My next Windows Phone will hopefully be a Lumia 820
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My next Windows Phone - Seth Brodeur

As an IT consultant, my approach to technology is one best described as practical. I examine the circumstances and then try to decide which solution will best fit the needs of my clients.  So when we here at Windows Phone Central were asked to write a piece about what our next Windows Phone device would be, I took that same practical approach on deciding how I would replace my current phone, the HTC Arrive.

I use my Arrive in every facet of my life: personal/work, information/entertainment. It’s because of this that I am looking for a phone that is practical, versatile and does a lot of things well; a Swiss army phone, if you will. For this reason, I am choosing the Nokia Lumia 820. Let me explain.

Firstly, I know I want a Nokia phone. While the Samsung ATIV S is a fine offering and HTC’s 8X (and possibly other phones) will likely be very nice, Nokia, simply put, has just nailed it. Their designs are sleek and their hardware top notch. However, even more importantly, Nokia takes Windows Phone to a new level with their suite of exclusive apps and custom accessories. Therefore, while I can get the full Windows Phone 8 experience with any of these companies’ offerings, I can get even more with a Nokia.

With the choice of manufacturer out of the way, the next step is deciding on a model. The Lumia 920 is clearly the flagship phone, and is mighty impressive and hard to ignore. But frankly, I don’t need all the bells and whistles that distinguish the 920 from the 820.

The camera is fantastic, but I'm no Ansel Adams, so it’s not something I would use to its fullest potential. The 4.5” display and larger battery are great, but I would rather sacrifice a little bit of size and battery life for less bulk in the front pocket or lightness while jogging or biking. I am also very drawn to the versatility of the expandable MicroSD storage, which lends itself more file space for work or more music (punk rawk!) for those weekend road trips. The interchangeable backplates are a nice touch too, though I am more about function over fashion.

Lumia 820

Now that I have identified which phone works best for me, I am ready to go, right? Well, not quite. If you remember which phone I am looking to switch from, the HTC Arrive, you may have realized that I am a Sprint customer. This is a huge problem for me because Sprint is in no hurry to jump on the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon. Not only have they not announced that they will offer the Lumia 820, but they likely won’t be getting any WP8 phones until early 2013 at best.

Don’t get me wrong, even though I have been a happy Sprint user for well over a decade, my loyalties only go so far. I would gladly jump ship to a carrier that offers devices that I actually want. Aye, but here’s the rub: I am a practical guy, which relates to my technological decisions and my financial ones. I was fortunate enough to land on one of Sprint’s SERO plans back in the day, which means I get generous minutes and unlimited everything for forty bucks a month. That’s a tough thing to relinquish.

So what’s a pragmatic boy to do? I REALLY would love to get my hands on a Nokia Lumia 820, but I am not sure I am ready to give up my sweet, sweet SERO plan. In all likelihood, I am going to hold on to my HTC Arrive, which I do love, and wait to see what Sprint has in the pipeline. If they do have something worth waiting until early 2013 for, then I can be strong. Sprint be warned, though…if you take too long to realize the potential of Windows Phone, here’s one customer that won’t stick around.

And something tells me I won’t be the only one.

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Reader comments

My next Windows Phone - Seth Brodeur

59 Comments

Just an FYI. You can go prepaid on Tmobile for about the same as you're on Sprint. Or, depending on how many minutes you use, you can do a Value Plan with 500 minutes and 2gigs of data for about $49/mo. If you're on a family plan you can do unlimited minutes for two lines for $80 before taxes which comes to about $50 per line after taxes. You'll get a GSM phone instead of CDMA and most likely faster data.

That's what I love about the Canadian mobile market. While it's not as great as the States as you're forced into a 3 year, if you're willing to bring your own phone onto a decently priced carrier, you can snag a pretty good deal.  We no longer have any major CDMA carriers.  Rogers has been all GSM for quite a while now, as with Telus, and a few years back Bell switched over when they launched their HSPA network. Plus, all of the new AWS carriers offer no-contract budget solutions, which makes them an excellent alternative.
I honestly see no practical advantage to CDMA over GSM.  I don't see where carriers like Verizon get all of their customers, when AT&T's available for a comparable price, and you get the advantage of GSM.

"I don't see where carriers like Verizon get all of their customers, when AT&T's available for a comparable price, and you get the advantage of GSM."
 
Ignorance.

@theefman. You are rather ignorant and it's very clear that you didn't understand what he's talking about. Gsm has many advantages over Cdma ( simultaneous voice and data, ability to use your phone on different networks, easy resale of phone etc). Apart the US and to a lesser extent in Japan and China Cdma technology is hardly preferred any where around the globe. I have lived and traveled extensively in 16 states and I had my personal At&t phone and a company Verizon phone. I've had better coverage from At&t than Verizon most of the time especially when driving on the major highways.

He isn't saying the post is ignorant, he's saying the customers probably dont have a clue about the differences between CDMA and GSM.

Because Verizon has a better network and AT&T scores last in customer satisfaction among the big cell companies.

