Windows Phone 8.1 vs Android Marshmallow

i recently got a OnePlus 3 and it broke not even a week into its use. the phone is amazing: lightweight and blazing fast. the screen (color and resolution) and the speakers could be better but it’s a flagship-level phone for $400 so i can’t complain too much. plus, the alert slider is wicked awesome.

OnePlus 3 front and back

the screen started artifacting and flickering and devolved into a reboot loop, and finally failure to boot. i sent the phone in for a repair and switched to my backup phone: a Lumia 635 that has Windows Phone 8.1 (it won’t run WP10).Lumia 635

as i got back into WP (i’ve been on it before), i realized how elegant of a mobile OS it is. there are many positives – and of course, negatives – to Windows Phone. i love bullet points so here are my personal pros and cons.

the good:

  • amazing contacts app that merges all data streams together
  • per-app notification settings [e.g. different sound] out-of-the-box
  • beautiful and smooth UI, especially live tiles
  • great battery life
  • daily Bing wallpaper out-of-the-box
  • excellent email experience
  • excellent calendar and tasks experience

the bad sorted from most painful to least [along with potential resolution]:

  • no Snapchat app [quit Snapchat?]
  • Messenger chatheads [no replacement]
  • Netflix app does not support Chromecast [use a computer that does]
  • HBO GO [no replacement]
  • no native Gmail app [would need to switch to outlook.com¬†for best experience with the native mail app]
  • no Amazon Shopping app [use the mobile site]
  • no Amazon Video [no replacement]
  • no Youtube app [buy tubecast pro for $3]
  • no Google Keep [switch to Wunderlist or Evernote]
  • no Google Music [switch to Spotify]
  • no Google Maps [switch to Waze]
  • no Venmo [use pay.mo]
  • notifications in the action center do not disappear even after you’ve launched the app and handled them

the list of bad is doable but aggravating nonetheless. i am getting an Amazon Fire tablet which would in theory allow me to handle the missing app and functionality were i to have a Windows Phone. that said, i really wish these apps were just on Windows Phone. i’d actually switch away from Android back to Windows Phone.

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