Friday, January 30, 2015

When Good Products Go Bad: Nokia Lumia 1520

I've owned many different phones in my life, starting all the way back in high school with my very first. It was a small silver T-mobile flip phone that was practically indestructible. I dropped it countless times, I had it in the rain and snow, and spilled food on it more times that I care to admit, yet that phone refused to quit. Like the few older phones that came after it, it didn't die because of water or physical destruction - it died purely from old age. It kicked the bucket at the electronic equivalent of "old geezer".

My following phones weren't nice either. While everyone wanted the newest and shiniest, I was happy with the oldest and sturdiest - I didn't need anything big or fancy. I just needed something that worked for text and phone calls. Then the Iphone happened, and while I held out longer than most, I eventually caved and got the Iphone 3GS. It was my first smart phone, and it was amazing. I was instantly converted to a smartphone devotee.

Unfortunately, with my new-found love I learned very quickly; the newer and smarter the phone, the easier it damages. The Iphone 3GS fell and just didn't work well after that. To save money my replacement was an original Iphone 3G that my mother had retired because it was slowly creeping into "old geezer" territory. She gladly gifted it to me, but sadly it kicked the bucket not too long after my move to the deep south. I took over my husband's EXTREMELY old phone which was much sturdier than it's newer, smarter counterparts, however that phone was well into "old geezer" territory by the time it came to me. When one day it randomly deleted all of my phone numbers, addresses and email addresses for no reason, I knew it was time for a change. 

I began to hunt around for my best option. I wanted a new smartphone, one that could do the basics but I also wanted something unique. Around that time I saw a commercial for the Nokia Lumia 1520, and I was intrigued with the camera and Microsoft Office capabilities. However, I was a bit skeptical of switching from Iphone and Android to Windows. When it finally hit the stores (I knew when because I called every week like a creepy ex that won't give up) I ran in and started playing with it that same day. I was amazed at how easy it was to navigate a Windows 8 layout, and I purchased it on a Next plan, paying for the service each month, and then breaking up the $600 price tag over a period of 24 months on top of the monthly service bill.

When I purchased the 1520, they didn't have any protective cases like the Otterbox or Lifebox available for it yet. They only had one style of a bland, expensive leather case that really only helped with preventing surface scratches. I purchased it though out of necessity. After scouring around for a few months, I picked up a thick, plastic case to use instead. Both cases, while made of completely different materials, were no more like a Life/Otter box than a King Cake like a souffle. After speaking with more than one rep at the ATT store, they assured me that they would be coming out in the next few months with more apps and better cases than the one they had.  While many people prefer to bedazzle, bejewel, and bebling, I prefer my phone to survive a fall to the floor or an accidental water glass spill. Cute only goes so far.

I waited patiently only only to now have....nothing. It's been exactly 13 months since I purchased my Nokia Lumia 1520. No lifeboxes. No otterboxes. None of my favorite Android and Iphone apps available on Windows. Only a handful of decorative cases on the market and a sour taste in my mouth. Reason being: 

This phone is the most overly-sensitive, poorly--internally-constructed phone that I have come into contact with.

As of today I am now the proud (not really) owner of my 3rd, yes, 3rd Nokia Lumia 1520. The last 2 have lasted a total of 6.5 months a piece. Cause of death you ask? Early-onset electronic dementia. Not old age, dementia. It starts off slowly; the slight lagging, the odd color changes at the corners of the screen. This is then quickly followed by the rapid downhill stage where the phone starts doing things on it's own without me having to touch it. Yes, my phone will be sitting next to me untouched and suddenly it starts scrolling around and opening up random apps, sometimes apps I haven't opened in weeks. This is then followed by full screen color changes, extreme lagging, and at times completely freezing for no reason at all with the only solution being a complete reboot.

Please don't get me wrong, I love the Windows operating system and the Nokia Lumia 1520. It's an amazing phone (when it's working) that can do fantastic things and it will make life so convenient (when it's working). However, it doesn't appear to have a very long lifespan. When I went in to ATT the other day to talk to them about my options for getting another phone, I found out that the Nokia Lumia 1520 never took off like they had hoped so they never developed products for it. Now I am stuck with a one-hit wonder with no way of keeping up it's sleek, expensive integrity. No matter which angle I'm viewing this equation from, the end result will be me paying full price for this phone, and then having to paying for a whole other phone.

While I had the hype and excitement of owning a cool, brand new thing that practically nobody else had yet, it didn't make up for the waste of money and headaches. Owning new tech is cool, but owning tech that can be protected and is more than just a one-hit wonder: priceless.

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