So we’ve covered the bases of some of the reasons to like Android and iOS at this point, which means there are only two major mobile platforms left to appreciate: Windows Phone and BlackBerry. In typical fashion, I’ve decided to go ahead and go with Windows Phone for today.
Admittedly, I am a little iffy on Windows Phone in general right now because unlike the other two platforms I have already expressed my appreciation for, Windows Phone is once again in a sort of transitional phase between what we know Windows Phone is like as of right now and what we know will eventually become Windows Phone 10, but still have no idea what to expect on that front. So I’m just going to talk about what I appreciate with Windows Phone as it stands right now instead of talking about the rumors and potential adjustments in the future.
You’ll probably notice first and foremost that Windows Phone looks significantly different compared to either Android, iOS, and BlackBerry OS. Where the other three platforms usually have icons to display apps, Windows Phone uses Live Tiles - which is kind of like icons, but different. Live Tiles are more interactive. You can change the size and many of them show update previews right from the home screen. It’s convenient for getting quick information at a glance instead of having to open each app individually. It’s also, in my opinion, rather pleasing eye candy.
Windows Phone also has a pretty minimalistic design to it. It’s flat and it has a lot of squares. There’s really nothing that fancy about a Windows Phone device aside from the Live Tiles. Solid theme colors, a solid font, and if you’re feeling super fancy you can add a background image for your Live Tiles. In my opinion, it just looks clean, even if you don’t put much effort into it.
Jumping away from the actual design aspect of Windows Phone, one of the things that I really and truly appreciate about Windows Phone is the fact that you can get rid of bloatware without a hitch. You don’t like having carrier specific applications on your phone? No problem, just uninstall it! This is a big problem that I have with many Android devices (which can only often be fixed by rooting the device, which can be complicated) and iOS. There are a lot of applications on these platforms that you are normally required to keep, even if you don’t plan on using them at all. But Windows Phone will let you uninstall these applications, so that’s cool.
Speaking of applications, I guess that’s probably one thing I can’t say I appreciate about Windows Phone. Although I feel that the Windows Phone app catalog has progressed in the right direction, it’s still eons behind where Android and iOS are. However, for the smartphone user who doesn’t care too much about applications or having superior access to Google services, the idea of owning a Windows Phone device shouldn’t necessarily be tossed out.
Windows Phones are also ideal devices if you are heavily involved with Microsoft’s services.
One thing I really enjoyed about my Windows Phone devices (and, to be more specific, my Lumia devices) was the camera quality. I loved having a designated camera button, which can be hard to come by these days, and I loved the quality of the photos themselves. Whether it was my Lumia 928’s 8.7-megapixel camera or the Lumia 1020’s 41-megapixel camera, I still consider the photos I took with both of these devices to be some of the best smartphone photos I’ve ever taken. I can’t speak for any other phone models, or even how Microsoft’s Lumias have held up post Nokia acquisition, but I know that some of the older Nokia Lumia models had given me the most top-notch camera experiences on a smartphone to date.
I have more respect for Windows Phone devices now that Windows Phone 8.1 has come out. The addition of a drop-down notification center (Action Center) and Cortana (Microsoft’s version of Siri or Google Now) puts Windows Phone closer to where it needs to be at this point in time. While I still consider Windows Phone to be inferior in many ways, in a lot of other ways it’s on par and even better than the other two platforms.
What I’m really trying to say is that Windows Phone still has its merits. Maybe it’s not hitting the major target market of smartphone users like it would like to, but it does have good qualities and is still worth checking out for a lot of people.