Uh oh! Someone in Microsoft just shat themselves; Aidan has gone and started blogging about Windows Phone again. FYI – it led to *ahem* interesting emails the last time around.
I had some credit on the Amazon.com store so I figured I’d use it to buy the Dell 8” tablet. That all fell apart – it’s a longer story but suffice to say, Amazon didn’t have stock. So I looked at the 1020, loved the pictures that I saw people posting, I’m a big photography enthusiast and I thought “that might be the hardware for me”. In the end, it cost me very little to get a grey market model from Amazon.com while I stayed in Bellevue near MSFT HQ.
The phone was delivered on Wednesday afternoon. It had a little bit of charge and it made it through to after midnight while I was out and about and constantly playing with the phone.
First off, the camera is as advertised. I haven’t had too much opportunity to play – photography is justifiably banned on Microsoft campuses and that’s where I’ve spent most of my time this week. Some test shots in low light reveal very high quality images, that even a compact camera don’t appear to rival – I need to spend more time testing and comparing on a full sized monitor rather than on small LCD screens.
The start of the Xbox One queues at Microsoft Store, Bellevue, WA, USA
This is not just a point and click camera phone. When you see real camera controls such as ISO then you know that this is a serious camera that needs to be learned. I’ve been living in the Canon DLSR world for years so I know my manual controls inside-out and they’re second nature to me when in the field. I’ll need to learn the controls interface on this camera to make the most of it.
It’s a Nokia Lumia so the build and screen are superb. They got that stuff very right in their re-invention process. I like the button layout, with the power button being right under my finger when I hold the phone in my left hand. The form factor is a little odd with the bulge. This phone isn’t for everyone, but photography enthusiasts will accept it for wheat they get from the unusually large phone camera and 41 MP sensor.
The large camera requires a bulge on the back
The only hiccup that I’ve experienced has been surprising. When connecting to my Office 365 account (P1 plan) the thing won’t just connect. I’ve had to hack around with settings just as if it was an Android phone. I got my email configured but Office 365 isn’t set up.
Edit: I connected to Office 365 with no problems a few days later. Remember the Azure/DNS issue last week? That probably affected me at the time.
The normal apps are mostly all there. I’ve yet to dig into the edge stuff like scheduled do not disturb and so on. Podcasts … that will decide if this phone becomes something I use just on travel or if it becomes my mainstream phone. Right now, the HTC One rules. Dogcatcher makes podcasting pretty easy (it’s not perfect) on Android. The stupid policies of Microsoft hamper the podcast experience of Windows Phone users outside the big countries – – but Microsoft seem to use The Curse Of Zune to needlessly ruin lots of products.
Let’s see how I’m feeling in a few week’s time.
And in the meantime, if anyone in Microsoft wants to reach out then you can find my contact details pretty easily. This is your opportunity to try shape my opinion. I’d hate for you to go whining around on internal mail lists afterwards – yeah, I know all about it.