During our (me and my family’s) holiday in Porto at the end of last month my old Windows 7.8 Phone got broken. I forgot it in the hotel room while charging it and when we got back at the end of the day the screen was totally unusable with a weird green tint where you could only see some faint shadows of the tiles. 100% unreadable. My guess is that the cleaning lady wacked it onto the floor or managed to spray or spill detergent on it. In any case it was a write-off and there was not much I could do about it.
So obviously I had to get a new phone. Naturally it was going to be another Windows Phone and equally naturally the first alternative I was looking at was a Nokia. The Samsung one I had before was good but build quality was just adequate, photo quality was abysmal and the phone I have been the happiest with ever was my first portable which was a Nokia phone.
I have to say that I am very happy with the Lumia 925 so far. It is definitely an improvement over my old Samsung. The build quality and general feel is noticeably better. Windows Phone 8 is just great. I was really happy already with WP 7.8 and WP 8 improves even further on that. There are a lot of small features and improvements that taken one by one is perhaps not a big deal but together just makes the experience so much better.
I was also quite surprised to see that, despite the Lumia 925 having more horsepower, more memory and a bigger screen than my old Samsung, it has a significantly better battery life. I get almost twice as far with the Lumia 925 as I did with the Samsung before I have to recharge.
Otherwise, I think that there are two features that I particularly appreciate right now
One is the Nokia maps were you can pre-download the maps for entire countries which makes the map app actually useful also when you are abroad (which I am quite often) and thus roaming. Actually I use the downloaded maps even when not roaming since it is just so much faster. Not being able to download maps, which often is the case, is just so utterly stupid. It does not take a genius to realize that you probably are going to need your maps the most when you are actually out of data connection.
The other great improvement is the camera which, on the Lumia 925, is light-years ahead of the next-to-useless camera on the Samsung. Any good quality pure camera, even compact ones, will outperform the Lumia. This is of course not so surprising since a pure camera have more space for better lenses, sensors and dedicated electronics. For example , the photo to the right exhibits a huge rainbow halo as well as a bit of a lens-flare which would not really have manifested itself as much, if at all, with a less compact lens. On the other hand, the photo to the left below is indeed surprisingly decent for being shot with a portable phone. Low light conditions are of course also a bit problematic but the results are still not catastrophically poor.
I would say that the Lumia 925 is good enough for bringing with you as the only camera when you are not really going photographing as such but just want to be able to snap a few photos to keep for memory sake if the opportunity presents itself.
There are two things that I am not so thrilled about with the phone. One is that it seems to have more of a difficulty staying on Orange France than the other one. Since I live in a mountain region and one close to a national border as well the reception is sometimes a wee bit tricky and there are lots of other carriers around. For some reason the Lumia gives up and flips over to one of the Swiss carriers every so often which is quite a bit of a nuisance. The other one is that Nokia apparently have decided that their phones should reset the sound volume every time you boot it. This is sooo frustrating. Unless it is dead silent I do not notice the phone unless the volume is cranked up. Now I have to remember to crank up the volume every time I turn on the phone. Idiotic feature to say the least.
On the whole however, this is a great phone as far as I am concerned. I use my phone a lot in work as well and the fact that Windows Phone just integrates more or less seamlessly into both my work environment as well as my private one with OneNote, SkyDrive, Office etc… out of the box is of course a big plus.