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Review: Nokia's Flagship Windows Phone on Verizon

Stocks in this article: NOK VZ GOOG MSFT AAPL BBRY

Those numbers are outright insanely fast, and quicker than the wired broadband in most homes! In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S4 on AT&T (T) performed for the most part at approximately half those speeds, which is still superb.

What about the operating system?

The fundamentals of Windows Phone 8 are as solid as when I reviewed it six months ago. It is fast, stable and pleasant. How does it compare with Apple, Google/Android and BlackBerry? In my opinion, it's mostly a matter of taste rather than objective performance and functionality. That said, I think Android has the most features.

Compared to Android, the one thing that stands out is that Windows Phone 8 is so consistent from device to device. Even the $130 Nokia 521 on T-Mobile has all the important features of the 928 model, and the perceived CPU performance is largely indistinguishable. Obviously, for a lot less money you get a smaller display, no front-facing camera, and so forth -- but still, even at $130 it's like having a "Nexus"-equivalent reference phone but at a fraction of the price.

The one area where Windows Phone loses big is in applications. The fact is that many of the applications that I value the most, and use every day, every hour, simply are not available on Windows Phone.

While my situation is specific, so are those of other people. We all have our special needs and special interests. This is the so-called "long tail" of content. If you want to go with Windows Phone, you had better be sure that your long tail of application needs fits inside what's available for Windows Phone.


The lack of apps for me, on the Windows Phone platform, comes down into two buckets:

1. Google. The only major Google app available is YouTube. All of the other Google services aren't available on Windows Phone, even though some of them are available on iOS. BlackBerry is in the same boat as Windows Phone here, by the way.

2. Everything else. The apps I use to listen to radio, read the news, monitor my car, charge my car, pay for coffee, chat with people and book a hotel are unavailable for Windows Phone 8. Any one of these missing apps makes the Windows Phone platform a non-starter for me personally.

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