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

Feb 8

Written by:
Monday, February 08, 2016 8:00 PM  RssIcon

A month ago, I ordered my Lumia 550, and the next day it arrived! YAHOO! Here’s my summary of one month! 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!

Yesterday I blogged about my initial observations about the phone. Today I’m going to go into further details about the hardware, the apps, Microsoft and 3rd party, and close out with my overall conclusion. I hope you enjoy this blog.

  • Hardware
    • Microphone
      • Half circle on bottom of phone made me at first gasp thinking the glass was cracked but I think it's the mic
    • Speaker
      • Louder than any other WP I've had before
      • Would speaker be better placed at bottom instead of back?
      • I find I have to cup the phone to hear videos or songs, you?
    • Memory and the MicroSD
      • Make sure you buy the fastest one you can afford
        • when I went I saw 45, 70 and 90 speeds, I bought the 70, I wish I hadn't cheaped out and bought the 90 speedier one
        • Why? Cause often I’ll be waiting for something, and my brain always goes “…hhmmmm you cheaped out eh? NOW you have to wait for it, was it worth that $20 savings?” (not nice of my brain eh?)
      • Try, as best as you can, to install after you take it out of the box, try not waiting until after you've setup your phone and apps
    • Camera
      • Able to configure to press'n'hold camera button to take video
        • interesting, not so good while skiing, don't forget to press'n'HOLD (ie don’t forget about the HOLD part! LOL)
        • Ok, might seem silly now, but wasn’t when you can’t read with contacts on a ski hill in bright light and you’re tired and going downhill…faster and faster, DOH!
      • I have a chip in plastic camera lens already
        • Ok, it’s not the glass covering of the 1020, but chipped after a week? yikes
      • Taking then saving isn't nearly as fast as it should, IMHO
        • I can take a pic, goto Photos and it won't show up there for a time, why?
        • Is it the SD memory card?
        • Why can't it show a place holder while it's saving?
    • USB
      • USB cable plugs into bottom, not the top
      • Phone won't sit on stand vertically when plugged in, and OS won't rotate 180, I hope it can keep a charge all day long!
    • Cellular
      • LTE!!!!!!!!! I didn't have that on my 800
    • Battery
      • On average use, I can go all day without plugging in, very cool IMHO!
  • Keyboard
    • Swipe IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! YAHOO! Happy Days are here again!
      • But in SOME cases it's not swipe, huh?
    • BUT sometimes, most notably in Edge entering a webpage, or on a webpage entering username, why can't I swipe? And what are the visual cues that swipe is not available?
    • I like the arrows on keyboard!
      • Fantastic for when you want to move ONE character or line from where you are
      • Historically it was nasty to do this, you usually just ended up angrily highlighting word and retyping
    • I wish swipe keyboard could learn better from my corrections and my typing style, words, grammar style
      • If you want to reply to me that "it already does" uh then it's sadly broken
    • Auto correct lags behind about half a sec, just long enough to make me go hmmmmm? But not enough to make me want to spend $500 more for the 950
  • Settings
    • Privacy
      • setting some settings here caused the whole Settings app to GPF on me, weird!
    • Background apps
      • Seems like you have to run the app for it to show up here
        • I guess that’s ok if you’re doing one app at a time, but doing a bunch in batch makes this difficult
  • Microsoft Store Website
    • What happened with being able to use desktop browser to navigate MS store and install to plugged in phone?
    • I can't seem to get that to work
    • I would MUCH prefer searching for apps in IE\Edge or with store app on the desktop with full size monitor and keyboard
  • Microsoft phone apps
    • Default installed apps?
      • I thought one advantage of buying direct from Microsoft would be to skip all the pre-installed crapware?
      • Hhmm MS has new "arrangements" with, lets see what's installed by default, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, QuickUp, Shazam, Uber, and The Weather Channel
    • Photos
      • Picking a photo editor does nothing right now, it did open one at one time but now, nothing
    • Notification Center
      • I miss knowing\seeing when and what applications get updated, I was expecting to see this in the notifications centre, is it not there?
      • If it is, it’s not self evident
    • Outlook \ email
      • Last TWO updates were weird
        • Initially nothing was fixed, even the from field was broken by not showing contacts name, just email
        • However then the next day, it started working, VERY strange
        • BUT the new email counter is still showing the old white on black counter
      • Linked emails is cool idea, but in practice, hard to differentiate between inboxes on screen
      • I LOVE the swiping to the left or right to DEL and MOVE, I especially love the undo too!
        • It's configurable, sweet!
      • Some apps use the swipe down metaphor to update, Email still makes you hit the circle arrows,
        • Why can't there also be a swipe down to kick off a sync?
        • While on this bone, why can't it see WHEN was the last update? It says “Up to date” but it’s shown me to be untrustworthy
        • And why can't I hit that bar at the bottom to kick off a sync?
      • Conversation setting in email is ignored for my work emails, that's not right,
        • not sure why this is only buggy in work emails?
        • It seems to be working now, after a reboot, why does this need a reboot?
      • Once linked Inbox is setup, I can't seem to unset it to just see Hotmail\Live emails alone
        • again a reboot seems to handle this, WHY the reboot?
      • Email status of "up to date", sometimes lies
        • Do a sync and new emails come in, how can it be up to date and be missing emails? If you don't know, don't say!
      • Email counters are back to the white on back circles, where did the big numbers, white on accent color go?
      • Email Sharing, is well, hhhmmmmm quite broken with the 550. I’m not sure if it’s just the 550
    • Calendar
      • Should the phone respect meeting time and busy times?
        • Why am I hearing my phone ring when I'm in a meeting that the phone KNOWS about? Can't I silence the phone?
        • Turn to silence would be GREAT here?
