Let’s get down to business. In a world of smart phones, there’s only one truly important feature… APPS!
In order to review the Nokia Lumia 635 as part of the #GroupSwitch Project properly, I need to make sure that my everyday tasks can be completed using Windows Mobile 8 on this phone. There are 5 main categories of apps that I use regularly…this essentially makes my smart phone my portable computer.
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. I am comparing Windows Mobile 8 on the Nokia Lumia 635 specifically to my iPhone 5s running iOS 7.
Also, read to the end because I’m looking for you to share your fav apps with me for a chance to win Nokia Purity Headphones by Monster!!
Entertainment (music and video players)
You can download Pandora or use the already installed MixRadio which essentially does the same thing. I think they both do a good job of tailoring your station, plus MixRadio allows 6 skips an hour. I just seeded a new station with Tom Petty and got to hear TWO TP songs in a row! Pandora never does that! I also heard a John Fogerty song, so we’ll see how this goes.
Also,the speaker on the Lumia 635 is awesome 0-30, and 30 is like really REALLY loud 🙂
Playing YouTube videos is easy and I was worried that the 480 display would be rough, but since the screen is only 4.5 inches it’s really not an issue. For playing short videos I honestly didn’t miss my iPhone. And since I would never stream videos longer than a few minutes anyway, let alone an entire movie, the 480 display worked just fine for me.
Photo Editing (camera and photo editing apps)
Ok, there’s no getting around the specs, the Lumia 635 only has a 5 MP camera and no front facing camera. The iPhone 5s has 8 MP and front facing, and the Moto X (which I would consider in the same ballpark for affordability and size) has 10 MP. When I’m attempting to take pictures of my very active 3 month old, megapixels is suddenly very important to me. Take a look here how, after taking multiple pictures to get the best closeup shot, there is a significant difference in the quality of the photos: iPhone pic vs Lumia pic.
That being said, I really use my camera mostly for selfies, group pictures, and pictures of food…or my cat. And I almost ALWAYS use a photo editing app before sharing anything online. To the left is a selfie I took using the Lumia and filters that were already including in the photo editing mode. I look pretty good 🙂 Of course a “fuzzy” picture is only going to get fuzzier the more editing apps I use on it, but I’m not trying to print these pictures. I’m just going to view them on a 4.5 inch display and share them with other folks using similarly sized phones.
And I’m happy to report that Windows Mobile 8 carries Photoshop, for free, and a few other fun photo editors like Collage Guru and Easy Image Editor for joining pictures and adding text. So although the phone’s MP are far behind the market, for the casual social user, I don’t feel like selfies would be compromised.
Additionaly, the Lumia 635 makes up for the lack of a front facing camera with a smart timer to take selfies. I got his in the first shot!
Social (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Email)
These all work great! In fact I prefer the Twitter and LinkedIn on Windows over my iPhone. That’s it really; these apps are easy to use and set up and work like they should.
Oh and the notifications display at the top of the phone, regardless of what app you are in, is amazing.
Shopping (groceries, online stores, paypal)
I have a baby. Real life shopping is hard. I am completely dependent on my online shopping, specifically: Groceries, Etsy, and Amazon.
I’m sad to say that the Etsy App is basically a tiny version of the website, so it’s completely impossible to navigate. *sad panda is sad*
Amazon, thankfully, is a breeze to use and much like my iPhone app. This one I use almost on a weekly basis for baby supplies, house supplies, …and really…they need to start selling wine supplies.
I tried 3 different grocery apps, but have little patience with my results so far. I have an excellent iPhone app called Shopper that can be shared with my husband’s android device in which I can set the store, change categories, and save recipes. It does everything. I’m having trouble finding something similar.
Office (Google docs, banking, password manager, notes, calendar)
The calendar feature works great on the Lumia 635. And I can include events and birthdays from Facebook which makes my life even easier in case I miss a day logging in to see what’s happening.
OneNote is a great little app that let’s me record notes and reminders with easy to use bullets for thorough organization. However, I would like to use a note app that could also let me set date reminders on a “To Do” list so I don’t have to check my notes all the time.
And….let’s talk about documents. I use Google Drive since I can access my lists from any computer or on my iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, since this is a Microsoft device, they don’t allow all the capabilities for Google Drive users.
“In order to edit Word documents you must open them on your Windows Phone using the Office application. In order to keep your changes, you have to save the file on SkyDrive within your Office application using the suggested file name. If you enable your SkyDrive account in the Settings … page the application can get back the modified file to your device when you access the ‘Offline’ Pivot.”
That is waaaay to much work, but I also don’t want to pay for an Office 365 membership just to be able to create, edit, and access my documents cross platform. So…..
**Feedback = Giveaways**
Now here’s your change to win the in-ear Nokia Purity Headphones by Monster!! I want to hear what Windows 8 apps you just can’t live without…AND…your help troubleshooting my app list vacancies.
1. I need a really amazing grocery app that can be shared cross platform and meet my needs as outlined above.
2. I need office docs/notes that I can edit and save without having to pay for MS Office 365.
3. I need a password manager that I can backup to the cloud, like dropbox.