At the last Microsoft conference we were intrigued by the Windows Phone platform and decided to purchase some for our business use. It’s one thing to see devices at a show, however the only way you really get to know a device well is by actually using it for a while. After reviewing the devices available I purchased the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone running the Microsoft Windows 7.5 operating system. I’ve been using this phone for a couple of months now and wanted to write about my experience.
The Nokia Lumia phones have been turning heads for a while now, and my experience with it was no different. Everyone I showed the phone to was impressed with the design and feel of the new phone, especially the amazing screen. It’s also proven to be a fairly durable phone, even sustaining a number of drops on concrete which is never a good experience for any smartphone.
Since it was built with a Microsoft operating system it was no surprise that the integration with Exchange and MS Office was extremely robust. The email interface is also very intuitive, giving access to all mail folders and even organizing email threads into conversations to help clean up the inbox. Another useful feature was how the Windows phone integrates all contacts into one list, merging contacts from any service you subscribe to (Exchange, LinkedIn, Facebook, Windows Live, Google etc). So a contact could have the work name and address from Exchange, picture from LinkedIn, birthdate and home address from Windows Live or Facebook which all merged together to form a contact profile in a simple consolidated screen.
Having used a BlackBerry device for so long I was concerned about losing the physical keyboard, however I found the Windows on screen keyboard to be very good. That said, I must admit that the BlackBerry devices have more advanced features from a phone perspective. I also missed having multiple sound profiles and configurable alerts for each type of message or notification.
Another big win with this Windows platform was that we could now integrate our SharePoint site to the mobile devices. I could now easily and securely access all files from our SharePoint site using the native phone interface. This allowed me to open and edit Word documents, Excel files, PDFs and many other files that we use on a daily basis. The same interface also tied into my Skydrive account for personal data that I store in the cloud.
Apart from work related items, was the device fun to use? Definitely! There are so many features that made this phone a pleasure to use: fast browsing, great camera, excellent video quality, good quality speaker, lots of available applications and an extremely fluid and responsive interface to name a few. We also really appreciated the customizable start screen that allowed each of us to create a unique look and theme that suited our personal tastes and preferences.
Given all the power and capability of the current release we are really looking forward to the new Windows 8 phones due out this fall. Is this a mobile platform that’s going to become more popular moving forward? We think so. Microsoft has created an operating system that capably blends the needs of both business and individuals alike.
Interested in learning more about the Windows mobile platform? Go to http://www.windowsphone.com/en-ca or give us a call to discuss our experience in more detail.