A bit less than two years ago, I excitedly drove to my nearby Verizon store to give up my Motorola Droid and jump ship over to an iPhone 4s. I was sure this would be a great match, and my days of smartphone-hopping were over. And they were, for quite a while. But over time I’ve grown frustrated, and the iPhone has begun to feel a bit stale.
My main frustration has been with the battery life. My 4S started behaving atrociously about three months ago; I would routinely get under 8 hours of standby and maybe 5 hours of usage on just email and texting. A few times that dipped down to 3 hours of use and 6 hours of standby; obviously, something was wrong. I tried wiping the phone and starting from scratch, but that didn’t fix the erratic, angry battery. An informal poll among some 4S owners in my office indicated this is possibly related to iOS, as everyone has seen this behavior in some form or another, but without a fix it’s become incredibly frustrating.
My dissatisfaction is also with the iPhone’s user interface. In some ways, the consistent rows of icons are simple and effective, but compared to the competition they just feel static and a bit dull … stale. I don’t need much, but having the notification menu as my only insight into new emails, messages, calls and notifications outside of opening each app is getting clunky. There’s just nothing dynamic about the everyday workflow anymore.
So, lucky for me I am due for an upgrade in a few weeks. But what do I choose?
I was happy enough with Android on my Motorola Droid, but I am not in a hurry to pick up a Galaxy S 4. Touchwiz is not my favorite, and admittedly my feelings towards Google have cooled since they killed off Google Reader and for other reasons. I have an HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile, so I have kept one toe in Android, but to be completely honest, I have no burning desire to return. So that eliminates a huge swath of potential phones.
I was never a Blackberry user, and Judie’s thoroughly detailed Z10 review didn’t inspire me to change that. So all that is left to try is Windows Phone, and I can’t help but feel pulled towards the new Lumia 928. It is thin, beautiful, and it has an amazing camera — plus it’s a Nokia, and I have always had a soft spot for them. I played with a Lumia 928 yesterday, and the only thing keeping me from begging Verizon for a slightly earlier upgrade right on the spot was the movie we were about to see (Star Trek!) … and the fact that the store was sold out already!
At the same time, Windows Phone is at a distant third in market share and apps. I’ve checked though, and just about every app I use regularly is available on Windows Phone; for now I would be satisfied. I have no interest in giving up my iPad, so I would still have a toehold in iOS.
Could switching to Windows Phone 8 alleviate my smartphone boredom? Would you take the plunge and try a whole new OS based on a few minutes with one in the store? What would you do? Share your thoughts in the comments, and if I do wander off the Apple reservation I will be sure to document it here!