I am test driving an Android phone after Microsoft all but dropped Windows Phone support.

This is genuinely a big decision for me. I have been a Windows Phone user since 2011 when I got an HTC Trophy. Prior to that I had a Palm Centro and then a Palm Pixi, which to this day is still my favorite phone I’ve ever had. WebOS didn’t get the love it deserved. I did also have a Treo 700 with Windows but only for a short time. The Trophy with Windows Phone 7 was my first real experience with Windows Phone, which I will now abbreviate as WP for the rest of this piece.

I can blame, or thank, Palm for getting me into Windows Phones. I adored the Pixi for its form factor, despite its name. It was a small candy bar style phone that fit perfectly in my pocket. I had that phone for just over two years with no intention of getting rid of it any time soon. However the touch screen on it became unresponsive prompting me to have to do something. At the time I didn’t have the cash to outright buy a new one and the carrier I was with no longer offered it.

As it turned out my brother was dating a nice girl, who he eventually married, that managed a Verizon. They were offering the HTC Trophy for $0. This was back when you could sign up for a two-year contract and get a phone without having to pay monthly on the cost of the phone. So you could get some phones for $0 and others at a deep discount with a contract. I made a visit and the form factor was very similar and I really liked WPs user interface. So I switched over to Verizon, got my phone and all was well.

My Windows Phone History…I realize the M8 shown is Android….

This continued on, my next upgrade was a Lumia 822 running WP 8.1. After that I upgraded to an HTC One M8 running WP 8.1 that I later upgraded to WP10. My last upgrade was to the flagship Lumia 950 running WP10 which I had to switch back to ATT for since Verizon didn’t carry it. That’s right, I absolutely switched carriers specifically for that phone. And that is where I stand now.

Not long ago Microsoft announced that they were no longer focusing on adding new features to WP10 but would still support it with bug and security fixes. Now you could read into that by saying while it’s not their focus they may still add features or something and that’s true. However, it’s not likely. They are pretty focused on Windows Core and the upcoming Andromeda device so don’t expect much to come WPs way now. It’s just going to be have a slow death now. I can accept that.

I can accept that WP will still work and receive updates but no new features as long as the few apps I use still work. Well around this time a few apps I use every day had support for them dropped as well. I can accept that too. Normally that would mean that the apps would still work, but no longer receive updates. But no, the apps just stopped working. I can’t accept that.

So while I understand Microsoft moving in a new direction with its mobile devices I can’t accept apps just stopping to work that I use every day. So I had a choice to make. Do I just deal with it and have even less app support than we already have on this platform, or do I bite the bullet and adopt either Android or iOS for the time being until Microsoft releases their next device which, make no mistake, I will pre-order as soon as I can. I feel that strongly about Windows Phone. Those like me that have used it for years despite the lack of app support know why. It’s an incredible phone OS. I find it such a shame it never got the support it deserved.

To be fair I didn’t have to make much of a choice. iOS was never on my radar. I have an old iPad 2 and that’s enough iOS for me. So I needed to decide how I wanted to enter the world of Android. My 950 was paid for so I could have just walked into ATT or even Verizon and picked up a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 for about $25 a month. But I didn’t want to enter in to a long-term installment contract on a phone if I didn’t like it.

Amazon to the rescue. I decided the smart thing to do would be to buy a cheap android phone out right so I’m not locked into a $600+ installment on something I may not like, especially if Microsoft’s new device will be released next year as speculated.

HTC One M8

I started looking at an HTC One M8 since I had and loved the WP version I had of that phone. It was $150 and I’d own the phone. But I saw they also had a M9 for $180, brand new. So that is what I did. I thought about buying a cheap $50-$80 phone since it may genuinely end up being a throw away device for me but I decided that would not give Android a fair shot at winning me over. I’m going from a powerful, flagship Windows Phone. I should at least pickup an Android phone with some power behind it and the 8 core CPU in the M9 is plenty powerful so if I end up not enjoying my experience it will not be the fault of the hardware it’s on.

As it stands now I am three days in. So far, I am reminded why I love WP so much. But I will get into that in another piece. For now I need to really dive in and see if Android can win me over. It has some big shoes to fill.