I wrote previously about platform war and my attempt to find out fouled-up data related to it. But where to start with the Windows Phone?

For those who don’t know, there was “101 reasons not to buy a Windows Phone 7.5” list posted in MySymbian forum. It lists basically stuff one can do with Symbian phone but not with Windows Phone.[1] Now surely nobody is surprised that Tomi Ahonen refers to it a lot. The list has later been updated to 121 reasons (don’t ask me why), containing 123 items (don’t ask me why either).
Sounds like a perfect starting point.


As a very first note I’d like to say it takes incredibly huge amount of time to go through list this long. If I’d count my hours used on this, it’d make several 8-hour working days. I guess original author made list so long on purpose so nobody would try to cover it full.

But let’s talk about the list for a moment: it’s titled “101 Reasons Not to Buy A Windows Phone 7.5” which is a bit odd since Windows Phone 7.5 is operating system version, not some physical object. How are you supposed to “buy Windows Phone 7.5”? Since the list is obviously not targeted to smartphone manufacturers, let’s play along and assume it refers to any device running the said version of the OS. This was also assumed by the helpful commenters who pointed out that there are indeed devices that come with features that were listed as missing (such as Micro-SD card or equalizer). Comment from original author:

For the rest of your comments they are manufacturer specific as others have pointed out and apply only to their phone models so they do not remove the shortcomings of the OS.” [1]

…so the list is about things that are found in any Windows Phone, unless manufacturer fixed it, right?
No, not that either. He has added “Lumia specific” items and actually said:

My list is targeted at LUMIA.” [1]

Okay… Guy sucks in naming, list should have been “101 reasons not to buy Nokia Lumia”. But now, one could assume we at least can strip down issues that do not apply to Lumia?
Wrong again! This guy rants about Bing Maps lacking features (obviously compared to Nokia Maps), which is totally irrelevant to Lumia that has Nokia Maps preinstalled. But hey, did you expect unbiased list from MySymbian forum? 😉
I said in my “Platform wars” post that any war needs demonization of the enemy and good propaganda. This guy is up to task.

So list is biased. Namely:

  • It has 36 items that are flat out not true
    (So even with 123 items it can not be “101 reasons not to buy”.) 7 of those items are not true for Lumia, but are true for other Windows Phones. (Remember he targeted list at Lumia.)
  • The list has duplicate items.
    About 8 or more, depending if you count same shortcoming for different feature being a duplicate or not.
  • “Reasons” are intentionally written to sound like disasters, whether they are or not.
    The list is very provocative and tries to give the worst possible impression available. Let’s try a different analogy to describe this:
    My daughter had a bad dream last night and woke up screaming. She slept rest of the night between me and my wife. Now I’ll put this to a sentence:
    “Last night I slept with my own daughter.”
    The sentence is true word-by-word, but what happened in reality is not what people first think when they read that. This guy sports over a dozen of similar misinterpretable titles in his list.

Now all that said, list gets references from people (and Tomi Ahonen is one of the loudest again) since the list has also valid items. Naturally, after it was published in May it has already been addressed by many people. Two cases that I’ll refer to later are MyNokiaBlog [2] and talk.maemo.org [3], both trying to point out issues of the original list. Those coverages are somewhat old and the author has actively updated the list. Problem is, after some updating in the early days, he has practically disappeared from the commenting section of the article (last seen May 13th), so I have no idea if he takes any corrections in.

Update: It’s now October 30th – two months with no action to fix the list taken from his side. However, he actually posted a comment to the forum October 17th and added item number 107 – thus increasing list to 123 items – on August 21st. At that point first list of invalid items was already in the comments!
For what I can tell, he just adds new items on top of partially invalid list (first 20 more to go to 121 items, then to 122, then to 123…)

It’s practical that I have a Lumia device to test these. Then I know if statements are true or false. (Compared to Lumia, that is). Things get interesting if you have actually used the device. Then you happen to know how much those things really matter. But I would add one item (let’s call it item number zero) to the list:

0. In many cases you cannot disable unwanted features from settings. In Symbian phones you could.

This is annoyance. One can live with it, unless it concerns something that really turns you away, so I’m not counting it as such.
And now – I’ll take a bit different approach to list than previous bloggers and cover all issues listed, but not in exact numeric order. You’ll soon will see why.


I think best way to start is to remove the obvious lies.
First items come directly as reported by nick “Tomifan” to original post. [6] He mentions some being probably from SW updates so I updated my Lumia and they are correct in my opinion. (That is what I said in the comments of original list a week ago).

13. Cannot sync directly with Outlook without syncing to Cloud

Not true. I have my Outlook set with calendar, contacts & email and nothing in Outlook is seen in Live. As far as I can tell, nothing is synced to cloud.

21. Only photos allowed as email attachments, documents not allowed.

Not true. Go to office, open document, options->Share->(email account).

40. No way to close an app except pressing back button all the way to the first screen.

Now this depends on App. In e.g. browser you can do options->tabs->(close the tabs, even with only one tab)->back. Then browser is closed without ‘pressing back button all the way to first screen. If app developer did not provide a shortcut, then true.”

42. Cannot create and save playlists on the phone.

Not true, yet feature is VERY limited. You can long-tap songs and “add to now playing”. then, whichever song is playing, press in the player options->save as playlist.

51. Cannot recognize phone numbers in sms or email to save or use as calling number.

Not true. Numbers in SMS messages and emails are working as hyperlinks. Tap on it, you can call, send message or save.

65. Alarm does not revert to speaker if headphones are plugged in.

Not true. Alarm plays from speaker even if headphones are plugged in.

74. No call recording or app to do it.

Not true. There is free app that is named – unsurprisingly – ‘Call Recorder.’