        • When setting times, the Save button and the OS navigation buttons are too close together and too easily mixed up
    • Contacts
      • I would REALLY like to be able to search by phone number,
        • don't tell me I'm the ONLY one that's *69'd a number only to realize I recognize the number but I can't put a name to it?
        • Ok, I'll just search my phone for it…nope, can't do it
      • Why can't I search in the Notes field?
      • I'm really surprised why pinned contacts won't have their start tiles updated with incoming texts
        • Not on my 550 it doesn’t do that
    • Phone
      • Flip to silence doesn't work on my 550, does it work on the 950?
    • Messaging\Texting
      • Why do I see failed sent notifications multiple times?
        • Started with two, now I'm seeing three, isn't one enough?
      • SUPER cool to be able to reply to txt message right from notification
      • When it can't send, why can't it just automatically retry for me? Why do I have to hit the retry link?
    • Maps
      • Oh wow, I setup Maps to down load two provinces then went on to do other things, I came back later on to get directions, and the map downloading had stopped when I navigated away, interesting to know
      • How do you setup waypoints?
      • I discovered yesterday you can hit the dot in a circle on the right and it’ll follow you while you’re travelling
        • great when you’re on a bus\train and want to know where you are
    • Gadgets
      • A new app
      • Remembers plugged in speaker, lets me pick what to open when plugged in, pretty cool feature IMHO
    • Start Screen
      • Seems to be a problem with moving tiles around and to the bottom
        • My top two tiles often are moved from top to bottom
        • I've seen others on Twitter complain\ask about this, not just me
      • Add ability to the full app list, I want an option to show by MRU
        • This would help to identify apps that should be on the start screen (at top) and possibly apps you might want to delete (at bottom)
      • Email notification updates to start screen are lagging
        • Same with text messages
    • Lock Screen
      • We have a swipe keyboard, why can't the lock screen be swipe as well?
    • Cortana
      • Cortana is drunk!
        • A LOT! :<
      • She's very slow and really sluggish with 550, unusable really, I've just given up unfortunately
      • Problem with having no dedicated buttons is you cannot gain immediate press'n'hold access to Cortana anymore :<
        • Have to press power button THEN press'n'hold search
    • Edge
      • The tabs work differently than before, can't quite put my finger on it yet
    • OneNote
      • I was able to GPF with zooming, weird I know, zooming caused an uncaught exception and killed the app
    • Settings
      • Turning off some privacy sensor access would GPF the app, not good!
  • 3rd party apps
    • LinkedIn
      • hhhmmm can’t say anything good about this, useless, I actually uninstalled this and just defer anything LinkedIn until I’m online again
    • Skype
      • Simply doesn't work for me on the 550, I’ve just given up trying
    • TriviaCrack
      • Likewise with this app, once I signed in, that was it, it would GPF upon launch and no matter of uninstall\reinstall will fix it
    • Twitter
      • Why does Twitter need access to my microphone? Why's it in there then?
    • Shazam
      • Why does Shazam need my location information? What POSSIBLE reason could it be using that for other than just to have it? Useless requirements imho
      • But it doesn’t ask for microphone access, first time I tried to use Shazam, installed it, opened it, GREAT but it couldn't hear the song, a few days later it dawned on me to check the privacy settings and yup, it's muted, allow the mic and it works great, buuuuuut why not ask for THAT instead of location?
      • They are trying out a new password-less way of signing in, far from perfect,
        • They don't say you need to access from SAME device as you're trying to start the app from
        • I would like an option for the old password way to be honest
      • Once you setup your friendly name, there's no way to change it, unless you uninstall, and sign in again
    • Facebook
      • Much better experience than wp8.1 on my 800
      • But I still get WAY too many sync errors
      • Why everytime I refresh, I get a few more updates, starts with 5hrs back, then 3, then 2, then 30m, then 3h again, no rhyme or reason?
    • Office Lense
      • Great app for grabbing whiteboard diagrams and getting them out to people
      • Integrates right into the Photo app, just too bad that doesn’t actually WORK on my 550
      • Clicking on the checkmark\OK button very slow to respond
        • Often, I've clicked 1, 2, 3 times before I realized I'm just too excited.
  • Accompanying Windows Desktop program
    • Nice that it turns on right away after plugging in
  • Overall
    • Just lately, last few days, I've noticed gaps in text in the fonts, hard to explain, but the lines that make up letters in a font, are missing, think Zebra stripes for lettering
      • I haven’t noticed this after the last two Outlook updates, keeping an eye out for this
    • Why can I not use my expensive Lumia 550 phone running Windows 10 Mobile, as a computer unlocking mechanism?
      • When I'm close by, just have it unlock my box, when I walk away, lock it, all automagically for me
    • Short lags between presses and screen updates, mildly irritating from what I'm used to
      • I would expect this is attributed to the 550 cpu chip vs the 950, but I also have $500 more in my pockets
    • There is a new "Send" arrow icon that's consistent throughout Windows 10, nicely done
      • However, this Send button is similar but drawn differently in different cases, the Send on the txt notifications and the Outlook Send, one actually looks bolded and one doesn’t

Conclusions. I LOVE MY LUMIA 550! There, you have it! The phone is LESS than $200 CA with overnight shipping. That’s more than $500 LESS than the 950 and 950XL. It has some, and I stress some means small, number of issues, all of which I’m ok to deal with, especially since I saved 500 BUCKS! So there you have it, the good and the bad from one months use of my Lumia 550. If this proved useful in any way, or if you want to help me out with anything I said, please leave me a comment below. Now it’s time to grab a coffee and get coding!

 

Resources

PCHenry.com: One Month Review of my Windows 10 Mobile Lumia 550 (1/2)

Microsoft.com: Microsoft Lumia 550

GSMArena: Microsoft Lumia 550

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