#GroupSwitch : Nokia Lumia 635 Out of The Box

After having my Nokia Lumia 635 for 2 weeks as part of their #GroupSwitch Project, I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts on the smart phone. Now remember, I am doing this project because I’m looking for an alternative to the iPhone/iTunes culture without all the hustle and bustle of using an android phone.

lumiapic1Out of the Box

When I first took my Nokia Lumia 635 out of the box I was pleased to see that the phone case (shell) is integrated into the back of the phone. What a nice change to not immediately feel the threat of gravity with a new piece of equipment. Additionally, you can buy the shell in a few different colors without breaking your wallet.

It’s lightweight, but doesn’t feel cheap, and slim enough to fit into my purse or back pocket. More importantly, it doesn’t bend. And the size (5.10 x 2.63 x 0.36 in) is perfect for one handed smart phone users, with smaller lady hands like myself.

Set Up

lumiapic2Again, coming from the land of loathsome iTunes, setting up this phone with Windows 8 Mobile was a breeze! I didn’t have to plug it into anything (other than to charge it initially) and didn’t have to sign up for any accounts or other type of management. I wasn’t forced to sync with my PC or any programs; just set my language and a few other key items, and away I go. If I didn’t want to customize anything at this point, it’s a working smart phone equipped out of the box with some essential apps that I just have to sign into in order to use.

The stock ringtones are awesome! This may not be a big factor for some, but for a lady on the go, with a million bags, I need tones I can hear that don’t sound like fog horns. Apple’s stock tones have never impressed me and I usually end up making my own ringtones using iTunes or stealing android tones. Less set up time equals happy geek girl!

The Settings app for Windows 8 is broken into two different sections; System and Applications.  System contains 47 features to customize such as theme and ringtones while Applications contains 11 features including Cortana, Phone, Search etc. Okay this was a little overwhelming and annoying at first, but Windows 8 if very user friendly so after a few features, it became easier to zip through and customize the phone to my needs.

Let’s Talk Apps

So here’s where we have a wide range of pros and cons. The phone comes with stocks apps, most of which can be deleted.  This is amazing! One of the features I hate about apple is that I have to take up space somewhere in order to hide all the stock apps I don’t need.

Once I took some time to weed through what I thought I needed and didn’t, I was left with the essentials: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the Camera, Cortana, eMail, Weather, oh and the WiFi  Calling.
For a basic smart phone user, really what else do you need?

My only issue so far is switching between apps, or loading apps for the first time actually require a “loading” screen. What !?!

In a future post I will address Windows Apps more comprehensively and ask for your feedback!

Battery Life

…equals Forever! With what I feel is average use of a smart phone, my iPhone needs to be recharged every night. Plus with every new iOS fail, I have consistent battery draining issues. So far I’ve been able to use this phone for a full 3 days before a charge was necessary, and this includes usage on and off WiFi  and cellular calling. This is a definite big plus!


I hate Bing. I hate it’s search algorithm. Everything on this phone including Cortana uses Bing. But this is a Windows phone so I’m stuck with it.

Windows Live Tiles

screenshotOk at first I wasn’t a fan of live tiles. Again, I’m an iFan and like having my rounded-corner app icons and groups. But after taking some time to really customize my home page, I have to say I really really dig this feature. And with the latest Windows Mobile update, you can change the size of the tiles to essentially “group” them in sections on the home page. So the home page, or start screen, should be used for frequent use apps like phone, social networks, weather, Cortana, etc.

Then a simple swipe to the right, and all installed apps can be found in an alphabetized list. This design allows you to keep an extensive list of apps in a super easy list. My only issues is that I have to remember what certain apps are called. For example, Photoshop is filed under “A” for Adobe Photoshop.  I still wish there was a way to group apps, even in an alphabetized list.

Addtional Basic Features

3 Softs keys sit below the 4.5 in display: Back, Home, and Search. That’s all you need. And holding in the Back button displays open apps to resume or close programs quickly.

Windows has Swipe! I’ve never been able to use a swipe keyboard and I’m now officially the slowest typer on the planet! For those accustom to a swipe keyboard with word suggestions, this is a wonderful benefit.

Swipe down to display the Action Center for a quick overview of the latest social media happenings and recent calls.

Social Media is integrated into every app with super ease of use to share photos, screen shots, emails, posts and updates.

Coming up, I’ll have posts about Windows Apps, Spec comparisons, a Cortana vs. Siri battle, and some awesome giveaways. Stayed tuned and thanks for reading!


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