Thursday, October 20, 2016

Out with the old, in with the new

A few months into my stint at Microsoft, I was told I qualified for a discounted phone plan. I was on T-Mobile and looked into it. I was able to get an HTC Radar for free and I was off and running. Over the years, I had that phone, an HTC 8X, a Lumia 900 (briefly), a Lumia 800, and then a Lumia 925.

That 925 I had for the past three years. In that time, I got Marci a Lumia Icon on Verizon (now it's Riley's), another 925 for Haley (which became my backup when she got an iPhone), and Marci a Samsung Galaxy S5 on AT&T.

All that time, I was pretty proud to use the 925. I loved the size of it, as well as the camera. Plus, it did what I needed it to do: make calls, send texts, stay connected, etc. And it did it pretty well.

However, over the past several months, it started to show its age. I had put a developer's preview of Windows 10 Mobile on it as the phone didn't support the actual W10 software. It worked enough to use as a daily driver, but it did have some quirks.

I couldn't always attach photos to texts or emails without the app crashing. Some apps simply wouldn't open unless I tried two or three times. The camera button would trigger the camera (good!) but take about 10-15 seconds to open (bad). And the battery was starting to show its age, which, after 3 years, wasn't too big a surprise.

Worst of all, I couldn't make phone calls reliably. At home? It was a 50/50 proposition. I could call you, but it would probably drop. Or not even dial out. At work? About the same. I'd use wifi calling at either place and it would still be a crapshoot.

It got to be bad enough that the kids at work joked that they were gonna get me a new phone for Christmas, because they know how cheap I am.

Last week, my boss Monique said she had a surprise for me. The next day, she dropped her old Lumia 950XL on me. In other words, Microsoft's flagship phone! Unlocked, dual sim, with SD card storage, wireless charging and iris recognition. I went to T-Mobile to have my sim cut and put it in the phone.

We were off and running!

This phone is bigger than my last, and a bit thinner. I have a 64GB card in with all sorts of tunes! No more shuffling music on and off! The camera triggers within a second or two and takes superb pictures. Calls have been a pleasure to make, and all the apps and functions seem to work great!

I've had the phone for a week now and I am still stoked to have it. The iris recognition is cool, though I still feel like a dork staring at my phone to open it up. The battery lasts all day. I took it off the charger at 6:15 this morning and at 9:00 right now, it's still at 29%.

I've recorded the Scheme the past few days at rehearsal and it sounds pretty dang good for what it is. I'm excited to record some video tomorrow at the Scheme's show, and hope to have someone record us as well.

I'll post some pix and video soon.