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Windows Phone 8: First Day With Nokia Lumia 520


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I’ll start with my history with smart phones.  In 2007 I got my first smart phone, a HTC 8525 with Windows Phone 6.x. I loved it, it was a phone built on top of Window CE PDA OS, so I only had to carry one device and not two. In 2009 I got my second Windows phone with the 6.5 OS. Unfortunately the phone died a year later, half way through my contract. So I bought a Nexus One, it was an off contract phone and cheaper than just about any other option at the time for a replacement. I got hooked on Android and I’m now on my third Android phone with a Samsung Galaxy S-III.


During lunch yesterday, I bought a Nokia Lumia 520 for $100. I setup the phone through wi-fi and put in a 16GB SD card. I spent most of the rest of the day playing with it. I really liked it.


I pulled my Micro SIM from my GS3 and put it in the 520 and it worked perfectly. I ran the SpeedTest.Net app and the 520 beat the GS3 in both up and down speed by a full megabit of speed. This is surprising considering the GS3 has LTE and the 520 doesn't, and yes I’m in a location with LTE. The 520 also beat the GS3 on download speed when connected to wi-fi by 2.5 megabits.


When it came to apps, I knew I would miss the integration with Google, but I could work around most if not all those issues. There are things about how the Windows Phone 8 OS works that I like better than android. I started to seriously think about switching to a 920 or the like when my current contract is up. I started looking for the apps that I would need for the phone to replace the GS3. Other than a couple of rarely used apps that I could live without; I was finding replacement for all of them…    until.


Everyone has apps them they use every day and if your device does have it, it is almost useless or at least very painful. The third most used app on my phone after E-mail and the Web Browser is a File Manager. I use it every day to connect to share folders on my PCs at home to copy files to and from the phone. I also use this app to clean up old files, move them to other folders and open videos and PDF documents that I copied to the phone.


The big problem is not that someone hasn't created one of these apps yet, but Microsoft prohibits developers from creating apps that preform these types of functions. It is one thing to limit access to system folders where you could do something to brick the phone, but preventing access to music, video and user created folders is just stupid to me. If I was coming from IPhone I might not miss this feature, but coming from Android and ever older Windows Phones that included File Manager in the OS, this deal killer. A file manager is a killer app for me and it needs to be there before I switch.


For me, the sad part is I really wanted to love this phone and it was almost there, just to have the door slammed into my face.  I will still use this phone a music player and as a backup phone to the GS3, and maybe as a “date night” phone when I want to carry something smaller. But as things stand Windows Phone 8 will never be able to be my daily phone.


I hate to say it, but Microsoft has been disappointing on a bunch of points lately, ignoring/killing Media Center, X-Box One not being a media center extender, and forbidding managing files on the phone through apps on the phone.  How does a company come up with great products, just to shoot themselves in the foot?

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