Will Nokia Lumia last in 2022…not at all? Looking back at Windows Phone!

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It’s been 10 years… Android 4 and iOS 6 on iPhone 5 are current affairs, but ruin them because I was in love with Windows Phone. And if you wanted a Windows Phone, you had to buy a Nokia Lumia.

It’s hard to believe that Android and iOS weren’t the only smartphone camps we had in 2012. Windows Phone was a legitimate third option, even if it was never as big as the other two. Never had so many apps, never had such great user adoption… But it was so promising and appealing to me.

So when I was done using my first Android phone that I hated, I decided it was time to buy a Lumia, especially after witnessing some impressive events promoting it. Mainly the Nokia Lumia 800 Deadmau5 event in London, which I attended. It was sick, check it out:

Even before this hyped-up promo event, I knew I really liked Windows Phone, because of its user interface (UI). It was so beautiful and minimalistic, so timeless!

Meanwhile, both Android and iOS looked really bad to me at the time. And while those two took a while to become as aesthetically pleasing as they are today, Windows Phone had a timeless look from the start. So I wanted to try it.

Here’s the problem, though: I was a broke kid, so no Lumia 800 for me. Instead, I went to the store and bought the latest cheap Lumia out there, and it was the Nokia Lumia 510. It just came out and it was my one and only phone for the next six months.

Let’s take a look back at how this cheap Windows Phone 7.8 smartphone holds up today, 10 years later…

Windows Phone’s timeless UI lasts even today

First, the Lumia 510’s 4-inch display still looks great even today, and was even more impressive in 2012. This is a budget phone! Other phones I’ve owned before had terrible screen viewing angles and backlighting, but this one…so good. And again, it’s a budget phone, no less!

Admittedly, since black is the dominant color of Windows Phone’s interface, it makes sense that the screen backlight shouldn’t bleed like that. But here’s the biggest surprise: this is a TFT display, a technology not exactly known for great viewing angles and pitch black colors. But then this display could have easily made me believe it was OLED. I may be exaggerating a bit…

Those vibrant primary Windows Phone colors also pop out nicely. Each app on the home screen is in a tile, while the rest of your apps are a swipe away, arranged neatly vertically, in alphabetical order. It’s all so simple! And beautiful.

For fun, let’s navigate to “Settings” > “About” so we can see what specs this mighty beast ran on.

And… We have 256 megabytes of RAM, 2.88 GB of storage, and yes, to top it all off, the phone is Tesco locked, so I could never at least gift it to an elderly person or a child. to use their SIM card.

The app store is a vast wasteland… just like it was in its “prime”

The app store is actually called Marketplace, which makes sense because it’s not just apps and games, but also a place to get music. Do you remember Zune? Microsoft’s attempt to challenge the iPod and iTunes? The Zune media players never caught on, but you can still see the Zune name here and there. Actually, here.

Well, the “new releases” section is empty, as are the “top albums”, but among other things we have a song from 2016 in the “featured” section. This could indicate that seven years ago was the last time anyone was hired to play music here.

Admittedly, I didn’t get the wifi working very well. Tried three hotspots in two different locations – no internet. So maybe the Marketplace failed to update properly. The Google home page opened briefly a few times and that was all the web browsing I was able to get out of this phone in 2022.

Great battery life, this phone has put me through a lot…

While I feel like my The battery life of the iPhone 12 mini drains before I even have time to blink, the good old Lumia 510 is still quite a battery champion to this day.

And in its heyday, I fondly remember it taking me a full work day and sometimes unless GPS navigation was on. And I needed that new and new GPS functionality to ever find a hotel in London. Good thing I did before the battery ran out.

But with occasional use, the Lumia 510 always delivered a whole day of battery life. For example, I delivered newspapers while listening to music on this phone every day for at least 8 hours straight.

I also spoke to the phone! That was something new back then: asking my phone to call someone or write a text message, completely hands-free. I know it’s an everyday thing now, but back then voice commands were amazing, new and exciting to me.

However, this phone never got Cortana. Microsoft’s virtual assistant only came out for Windows Phone 8 devices and this phone, despite being brand new when I bought it, was immediately let down by Microsoft. No software updates, forever on Windows Phone 7.8.

So I – the consumer – didn’t feel supported by Microsoft, just like Google – the developer – probably did, as we’ll talk about next…

There wasn’t even a YouTube app! Google and Microsoft strengthened

So yeah, the app situation on Windows Phone was pretty bad especially after that Google has twice removed its super popular YouTube app from the Windows Phone Marketplace. Both times Google was unhappy with Microsoft; how it never made the Windows Phone “need browser upgrades to enable a full-featured YouTube experience.”

So Microsoft kind of shot itself in the foot, and is partly responsible for the fact that Windows Phone never gets many of the really popular apps. It wasn’t just developers who refused to bring their apps to Windows Phone because user adoption wasn’t as great as it was on Android and iPhone. Windows Phone was technically just behind Android and iOS, it seemed.

Anyway, not having YouTube was pretty ridiculous back then, considering that it was already one of the world’s most popular websites, and my most visited social media (-ish) site. Also Instagram, which only appeared on Windows Phone years later – in 2016 – briefly.

So what could you – the user – do if you wanted YouTube, Instagram or something similar popular, but weren’t lucky enough to own an iPhone or Android phone?

You had to delve into the deep, dark and terrifying world of third-party apps… Apps made by small developers, usually of questionable quality, who claimed to give you the YouTube or Instagram experience, but in fact are often just simple web browsers that ran the mobile YouTube or Instagram pages… You had to pay to use what are basically free apps on Android and iPhone, with the added bonus of worrying that the unknown developer you trusted might lose the passwords of stole your account.

What is Microsoft doing today? Android phones with two screens

Until recently, it looked like Microsoft had given up on smartphones after the entire Nokia Lumia/Windows Phone ordeal finally failed. But recently, the company behind Windows made a comeback with a dual-screen Android phone – the Microsoft Surface Duo, and even more recently – the duo 2.

Of course, Microsoft seems to have lost hopes of challenging Android and iOS with its own phone operating system, which is reasonable. So new smartphones are running – unsurprisingly – Android, with a Microsoft Launcher on it.

Now, those phones are quite expensive, and I bet none of you are reading these, as they aren’t exactly popular either, but as someone who likes unique and different devices (say, the Galaxy Z Fold 3), I’m rooting for Microsoft on this one. I hope it doesn’t give up as quickly as the Lumia 510.

Are you feeling nostalgic yet?

I know I am. But you know what? You can feed your nostalgia a little more by making your current Android phone look like a Windows Phone. There are tons of launchers in the Android App Store that aim to make your home screen look like a Windows Phone home screen, with the tiles and all. And they’ve been there for over a decade, still kickin’ today.

So we can be sure that the Nokia Lumia brand and the Windows Phone look are still very much loved. I hope you enjoyed this look back at what was the only real challenger to Android and iOS in their early days. Runs on a really neat little cute budget 2012 Nokia Lumia 510.

Will we ever get a new phone OS to challenge Android and iOS again? It really doesn’t seem plausible… What do you think?

Do you also have good Lumia memories you want to share with us?

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