Differences between Windows 10 Mobile (Nokia Icon) & Android (Samsung Galaxy S8)

imageHere’s a list of things I’ve noticed that are different between Windows 10 Mobile (Nokia Icon) & Android (Samsung Galaxy S8) since I’ve moved over:

POSITIVES:

  • Device unlock & authentication using fingerprint is a seamless experience.  While really not necessary & just a ‘nice-to-have’, this is probably the most surprising & delightful thing I’ve discovered about moving to the Samsung Galaxy S8.  Every time I discover another Android app that supports fingerprint auth (Bank of America, Chase, Paypal, etc.) instead of username/pwd/pin, I smile.
  • Battery life is really excellent.  While it is a new phone, I would argue that the battery life on the unit is 100%-150% more than that of my old Nokia Icon.  I used to make do with charging in my car or carrying an extra battery like we all do. So far I haven’t needed an extra battery, so again, this is convenient but a ‘nice-to-have’.
  • Fast. Wow, this thing is fast. Apps run fast, both wired & wireless charging is fast, fingerprint/facial authentication is fast, browsing is fast.  Again, while this sounds exciting, it’s more of a ‘nice to have’.
  • Skype for Business client for Android absolutely kicks the ASS of the W10M version and that’s pretty embarrassing. Part of this has to do with how the app runs in the background all the time, while it closes when not in the foreground on W10M.  This is borderline revolutionary because I use Skype for Business so much, and a pretty good value proposition for moving to Android.
  • Thin & light.  It’s indeed the thinnest phone I’ve ever had.  Even with a gel case, it’s thinner than my Nokia Icon.  The downside is that you don’t feel like you have a grip on the phone they way you did with the Nokia. I’m dreading the day I drop it.
  • The display is a little longer – about 3/4” longer – than the Nokia Icon and that’s including the softkeys at the base (back, home, apps), meaning there’s a bit more real estate to display things.
  • The display is really beautiful.  There’s no question that it’s the most vibrant and easy to view screen I’ve ever used.  The auto-brightness is excellent as well.  This element of the phone is nearly perfect.  But because of the convex nature of the glass, you REALLY need to get a tempered glass protector over it – which is a simple $12 purchase.

NEGATIVES:

  • It hate having to page through grids of icons.  I used to be able to store 90% of what I needed on a single page because of resizable tiles under Windows 10 Mobile.  Now I have to have 4 pages of unsizeable icons.
  • Outlook for Android doesn’t appear to have the basic ability to set an appointment as “private”.  Nor does it have the ability to set categories.  Or make an appointment reoccurring. 
  • Configuration is a nightmare.  There are so many configuration menus & sections, it’s mind-boggling.  Easily 3x-4x more than W10M, and while that is partially due to there being more flexibility, a lot of it is just lousy UI.  Good luck ever finding what you need in that maze of knobs & switches.  Worst configuration panel ever.
  • The UI is very inconsistent between apps & the OS. “OK” or “Send” is top of screen, bottom of screen, left of center, right of center. Really annoying – especially when the send button is at the top of the screen & because of the length of the phone, you have to move your hand to the top of the screen.
  • Microsoft Authenticator doesn’t always pop up notifications when expected.  We use Microsoft Authenticator to verify two-factor authentication for everything from VPN into Microsoft to access to extranet sites and not getting the notification on your phone for TFA auth is disturbing.  You find yourself frantically opening the Authenticator app and checking to see if it’s working – which is usually is, but Android simply didn’t post a system notification for you to respond to.
  • Widgets suck.  They take up a horrendous amount of space, none of them look attractive, and they’re all poorly written.
  • Voice to text is super important for me, and Google’s voice to text is quite accurate – but it doesn’t autocapitalize proper nouns or the first letter of each sentence, nor does it add punctuation where it belongs.  Cortana voice to text is FANTASTIC.  It not only does a great job with capitalization & punctuation but also with proper nouns.  I really miss it.
  • Not having Outlook contacts sync with the local contacts of the phone is a royal PITA.  You can push all your Outlook contacts (via the Outlook settings) to your Android contacts but once they’re out of sync, you’ll get incoming calls/texts that have only a phone number… annoying. 
  • Android Notification hell is hell.  I remember seeing other Android users’ notification icons and saying, “Why do you have so many icons at the top of your screen?” and they usually just shrug and say they ignore it.  How stupid is that?  Every damned app has notifications access & to tune your notifications, you basically have to wait until something shows up that annoys the hell out of you & then mute it or turn off notifications entirely for that one app.  There’s no standards for notifications on Android… it’s horrible.  I don’t remember ever going through this hell on any other platform.
  • The device froze on me.  I woke up one morning and the device was completely locked up on my nightstand.  I have to do a Volume-Power button reset.  After doing so, the always on clock configuration was weirdly reset. I don’t remember my Windows 10 Mobile EVER locking up on me. It may have had other issues but that wasn’t one of them.
  • Audio stop & start.  If I get a call or a reminder while music or audio is playing, the audio won’t necessarily continue.  This appears to be a ‘per app’ thing – as in each app has to take care of this on their own.  For example, there’s a setting on Audible for Android to continue playing back audio if it’s interrupted by a phone call or a notification.  On other apps, that’s not necessarily available.  So when you get a phone call or a text message, the audio… just stops.  In the car or in the shower, that’s really annoyingly stupid.
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