I just bought my first Android phone. Here's what I think.

Dec 31, 2016
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Hi, I recently switched from Windows 10 Mobile to Android (for the very first time¬). I grew frustrated with my Lumia 950. I read a lot of impressive reviews so I decided to buy the Google Pixel. All of the Microsoft apps I use were on Android so it seemed like an easy change. First thing I noticed on day one was that there was a very easy laid out way for iPhone users to change platform but nothing for Window Phone users. With that said, swapping platforms wasn’t bad overall. My first impression was that the Pixel was overall better than my 950. The hardware is more refined. The software is faster; like, extremely fast. I never even thought my 950 was slow until I got the Pixel lol. I don't think I've ever seen a phone this fast in my life! Clearly there's a lot of optimized power under the hood. I'm not really big on apps. I just need a good virtual assistant, stability, Microsoft Office and good file sharing and storage options for emailing. Most Microsoft apps (really, all apps in general) ran as good or better on Android except Cortana. She clearly is limited on Android. Running two apps at the same time in multitask mode is amazing. I like how well Chrome loads pages and its UI a bit more than Microsoft Edge. I can see me even using it on my laptop.

After a few more days with my Pixel I begin to see limitations. The first was notifications. I constantly get notifications, even if I currently have the app open or trigger the function myself (Why am I being notified I took a screenshot?). The flexibility of how to handle notifications is very limited on Android. I can turn off sound and sensitive information or turn off the notification altogether, and that’s it. On W10M I can do that, group notifications and set notification hierarchy. I also don’t get notified if I take a screenshot or if I’m currently in the app. Piggy backing off that, I’m not exactly sure what its called on Android but the options above the notifications are inconsistent. If I click the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi button it toggles them on and off but if I click the Battery or Cellular data button it doesn’t. My next issue with Android 7.1 is the stock virtual keyboard. I found some useable alternatives but not one with all the features of the W10M virtual keyboard has (scroll left, right, up, and down from the main keyboard, auto suggest more than 3 words while typing or swiping). Ironically, Microsoft’s own keyboard on Android is trash. Third, I thought there was some inconsistency with W10M settings but settings on Android 7.1 are all over the place. Sometimes the dots in the corner had more settings and sometimes they didn’t. The settings on the Pixel are a complete disarray of options.

Now here’s where things get ugly. Google Assistant is bad. I like that it can keep context but honestly, I can’t say much else good about it. I tried to like it but it’s weaker compared to Cortana. I know Google Assistant can’t do people-based reminders (e.g. remind me to say something when I call a specific contact) like Cortana but I can live without that. Even after forgiving that it still just doesn’t stack up. It doesn’t read text messages (Side note: What kind of flagship smart phone in the year of our Lord 2017 can't read text messages?) and that’s a huge omission. It doesn’t give feedback affirmation and that’s also a huge omission. The lack of feedback causes me to constantly repeat myself because I have no idea when the mic has begun to record my response. Google Assistant seems to omit punctuation marks unless manually said for no reason. This flaw makes it impossible to use a punctuation word because she thinks you’re adding the punctuation mark instead of the word, e.g. “I’ll see you after my class next period” will be dictated as “I’ll see you after my class next.”. This is annoying. To top this off you also can't write a message to Google assistant.

With this Pixel, I’ve officially tried Android, IOS and W10M and I must say on an OS level I think W10M is more for me than Android. After a week with the Pixel I expected to find a ton of features that would show me that my L950 was behind but that wasn’t the case at all. Of the 3 I think IOS is the worst with Siri missing tons of features amongst other limitations. I think Android is the best but only because of stability. Other than multitasking android so far doesn't do anything my Windows phone didn't already do. Thu it did less a lot of times. It just does it with better apps and much more stability. I expected the difference between Windows phone and Android to be huge but now I see although it's rough around the edges and has little app support the the W10M OS itself is better a lot of times. Windows phone may not be popular but overall I still think it could be the best with some touch ups. I really like having top notch apps and multitasking but I just kept wishing I could pin portions of the apps to my start screen for quicker access like W10M tiles. Android has been a dope experience but I feel like I will be returning my Pixel and putting up with the same headaches I started with because I still think I can get more work done with those headaches on W10M
 
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RumoredNow

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I concur.

