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[Q] How viable is this phone?

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woofed
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Default [Q] How viable is this phone?

If i wana game and stuff.. can i still do android games, or i dont understand exactly how this works.. is it a mini pc?
 
GoodDayToDie
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"i wana game and stuff" is a pretty un-informative list of desired functionality. However, I'll do the best I can.

"can i still do android games" Let's see... what part of "Windows Phone" sounds like "Android"? Nope. Of course, a lot of games that are on Android are also on WP8. A lot of Android games are *not* on WP8, though. On the other hand, some WP games aren't on Android (relatively speaking, far fewer, but there are some). The main key features that WP has for gaming are that A) there's a mandatory chassis spec, so you don't get games that run great on some phones and terribly on others (though some of the cheaper phones will simply not run some high-end games); B) there is Xbox Live integration with a lot of games, meaning you can get Gamerscore, sometimes get rewards tied to the console games, and can play with Xbox friends in some multiplayer games.

"is it a mini pc?" Not any more than any other smartphone. It's a mini PC in the same sense that an iPhone is a mini Mac (which is to say, from a user experience and software compatibility perspective, not at all). It is made by the same company, uses some of the same online services (SkyDrive, Xbox Music, etc.), you can link it with a Microsoft account the same way you can a Windows 8 PC, its browser uses the IE10 rendering engine, and it supports Office documents. Other than that, though, all of the similarities between Windows Phone and Windows are under the covers, invisible and irrelevant to the end user. I personally think Microsoft was stupid to keep the "Windows" part of the name. It's arguably more similar to an "Xbox Phone" or something like that.

"i dont understand exactly how this works" I don't understand exactly how your spell checker let you type like that, but back on subject... Windows Phone is its own smartphone OS. It is as different from iOS or Android as iOS and Andriod are from each other, and as similar. Like Android, it's available on a range of hardware, some better than others; unlike Android (but like iOS), all the hardware that it's available on meets certain minimum specifications. Like iOS, it's a locked-down OS without any kind of file browser or command line features, but unlike iOS (and like Android) you can sideload (some) apps for free. (Taking this moment to preemptively remind you to read the forum rules, especially #6.) Like both iOS and Android, there's an app store with hundreds of thousands of apps, many of which are free or have free trials; like iOS (but somewhat unlike Android) the apps are all screened carefully to prevent malicious ones.

Regarding viability in general, here are some of WP8's strong points (note that some of them are specific to certain lines of phones, rather than being available on all of them):
  • Social network integration. Best with Facebook and Twitter, but it supports a bunch of them.
  • Office documents. Specifically Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. Also works really well with Exchange servers, of course, though it can do other email just fine.
  • Music. The Xbox Music pass is a sweet deal, if you live in a region where you can get it, and support for it is built into the phone. Nokia Music, if you buy a Nokia phone, is also supposed to be great (I have a Samsung phone, so I can't speak for that). Pandora, etc. are of course available too, as apps.
  • Navigation. Here Drive/Transit/Maps (Nokia's mapping and navigation apps) are available on all Windows phones (free on all Nokia phones and also on non-Nokia ones in some parts of the world) and they are good.
  • Excellent hardware value. The Lumia 52x and 62x phones are fantastic value for their (very low) cost. The Samsung ATIV S is considerably cheaper than its Android equivalent, the Galaxy S3.
  • Fantastic cameras, especially on the higher-end Nokia phones. The Lumia 92x and 1520 phones have Really Good cameras; the 1020 has arguably the best camera of any production smartphone in the world (quite a bit better than some dedicated point-and-shoot cameras).
  • Security. Unlike Android, there is essentially no malware (I'm not aware of *any* malware "in the wild") for WP8.
  • Storage. Unlike iOS, some WP8 devices have microSD slots; combined with internal storage, they can hold a lot of music/videos/pictures/documents/etc. Apps can't be installed to the SD card, but you have more room for apps anyhow because you put everything else on the card and leave all the internal storage for apps.
  • Battery life. WP8 is *much* better than Android about preventing background apps from eating all your battery life.
  • Skype integration. If you use Skype much, WP8 is great.
  • Xbox Live integration. If you like getting achievements and having mobile games connected with Xbox games sounds cool, WP8 is where it's at.
  • At-a-glance information. The whole "live tiles" system, where basically every app can (if useful for it to do so) act sort of like a little Android widget (but with much less battery impact) and where notifications for a given app show up as a number on that app's tile, is pretty cool.

With that all said, WP8 does have some weaknesses too. If the following things are important for you, that could be a problem.
  • Not very hackable/rootable. We're part-way there on Samsung WP8 devices. Nothing much on any other manufacturer yet, although there's talk of something for Huawei.
  • No support for third-party app stores. Like iOS (but unlike Android), only the official app store run by Microsoft is supported by the OS.
  • Not as many apps, and the don't tend to come out on WP8 until they're already out on Android and iOS. That's not to say there aren't tons of apps - there are, by any objective measure - but there aren't *as many* as the two leading platforms.
  • No ability to install other browser engines. IE10 is good, and you can use apps that re-skin the browser engine (this is how Chrome works on iOS, as well), but like iOS (and unlike Android) you can't install things like Mobile Firefox at this time.
  • No VPN support yet. If you need a VPN on your phone (most people don't, but some do) then you'll need to wait on WP8; there's an update coming that should add support though.

Stuff I didn't mention, like gaming quality or so on, are basically on par with other platforms. The hardware is less diverse than Android but more diverse than iOS, it's available on tons of carriers around most of the world. It's less customizable than Android, but Microsoft also protects the software against being too screwed up by the OEM or carrier the way a lot of Android devices are. You don't need special software (like iTunes) for day-to-day use, so it doesn't really matter what OS you use on your PC. The UI is *different* from that of iOS or Android, but whether you like it or not is personal taste.
Win8/Windows RT projects:
List of desktop apps for hacked RT devices

WP8 projects:
Native Access WebServer and Libraries
WP8 Interop Unlocks
Storage Cleanup tool

WP7 projects:
XapHandler, Root Webserver, OEM Marketplace XAPs, Bookmarklets collection (Find On Page), Interop-unlock hacks.


Do not private message me with questions that should have been posted on the forum! Not only are you wasting your time - I'm not going to bother writing an answer to such a question for only one person - but I will probably block you from PMing me in the future as well.
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