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Why I’m reluctantly excited about the Lumia 1020

imageI have no choice – I’m getting a Lumia 1020. I’m using a Lumia 900 and it’s done. It’s not getting a WP8 upgrade and it’s hit that point where it just doesn’t like life any more. Part of that is that it’s running low on storage. The rest is just that thing that happens when you use electronics and they die over time. Anyway, the 1020 is here to save the day, right? I’m getting one. I am.  And I am excited. The camera is sick and I do use my phone’s camera all the time instead of carrying a point and shoot. Having something that can actually be on the same page as an SLR is a game changer. So I’m in. But…

Well the real problem for me is that Windows Phone 8 is somewhat stale already. Way back in October of 2011 I noted that I had the following issues with recommending Windows Phones for business users:

  • There’s a default font for email. You can’t change that. So if I’m out of the office and sending an email from my phone it’s obvious since the font is something like Curly Cue 12
  • If I want to forward an email it’s an all or nothing affair. I can’t edit that email. If you’ve ever had a chain of emails you know how often you want to redact a few lines before circulating it. No deal without a copy and paste job to try to get around it.
  • You can’t email Adobes. OK you can forward an email with an Adobe attached to it but you can’t ‘reply all’ and attach an Adobe saved on your phone and you can’t start a new email and attach a locally saved Adobe. This hits a wall with the inability to alter text within emails as I just noted.
  • Attachments are a mess in general. The same ‘Adobe’ issue is present in Office files. If I want to attach a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file I can’t ‘reply all’ and attach it. If you hit the ‘attach’ button that means you’re sending a picture. The only option is to start a fresh email but you need to go into the Office hub and start with the file and share it from there. So you can’t attach two office files and you can’t just reply to a chain of emails so if there was a chain you need to copy the recipients, go to the Office hub and then start from there. It’s very unnecessary, messy and often insufficient
  • Want to jump onto your VPN and grab a file to view or email around? Yeah not happening. There are some apps that let you remote desktop but that’s not an ideal solution. VPN should be standard
  • This is only slightly on point but if you’re on a call and an email comes in, you get those three ‘dings’ with the third being the loudest and most annoying. Really, I’m trying to talk on the phone – no need to make me take my ear off the phone because an obnoxious incoming emails sound is constantly pinging me, a few seconds for each email
  • The inability to forward contact information or open and save vcards. We now have some third party apps to send contact information but this has to be native


So here we are two years later and every one of those issues still persists. And where are we with VPN? It’s the first half of next year for a WP8 upgrade. Let’s put this in perspective – Microsoft is supposed to own enterprise and their phone can’t connect to their own servers. I feel like a Blackberry users. Oh wait, BB10 connects to VPN, I forgot.  But the bottom line is that basic business features are sadly still lacking and it shows that the platform hasn’t fully matured yet.

OK so I’m complaining about software. Well I have some hardware issues too. We know that Microsoft is going to open the door to more chipsets (yeah with more cores) and higher resolution screens. That’s expected by the holidays.  Add to that, the Lumia 1020 is 32GB and that’s not expandable (even though we’ll be shooting two simultaneous photos and the ultra hi-res images will be huge). And yeah, there’s no built-in wireless charging. A real bummer considering they were pushing it well with the Lumia 920 and now it’s back to adding a shell.

This all has the feeling of Microsoft, 2013. On all of their product lines they’re on the cusp of delivering but as of today have nothing. Think about it. WP8 is about to get that push. Xbox is about to get the Xbox One. Windows is about to get Windows 8.1. And PCs are about to get Haswells and those rumored cheap 8” full PCs.  But for all of those things, none are in my hands. In fact, all of them are really getting prepped for the holidays and nothing will be ready in time for the return to school crowd.

So here I am, a Microsoft fan boy stuck in a holding pattern. I have my Xbox One preordered. I‘ll be getting a Lumia 1020 on the day it’s released. When I have time to clear my entire Surface RT to have enough free storage to upgrade to  8.1 beta and get Outlook I will. And I’m unfortunately forced to wait for a Haswell tablet/convertible to actually hit the market.  They’ve conditioned me to be patient though…