With Verizon’s increasingly aggressive ETF policies, now is a good a time as ever to test which network is good for the exit strategy when the contracts are up in late January. I signed up 5 lines of service on Cricket for $100 per month (including tax). Cricket now has several budget phones available. The Lumia 635 is free after rebate, but why settle for subpar? The Moto G LTE goes right now for a $25 a piece.
Both devices share identical processors, LTE radios, and basic 5 MP rear cameras. But the Moto G demolishes the Lumia in other categories. 720p vs 480p screen, 1.0 vs. 0.5 GB RAM, a notification light, a front facing camera, & expedient OS updates from Motorola make $26 an easy difference to spend. Even with the Snapdragon 400 processor on Android, I’m able to perform some tasks more quickly and efficiently than my current device, the high class Lumia ICON running the far-from-optimized Windows Phone 8.1 Preview. The ICON’s 20 MP with mechanical stabilization will be sorely missed.
Cricket’s network sucks like the depressurized vacuum of space. Good speeds register at 2 Mbps down and .5 Mbps up. Those are facts. Still, I am not the guy huddled in the corner, watching YouTube. 2/.5 Mbps is enough to pull emails. My house pulls 120 down, and about 30 up and that’s where I need the speed.
UNLOCKING & SWITCHING AGAIN
Another huge plus, factory unlock service for Motorola devices is fairly inexpensive at about $6 per phone. However, Cricket will unlock the phones for free after three months, about the time needed to maintain active lines in order for the $400 in rebates to clear. If the speed is still too slow, than switching carriers is simple as swapping a SIM card. Good analogy?
MICROSOFT’s HARDWARE WOES
Bashing on Verizon is fun, but I’m still a Microsoft fan. Despite many crap decisions over the years, I’m confident they’ll be able to pull through. I still use Windows & Xbox One. My favorite game remains Halo multiplayer regardless of the idiot VP recently put in charge of 343 and the Halo franchise at large. Ultimately, Halo MCC’s unforgivable launch made me realize the detriments of supporting a company through the lens of childhood nostalgia. Windows is a great OS. Xbox is lots of fun. Office is par none. Yet the inability of the software giant to competently deliver modern hardware at a reasonable price point should not be supported, whether their AI is named Mickey Mouse, Cortana, or the White Ranger. It’s been nearly six years, and the standard resolution on laptops remains a sickening 768p.
Microsoft needs to get their HW partners on board or stop licensing Windows, and do it themselves. They took the wrong approach entirely. Phone market is replete with competitors including LG and Samsung. MS should have left this market alone and let the Korean screen tech giants compete. Traditional Windows devices are not the Korean’s bread and butter. MS needed and still needs to spin those turbines towards ensuring Full HD devices running Windows OS are released and reasonably priced. I’m unaware of how to mend the relationships with OEMs but they need to think of something and fast because 768p didn’t suffice in 2009, and it certainly doesn’t cut it now. Windows OS is where Windows thrives.*
*Acceptable hardware required.