84. Cannot open zip or rar files received as email attachment.

Not true. Just tap on Zip file and it opens. Haven’t tried for RAR files.
(ExNokian comment: I have. RAR files do not open as there is no application to handle those – similar to PDF needing the PDF reader. Would someone write one, please?)

85. Cannot send or receive video by MMS.

Not true. When you choose to attach, options are ‘image or video’ and ‘voice note’.

97. Can only enter one mobile phone no. for each contact. Mobile nos. entered in other fields will not accept sms.

True for one mobile type only. Not true for SMS part. I have sent successfully SMS messages to Home, Work, etc. numbers with no problem. That would be serious issue if that was not possible, since people sync contacts from Outlook and numbers may be of any type. (Home and work mostly in my case.)

100. Need to be plugged in to wall charger to sync wirelessly with Zune (a funny definition of wireless).

Not true. But there is certain battery charge level needed, so you may not be able to sync before you either charge the phone or connect it to charger.

115. Call history does not show the time of call for calls older than current day.

Not true. The smaller text below name has text, day, time and type of number.

122. Cannot change alarm ring tone or use a MP3 file.

Not true. Alarms->(pick one to edit)->Sound.
You can use any sound you could use for Call, SMS, Email… Including MP3’s you could use for ringtones.

Then let’s see my findings:

22. No rSAP Bluetooth profile for car audio streaming. This excludes many popular makes of cars.

In order to understand this better: rSAP is the “Remote SIM Access Profile” which allows the carkit to e.g. access your phonebook etc. rSAP is not used for audio routing so this is false item. Windows Phone 7.5 supports the audio routing protocols (read below) but not rSAP (same as with iOS, BB, Android, MeeGo and just about any other mobile OS than Symbian).
So in a sense this qualifies as a reason but the claim in its wording is plain wrong.

23. Cannot stream audio from video to Bluetooth devices (No A2DP profile).

Simply not true. WP7.5 supporst both A2DP and HFP/HSP, which should be quite obvious as every single headset Nokia sells for their Lumia line uses both. And yes, the audio track from your videos is routed to your headset.

34. Compass gives wrong reading in Southern hemisphere.

I have one well performed test now done by a person from Cape Town, South Africa. I guess it is about as far as needed for southern hemisphere. Is it a surprise that compass reading was correct there? My previous text for this was:

Where does this info come from? Does the original author live in Australia? And seriously – how does phone OS cause it? I could understand manufacturer/chipset issue, but OS issue?
Wait – do we want more proof against this? HTC WP’s have different version of Metal Detector app (depends on compass) than others. Any chance HTC sucks when down under?
This totally made my FUD alarm ring. I would be happy if anyone from southern hemisphere reads this and could verify this to either direction.

If I happen to find HTC user living in southern hemisphere, I’ll let you know. 😉

38. Search and Back button cannot be de-activated in apps or games and easily touched by accident.

Not true. E.g. if you are playing Angry Birds, back key switches between paused and normal state. In several apps I have seen back-key ignored in e.g. loading screens. So app can ignore back-key.
And you won’t easily touch them by accident if you use Lumia 710 (keys are mechanical, not capacitive). So that part only applies to devices with capacitive keys.

43. Playlist can only be edited when you are playing it.

Previously he said that playlists can’t be created and saved in the phone. How was this supposed to be true?
However, since the feature works through “now playing”, you can only edit the active playlist. It does not need to be playing, feel free to have it on pause/stopped, but it needs to be the one open in your player at the moment.
(Need to open playlist before editing it. Definite reason for rejection. *sigh*)

44. Cannot search your music collection on the phone, only in the Marketplace.

I don’t think it is fair to complain about the music player app and say it is a reason not to buy the phone at all. Install free app named “Find My Music”. It offers music player UI better than the stock player and provides search option for your collection. Supports customizeable live tile too.
(Hey, he is the one who decided to take “and no app to do it” approach, not me.)

45. Cannot close music player, can only pause. Music player on lockscreen will stay until you reboot.

Actually this is not true. You can close music player. It would be quite difficult to use phone if you couldn’t. Just press back key and you’re out. Furthermore: if you have closed the music player and leave music playing, player keys will be available in lockscreen. If you pause the music (even from lockscreen), player keys will disappear from lockscreen after a timeout. (Haven’t forked the exact time, but several minutes definitely – and cannot be configured. Reason 0 again.)
Even if it was true, I must wonder how this became “reason not to buy”?

49. Cannot silence ringtone or alarm by flipping the phone.

Not true. When someone calls you, flip phone face down and it stops ringing.

50. Call history only show phone number type. If a contact has multiple phone nos. for a type the number used is unknown.

Not true and impossible situation. You can’t have two numbers of a same type (if you have two “home” numbers they are titled “home” and “home 2”). And if you want to see the number, it is not “unknown”. Tap on the item in call history and you see the number for the type used.

54. No way to see photo details – dimensions, date/time taken, file size, etc

Not in image gallery, but many free apps like Image Map show you full details. And they very conveniently add themselves to option list of a single image. So if you really, REALLY need that info, it’s not hidden by OS, making this lose “reason of rejection” status.

56. Calendar scheduler has no weekly view and monthly view is non-zoomable.

I wonder what is the definition of “zoomable”? Monthly view is naturally lined by week, showing which days have events. Tap on the day to zoom in. (“non-zoomable”?)
This guy is first person I know to choose his phone based on calendar having weekly view or not. If someone has same deep need of weekly view, install app named “Week View 8” (runs also on WP 7.x).

67. Silent option for ringer is buried in Settings.

Not true. Press volume up or down once. Now tap once on the bell icon. One keyclick and one tap to silent mode. Same to turn silent option off. Equal amount compared to Symbian/MeeGo. Did this guy ever actually USE Windows Phone?.

