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One Month Review of my Windows 10 Mobile Lumia 550 (1/2)

Feb 7

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Sunday, February 07, 2016 5:27 PM  RssIcon

WP_000130A month ago, I ordered my Lumia 550, and the next day it arrived! YAHOO! Here’s my summary of one moth! I hope you enjoy it.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how much I love my Windows Phone. When Microsoft announced their Lumia 950, I COULDN’T WAIT FOR IT! Well, a month ago, I got it! I ordered my Lumia 550 from the Microsoft store, and the NEXT DAY it showed up! AWESOME! THAT’S how online purchasing is supposed to work!

Here is my first impressions and other observations. Tomorrow I’m going to go into more depth with Hardware and application observations. Here are my immediate receiving and initial usage observations.

Here are my first, immediate usage impressions.

  • Small box, really small packaging box (see pic top right)
  • My 800s micro-SIM won't work, I need to goto carrier to get micro-SIM
  • No earphones
  • USB charger not detachable (usb cable can’t be unplugged, think permanent connection)
    • 950 comes with usb-c cable as well as dedicated charger cable
  • Screen isn't as slippery for fingertips as my 800
    • this turned out to be an initial usage thing, maybe some type of manufacturing production film?
  • Sides slope away as opposed to being 90 degrees, flat or curved like on the 1020 and 800
    • Power button is a bit harder to slide and press naturally
  • Bigger than my 800 but feels similar to my old 1020, without the “hunch back of Notre Dame” (what I called the camera bulge on 1020)
  • Required an update the day I get it? What are the chances?

    Now, after using the phone for a bit of time, I was quick to catch\identify what I was missing, namely,

    • Dedicated capacitive touch buttons (back, start, search)
      • No dedicated capacitive touch buttons, they are part of the OS now
      • have to swipe up from bottom to see them to kill an app
      • The Back button used to behave like "higher IRQs" and you could click'n'hold back button and close a misbehaving app, but now that the buttons are part of the OS, the misbehaving app can continue to keep control and not relinquish to anyone, not good imho
    • Dedicated camera button
      • Coworker noticed this in about…..15 seconds!
      • I'm going to miss this too in our Canadian winter, being outside in –20, I really liked having a dedicated camera button
    • USB-C adapter and quick charging
    • Continuum
    • Hello
    • No display port abilities to drive presentations
    • Where are the live Calendar todo lists? MIA?
      • OneNote is acceptable replacement, for now
      • I lost date\timed reminders, I miss having this
      • Todos don't show up in calendar in one place
      • OneNote tracks done (checkmarks), but doesn't filter out completed tasks (it's not a task todo list afterall, it takes notes)
      • I miss the Postpone option to push it out a day at a time
    • 8MB of memory is small
      • If you can help it, get the memory card BEFORE you setup phone, I read this but ignored it, paid the penalty in time with uninstalling, reinstalling and reconfiguring 33 apps (YUP! 33, no typo there)

    Ok, now that you know what was lost, here’s what was gained.

    • My calendars from Gmail!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • THIS is a BIG thing for me, without I would seriously consider android, GLAD this is back

    And although the list is small, if Windows 10 Mobile didn’t have that ONE feature, the phone was going back. Windows Phone 8.1 didn’t have the ability to sync calendars with Google Calendar (Google took that away a while back). This was really starting to bug me, not being able to see my calendar on my phone. So that was going to be my Must-Have feature. Thankfully it has it now! COOL!

    Next are “Usability Observations.” These things I just found “interesteing” or “HUH? that’s DUMB!”, here they are.

    1. On the task list, you can close by clicking X on to right, you can also swipe down like you swipe up on iPhone
    2. Sharing calendars causing multiple alarms for shared events, undesirable imho
    3. You can tell processor is slow when using web page link, edge opens first, the last web page shows up, then the new page navigates and loads
    4. Microsoft still hasn't figured out how to display new email notifications, so if u have five emails,u won't c the fifth new emails on start screen
      1. This appears to be recently fixed, but only as of this week
      2. The counting is corrected, HOWEVER, the look’n’feel of the UI hasn’t, my new email counters are still the old white number on black circles, not the nice BIG white new email count number on accent color tile.
    5. Hiccup without dedicated capacity touch back\start\search buttons is that quite a few programs ignore the given screen dimensions and draw below the buttons making for bad UI UX
      1. I think these are older WP7.0 or 7.1 apps? Just my guess? Much more common in games
    6. New paradigms
      1. hamburgers at top, some on top right, some on top left
      2. Some dialogs have menu bar selections, right above the bottom capacitive buttons which can be visually confusing (ie selecting an image for the lock screen) or Save\Delete (ie adding new Calendar event), or even worse, select the time element and you'll see THREE layers, Checkmark and X above the save\cancel above the three capacitive buttons.
    7. Notification area has a cool feature for dimming display, scrolls through four presets
      1. Nice,
    8. Camera can also be put on the Notification bar
      1. I love I have quicker access when in a rush and can’t really see the screen with my contacts on
    9. One hand operation takes some googling to get used to, but I could see useful on larger phones
      1. This is one of those little known features that’s pretty cool, but needs further blogs\articles to get the word out
      2. Press’n’hold Start button, then the screen slides down, and you have half the screen a the bottom, where your thumb can hopefully reach
      3. Press up top in black to turn off
    10. Weird issue with Store, if you install and app, get into trouble with it, want to start over and uninstall, it takes "a bit of time" (ie I'm not sure exactly how long) before the store and phone figure out you've uninstalled it, so trouble shooting suspected data loading, account logins, etc issues can be time consuming
      1. I uninstalled Shazam last night and even today, the store says I have it installed, even though I don't, rebooting phone seems to correct this, seems a bit heavy handed to force the refresh like that?
    11. Where is Background apps?
      1. Oh, in Settings, Privacy, down below the fold
      2. I wish on Settings, it would include Background Apps on the description, for some reason I have a hard time remembering
    12. Background apps, seems you HAVE to run the app first before it'll appear in the Background Apps listings
      1. So if you're paranoid\super protective about what apps are allowed background access, after installing the app, you're not done! You have to find it, run it, configure it (after you explore and find the settings), then you have to exit the app, THEN you have to remember to turn off the background apps by going to Settings\Privacy\Background apps, finding it and then turning it off
      2. Interesting how when I turned off tile updates and notifications from the NBC News app, the background app option was still on, in other words, if you're UBER protective about your battery, don't trust the apps!
    13. Wi-fi usage looks awesome, except when you have long list of uninstalled apps in that list, great you can see WHAT was using data, but you don't know which app it was for, MS could keep the name of the app around, or just include that in the data\app to uninstall
      1. I would like to be able to control what apps have access to data plan, similar to background tasks but in carrier\cellular options, I believe this is possible but dependent on the individual app support, I would like this to be at an OS level. I want to control that podcasts update on wifi but not on cell, but my mail will update on both wifi and carrier
      2. Currently need to look at System, notifications, then Privacy, background apps, then Networks & wireless, Data usage, there's many options in here, then Cellular & SIM
    14. Cell usage?
      1. I thought my usage was overly HIGH last month, but it was first real month, I thought could be?
      2. But then I read today about there COULD be a problem?
      3. I love new data usage notification apps

    So, there you have it, my first initial impressions of my Microsoft Lumia 550 phone. Tomorrow I’m going to do one more post with in-depth issues\Kudos about apps and the phone overall. Now it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!

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