The Zimbabwean Perspective

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Editorial Tech

It’s probably time you left your Windows Phone

A sad day indeed…

Pour one out for our faithful smartphone companions

Last week we posted about WhatsApp for Windows Phone having it’s support ended by the end of this year. It’s a move that a lot of people saw coming but it also acted as another reminder of a truth the Windows Phone faithful have warded off for some time now: it’s time to move on.

2019 hasn’t been particularly kind to Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile in extension. In fact we already talked about Facebook removing it’s official app alongside Instagram from the Microsoft Store for Windows mobile devices along with the aforementioned WhatsApp notice. But that’s necause at the beginning of the year Microsoft itself said it would be shutting down support for Windows 10 Mobile, after already having ended support for Windows Phone 8.1 last year, and all these moves were the final nail in the coffin that broke the last remaining fans’ hearts. Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile where the alternative to the duopoly posed by iOS and Android, and for those who dared to swim into unfamiliar waters, Microsoft’s mobile operating system provided something fresh, intriguing and arguably more efficient than iOS or Android when it was in it’s prime. There was a uniqueness to Windows Phone platforms that neither of the other two had, and once u got accustomed to it, it was often hard to let go. The situation was a little different in western countries where some people can swap a phone even every year, but back here where people could spend three years or even more with a phone, you would find Windows Phone fans with a loyalty that would even make Apple die-hards envious. And there were tons of reasons for that loyalty as well, a unique interface that made it’s way to desktop Windows as well, things like an integrated dark mode (which iOS and Android have only just gotten natively), a minimalistic start menu that gave you relevant information in just one look the list honestly could go on (and tell us if you want us to make one in the comments below) but again, even with all that going for it Windows Phone was never really a commercial success. It had a few bright spots yes (shout out to the Lumia 1020) and it even had moments where it gave Google a scare, so much that the company basically banned it from having an official YouTube app. But the story of Windows Phone was always one of an underdog with potential, and that underdog was ultimately defeated. And now that it’s coffin is being laid into the ground, it’s time we all moved on as soon as we can to other smartphone platforms, because our Windows Phones won’t even have basic apps very soon.

Remember when you moved to Windows because of Nokia? Guess who’s going to save you off their sinking ship? Nokia!

So what should you move on to you may ask? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for in a smartphone. A lot of people who bought Lumias in the early days did so because of the Nokia brand along with a history of using Nokia phones. Well, Nokia itself is back (sort of) and it has Android phones now which cater to multiple different styles and price points as well. Speaking of price points, a lot of you also bought Windows Phones because of price to performance ratio. Simply put, you would get really decent phones for a really low price. I personally bought my Lumia 540 in 2016 for $80 USD, yet the only phone I could say was an immediate competitor on the Android side, the 2014 Samsung Galaxy A3 cost $250. What you got for the price was unbeatable, but thankfully even now you can get comparable or better specced phones for the price of that A3. Now we’re nt ignoring the monetary situation here, we know how hard it is to get US dollar for a lot of people out there. And we’re definitely not in any position to make you spend money unwisely , but hopefully things get a little better and you move to a suitable Android device. As for Apple devices, well if it had been a few years ago I would have said Apple is the only company that had software as efficient/more efficient than Windows Phone (both companies could run impressive operating systems on 1 GB of RAM) and if you want the quick route to a premium package then Apple is the way to go for many of you. But If you were a fan of the awesome cameras Lumia devices like the 950 and 1020 had, then Android is still your home right now, though their best camera phones definitely don’t come cheap. The Huawei P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro can actually be seen as successors of the Lumia 1020, as Huawei actually hired one of the camera engineers from Nokia to work on those. And there’s the cheaper Honor view 20 with a crazy camera as well. The Google Pixel Devices are great camera phones but near impossible to get your hands on and if you can get your hands on the Galaxy S10 or LG V40 you’ll find yourself some interesting alternatives as well.

Shout out to an old Legend: the Lumia 1020

So as far as alternatives go, the sky is the limit. But that doesn’t make having to leave Windows Phone any easier for any of us. Perhaps Microsoft will finally unveil a rumored foldable device and that  grant us some consolation of a mobile future for Windows. But either way, it’s probably time we swapped in our Lumias fro something that will still function well for the years to come.

Have a Windows Phone? Tell us what you’ll miss most about it in the comments or on social media. Share this post to anyone you know with one as well.

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