A phone for business or play
Would you give up your smart phone for a day? A week? Would you trade it for a smart phone built on an unknown (to you) operating system? For many, the answer’s a simple NO.
Microsoft Canada challenged a group of bloggers (myself included) to give up our phones in exchange for the Nokia Lumia 920, a Windows 8 phone. I was nervous, skeptical and intrigued. A hard-core BlackBerry user until 2010 when I switched to the iPhone for the camera and video, I wondered – could this phone actually be better?
My daughter, a 15-year-old who uses her phone like an addict uses narcotics (relentlessly and often without reason), is taking the challenge with me. In early January, I’ll be posting a “She Said – She Said” review to compare a digital native’s perspective to a digital immigrant’s. If you’re interested in the phone from a travel perspective, check out my post on GoGirlfriend: Windows Phone Holiday Swap.
Windows 8 and my business
Using the Nokia 920 has forced me to focus on what I need my phone for. It’s not the same question I asked in 1995, that’s for sure.
As someone who spends an extraordinary amount of time on social media, my phone works as hard as I do. It’s got to be lightening quick, simple to use and be flagging information so I don’t miss anything important. It has to connect me to my business world, my family and my social networks with ease.
The Windows 8 Phone gets my vote for one main reason. It has the power to sync to my tablet and laptop in two steps or less – a seamless computing experience. The unified (or integrated) computing experience is something other phones don’t offer yet.
Let’s take a look at the Nokia 920’s Windows 8 powerful feature lineup for the business user:
- Windows 8 live-tile featured interface (apps and tiles) –Customized home screen with live tile updates of its apps like friends, weather, stock tickers keep me abreast of my changing competitive landscape.
- Integrated messaging (Friends tile) – Connects me with business or family contacts with an integrated app … call , email, text, Facebook, Twitter, map locate, birthday all in one place.
- Xbox live music, video and gaming experience – The Xbox interface links entertainment in one stop – the kids love this feature.
- Best In Class 8.7 Megapixel image-stabilized camera – The photography is beautiful – and videos amazing. Stay tuned for examples in a future post.
- Skydrive – Public or private, the cloud storage and file synchronization is a powerful tool for the business user.
- Microsoft Office – Because I do business on the road, the rich-featured Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook with Skydrive link simplify my world.
- Uber-responsive keyboard – With intuitive (and accurate) word suggestions, the auto-correct far supersedes the iPhone.
- Bing Search, Weather app, Nokia City lens, and many more apps …
As a business user, I’m less interested in the games and more focused on how the phone integrates my documents from phone to tablet to laptop. Unlike my iPhone, this one wins by a landslide.
Windows 8 and *MY* social media
I haven’t focused on the social networking apps because more work needs to be done in this area. I serve as a community manager for multiple accounts on social media and while the Hootsuite app even on the iPhone is limited, it’s more than the Windows 8 Phone offered me. To be fair, I found two apps that worked fairly well: Rowi (simple and clear) and Gleek (incredible functionality). Gleek was my favorite as it embraces the operating system of the phone more fully (even integrating voice controls). Here are a few features you’ll enjoy if you’re a social media power user.
- Tweet conversations – including retweets in a “jump” list
- Timelines, mentions, friends, favorites
- Trends, searches, lists and memberships
- Multiple accounts, including color coding of individuals in your lists
- Orientation lock, adjustable font size
- Themes (including a daily new pick)
- Send tweets, mentions, messages, replies from multiple accounts
- Add text effects to your tweets
- Pin everything to Start, including accounts, friends and lists
- Simple tap view of videos, images and locations
Obsession-worthy Microsoft Surface
When the iPad hit the market, I convinced myself I needed it. With the amount of travel I do, I wanted it to replace my laptop when walking all day through a tradeshow or running through an airport or meeting with a client. I wanted it to store my documents, connect me to my social media channels and offer me the opportunity to edit EVERYTHING. Oh, and I needed it to be able to connect to a projector as well.
Trouble is, the iPad doesn’t play nice with my HP ProBook, nor does it play nice with anything not Apple. Not only can I not transfer documents easily, I can’t hook it up to a projector. Anywhere.
My iPad has become the family ereader (and solitaire master), the family’s $1,000 ereader…
To say the Microsoft Surface excites me would be an understatement. From the models I’ve seen in stores and the reading I’ve done online, this could be the solution business travelers have been waiting for.
Dear Microsoft, I’m traveling to Vegas in January and would love to take the Surface for a test drive. You know where to reach me…
To comply with the long list of regulating bodies including the FTC and possibly even the Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, compensation for this post was provided by Hart & Galla and Microsoft Canada. Commentary and perspectives are those of Julia Rosien, Chief Idea Officer for SocialNorth.
What features do you need your phone to have to consider switching from an Android, Blackberry or Apple device? What more do you want to know about the Nokia 920? Share your comments below or shout out to me on Facebook or Twitter – let’s talk smart phones!
Check out what the other Holiday Swap Bloggers are saying…