Windows Phone

What do you all think of Windows Phone? I used to own one back in 2013/14 and it was a really good device apart from the lack of third party applications. I personally really liked the UI which is something I miss on my bland iPhone.


I’ve always disliked them. Missing core features and the app selection was rubbish.

Although I agree the UI was nice.

Shame it didn’t gain much momentum.

I feel if they had tried to get developers onboard sooner they’d have been much more popular. I know that they were pretty big in developing countries due to their low price point.

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Agreed, we used them in work as the office apps were great on them. But eventually the app quality on their own apps was better / more feature rich on other platforms.

We now go with Samsung Xcover 4’s as our go to work devices. (Construction company, so having rugged handsets is a must).

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Yeah, originally it was the best platform for Microsoft office however as sales slowed down Microsoft ported it over the iOS and Android making the phone quite pointless for business use

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Too little, too late.

Microsoft initially thought that Windows Mobile could compete with iOS and Android. Nope, it was built for a previous time.

By the time they launched Windows Phone in 2010, the game was already over.
iOS and Android were already years ahead - literally. Apple went with their full vertical approach as usual, and Google sowed up the market by providing a free operating system for all other hardware manufacturers.

So why would those manufacturers pay for an operating system that was late to the party and had limited developer support? It’s not too hard to develop for two operating systems. Nobody is gonna bother developing for three. So hardware manufacturer support was limited. There were a few half-hearted efforts by Samsung, HTC etc, but they sold peanuts compared to their Android devices because they just weren’t as good.

So, Microsoft changed tack and decided to go for the Apple approach and buy Nokia. Terrible, terrible decision that was never, ever going to work. Then you end up with the Lumia devices. People talk about the Lumia devices getting to 3-4% market share at their peak - like that was a good thing. I guess it’s marginally impressive as a third wheel, but what they don’t know is that almost all those devices were low-end. Disposable. I worked in phone retail at the time, and we never sold a Lumia with an RRP of more than £200. The most Lumia devices we ever sold were when we had a fire sale and you could get a 510 or 520 device for about £20.

Microsoft continued to shoot themselves in the foot. When they upgraded the devices to Windows 10? Half the apps broke or weren’t available any more. It was shocking, and even their fanboys deserted them - I remember reading a rant on the subject from the editor of one of the biggest Windows Phone blogs.

The whole thing was a disaster from start to finish and Microsoft did the right thing by finally pulling the plug last year. Microsoft sold Nokia to HMD and now Nokia are actually selling units again with their Android phones.


Microsoft committed suicide by resetting the app ecosystem twice. Once when going from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, and another time from 8 to 8.1 (and possibly a third time when going to Windows 10).

When you’ve got near-zero developer adoption to begin with, it’s not a wise strategy. No surprise they failed.

But then again, it’s Microsoft; they never learn, and kept the same “strategy” with Skype and managed to ruin what used to be a household brand when it came to VoIP (Skype was light-years ahead back then, it commoditised VoIP way before WhatsApp, FaceTime, etc even existed).


I liked my 925 for the two years I had it but it failed pretty much instantly the two years were done and it was never over-endowed with capability and apps. It was worth the dalliance for a brief while but getting back to an iPhone 6 thereafter was a relief of a sort.

It was cheap, though, which is what I needed at the time. I would like some of the tiles back.

I worked in phone retail at the time, and we never sold a Lumia with an RRP of more than ÂŁ200

It’s funny because I actually did sell one of them, in early 2016 no less (when WP was pretty much in the coffin already). Someone came in asking for a Lumia 1050 (I think - can’t remember exactly but it was a flagship device on par with iPhone/high-end Samsung as far as price was concerned).

I talked him out of it (nothing to do with making more commission - I just didn’t want him to sign up for a yearly contract on an already-dead device) and got him a cheaper iPhone instead, and calmed down his concerns as far as being unfamiliar with the UI, etc. No luck - he came back the next day, returned the iPhone and got the Windows Phone.

I wonder what was next - I’d bet good money he regretted this decision a few months down the contract.

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I got a Lumia 920 on launch day in 2012 and it was the best phone I’ve ever had. Windows Phone 8 was miles ahead of iOS and Android at the time and Windows 10 is fairly on-par with the other two as well, and is still getting security updates (sometimes before iOS and Android). Of course, the first party app selection was what let WP down, but the range of third party apps and dedication to making them look and feel like the first party ones meant I didn’t mind being on WP at all. Plus, the all the apps I bought on my modded HTC HD2 with Windows Phone 7 worked on Windows Phone 8 and then, when Windows 10 came along, the majority worked on my PC too.