87. Mobile Office cannot edit Office 97-2003 documents to force users to upgrade.

Not true. It will open them, edit them and save them. But you cannot create a new document in older format.

96. Volume of text message alerts do not automatically reduce when using headphones or when talking on the phone which may cause your ears to be blasted.

My personal favorite.
This claim has weird version history. First it said “if you receive a text message when talking on the phone an audio alert will blast your ear at the full volume set“.
(No, it will not “blast your ear with full volume”. Unsurprisingly there has been some debate on it, os we have a new version that lacks “full volume” but says “blast your ears” still. But this is rather easy to test, so my finding:
I tried this with call volume at minimum and system volume at full.
I tried it both volumes at full.

  • It plays the SMS tone instead of small beep, yes.
  • It plays it through earphone, yes.
  • Volume indeed does not seem to be dependent on call or system volume, at least not noticeably as I could not tell difference.

Problem is, volume is way below the one that would be used if you were not in a call and so low it does not in any way feel loud, far less uncomfortable.
If this “blasts your ears”, you need to visit a doctor.

99. Phone cannot be charged when off.
105. Cannot be charged up when battery is flat. (Lumia specific)

<SARCASM>Oh yes. We all feel pity for those poor Lumia owners. Whenever they forget to charge their phone before it runs out of battery (and is therefore off), they go to shop and happily buy a new one. Or perhaps Nokia sends them a new one for free?</SARCASM>

Seriously – does someone actually buy the crap this guy is listing? From 99 and 105 one would assume you need to buy a new phone every time your battery runs out. Simply not true. Phone turns on if you charge it while off. If battery is flat, it’ll show battery icon (without turning fully on, by the way) until there is enough charge in battery so that it can start up:


This state – by the way – it’s similar to all Nokia’s Symbian, Maemo, MeeGo and Feature Phones. Phone is powered on, but the main UI process (+radio etc. normal services) are not running.Trust me, they are having OS running while charged. (Need proof? How do you expect that battery animation on display of your Symbian phone to be possible if phone is off?) However, Windows Phone starts up to full “on” mode automatically at some point.
So correct wording would be “If phone is turned off and you connect it to charger, it will turn itself on.
(blahblah definitely a reason not to buy blahblah *giggle*)

And yes, I am aware there were some reported incidents about Lumia 900s not charging after battery was flat. Fraction of percent compared to sales. If we should allow this item to be true because of those, we should also have:
Reason not to buy a Japanese car: gas pedal does not come up even if you take your foot off from it (Toyota specific).
As there are reported incidents about Toyota cars. If you feel the Toyota sentence makes sense, you perhaps need to stop reading now.


These are reasons Lumia buyers can ignore. And the original author insisted his list is aimed at Lumia, so…

10. Need to edit an MP3 file with strict constraints to be used as a ringtone.

Not true since Nokia has made app named ringtone maker that will do this for you.

77. No data monitor and no app to do it.

Not true. There is app available and it is free to install. http://betalabs.nokia.com/trials/counters [6]

ExNokian comment: It’s no longer in beta stage, you find it from Nokia collection in market place (or by searching for “more applications from Nokia Corporation”).

82. No 3rd party browsers allowed except those based on IE.

False. 3rd party browser ae allowed as long as they use the trident engine.” [3]

I think the existence of Nokia Xpress browser (proxied browsing similar to Opera Mobile/Mini) already makes this not true. And by the previous caption, there is nothing preventing port of e.g. Firefox, but due to different engine and different programming language, I suspect that nobody will go through the trouble.
But if you must use browser other than IE, go for Lumia.

88. No native Google maps and Bing maps is useless for most countries outside U.S.

This was listed as false [6], but anyone can zoom in to e.g. Beijing with Bing Maps and Nokia maps. Bing shows main roads. Nokia maps shows small alleys too.
I don’t know about “most” countries but definitely in “some” countries.
No issue for Lumia, painpoint of all other brand Windows Phones.

106. Bing maps need to tap to get voice direction for next turn.

Not true, AFAIK. It’s easy to make this mistake as it does not play the first direction when you start navigating unless you tap (why, Microsoft, why?!?).
But even if it would be true, list was for Lumia so Nokia Drive it is. 😉

108. No bluetooth file transfer.

Not true for Lumia. Nokia made app called Bluetooth Share that does this for you.

113. No way to edit MMS profile for Operators in the OS. Need an app which is not available in all markets

The app in question is named “Network Setup“, it is Lumia specific and available on all markets where Nokia sells their Lumia line.


Now I mentioned about this before. The guy has weird interpretations of the OS. And it’s not even the unclear wordings. These items are just… Just… Well, see yourself:

8. Limited to 800×480 resolution.

Surely this is issue for a manufacturer that their device portfolio is restricted to one display resolution, but for end-user buying the product? People check the resolution when they buy the phone. It is a base for selection, but it does not change afterwards. Applies to any phone with any OS.

Windows Phone 7 OS is available only in one resolution, yes.
Only two MeeGo devices made by Nokia (N9 and N950) both have same display resolution.
N8, E7 and all other Symbian^3 phones (excluding E6, which is totally different form factor) had only one display resolution regardless of the physical size of display.

Seriously – WTF? Does the guy assume that having Symbian/MeeGo device makes it possible to deliver better displays to end-users as an update? Reason not to buy?

18. No centralized notification page.

From all the comments so far I assume he means N9 homescreen. That should be in list of “reasons not to buy any other phone than N9“. Or then it could be iPhone/Android/Symbian Belle pull-down list (as said in comments of this post). Considering Samsung-Apple trial, does everyone need to have the same implementation before you can buy the phone?