After my 3 week experiment with going back to Android, I've also reverted to W10M. I went from Lumia 650 to Alcatel Idol 3 and back to my 650. The Lumia does not have the processing power of the Idol 3, yet I still feel that I get more done with it.

Here are some excerpts from another post I made:
http://forums.windowscentral.com/general-windows-phone-discussion-lounge/208468-146.htm#post3608596 said:
  • I don't seem to be getting Security updates (stuck on July 1, 2016 security patch level) and don't know if that is the OEM or the carrier intruding and it really shouldn't matter which it is, I need the peace of mind given the notoriously bad level of security (and no, I'm not talking about the leaks that come from sideloading unverified apps - read the tech news; I'm talking about how eminently hackable the system is by design philosophy)
  • The labyrinthian device navigation is ridiculous
  • Notifications require so much tweaking and you still only get almost what you want, not exactly what you want
  • The wild west rodeo of app behaviors make it difficult to have a smooth and consistent UX
  • The overbearing Google insistence that any app they have automatically makes any other service that does the same thing (often in better ways) a second class citizen that can't function as fully
  • The obsessive compulsory inclusion of Google's intrusiveness: I don't really even want a Google account, but I must have one and I am loath to include other accounts on the device and use them fully since I don't trust the segregation - anything I put on there will be examined, analyzed and packaged as market research (some will say you can control this in large measure, but the methods to do so are tedious and exhausting)

Sure there are Apps, Apps and more Apps. So what? I don't give a flying monkey turd for 99.9999999999% of the sesquimillion wastes of coding that float around in the soup bowl and keep you from finding the tasty bits. Having so many apps ceases to become a valid positive when any good ones are buried under so much unusable dross and you spend orders of magnitude more time than a task takes to find the tool to accomplish it.

I didn't even touch on Live Tiles and the other myriad ways that Windows surfaces the information I want to have in immediate view and the selectability of what I see.

Clearly no one system suits every user. I hear many users who come to Windows 10 Mobile complain that as an OS it falls short for them. However, most of those complaints boil down to Apps. In such cases that is not really reflective of the OS, but rather the ecosystem. Similarly many users state they are leaving Windows Phone or W10M due to Apps. Correct me if I am wrong... Apps are not an Operating System.

The current duopoly is lacking in a lot of areas. It does excel in one regard. Habit. People are simply accustomed to thinking that is all there is, was, or will be.... Android and iOS.
 

Tsepz_GP

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I think the truth has to be told that WP/W10Ms failure is mostly due to Microsoft's sheer incompetence in being consistent in growing the platform. The OS itself, especially in W10M seems to be excellent and brings a lot of things Android and iOS have missed.

It dissapoints me how MS have treated it, as they have a ton of experience in terms of Mobile, dating back to the 90s, and their focus on little details that iOS and Android miss shows they are experienced.

All that money wasted on acquiring Nokia and trying to swallow it up only to spit it out really has wasted their time and resources, and in that time iOS and Android got ever more mature and stable. I wish Steve Balmer had left earlier, as he and his team were simply baffled by Mobile and it shows in every single move they made under his leadership.

The current team are now having to make up all that time, and they are doing a fantastic job. If the idea behind the HP Elite x3 is anything to go by, it would seem they now have a better idea of where mobile is going and they are fully embracing the future.
 
Dec 31, 2016
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Thank you guys for reading my post. I really really wanted to like the pixel but it just wasn't there got me. I agree the app gap is real but if you don't care about apps all to much W10M is decent. It still needs a lot of polish. If W10M ran even a little bit as smooth as the pixel does it would be a huge improvement. The pixel is as smooth as butter.
 
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You should take us out at least to iHOP for some flapjacks for reading that dissertation. All kidding aside, it's breath of fresh air to read constructive criticism without all the flaming and hyperbole. Good job Chris, and good luck.

I tried really hard to keep it short but I didn't want to omit any details lol.
 

anon(10092459)

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With this Pixel, I’ve officially tried Android, IOS and W10M and I must say on an OS level I think W10M is more for me than Android.

I think this one sentence pretty much sums things up, OP. With that in mind, it's great you were open-minded enough to give the Pixel a try. It's always better to try things first hand whenever you can to truly make the best decision for yourself.
 

