Friday, 30 November 2012

Nokia Lumia 920. Dubai - The Final Frontier...

Life rushing by...
Life rushing by... (Photo credit: .craig)
So I had this rather public meltdown the other day. My HTC Desire once again went into a negative feedback loop and started cluster-crashing because of some accretive Android/HTC bug that constantly pumps memory full like a narcoleptic bouncy castle pump operator.

It crashed, then rebooted (every time twinkling "Quietly Brilliant", which when a device is being bumptiously retarded is not, believe me, helpful), crashed and rebooted. I had to send a potential client a land-line number to call over LinkedIn for a scheduled call. The shame. It was as bad as asking someone to send a fax. I couldn't tweet a photo I had taken. I was cut off, in The Land That Time Forgot.

Now, to be fair, the HTC is getting long in the tooth now. It's running Frozen Mastodon or whatever early version of Android was around back then. I bought it from an authorised UAE reseller which meant, of course, that I got a Jordanian mobile with a 'Muezin' app built into the firmware. For two years, I have been finding whatever it is I want to do interrupted five times a day. It took me three days to work out how to turn the audible alarm off. A morning person, even I found 4.30am alarms wearing after a while.

The crashes made me realise I had been putting up with a subtly degrading 'user experience' for some time now. The camera's not all that - and frequently crashes. I use SIM based contacts because the only way to clear memory every time it fills is delete the phone contacts. TweetDeck and Instagram are pretty much the phone's saving graces. Meanwhile, it's sat on the desk, quietly and brilliantly crashing and re-crashing.

The decision to throw the mobile at the wall was an easy one and highly cathartic. However, I now had a perma-crashing mobile with a cracked screen. What happened next was something of a surprise.

Nokia's PR agency popped up and gave me a Lumia 920 on loan. Which is about as neat a piece of timing as you'd want to find. And pretty brave given that I had not only forsworn Nokia by hurling my N-86 at the self-same wall two years back but have been quite a vocal critic of the company as it proceeded to screw everything up over the past 18 months and more.

So far I can tell you the Lumia is a very impressive piece of hardware indeed. The first thing I've noticed is the onscreen keyboard is a quantum leap from the HTC one and usable to the point of provoking child-like gurgles of pleasure. Windows Phone is very slick and so utterly unlike Windows you wonder why they kept the name. I have reservations about sucking up the Microsoft ecosystem Kool-Aid, but I'm going along with things for now. The Lumia is heavy, in the substantial way that Nissan Patrol doors go 'thunk' when you close them. I'm not entirely sure a canary yellow phone is 'me', but beggars and all that.

I'll let you know how I get on with it. Meanwhile, I've got a book to launch...

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