Anyway, the tile grid is your notification page – pin in the stuff you want to see. Move tiles to top and you get notified better. Every app put there can show whatever info they wish. (And lockscreen offers part of that info too).

26. Very limited customization option.

I have no clue what this means. Neither had previous commenters. [2] [3] Apparently reordering/adding/removing live tiles + having selectable color themes + having background image changing is not enough.
Or then he talks about manufacturer options (see item number 8 for more) and those have zero meaning to person buying the phone.

30. Wifi- hotspot and internet tethering not integral features in the OS but need to be provided by manufacturer on a case by case basis.

You phone has Wifi-hotspot.
Wifi-hotspot in your phone works, no problem.
But since it’s from manufacturer instead of OS provider, you will not buy the phone?

31. No HDMI output (Lumia specific)

Well, if you only buy phones with HDMI output, please do so. Since there currently are no Lumia’s with HDMI output, I’d say you are not going to buy Lumia. Or N9. Or… Or…
Since this is “Lumia specific”, obviously OS was not an issue but writer just wanted more N8’s and E7’s to the market.

36. No always visible status bar for battery life, signal strength, carrier, 2G/3G wi-fi, Bluetooth status.

You can always swipe down from top and see those. (except in browser where you can swipe option menu up a bit to do the same.) Why should they be there all the time wasting space?” [6]

20. The idle screen is completely black and cannot display time or notifications.
39. Lockscreen need to be activated to show missed call/sms notification.

For item number 39: You kind of said it already, you know? (redundant item)
First of all, I hate the way this guy says “idle screen” and means screen saver (the disply off – mode). Idle screen in my terminology means the screen you end up to after unlocking the phone.
But I get it – downgrade from Symbian (clock in screen saver) and MeeGo (clock + few indicators).

During these few weeks of Windows Phone use I found out I have a finger to press the button if I want to see lockscreen where all those things are displayed. Ironically, this same guy complains that showing info of arrived SMS is privacy violation – the item 102.

47. Cannot lock screen orientation.

Wp (like Meego) is mostly used in Portrait orientation- no need to lock as only games and some apps use landscape.” [2]

What is the guy after? Multiple apps lock their orientation so this not application developer thing – he means that user cannot lock the orientation. Who wants to block the orientation turning of their device and why was this a reason of rejection?

59. If both wi-fi and data connection are available which one it chooses to use is unpredictable.

This was generally reported as not true throughout the line [2] [3], yet it is quite easy to always say “well it fails on MY phone”. I don’t know which is truth, but my experience says Wi-Fi is always selected first. I often find the phone using data connection when I’m at the other end of our house. Wi-Fi signal there is so weak my Symbian phone always dropped from network unless I kept it high above my head.
From all the coverage so far odds are this is not true. I fear this cannot be proven either.

66. If the phone is set to vibrate for incoming calls it will only vibrate once and may lead to missed calls.

It will indeed do only one long vibrate. Don’t know why. Haven’t so far missed a single call because of that. Did the original author miss many calls since he had to name this as a reason not to buy the phone?

90. Wide difference in apps availability in different markets and users locked to one market.

As is the same with every single other Marketplace in the world (including symbian and meego)” [2]

If e.g. Chinese apps were listed in Europe (or Canadian operator apps in US), he’d be listing that as a fatal flaw. And yes, you don’t see Russian-only localized apps in Ovi Store for your Symbian phone if you’re located to Africa. Shouldn’t this be “reason not to buy a smartphone”?

91. Not all Bing features available outside U.S. especially Local Scout.

In a sense duplicate to previous. “U.S. specific” feature is not available to non-U.S. users and he sees this as reason not to buy product?
If the feature would’ve been in the device he’d complain about service that does not work. Geez!!!


14. Totally closed OS, cannot sideload apps outside MS Marketplace.
27. 3rd party apps cannot put notifications on the lockscreen
33. Generally force users to use IE, Bing and SkyDrive by shutting out competitors or tying OS features to them.
79. Totally locked down os means apps which interact directly with hardware not allowed. This excludes a whole range of useful apps.

These 4 just repeat the fact that the operating system is closed. Like iOS. And manufactured by Microsoft so they drive their own features. (How come Nokia tying OS features to Nokia maps is not seen as “shuts down competition” and complained as “reason not to buy Nokia phone”? or Android having OS features using Google services?)
SW developers would certainly like to have more options available, but if list above is a problem to you as user of the phone, don’t buy. (This is – after all – list of reasons not to buy.)
IUn any case, these could just as well have been one item.


Now to someone these may possibly be reason not to buy a product. And sum them up to get one or two real reasons, perhaps.
But honestly, how did they end up to this list?

2. No Divx/Xvid video codec support. Zune will convert with loss of quality.
32. No support for lossless audio format like FLAC and WMA lossless
107. If you transfer HD videos to your phone Zune will forcibly reduce its resolution. If you want to view it on a DLNA enabled TV you are out of luck.

Now do understand that you get all those to your device through Zune. And unlike said above, Zune converts without loss of quality unless the video exceeds capabilities of the phone. I rather have that than N900 style “I’ll play anything but with serious lag”. They’ll probably do a phone for hifi media people later, when they run out of other people to buy the phone. Seriously, in world of limited space on mobile devices and small screens, who wants to use lossless HD video formats so much that it becomes a reason not to buy a product?
And I know this guy is not going to buy Windows Phone due to this, but whenever you plan to watch HD movie from your TV, I sincerely recommend to use some other setup than transferring the movie to your smartphone and then viewing it through DLNA connection. (Item number 107 is the most recent item. I assume he really was running out of ideas.)

15. System font size cannot be changed.
41. Tiny fonts in messages is very hard to read for those over 45.

Redundant items. So the guy feels fonts are too small – fine. Wait until you read item number 101. It will break the bank.