Windows Phone 7 wasn’t great though. I installed it on my HTC HD2 when Windows Mobile 6.5 was on the way out and it was fine but not great. Windows Phone 8 was what fixed everything wrong with Windows Phone, but the damage was done and the app developers were either on-board since 7, or had left with 7. If the mis-step with 7 wasn’t made, I think the phone could still be a viable platform.

The microphone in my 920 broke after 4 years of use and I couldn’t afford to buy another “flagship” like the 950 XL and the future of Windows Phone was looking dire, so my partner bought me a cheapish Android phone (Moto G 3rd gen under Wirecutter’s recommendation) and had nothing but issues with it and numerous features of Windows Phone missing, but it was cheap and I needed a phone. Unfortunately, I needed a phone to rely on and I couldn’t rely on the Moto.

Eventually, at the beginning of this year, I bought an iPhone X. There are still things I could do with Windows Phone that I can’t do with the iPhone (always on screen showing time and notifications, sending driving directions through car bluetooth as an automatically picked up voice call so the volume could be completely independent of the music, also persistent headphone volume, home screen “live tiles”, an alphabetical app list, apps that work on desktop too, plugging the phone into a dock to make it a faux-desktop, some other stuff I can’t think of right now) but I appreciate that Windows Phone is on minimum life support now and isn’t coming back, so I should just move on.

But, if Microsoft release the rumoured Surface Phone, I would be genuinely considering it.

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The build quality and style of Nokia’s devices was one the reasons I got a Windows phone

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gosh, yes, the lumia 920 was pretty damn hardy. never got any screen damage despite dropping a couple of times, the back got a little bit warn away but it’s hardly noticible. when Microsoft bought them, some friends bought Microsoft made Windows phones and the build quality wasn’t up to Nokia’s quality, which is a shame.

In what sense? I remember it always being a tough sell. No Instagram, no Snapchat, no native YouTube, Gmail, or other Google apps, no Tumblr, no Tinder, none of the popular games like Flappy Bird, Ingress, Pokemon Go, Minecraft.

The UI was fluid, and some of the phones had nice hardware. But, I literally facepalmed when Microsoft/Nokia sent their reps into our store with promotional flyers advertising the benefits of … Microsoft Office. You are never going to sell a phone by advertising the fact that you can use Office on it.

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The OS itself was better. The first party app situation wasn’t great, as I said. However, I never got into Insta until this year with my iPhone purchase, but I had Snapchat for quite a while until Snapchat banned everyone who used a third party app, which includes the identical 6snap on Windows Phone (I am banned from Snapchat :sunglasses:). There wasn’t an official YouTube app because of an argument between Microsoft and Google where Google wasn’t happy Microsoft had a competitor search engine so limited what their YouTube apps were allowed to do. The third party YouTube app MetroTube was perfect, and puts the official app on iOS and Android to shame.

Snapchat should’ve learned from Dropbox. The 6snap developer also made a third party Dropbox app for Windows Phone. Instead of banning all users of it, they got hired by Dropbox to make the official app for Windows Phone, and kept their own third party app going alongside it without complaint.

As for games, I’m not one who chooses a phone for its games. I have consoles for that.

So yes, first party apps were either poor or nonexistent, but for me, the third party apps made Windows Phone not just viable but good.

EDIT: Oh, and the Twitter client I used on Windows Phone back in the day I still continue to use on desktop.

EDIT EDIT: I forgot that the Lumia 920 I got was the first phone to use the Qi charging standard, before Google did. I am still using the Nokia wireless charging pad I got for free with my Lumia (special offer, thanks and RIP Phones4U) with my iPhone X 6 years later!!

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Is there a Monzo app for Windows Phone?

Don’t think so. No point anyway now it’s been discontinued.

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What Windows Phone lost in first party support it gained in many other ways. Instagram was made available along with several other first party applications however Windows Phone could run on practically any phone. Live tiles were not only useful but looked amazing. If you used a lot of microsoft applications (like myself) the apps on the devices were much better than those on other platforms and were at the time updated more frequently.

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You got your windows phone from Phone4U as well? Wow, what a coincidence!

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No. If you’ve got 15 minutes or so, you can read all about it…

The yellow one was a Phones4U exclusive. I loved my bananaphone