First Impression Of My Windows 8 Phone From @MicrosoftCanada {#HolidaySwap}

I’m excited to have been invited to take part in a new program being put on by Microsoft Canada, called Holiday Swap. The idea behind it is that all the participants would agree to swap their current mobile phones, for the month of December, with a new Windows 8 Phone.

Obviously, as a blogger and more specifically as someone who is rarely without my iPhone, this was not something I agreed to right away. The thought of having to learn something completely new was frightening to say the least. In the end, I had heard really good things about the Windows phone camera, so I decided to give it a shot.

Being a father of young children, it’s very important to me to be able to capture high quality photos and video anytime the mood strikes me. Seeing as how I can’t carry my camera around with me all the time, I rely on my phone to capture those moments for me. Unfortunately, my current model hasn’t been getting it done and after only 4 days with the Nokia Lumia 920, I am in love!

One of my biggest complaints with my current phone is the inability to take photos in darker settings. The Nokia Windows Phone I am playing with, makes night time seem like mid-morning and the quality is amazing. Check out these two photos I took of my son at 6pm (which is very dark here), with flash and without flash.






There are also some great editing features and lots of apps you can download to play around with the great pictures this phone takes. The only downside for me so far, is that the Windows Phone does not support Instagram yet and I’m hoping that’s something that will come down the pipeline soon.

The video feature is great as well, especially the sound quality. I find with my iPhone, that the sound is always faint whenever I am trying to get shots of my kids. It’s especially frustrating when I am filming them singing a song or catching them playing nicely together.

Excitedly enough, the day after I received the Nokia Lumia 920, I caught my children playing nicely on the stairs and took the opportunity to push the video and sound features a bit. Here is the result of that experiment. I’d say it was a resounding success.

Melted my heart and I’m so glad I had my phone on me. The only downside I have found with the Windows Phone video feature is that there is no way to directly upload your videos to YouTube yet. I have been sending them to my dedicated YouTube email address, which isn’t that big of a pain. Still, it would be nice to be able to direct upload with HD quality to YouTube.

My first impression of the Nokia version of the Microsoft Windows phone is a good one, especially the camera/video functionality. There are some things missing, such as Instagram and YouTube direct upload, but these are things that I am willing to live without in order to get the quality that this phone offers.

Keep checking in with me throughout the month as I will be documenting my journey with the Windows Phone. Next time I’ll talk about some of my favourite apps and how I feel the social media apps measure up between the iPhone and the Windows Phone. I’ll leave you with my favourite shot from my Windows phone so far. I played with some of the editing tools and love the end result.


Disclosure: The Nokia Lumia Windows phone was provided to me by Microsoft Canada in order to facilitate this review as part of the #HolidaySwap challenge. I will also be receiving compensation in exchange for my posts related to the review of this phone, however all opinions on this blog are my own.

16 replies
  1. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I’m going to be a hard person to sell on a Window’s phone as I am Apple everything 🙂

    Which iPhone do you have? I have the 4 and I’m finding that inside picture taking sucks, but outdoors is fine.

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      I have the 4 right now and I find the camera is terrible pretty much everywhere I go. The flash is terrible on it and ruins a lot of pictures too. I am so impressed with the camera on this thing that’s it’ll be hard to let go of. That being said, there are things I like better about the iPhone and I’ll get into that in my next post. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Shash
    Shash says:

    I gave up my iPhone 4 to participate in this challenge and I must say, I do love the photo quality of the Windows Phone! Some of the apps operate much differently than I’m used to but with all changes in life, there is an adjustment period, it’s never the end of the earth. 🙂

    • Chris
      Chris says:

      The apps are definitely a challenge so far, as I’m used to a certain way. I’m sure it’s something I can get used to, especially given how amazing the camera is.

  3. @ParentClub
    @ParentClub says:

    I too am loving the photo capabilities of the Windows Phone. Not only the camera and video but being able to edit, add text, change to black and white (like your beautiful pic above) right on the phone.

  4. Insane Mamacita
    Insane Mamacita says:

    What a wonderful opportunity! Congrats!

    And loved the video Chris. Your kids are adorable. How sweet was that moment?

  5. Gord
    Gord says:

    I ditched my iphone 4 for the 920 about 3 weeks ago now. I was not impressed with what Apple put out in the 5 so I decided to switch and I love it. My wife has the iphone 5 and she likes my phone better. Pictures are amazing and the apps are getting there. We need some bigger players developing for WP8 and the one main issue I have with the apps is the store. It sucks. The layout is terrible. I hate iTunes with a passion but the Windows Store isn’t any better.

  6. Will
    Will says:

    Interesting experiment!

    I’ve been a windows phone user for over a year now and really like the os.

    If you’re missing instagram, try the free app Lomogram, which is the windows phone version.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] in order to participate in Microsoft Canada’s “Holiday Swap” program. I’ve written about my first impressions and covered the social media apps, but now it’s time to break it all down for […]

  2. […] week 3 of my Microsoft Canada, Holiday Swap adventure! My last post took you through my first impression with the Nokia Lumia 920 and now I’m ready to talk about my experience with some of the apps […]

  3. […] Canadian Dad ~ Chris Read […]

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