37. Taskmanager has no option to shut down apps you don’t want running in the background

As author of original list already pointed out in item number 1, apps don’t run in the background, they are frozen. So there is no need to close them. And you can just enter the app from task manager and then close it. But I do admit it would be nice to be able to close long list of “open apps” easily. (At least I ended up pressing back-key a lot.)
Mild annoyance, to my experience. Not a reason “not to buy”.

62. No global search button for phone content.
63. Hardware search button is of limited use as it is hardwired to Bing.

Indeed, there is no “search content from the phone” dedicated HW button. Not in N9. Not in Symbian phones. Not in Ashas, Not… Okay, I guess we should say there is no option to search local content. Frankly, since there is no complex filesystem where to lose files, this is not needed that much.
Anyway, these are redundant items (add music search as third) but it takes a valid point. I have no clue why they spent one HW key to search function that only searches the web. I mean – it’s like HW key dedicated for a bookmark you cannot edit. But already before Windows Phone I have owned dozens of gadgets having a button or two I never use. So I don’t see the reason of rejection here.

Nice improvement proposal to MSFT: do in-device search behind this key.

48. Cannot save draft sms messages.

This is something I’d love to have, but I’m adding it to this section, since this is going to make you reject lot of phones. Nokia dropped that feature from its feature phones starting from 2009 (my mother’s 3710 fold does not have drafts folder), slowly spreading to other platforms. N9 follows similar draft handling as Series 40 phones (editor content is kept in memory when you come back to editor), except it does that per conversation. Symbian Belle does not save drafts at all if you are typing reply in a conversation. (But has drafts folder for normal composer.)
Yes, a setback.
Yes, could be improved.
So in a sense, probably reason not to buy.

Not a reason not to buy Lumia, it’s more like a reason not to buy any new Nokia phone.

69. No haptic feedback for keyboard.

I got taunted in Twitter that no phone has haptics, they all abuse vibra. 😉 And Windows Phone has “haptic feedback” in many places, this is about the virtual QWERTY keyboard (I guess he could be more specific about this). So now this depends: if list indeed is about Lumia, true. There is audio feedback that works just as well (except for people with hearing problem).

But if this is about Windows Phone 7 (title of the list), not true. (Thanks to helpful ppl in Twitter, I now have info that “Little bit of googling says HTC HD7 has that feature”.) Have no idea why so many WP7 phones do not have it.

70. No Swype.

Now sure, if you are fanatic on needing that, you’d be choosing some other product, but on the other hand: I type faster with Windows Phone QWERTY keyboard than I ever could swype with my Symbian phone. (N9 had much better Swype when I tried it, though.) So once again, do you choose your phone based on this?

81. IE browser has no text reflow, no offline reading and will not download any file it does not recognize.

Now this is three items. Reflow is rarely needed thanks to smart layouting. For offline reading, you can leave a tab open and read it later without network access. But key is – you cannot download files that don’t have app for them in the phone. If you could, you could not transfer them out of the phone (all transfer is done with Zune or Skydrive, item number 6). So MS chose not to provide any way to download unsupported files (even web pages) for later use since you can’t use them later.

92. Cannot reject a call with a sms – a downgrade from Symbian.

…so important thing you reject the product?

94. One volume control for all functions including media playback, ringtones, alarms, notifications.

It’s MeeGo approach (one volume for ringing+msgs and other for everything else) taken into extreme. Weird enough, I so far haven’t found this problematic. No missed calls or such.

Basically – MS team just did it differently. Different is not always bad, you know?

102. Phone will wake up and display sms content on lockscreen when locked – a privacy violation.

Yeah, I thought blank screen without info was bad. N9 by default has setting on and does the same but in addition leaves the text visible. WP shows the info for few seconds and then hides it, showing only simple icon after that. Thing here is – no setting to disable it in Windows Phone. I think I mentioned reason 0 in the beginning of the list?
Could be a reason not to buy if you cheat on your wife and get steamy text messages to your phone all the time. Or if you for some reason expect someone sees the few second notification and your privacy can’t handle it.


Now some more items. For these I have to assume the original author ran out of ideas and noticed 101 is a large number. The list is supposed to be “101 reasons not to buy Windows Phone“, not “101 minor issues found from Nokia Lumia“.
If previous were not sounding like reasons for rejecting a product, these go beyond.

9. Voice search is hardwired to Bing.

Ummm… It is Microsoft voice search, right? I’m sure that Apple’s Siri lets you choose what search to use? No? Well Android voice search surely is not using Goolgle search? It is? Well at least you can switch it to use some alternative like Bing? You can’t?
Apparently this guy cannot buy ANY modern smartphone. (See also reason 83.)

16. Images and photos cannot be renamed in the phone.

Sounds bad until you realize you don’t get any use of that before you take images out of device. (Name is not visible in gallery, only in some apps. Amusingly, he complained about that in item number 54.)
Sure, it would be nice to rename those but… Reason not to buy?

46. No draggable progress bar to set position for current track playing.

But you can fast forward/rewind with fwd/rwd keys as with any player. And it shows you position where it has fwd/rwd you to so far. Was it so difficult to find any new items to your list of 101 items?

52. Text messages can only be deleted one by one or the whole thread.

And what was the third method that is so important its absence prevents you from buying the device?

55. Apps are listed alphabetically with no way to group by category. Can be hard to find if you don’t remember the name.

This only affects people who have about hundred apps, forget the names of apps and can’t memorize the icons.
But I agree: If there are such people, they probably want some other phone.

64. Unable to read long names in audio and video playlist as they get cut off.

They do, but unlike one would assume from the title, it’s after 28 characters or so. If you have to choose the device you buy based on that, I recommend to rename some songs.

