[UPDATE: Congratulations to the winner, comment #177, Jarvis. Thanks so all who entered.]
[UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered. The winner will be chosen and announced on Thursday, May 10th. If you do not see your comment listed, it is possible that you did not follow the instructions for answering the question posed in the post. There was an unusually high number of entrants for this giveaway who did not pay attention to the instructions and just commented in the manner of “pick me! pick me!” which, unfortunately, disqualified their entries. I tried to be as lenient as possible in my interpretation of the rules but some simply could not be approved.]
Back in January when I was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Nokia Lumia 900 took “Best in Show” in the very competitive smartphone category. I got to play with one for just a couple minutes before the other people jostling to get a look made it clear that my time was up. But in that brief time I fell in love with it: the feel of it, and the look of it. I can’t wait to give a real try, which will happen in a few days when I get one to review. But why should I have all the fun with this amazing phone? Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win one too!
The great reviews for the Lumia 900 keep rolling in. Pretty much everyone agrees that it’s a fantastic phone. Why? Because Windows started from scratch, designed an entirely new and exciting smartphone operating system, and then worked closely with Nokia to make sure their phones were designed specifically for this new OS. I’ve reviewed three other Windows phones in the past sixteen months, but nothing from Nokia, so I’m really excited about this one.
Why do I love Windows phones so much? Here are some highlights.
Several other phones that I’ve used recently don’t have a camera button, which frankly just sucks. It’s harder to take a picture one-handed. On the other hand, WP cameras have a nifty little feature where you can tap on the screen, and the camera will focus on that spot, then take the picture automatically. This is great for those times when you don’t want to the camera to shake at all.
The very best part about having a dedicated camera button, though, is that you can wake the phone up, bypass the lock screen, and go right to the camera by just holding down on the camera button. I can’t tell you how many times I missed shots with non-Windows phones because I had to go through too many steps to get to the camera. But with Windows phones, you’ll be ready to take a picture in about two seconds or less. When my kids are doing something adorable I don’t have to fumble – I get the shot in time.
Uploading to Facebook and Twitter is super easy, and can be done right from the picture screen – no need to leave the camera and go open another app. Keep the grandparents up-to-date on what your kids are doing on the fly!
And if you’re worried about losing your photos before you can get home and sync them, you can choose to automatically upload to SkyDrive.
Little icons are so 2009. With Windows phones you get big boxes that can show you at a glance if you have a new email or Twitter DM, which of your friends just posted to Facebook, or how many emails you have. You don’t have to open a thing to see all of this, you just look at your home screen.
Plus, you can “pin” just about anything to that home screen. There are a couple of websites I go to a lot, so instead of opening the browser, going into the favorites, and choosing a site, I simply tap that page’s tile on the home screen and I’m instantly taken to it. I’m at Disney World right now, and I pinned a Disney-related site that I knew I’d be referring to a lot. After we return home, I can unpin it in about half a second.
If you have a particular person you call or text often, you can even pin him or her to the home screen! My husband, my son, and our favorite pizza place – they’ve all been pinned.
The People Hub
We all have a bunch of different identities on the web now – our Twitter feeds, our Facebook pages, our websites…and all of that now lives in one place, with the People Hub. If I want to contact my friend Ann, I don’t go to the phonebook or open the Hotmail app or go to facebook. I go to the People Hub, and the first thing I see is the last thing she posted. From that page I can send her an email, call her on any of her numbers, go to her web page, post directly on her Facebook wall, even see her birthday. All of the various info the phone has for her is compiled into one neat page. No more searching different apps.
I have to laugh at this point when people compare the number of apps on iPhone to Windows phone. There are roughly a bajillion apps on iPhone that I don’t want. But I have all of the apps I need on Windows Phone. Some of my favorites (I’m using a free version, unless otherwise noted):
- Rowi – At first I thought this Twitter app was almost as good as having TweetDeck on my phone. Now I’ve come to love it so much, I wish I had a desktop version. Could someone at Rowi please get on that? I have the paid version, which I bought with my very first Windows phone, and just like with all the other apps, you can transfer it over for free if you get a new Windows phone.
- Runtastic – I have the free version, which keeps track of my pace, distance, calories, and more. When I’m done jogging I can see the route I took on a map, look at my split times, and save it all to the Runtastic website to track my progress.
- HopStop – I can’t get around without HopStop. Sure, I could just go to the website, but the experience is so much easier with their excellent Windows app.
- Amazon Kindle – When I’m at home I read books on my kindle or a tablet, but I don’t bring those with me most of the time. I love that if I’m on the subway or I have a few spare minutes waiting in line, my books are always with me.
- WordPress – Sometimes you see something that just have to post RIGHT NOW. This app integrates with my blogs, allowing me to post, moderate comments, and see stats.
- Netflix – If you use it at home or on your computer, you can imagine how awesome it is to have it on your phone.
- Local Scout – This built-in app gets your location and instantly gives you a list of nearby restaurants, stores, and places of interest, along with reviews and other info.
- Photo Studio – This fantastic app can either take pictures in different modes (like panorama or beauty shot), or edit pictures you took with the regular phone app.
- Translator – This app can translate by typing words in, or by holding the camera up to a sign. It’s like magic. So far I’ve just been playing with it – I can’t wait to use it in a place where it might actually help me!
- Skype – I just downloaded this one a few days ago and have barely played with it, but if you use Skype, I bet you’ll find this one to be essential. Skype is the best way I know of to keep in touch with family that’s far away, and the prevalence of front-facing cameras in smartphones makes it a no-brainer.
- OneNote – Part of Office for Windows Phone, OneNote lets you take notes and record audio, and just like on your computer it saves as it goes along. Best of all, you can have it automatically sync with OneNote on your computer over SkyDrive, so that your notes are always up-to-date wherever you are. I keep my grocery list on my laptop, and it’s on my phone when I get to the store (and it’s super easy to get to, since I have it pinned to my home page!). I take notes in meetings in OneNote on my phone, and then I can work on them on my laptop without transferring anything myself. Aside from the camera, this is probably the Windows app I use most of all.
So, have I convinced you yet of just how awesome Windows phones are? Are you salivating at the thought of getting your hands on one? Well, somebody will get their very own gorgeous Nokia Lumia 900 in cyan (that’s “blue” for those of us who didn’t major in art).
You will also get 30 days of service on the AT&T network for the Lumia.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and as a busy mom I appreciate just how quick and easy Windows phones are. So to enter, I want to hear which Windows phone feature or app you think would save you the most time or make something you routinely do a little easier.
Just leave that in a comment on this post, and you’re entered to win.
For a second entry, you can tweet about the contest with a link back to this post. The tweet must contain [email protected] (but should not start with it), the link, and the hashtag #WindowsPhone. Or, you can just copy and paste this:
Want to win the wildly popular Nokia Lumia 900 #WindowsPhone in gorgeous cyan? @SelfishMom is giving one away! http://slf.sh/Id5pZ0
Make sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet, or it won’t count (instructions on how to find and post the url of your tweet can be found here).
That’s two entries per household, please. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter, and must live in the continental US.
This contest will close at noon-ish on Wednesday, May 9th (and if the winner gives me the shipping address quickly he/she will get it in time for Mother’s Day – Gift idea! Gift idea!). The winner will be chosen by random.org. See my complete Giveaway Rules page for more information.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 10. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.