The Windows 8 Phone review 

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It the immortal lyrics of Britney Spears, "Oops, I Did It Again." The biggest tech story of the week is all the cool stuff unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but instead I'm going to write about my new phone — specifically my Windows Phone 8 (WP8).

The "again" part refers to last October when I skipped the very important launch of Windows 8 and Windows Surface Tablets to brag about my new You Rock Guitar. That's how I roll...

Truth is, I wanted to use my new Windows phone for a little while before writing about the experience, and now that I've had my Nokia Lumia 920 for all of six weeks I find I can't shut up about it. I haven't been this excited about a piece of technology since — well, since my You Rock Guitar arrived in the mail last October.

I've used Apple's iOS devices extensively as well as the latest flavour of Android, and despite the fact that the top phones of 2012 on most reviewers' lists were the Samsung Galaxy III and iPhone 5 (usually in that order), I'm ecstatic with my choice.

Before I dive into the reasons, I should explain why I went with a largely unproven platform. For one thing, I've already made a commitment to Microsoft — my laptop now runs Windows 8, my console of choice is the Xbox 360, I use Office products at home and at work, etc. More importantly, I wanted to subscribe to Xbox Music and get access to 30 million songs for $100 a year, and use the same account to fill my computer, television and phone with music.

That's why I bought a Windows 8 Phone; this is why I love it:

• It's superficial, but I think WP8 is the most elegant mobile operating system out there. The coloured, resizable live tiles are awesome, as are the stunning photos that Microsoft loads onto the Bing search bar and my lock screen. The native fonts and white-text-on-black-background appearance of system apps like phone, contacts, messaging, etc. is pleasing to the eye. Even the system icons at the top are the nicest looking out there, and disappear tastefully when they're not in use.

• I've always liked Nokia products in the past, and knew they would build something close to indestructible. Physically, it's an amazing phone with a vibrant 4.5-inch 1280x768 screen, and buttons and ports (mini USB) that make sense. It even has wireless charging built-in. As well, Nokia has created some incredible native apps that add a lot of value, includes Maps, Drive, Xpress (stripped down web browser that saves bandwith), City Lens (Google Street View on steroids), and more. Battery life is good, and the camera — an 8.7MP Nokia PureView with built-in image stabilization — is one of the best available for photos and video.


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