Apple’s iPhone 5s and the iOS 7 software that it runs are the gold standard by which everything else in the mobile phone space are compared to. It’s not that they’re the most advanced at what they do, sometimes they aren’t. Nevertheless it’s Apple and the iPhone that set the conversation. If a hardware feature shows up in the iPhone, you can bet that there will be Android device makers lining up to take inspiration from it.
Then there’s Windows Phone. For all of Microsoft’s work, sales have only risen slightly. But Windows Phone does sometimes manage to beat the iPhone and iOS to new technologies and software features. Here are the 3 Windows Phone features the iPhone 5s just doesn’t have if you’re planning to pick up an iPhone 5s sometime soon.
The iPhone 5s Doesn’t Have PureView and Nokia’s Imaging Technology
There are blogs stuffed full of photos that are exclusively taken on the iPhone 5s. As the best camera you own is the one that’s always with you, that users loving taking photos with the iPhone 5s makes sense. The iPhone 5s takes amazing photos. However, those photos aren’t always better than if they’d been taken using Nokia’s PureView imaging technology, optical image stabilization and camera software that is offered to select Windows Phone users.
For example, every high-end Nokia device has its rear-facing camera lens suspended on springs. This allows users to record video or take photos with longer exposure times and less fuzziness. Let’s not forget that Windows Phones simply win in a pixels-to-pixels comparison against the iPhone 5s. The Lumia 1520 and Lumia Icon have 20 megapixel rear-facing cameras. The Lumia 1020 has a 41 megapixel rear-facing camera that is so detailed users can actually refocus their photos around things in the background and end up with a completely different picture than the one they took.
Live Tiles Are Still Better Than Icons With Numbers
After an extended period of time with the iPhone 5s, I’m ready to concede that iOS 7 and the iPhone 5s’ lockscreen are capable counterparts to Windows Phone’s Live Tiles. However, capable doesn’t exactly mean better. During my six months on iOS I longed for those squarish icons on the iOS 7 home screen to show me actual information besides just numbers.
Live Tiles are great to personalize, provide you with essential need to know information and – when done correctly – look absolutely gorgeous. For now, this is functionality that iPhone users simply don’t get, for better or for worse.
Organizing Activities into Hubs Still Makes More Sense
On the day Microsoft first announced Windows Phone 7 it introduced the idea of hubs. Whereas most operating systems until that point were dominated by separate destinations that users had to navigate to separately, Microsoft rolled these experiences into one interface that users could quickly navigate. Today,Windows Phone has four major hubs.
First there’s People. It’s part Twitter and Facebook client and address book. There are also hubs for Music and Video and Photos and Video and finally Office. By grouping these things together Windows Phone is able to break down the barrier between them and make a device running Windows Phone feel a lot more integrated with user’s lives than it would otherwise.
iWork Is Ok, But It’s Not Office
No matter what way you slice it or try, there’s simply no replacement for Microsoft Office. The iPhone 5s has its own native word processing and spreadsheet tools that now come free with iOS 7. However, they aren’t as seamless for those running a Windows PC and definitely don’t include the native Office integration the Windows Phone has.
Office for Windows Phone even includes a native version of OneNote, the note taking utility that syncs across almost any device. The best part is that it’s free. There’s no yearly subscription like that of Office for iOS. Users just turn on their device and it’s there.
To be clear, I’m in no way implying that users of the iPhone 5s should switch to a Windows Phone for these features. However, free Office alone is a big reason to at least consider a Windows Phone before picking up another iPhone.