US T-MO has some great data plans they are getting the 820 and that's all of the T-MO's I'm still not sure about the 820 the screen res sort of kills it for me. I'm on T-MO US using a HTC HD7 and the wife and kids all have the Lumia 710 I do not think that I would ever,ever buy another HTC device seeing how this replacment #4 on the HD7 the Lumia 710 all 4 of them never had a single tad of problems and my kids are nasty on handheld devices..... the Samsung if it hits T-MO will have to have a hard look at.

How did you go through 4 HD7's? Mine has been working fine for almost 2 years already. I've dropped it a few times and got some scratch and dents on the sides. Also ended up getting some nasty pixel dirt inside my screen somehow over a year ago. My volume buttons aren't as responsive as it used to be, but it still works fine.

I did that back when Touch Pro2 came out. But I bought my own phone online (south east asian version) because I didn't like the keyboard layout of the AT&T version.

You have a tough decision especially when it comes to the SERO plan you have. I was on a SERO plan as well but Sprint's recent network woes and lack of support to OSs' I have chosen to use was a big no no for me. I left them for AT&T.
 
I few of my friends recently have been looking into StraightTalk. I'm not too familiar with it but from my understandings it is fairly cheap and my be worth taking a look at.

I'm in the exact same boat as you.  Been using the Arrive for the past 2 years on a SERO plan.  Itching to upgrade to WP8 but desperate to hold onto my sero plan.  Anything close to being comparable would practically double my monthly cell bill.  Is it really worth paying that much more for a WP8 phone.  I might be forced to android or iOS if Sprint doesn't get on board WP8.  As much as I love the Windows Phone OS, at the end of the day, my plan is more important to me than what OS I use.

Just got the pre order email from apple for the iPhone 5. Then it hit me, I already have this phone, its called the iphone4. How uninspiring. It's just a bit shorter. Lumia 920 can't come soon enough. My 900 will suffice till then. My iPhone 4 is just a glorified music player now.

Carrier = Phone "Choice".  Kind of circles back to all of those who said they would own the 920?  So far, that would be more of an AT&T kind of decision, rather than a Nokia decision.  After the HTC rollout, I hope that the "other" carriers decided it is an appropriate time to roll out their phone inventory.  I am personally interested to see what Verizon plans to carry besides the 822.  I, too, hope that the 822 is close to the 820 with just a few more unique features (besides the Verizon logo).  I like the size of the 820 and I like the idea of the data card slot.  With a lackluster iPhone 5 release and with Samsung taking it on the chin, the road is being paved for WP8 and Nokia devices.  The news contiues to be good!

If you want to be a punk you have to dress right and follow all our rules. It's all clearly stated in the membership handbook

Yeah, I'm just counting the days until all four of my Sprint Family plan phones are off contract. Sprint has just disappointed me too much with poor signal, abysmal data speeds, and now that they're refusing to support the phone OS I want, it's time to say so long.

My experience with Sprint was pretty much what you described: poor signal, slow data and wouldn't support the phone choices that I wanted. The only thing it had going for it was the lower price, but if you can't use it, what good is the lower price? At that point you're just paying less for something that does less or doesn't even work at all. I switched to AT&T for the Titan (Gen1) and AT&T's customer service has been excellent, but their prices leave a lot to be desired. I was spending close to $100 a month less with Sprint...ugh...can't have it all i guess...
 
Techiedude

I'm in the same boat.... stuck on Sprint SERO. Just preordered the iphone 5 since we should be getting LTE here in Orlando by the end of the year and I can finally get off sprint's abysmal 3G service. Hopefully they come up with a good WP8 next year.

So can we agree that there is no need for additional WP vendors to polute the landscape. If only Nokia phones are worth it (because of the apps) why do we need all the other manufacturers? Samsung and HTC are worth it but the others... LG, Acer, even the rumors for Sony... Really? Why do MS need to confuse customers with devices that are clearly wrong choice?

All those OEM wants to try and make some money with WP8. Android has proven that it is very hard to make a good profit in it, if you are not top dog.
Currently Nokia is WP8 top dog with the best hardware, innovation and eclusice apps. Lets not forget, that Nokia spends A LOT to R&D. It shows out with features like Purewiev and Puremotion. Also Nokia is known for a good software support. Nokia can do all this because they are concentrating in one thing. It will be very hard for those random OEM to do the same.
It is fine for MS that there are a lot of choices. At the end of the day, its us, customers who benefits.

I work for sprint and anything short of the 920 is going to have me getting a personal phone elsewhere.

I too have been a Sprint Customer for around 14 years.  I really realy looking into leaving them before I purchased my beloved Arrive...
Sadly, I am 90% sure I am leaving Sprint in March when my contract expire....
As annouce today, the iPhone 5 will not be able to do Voice and Data on sprint/verizon.......  Will this hold true IF they get a Nokia?
Will the Nokia be able to do Vocie and Data on Verison? 
If there answer is NO, then Hello ATT.... If the Answer is Yes..... HELLO VERIZON.

CDMA networks can only do data and voice together if you are using 4G where data is carried over wimax or LTE. This frees up the 3G radio for voice.

