Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Newest Windows phone is worth a look

3/12/2014

Last week a good friend switched his mobile phone carrier and decided to trade his iPhone for a Galaxy s5. I couldn't argue with his decision. The Galaxy has a 5.1-inch display and a terrific camera.

But I would have encouraged him to check out the Nokia's new Lumina Icon Windows phone before making his choice. The Icon's specs put it close to the s5 than to the iPhone 5. It has a 1080p high-rez display and a speedy Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The 20-megapixel camera produces photos and videos that look terrific on the phone's 5-inch screen.

I also think that the Windows 8 interface is a refreshing departure from the mundane rows of buttons that you get with either iOS or Android. If you spend a lot of phone time checking your Facebook stream, a Twitter feed or the latest weather conditions, Windows' live tiles will put the latest updates in a featured location on your home screen.

I carried the Icon for a couple of weeks and I found I especially liked the phone's camera. It's easy to use and it offers a good mix of quick snapshot options, advanced settings and in-camera editing tools.

The Microsoft appl collection can't match Apple or Android for size and variety, but it does contain versions of the most popular apps like Skype, Netflix, Vine, Spotify, Kindle and many more.

Overall, the Icon is the best incarnation yet of the Windows 8 phone and well worth a close look in you're looking for something new in a high-level smartphone.

Verizon Wireless is currently offering the Icon for $199 with a two-year contract.



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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.

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