Nokia announced their new Windows Phone 8 powered devices last night. Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 would be their latest offerings in the smartphone market.
I have to admit that they are doing good work with their WP phones. The design is unique. They bundle a lot of exclusive apps which are pretty cool. They have done some good work with the camera and the touchscreen technology.
The company blundered of course by not announcing any definitive launch plan. Pricing was also not revealed. We have no idea when these models would arrive in India and at what prices. Nokia for example has not even bothered to launch Lumia 900 in India because it simply would have failed to compete against the competing devices powered by Android.
Both the models announced yesterday are fairly high end which means that we are looking in the price range of Rs. 25-35k if not more. This price segment is totally dominated by high end Android devices from Samsung and HTC.
I know a couple of people who might go for either of these two devices because they are bored of their current Android devices. Apple iPhone users are of course going to stay away. But for someone like me who is pretty tied up with the Google ecosystem, WP8 and Lumia devices are simply not an option.
For one, it requires me to start using Microsoft powered services like Hotmail/Outlook, SkyDrive and of course Bing. Secondly, it is not as flexible as Android when it comes to storage management and installation of apps.
Another problem is that Google has pretty much stayed away from Windows Phone platform. There are no apps for Google Maps or Google Drive or even Google+. WP8 might change that and we might finally see Google launching apps for this platform. But their apps would not be as powerful as the integrated apps offered by Microsoft. User experience is going to remain third grade.
I see absolutely no reason to think about discarding Android as my choice of Android platform even though I am sick of the lack of options I have when it comes to Android devices.
Windows 8 of course changes a lot of things. Microsoft services are tightly integrated in Windows 8 which might push me to start using them once I upgrade. Windows Phone 8 is also likely to feature deep integration with Windows 8 which might make life easier for managing the phone itself.
One good example is integration of SkyDrive… Photos taken on the phone are synced in real-time with the computer through this platform. Google on the other hand has nothing comparable. Dropbox does an incredible job of offering a similar functionality!
Microsoft has an amazing opportunity with both of these platforms when they arrive in the market later this year. Google would have to watch out for this combined ecosystem because it threatens their massively successful Android project. They would have to ensure that they have apps connected to their own services optimized for Windows 8 especially the modern user interface otherwise known as Metro.