60. Option to output FM radio to speaker is cleverly hidden.

…I’m sure they will redesign it for less clever people since you could not buy product because of this.
(Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. What kind of “reason not to buy” is this? :-))

71. No flashplayer support.

Mobile space is anyway moving out of this relic. Actually, Steve Jobs started it by saying that there will not be Flash in iPhone.

72. No Silverlight support.

My desktop Ubuntu does not have working one. (Moonlight does not match latest Silverlight). What mobile has this?

73. No support for Java apps.

Those have never been seriously taken part of smartphone space. Symbian devices had tons of issues with them running with worse performance than in Nokia feature phones.

76. No screenshots or app to do it.

Well… It’s apparently not in marketplace yet. http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windowsphone75/windows-phone-75-screenshots-141063 ” [6]

Okay, it’s true until app hits Marketplace. But… Not having app for screenshots is a reason not to buy?

68. No live wallpaper, no widgets, no themes
78. No auto wallpaper changer and no app to do it.

Widgets == live tiles
Themes == color+wallpaper
So missing live wallpaper == reason to buy? WTF?

(Apparently live wallpaper is really important criteria for buying a phone to this guy as he had to duplicate that one.

80. No equalizer for Zune music player.

Buy HTC WP if you must have it. It has.

83. Volume up/down buttons cannot be used to zoom in camera (sign of an immature os)

UPDATE April 2014:
Okay…. iPhone 5S does not support this. Samsung Galaxy S 4 does not support this. I have to assume both iOS and Android are therefore “immature OS’s”. Can you believe the stuff this guy writes? 😉
(In Windows Phone 7 the on-screen zoom works really nicely, by the way.)

86. Office Mobile has much less features than 3rd party Office editors like SmartOffice, QuickOffice and Polaris. Shame on you, Microsoft!

Okay, this is just ranting about office app.

89. Email time stamp does not show the year.

<SARCASM>This will definitely turn you away from buying Windows Phone. I don’t know how I could ever survive if I don’t know the year in which the email arrived!</SARCASM>
Wait, they’re chronologically ordered and I learned order of months in elementary school so I know where year changes. Never mind.

24. Tiles are fixed size and for many functions is a waste of space.
101. Oversized fonts for headings waste screen space and result in low information density

Umm… These two are the design of WP. Artistic thing. I mean – I totally support you, but… Reason not to buy?
Now hands up – how many check “information density” of the phone when they plan to buy one? 😀

103. Phone can be rebooted without entering security code

An intentional feature. It’s not as if it unlocks the phone or restarts accidentally. Microsoft felt it is important to be able to shut down the phone without extra delay when going to hospital, security check or whatever.

110. Cannot filter call history into Missed Calls, Received Calls, Dialled Calls, Recent Calls, etc

True. Ever wondered why the type of call is indicated with text color/style and textual info? Any chance it’s so you don’t actually need to filter the list?
And seriously – reason not to buy?!?

111. No way to backup or export call history
112. Does not show call duration in call history.
116. Cannot set custom sounds for different types of notifications.
117. No ringer profiles.
123. Cannot set alarm snooze interval.

…so you don’t buy it because of those five either? Please note you CAN instantly switch between silent/ringing and you CAN define tones in multiple way. You just can’t e.g. choose tone for system alerts.

114. Call history does not group calls by contact.

Uhmmm how is that bad?? if it didn’t tell you how many times a contact called you would be calling it another “devastating flaw”.” [2]


Wow. We’ve stripped 89 items off the list and we finally get to actual reasons of rejection!
But not for everyone, yet. For an average Joe these items are in my opinion still out of the group of reasons “not to buy Windows Phone”. But to certain group of people these can be a reason for rejection, as you will soon see.

3. No mass storage mode.
5. No filemanager. Directory system is totally opaque.
6. Need Zune to transfer files. Zune will only transfer photos, videos & music. All other files need to email/upload to yourself.
28. No over the air (OTA) firmware upgrade. All upgrades must be via PC installed Zune.

As said before, the phone UI does not offer a way to access files you cannot handle (let’s say you save some arbitrary binary file to filesystem, there is no way to do anything to it in device). So there is no point to allow saving unusable content to phone. This should not be a problem, right?
Yes, these three still relate to closed OS, but it is major setback for Linux users when they realize that they indeed cannot get any files to their phone through USB.
Similarly, handling of different file types is rather hard when you cannot make folder where to put stuff.
If you use Windows PC or Mac and rarely move files between phone and PC, you can just as well go with Windows Phone.
If you don’t have Windows/Mac PC (that’s no SW updates to you) or if you consider your phone as your second memory stick, you’re choosing some other product. Definitely.

4. No micro-SD card support.

True. Totally true. So if you own micro-SD card and you really REALLY must be able to use it in your next phone, you won’t buy a Windows Phone. But you won’t buy Nokia N9 either. Or E7. Or iPhone. Or…
Seriously, when you hold a phone and wonder whether to buy it, it is in a sense same as holding Nokia E7 or N9 – both lack SD card slot. So once again, operating system is not going to be reason not to buy if phone itself does not have memory card slot. Switching other OS (let’s say Symbian) to the device would not change the end result, no matter if the OS could handle SD cards or not.
(But this is problem for Nokia since they cannot provide Windows Phone for micro-SD card owners before Lumia 820 hits the shops.)

11. Cannot set static IP address so no connection to ad-hoc networks.
12. No VPN support for this “corporate enterprise” phone.

Where did you get the ‘corporate enterprise’? Haven’t seen that reference
towards WP anywhere outside this post.” [6]

Definitely a reason not to buy IF you happen to need either. If you did not understand what the guy is talking about, you don’t and this is not a reason why you wouldn’t buy.

