If there is one thing I learned from the tech industry this week, it’s that they don’t like great things – or at least they don’t want to tell you to buy a great thing. Headlines like, “The HTC One M8 For Windows: The Best Phone You’ll Never Buy” just blew me away this week. Instead of doing what they should and covering the device that they were asked to cover, they continued to bash an OS that they gave an almost try to 2 years ago. Then, instead of taking a proper amount of time to bring forth a true experience, they carry the device in tandem with their daily driver and compare it in every way to something they have tweaked over the last 5 years to get the way they want it. It’s just not how journalism is supposed to be done.
Here’s an honest review – all 5 major smartphone OS platforms will allow you to do just about anything with your device. They may not have exact Apps, games and features you want, but all of them do something that the others don’t, and that’s why we need all of them to survive. That said, the big announcement earlier in the week about the HTC One M8 for Windows is much larger than a phone, a company or finding a lack of Apps in a store. It is the first time in history that a smartphone manufacturer launched a dual OS device running on the same hardware. It’s NEVER been done. That’s the big story here.
Now that I have that out of the way, if you are a tech writer, you really need to take your time before spouting off about the lack of Apps and such with Windows Phone. Chances are if there’s no official App, Rudy is working on one. If you don’t know who Rudy is, Rudy is Rudy Huyn, creator of the 6sec (Vine), 6tag (Instagram), 6snap (snapchat), 6tin (Tinder) and many others. The man is single handedly filling the App gap and has been for quite some time.
I’m not going to say that there is no App gap, because there is. In fact, it is still pretty wide in some places, but in others it is much closer than most even think. Sure, the Windows Phone Store has two billion less Apps than Android, but have you seriously looked at that store? There’s 200 versions of Flappy Bird clones, 1,000 different themes for GoLauncher EX, another few thousand system fonts that you can change out to. The App totals are completely bogus. Here’s what anyone considering a new phone should do.
First, Visit all four carrier’s websites and check coverage at the street levels of where you use the phone. Don’t depend on that little pin on the map that shows “all green” when you don’t zoom in. There are pockets of no coverage in those things when you zoom. Next up, check the plans and pricing options. Find out if the carrier that has the best coverage for you has a plan that works, and is as inexpensive as you want. Once you have that figured out, check for devices. This is when you leave home and go to the store. Leave you wallet in the car and go in and start playing. Don’t ask the guy carrying an iPhone about Windows Phone or Android. Don’t ask the Android guy about iPhones. Don’t pay attention to the device in the window signs. Just go in and play with each device for a hour. Enjoy this, you are buying something that will cost as much as a car by the time your are done with it, so treat it that way. If you don’t find something perfect, go home and do a bit more research.
If you found a network you like, take this time to shop the MVNO sites as well. There’s no contract with these services, so you can always run back to their big brothers if you want to, but a great example would be Cricket Wireless and AT&T. Cricket will sell you an AT&T compatible phone for less than AT&T charges for the same device. Then you can bring that phone to AT&T later and save if Cricket lets you down in anyway. Or you can take that locked device to any AT&T MVNO, like Red Pocket Mobile, Straight Talk, Net10 or many others. This will save you in the long run.
Tech writers go through phone after phone after phone writing out their pass or fail reviews week after week. Trust me, right now I have 4 devices that I am reviewing. It’s hard to maintain objective opinions about the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 LTE when all I want to do is jump to the HTC One M8, but if I don’t tell you want a great device the Ascend Mate 2 is and where the device falters, then I am not doing my job. Those writers that say the HTC One M8 for Windows is the best Windows Phone ever really have no clue what Windows Phone even is.
I’ll tell you what, my opinion on phones is personal. If you like a larger device, the HTC One M8 might be for you. If you like to be in touch with friends and family with a reliable device that holds a charge twice as long as an iPhone or Android device, Windows Phone might before you. If you like having all your Apps in a nice neat list instead of having them sprawled all over in the order they were installed, Windows Phone might be for you. If you like having a device that doesn’t force close or hiccup, you’re really starting to think about Windows Phone now. Want a device that just works day in and day out and has almost no malware, welcome to Windows Phone.
Windows Phone isn’t what those writers make it out to be. Windows Phone is growing and maturing into the best mobile OS on the planet. Sure, it’s missing some Apps, but do you use them? I mean just this week, we gained the ability to order a Papa Johns Pizza, Swarm with Foursquare and control our new NFL Fantasy Football lineups… Pizza, meeting friends and football? What else do you need?
Thanks for reading this rant, but now I have to get back to reviewing some additional hardware for you guys. I appreciate you taking the time to think about your new phone and look forward to the comments below – Ron.