87
9.0
final rating

reviewed on
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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality No comments great!
  • Display No comments great!
  • Battery life No comments great!
  • Camera No comments good
  • Ease of use No comments good
  • Design and form factor No comments great!
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments great!
  • Media support No comments great!
  • Durability No comments great!
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) No comments good
Detailed review
JUST MOVED FROM iOS to Android to WP (ICON)...within 1 year. Yes, I am crazy, but that's neither here nor there. Let me tell you my experience and background as I have a feeling there are many like me out there that will benefit from making a switch to WP and the Nokia Icon. I am a 36 year-old, Father, Husband, and Sales Professional managing Major Accounts within the Consumer Electronics Industry. I travel constantly so fast connectivity and optimal UI experience and optimization is a must. On weekends, and sadly rare weekdays, I engulf myself into the lives of my daughters whom are growing at the speed of sound. Thus the human touch (pics and video sharing) are a must. Music and Entertainment on the Airplane-when I'm ever so lonely-is also another passion and another must.

For the longest time, I ate, slept, and breathed iOS and the entire Apple eco-system. They gave me everything I wanted for many years and then suddenly stopped making compelling products and continued to require a premium for me to use them. Being around technology, specifically understanding the components that are required to make smartphones great, I began to realize it was time to see mobile life out-side of Apple. Man am I glad I made the switch.

The Android Experience: Not bad, but nothing that really grabbed me. TONS of apps. But I don't need 55 apps to tell me weather, news, email, schedule, entertainment, etc. I also did not like the "upkeep" required in keeping memory and RAM optimal on the phone. I almost felt like Andriod is the pedestrian workhorse phone, a great alternative to Apple, a cost-saver compared to Apple, but nothing gripping me, nor a PC operating system to call my own like Windows and MAC can provide. It’s just rather mundane in my limited experience. And being that I pay A LOT of money to carry these devices and I rely on them, I just could not make Android my permanent home.

The WP8 Experience with the Nokia Lumia ICON: I have found my home. The build quality of the phone exceeds everything I’ve looked at and touched with maybe the exception of the latest iPhone. The 5” gorilla glass protected screen size is perfect and the HD picture is the best I’ve seen to date. The Qualcomm processor is blazing fast. The battery has taken a whipping since I got it and outperformed my expectations. Here is an example of a recent travel day I had: Unplug at 4AM to leave for airport. Listening to Pandora for an hour in car, through security line, onto aircraft. Directions, calls, and emails all day long in San Jose. Directions for 2.5 hour drive from San Jose to Sacramento. Facebook updates, TripIt checkins, music in the rtental car, and reviews on dinner places in Sacramento. At 9:40 I called my wife to say good night and I had 23% battery left. That is a 16 hour day people!

Transfer from my Galaxy S4 to the Icon was easy. Email, calendar, and contacts came over in 20 minutes. I did have to download new apps from the Windows store of which 85-90% were available. I did have to learn how to customize the WP, but it was really quite simple. To me, anyone with a year of reorganizing touch screens could figure this out. And again, I don’t have a need for more than about 10-15 core apps, max. WP live tiles and Windows 8, to me, are fantastic. This is the big difference: You can customize one user screen with almost anything you want from the windows ecosystem: Office, OneNote, One Drive, Topics that interest your from Bing News, topics that interest you from Bing Finance, and sources that you trust (Engadget, NPR, Fox (I kid), can also be customized from the Bing News app family. Bing news has changed the way I use a news service. Even if you don’t buy this phone and you have a PC running Windows 8, give Bing News a try. It’s really strong and the UI is prenominal. You don’t “flip” anything, it’s not cool with the tweener crowd, and it’s not a drive down bubble-gum lane. Instead, it’s a work horse news feed and customization outlet that can walk you through everything that matters to you in about 15-20 minutes. And do so in a visually stunning environment.

And last: The Camera. Remember when I referred to those little girls I love in the first paragraph, well I frequently do not have my high-end DSLR handy. I know this is a fight all photographers, parents, man and womankind have. Can’t quite capture that phenomenal picture of your daughter against a sunset on the Pacific Ocean! Missed your son on his first bike-ride? Missed you’re wife dressed as a French-maid, I’ve done all of them. The Ol’ Nikon does not fit in your pocket, or like me, you’re so exhausted from the work week you completely forget to bring the camera along for the ride. But I bet you always know where your cell phone is. Right? Carrying the Nokia ICON phone is like carrying a very good 20-MP point and shoot with Carl Zeiss optics with you at all times. So you have no excuse in missing the image you so badly need and want.

I wrote this as an experience piece. I find it hard to believe that anyone with a similar background to mine, will not love the phone, will not love the WP OS, and will not get to love Windows 8. To me this eco-system is the perfect blend of Work & Play. Nice job MSFT and Nokia.

Comments (5) subscribe to this review's comments

xrayjay62

Excellent review. Presently using the Samsung Galaxy S3 but cracked screen and thinking of switching to Windows. I have owned the Samsung Saga and one other windows phone I can not recall. My only question for you is how do you receive notifications with the screen off?. I have read that this phone is not compatible with Glance which I am not familiar with but gather it gives you notifications on the lock screen.
jmartt23

Hi Xrayjay, there are notifications on the lock screen. You can customize 2 different notifications. Further, when you unlock, the live tiles provide notifications as well. For me, I have maybe 5 notifications that are of critical importance. If you have 10-15 feeds that are that critical, then this might be tough. I suspect the next update of WP 8.1 will continue to address the notification screen and make it more robust. I've read this from numerous sources.
xrayjay62

Do you think it is worth waiting for dedicated windows 8.1 phones or is it the usual waiting game where the next greatest thing is just around the corner. Is there anything glaring that you miss?. I am a google user and like that it automatically updates my searches and bookmarks across devices. Does this device play nicely with google?.
hulkhogue

Hey jmartt23. Great review, sounds like we lead the same life haha. I'm coming from iOS and Android as well. The Icon caught my eye though. Always been skeptical of Windows (as I'm sure you were coming from iOS yourself) but I'm excited to see how far they have come. I'm also in the tech field and have started using more Windows tablets at the office, although I didn't love W8 at first I've come to really enjoy it as an OS. Thanks for your review!
BaseballCPA

YOU SIR, have just sold this phone to me. Great review. I didn't see any mention of e-mail functionality --> reading/organizing/replying/etc. Seems like a stupid point to get hung up on, but I get 100+ emails a day and the ability to organize my inbox quickly is probably top of my list. Just curious. Thanks.

P.S. I've had the Apple 4s for 2 years now (caved to peer pressure) and personally, I don't care for it...never have. Looking to make a switch.