25. Cannot use Bluetooth keyboard.

Well… Nokia discontinued those while ago. If you still have one and want to use it, consider Symbian.

35. Cannot be upgraded to WP8 (Apollo)

I have covered this issue here. It’s complex issue, but definitely more and more people will not buy WP7 devices as expected launch of WP8 devices approaches.

53. Cannot select multiple pictures for deleting, sending or uploading. They must be done one at a time.

True and frustrating if you have multiple failed shots to delete. Depends on your camera usage if this becomes a problem.

57. No peak/off-peak scheduling for email downloads.
58. Forwarded emails cannot be edited

I assume some workaholics want to stop receiving emails after work and would need peak/off-peak scheduling from 8am to 4pm, business days only. For them this actually can be reason for rejection. My latest experience came from N900, which had the same issue so I did not really get the worst out of this.
Forwarding uses the alternate option in email specification, which encapsulates the original message to element in new message. This usually blocks editing so original will indeed be untouched. Depends on your email use if it is a problem that MS programmers followed that specific standard.

61. Cannot add or update podcasts directly from the phone.

Same thing as with playlists. Depends on your level of use.

75. No call blocking or app to do it.

While we wait for the app, I have to say: If you need it, you won’t buy Windows Phone.

109. Cannot handle USSD codes necessary for prepaid users to obtain services.

A bit unclear thing here. After some msging in forum I now know that interactive menu USSD codes do not work. Normal ones do (e.g. *#21# + call gives you call divert status). So if your prepaid needs interactives, don’t buy a Windows Phone.


These reasons are definite “no I will not buy it” items, but not necessarily in industrialised world. Let’s see them:

29. Zune can only be installed if you have an internet connection

In industrialized world having a PC = having Internet connection. Not in emerging markets. Even worse, not everybody have a PC, so they will miss SW updates.

95. Wi-fi disconnects when screen sleeps.

It does indeed. So any emails received while display is black are transmitted through (costly) cellular connection, not through (free) WiFi.
I have understood the point was to gain power saving but solution used is brutal.

This can be easily prevented: Install Nokia PlayTo (available here) and leave it running on background (exit by pressing windows-button, not back-button). Isn’t that simple?
Just not publicly known solution. Apparently this gets fixed in Windows Phone 8 “Portico” update, but what comes to 7.5, there are only rumors that this gets fixed in 7.8 and/or 7.9. How hard would it have been to do setting for this in the very first place?

98. Cannot send/receive MMS without enabling 3G data connection. MMS does not use 3G data.

True, MMS usually does not count towards your data quota. And your subscription can do MMS without data plan. This hits you hard if you are charged obscene amounts of money per MB transferred (except for MMS) and you therefore would always use WiFi only. You will miss your MMS messages… …or phone will start using your data connection if you enable it outside WiFi range. (Read item 95 above for additional instructions. ;-))
Reason why these two are not in “anybody would reject phone due to these” section is that these are “must fix” items if Windows Phone is going to sell in emerging markets. (These affect practically everyone in emerging markets). They are not “sales killer” things elsewhere (affect only part of potential customers).

119. Cannot backup contacts to PC, only to SkyDrive

…remember what I said about data connection, expensive data plans and bad network coverage? Anyone needing the feature is going to be disappointed.


Let’s look a moment the group of loyal Nokia users. These items will be a cold shower to them and they really ought to be aware of these. I knew these beforehand and I probably (with that knowledge) could have bought Windows Phone. But not knowing these beforehand is a real killer.
So not as much reasons not to buy as things you should know beforehand:

1. No true multitasking – all apps are frozen in the background except for some built-in apps like Zune player.

Yeah, right. “All apps are frozen” is a proper way to start, when the reality is… …quite far. In a very normal day I’m:

  • Listening to music while I browse the web.
  • My friend sends me message via WhatsApp (which is running in the background).
  • I press Windows button (Browser is left to background) and open messages to reply him via SMS.
  • Half-way through writing the message I remember I needed to send him web address I have in my emails. So Windows button again (messages left to background).
  • Open emails that have synced in the background and open the email. Mark the text, press copy.
  • Long press on back-key and I see open programs. Select messages, where a new message arrived in the background.
  • I continue the reply where I left, paste the text, send the message.
  • Long press to enter browser which loaded the web page while it was in the background. Continue browsing.

Oh, right. Music has been playing in the background all the time.
I could add a pile of apps that could have been running in a same way, since they use background running API (e.g. Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive). But this is about apps that do not use it and/or the fact that not all tasks can be left to background.
I have to say I have experienced only one disappointment with this and it was that Sports Tracker does not track your movement while you have it in the background (e.g. reply to SMS). And Sports Tracker team has informed that 7.5 multitasking does not provide a way to keep tracking GPS in the background so it’s unfixable.
Ironically, Microsoft’s own Skype client can’t receive calls while in the background either.

In short: this causes bad user experience with 3rd party apps that do not utilize background running feature, as well as some state-saving issues like focus on lists, which often returns to beginning when switching between apps. One can live with this, but it surprises Symbian users who are used to full multitasking.

19. Alarm clock cannot work when phone is turned off. All Nokia Symbian and Meego phones can do this.

Now I was aware of this feature in my Symbian phone, but never used it. If you rely on it, it will definitely surprise you in a rather nasty way.
My only experience of thet feature with my Symbian phone was when my phone started ringing the alarm in airplane where it was supposed to be turned off during take off and landing. Quite hard to explain that “Yes, it’s turned off but still alerts”. 😉

93. Cannot set all contacts offline (no calls) except for a designated list – a downgrade from Symbian.

Assuming you used the feature, it’s good to know it’s gone before buying.

