to customer feedback is also a major selling point. I could go on to mention all the previously unavailable apps they have brought to the platform and all the exclusives that will be coming down the line?

The fact that both of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 devices are stunningly well made, innovate and beautiful helps that decision along immensely. We still have much to learn about Samsung and HTC’s plans for Windows Phone 8, I would love to see both companies fully compete with Nokia for hearts and minds but think Nokia has already stolen the affections of most of the Windows Phone community.

Robert Brand