Aquila

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts; sometimes I get curious what it looks like to people who aren't used to how things run. I'd like to be able to try Windows Phone sometime, but I can't get over Microsoft's inability to understand that I want them to keep my data private and secure.
 

cell adviser

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I found yhis to be interesting. I use Android and love it. The Google Assistant not read my text messages but it does everything else I wanted to do. My favorite thing about it is that if I say for example call CVS customer service or call DirecTV customer service it just doesn't I don't even have to click it on the screen even if it's not in my contacts. However there are some things it does not do but you're correct. I found this interesting because I've never used Windows phone.
 

ydoxy

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I think you need to purchase Apple Android phone. I also purchase Lenovo vbe k5 Last week. If you purchase other phone compare ram, processor and features and read reviews..
 

Matty

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Thanks for your feedback Christopher Lindsay!

Welcome to AndroidCentral. Ive also just become a first time android user and still wiring my way around the system, There are so many settings in settings haha. To make life a little easier, would it be possible for you to put some paragraphs in your feedback. Becomes hard to fead after a while :)

text-text-everywhere.jpg
 

bowlerboy450

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I just got a Pixel XL and really like it. Came from using BB10 for over 3 years. Took quite awhile and a lot of googling to get things set up but so far so good. I cannot see myself going back to my Z30.
 

Morty2264

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I just got a Pixel XL and really like it. Came from using BB10 for over 3 years. Took quite awhile and a lot of googling to get things set up but so far so good. I cannot see myself going back to my Z30.

Welcome to the forums, fellow BlackBerry enthusiast!
 

RumoredNow

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...I can't get over Microsoft's inability to understand that I want them to keep my data private and secure.

Can you provide some examples? I'm really unsure where that might be coming from other than telemetry used for internal use to support services and improve product. But they all do that.
 

Aquila

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Can you provide some examples? I'm really unsure where that might be coming from other than telemetry used for internal use to support services and improve product. But they all do that.

I didn't mean to turn this into that discussion, but long story short is that Apple and Microsoft both give themselves permission to share your data with third parties and Google does not. That coupled with MS's Windows 10 opt-in privacy debacle means that even though I use their products, I have to be much more vigilant than I do with Google, who I know will not share user data. Microsoft is still much better at handling data than other companies I do business with, such as Amazon and Verizon.
 

RumoredNow

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I don't find anything sinister in the Privacy Statement from Microsoft. It looks similar to any other OS disclaimer to me.

I do, however, have reason to believe that Google's incessant tracking in order to commoditize me and target advertising to me is way more intrusive.

To each their own, I suppose.

This was the final straw that broke this camel's back 2 weeks ago after a short 3 week trial...
I had stripped out all interests in OK Google and turned off all tracking. Yet, based on a trip to Target (which I only go to about 2-3 times a year), several times a day I would get an OK Google card telling me about what is on sale at Target and that would also come with a notification. I felt harassed by my own phone. I've yet to find a way to make that Target information stop without crippling other information I do want to see.

I've never gotten this on Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile. I'm very resentful about this intrusion into my personal assistant. I don't want Target Ads, don't need Target Ads, never requested Target Ads, asked the system not to show me Target Ads and what did I get? Repetitive Target Ads. Google may not have given my information to Target, but they told Target, "Hey, we saw somebody go into Target. Want us to get him for you?"

I'm not happy about it. I never was happy about it. It is a primary reason I left Android prior, several years ago. They want me to agree that I'm a walking sponge for adverts and they have an inalienable right to serve them to me whenever they choose... And make money from doing so.

I consider my device less personal and less under my personal control when Google is involved.
 

recDNA

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I think the truth has to be told that WP/W10Ms failure is mostly due to Microsoft's sheer incompetence in being consistent in growing the platform. The OS itself, especially in W10M seems to be excellent and brings a lot of things Android and iOS have missed.

It dissapoints me how MS have treated it, as they have a ton of experience in terms of Mobile, dating back to the 90s, and their focus on little details that iOS and Android miss shows they are experienced.

All that money wasted on acquiring Nokia and trying to swallow it up only to spit it out really has wasted their time and resources, and in that time iOS and Android got ever more mature and stable. I wish Steve Balmer had left earlier, as he and his team were simply baffled by Mobile and it shows in every single move they made under his leadership.

The current team are now having to make up all that time, and they are doing a fantastic job. If the idea behind the HP Elite x3 is anything to go by, it would seem they now have a better idea of where mobile is going and they are fully embracing the future.
Never enough apps for the Windows format and many that do exist suck utterly.
 

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