Normally, the reason why WiMAX or LTE works simultaneously with CDMA voice (sprint/verizon) is because they are receiving on two seperate radio chips. 
Just to let folks know. This is not the case in reguards to the iphone 5 on verizon and sprint. Because Apple decided to use a single radio for both CDMA and LTE, you cannot use LTE and Voice at the same time. You can, however, use Wifi and Voice. 
 
 

Give up on Sprint and go pre-paid.  I also have a SERO Arrive that I have handed down to wife.  Once SERO contract is up, I will likely switch her to pre-paid.  Straight talk BYO phone works for me (Focus S). Bring any GSM TMo/ATT phone (doesn't need to be unlocked), pay $45/mo or cheaper longer term, and get unlimited everything that matches your SERO.  You lose the subsidized phone, but being contract free is priceless.  Ebay can help on device costs, but latest and greatest will have a premium.

Chicago NW suburbs.  Since straighttalk uses ATT towers, you can expect ATT performance, minus LTE.  On my Focus S, I get "4G".  Ok for what I need.  If you order a TMo SIM, you may be stuck with TMo towers.  I suggest get an ATT phone.

I used to be crazy for physical keyboards. The soft keyboard on WP is soo good that I dont want a physical keyboard. Just got to give it some time. I do miss Swype a bit.

I've gotten so used to the Arrive physical keyboard that i always struggle when using the onscreen keyboard.  The only onscreen keyboard I used to love back in the days of windows mobile was the touchpal keyboard.  I used to fly on that thing

I was on verizon and I waited and waited for a windows phone.  Finally the hTC trophy came out.  While it was amazing to finally have the WP7 it slowly became obvious to me that Verizon and HTC had no plans to support the phone.  My original short comings i had with the WP7 where:
custom ringtones/notifications
teathering
visual voicemail
 
Now at least custom ring tones, teathering and visual voicemail were "fixed" with Mango.  Verizon decided not to support visual voicemail or teathering.  From countless phone calls with Verizon and HTC I found they were just blaming each other for the issues.  I finally said heck with it dropped verizon like a bad habbit and picked up AT&T and the 900.  I have never been happier and I have gotten more and more friends to swicth and they also have picked up the 900.
I love the flagship phone but there is one feature I am really annoyed they left out.  Adding additional storage, why is this on the 820 and not the 920?  that is the only thing making me think about going with a different phone 32 gig is nice but we def need more. 

How much space you actually need? I have 16gb the Lumia 900 and 32gb the new iPad. My Lumia has like 9gb stuff in it and I havent even touched skydrive yet. IPad has like 11gb stuff in it and my devices has everything I will need.
My next choice will be the yellow Lumia 920 and my girlfriend is drooling after red 820.

I too am with Sprint and the HTC Arrive. I have been with Sprint since 1997, have also been through a Touch Pro 1 and 2. But if I could have my way.... well first, I'd choke Sprint to near death until they surrender to carrying at least 3 or 4 Windows Phones.... but rather, I may jump ship and make my way to AT&T. I'd like to keep my loyalty to Sprint (though what does loyalty benefit me anyway), but I so want a Nokia Windows Phone, it would be worth crossing over to get one.

I am in a very similar situation. We have 5 lines on a family plan with sprint with my wife and I my brother and my friend and his wife and have unlimited data and way more minutes than we could ever use.  And we get a 27% discount through my friends work so it comes out to about $48 after tax per line which is awesome.  But I really want the Lumia 920 and it seems doubtful that Sprint will ever get it. And if my wife and I (who both have HTC Arrives) switched it would significantly raise the price per month for the other people on the plan.  And it would be a pretty tough sell to convince the others to switch carriers due to the discount and the unlimited plan.  It sucks.   Sprint get on the ball!

I am gone from Sprint once my contract is up in April 2013. They better convince me, I am 1 foot out the door already. I have an arrive, love it, love Sprint. But I love WP more. Period.

This article was a pretty good read until you wrote that you're probably not going to get a new windows phone. A good movie with a bad ending.

Oh, I certainly did not mean to give that impression. I was more just saying that though I very much want a Lumia 820, I am not going to run out and get one ASAP. I decided to give it a little bit of time to see how Sprint reacts, if at all. I absolutely intend on getting a WP8 device.

I really don't get people agonising over their phone choice because of their carrier. It's like lamenting a choice of router because of your current ISP. Most phones can be bought online to support numerous bands - the choice of phones your carrier offers is irrelevant. Most contracts are cheaper too if you BYO mobile.
I bought my HD7, brand new, from eBay - it was never carrier locked in the first place (all Telstra T9296 mobiles are unlocked, but not unbranded) so I use it with another carrier. I'm free to switch mobiles & carriers, and it cost A LOT less than going on contract & paying MRO.

It doesn't work that easy in the US, except of course you want to be stuck with Edge/2g data speed because the 2 GSM carriers use different 3g/4g bands and with Sprint and Verizon operating CDMA networks interchanging phones from different networks is not very convenient. I purchased L900 from AT&T and so far all I can do with it is to hotspot my Htc Radar on it via Tmobile network.