104. Internet Explorer has no Forward button for page views

Incredible annoyance. And thing is: it was removed in Mango update. Seriously, WTF?!? Dear MSFT – “easy to use” does not always equal to “less options”. (Additional note: Browser is not 100% without forward option, since “Recent” list includes your “forward” items in about 4 cases out of 5. But that 1 out of 5 is so annoying this should be fixed ASAP. How hard is it to return back feature that already was there?)

So why in this section? Symbian Belle users are very used to having back-button and next-button next to each other. In WP you’ll have only back.

120. Cannot backup sms at all, not even to SkyDrive

You got a new phone but cannot move messages from your previous phone to it? Ouch. This is one of the top items in “please fix this to Windows Phones ASAP” list of Microsoft user response panel. I assume they’ll do something about it but meanwhile… It’s good to know about it.


Now (finally) universal “these are reasons why you may change your mind and buy another device” reasons.
And still – some people are fine with these. But from this point on, I feel people being okay with these are going to form minority group. 😉

7. Your contact details are automatically uploaded to cloud service whether you like it or not

UPDATE: There was a workaround for this listed in comments. Go check it. However, if it needs a workaround, it stays here.

True, contact is always connected to a service. I always have had a problem to understand what the big deal here is. I mean – your contact details are in secure service, not spreaded out freely in Twitter or anything like that. And as a topping on the cake, you are not even tied to Live, you can use Google account if you suffer Microsoft allergy.

After comment from CD-Host (in comments section), I told about this to my wife, who is not a techie. She would (in her words) “never ever ever EVER put her private info (her mobile phone contacts) to a device that puts them somewhere in the web, no matter how ‘secure’ it is promised to be“. She’s a Symbian user.
I tell you – I was stunned. hBut I trust my wife on forming the “non-techie” sector opinion much better than me. Accompany that with CD-Host and Tomi Ahonen (yes, I do respect his opinions when they’re not goofed-up), I’m compelled to believe majority of the people would disable the feature if they could. (Whether they could live with it being on or not.)  This immediately jumped to the list of actual rejection reasons.

17. Windows Live ID account cannot change country once set.

Must be one of the most wanted change from people who live/worked abroad. This in my opinion is #1 issue to fix as there should be no technology constraints preventing the fix and when this happens to end-user it may in worst case mean you need to do new account, lose all the apps and reset the phone (lose messages and contacts at least). Ouch.

118. Cannot send/receive contact as a csv file.

Well, you can. But only via SMS and email (Lumia specific app). So it’s MMS support that is missing. This would be just fine if you could receive MMS. Just saying because people sending the contact card rarely know they should use SMS or email

Symbian phones and Nokia’s Series 40 phones prefer sending contacts as MMS so this will hit you in rather nasty way. 😦

121. Cannot save contact to SIM card.

You can get SIM contacts to phone, so this hits you back when you are about to change to the next phone. This would be first and most native way to move your contacts to a new (non-Windows) phone. Except you can’t. Not nice.
(Switch between Windows Phones is easy – your contacts are in Live and get automatically to your new phone.)


Now I did mention in the beginning that Tomi Ahonen refers to this list a lot (mentioning the updated amount of 121)? Now we know better number would be 4. Or on the other hand, we could add 5 more for emerging markets and use 4 for rest.
Perhaps I now include all the conditional stuff + Symbian disappointments – redundant items and say:

This list should have been “23 reasons why you may not want to buy Nokia Lumia“.

Whew – that was a long post. I think forgot something, though: I titled this 127 reasons, but had only 123. Where were those 4 missing items? Coming in:


Now I mentioned that Tomi refers to the list often. How does Tomi feel about the list? In his words:

I think that list illustrates just how incompetent about mobile, the Microsoft Windows Phone team has been. And it helps explain the enormous return rates, and the carrier rejection of Windows Phone” [4]

Wow. So it is all because of incompetent team. Looking at the list, I’d say there is no real base for that. Judging from the SW maturity of my Lumia, I’d say no base at all. But we can ask if they chose wrong features over the others? Or perhaps they should have pushed those few items in? Perhaps so, I already listeed things they could improve. (And for Tomi’s return rates see here and for carrier rejection you may want to read here.)
Now we have to forgive Tomi, he did his post based on the initial list that had many invalid items. The author original list needed to update it according to comments he got. But it’s frightening that Tomi was willing to take the list “as is”, especially since he (for all that I understand from his tweets) has never used Windows Phone.

But now, the list starts to get to rather stable state, thanks to constant updates. One would assume that Tomi has updated his blog post about it too? Those items have been told to be wrong on comments and original list has been updated. He writes himself:

If you want to talk about the full 101 list, please go to the original source and complain there. If you want to talk about the items I pointed out, they are valid for here. Don’t complain to me or this blog about items I did not mention, go to the original source, just follow the link, ok?” [5]

People went there and list has been updated. Yet his blog post sticks with old list. The invalid one. Four of the items are so badly wrong I now talk about 127 reasons – four of them Tomi’s private ones. But I think it would be nice to see what’s the status of all items Tomi took to his blog (and refuses to update). I list them here:


7.         Need Zune to transfer files. Zune will only transfer photos, videos & music. All other files need to email/upload to yourself.
8.         Your contact details are automatically uploaded to cloud service whether you like it or not.True – I also listed both as possible reasons of rejection.

13.       No VPN support for this “corporate enterprise” phone.True – I listed it too. Still affects (as named) corporate sector. Any chance we have some explanation why Nokia targets Lumia advertisement so actively to youngsters?

39.       Cannot close music player, can only pause. Music player on lockscreen will stay until you reboot.Not true, yet not fixed in original list either.

59.       No call recording or app to do it.Not true, yet not fixed in original list either.

77.       Wi-fi disconnects when screen sleeps. Too bad if you are in the middle of a download.In a sense true – but this (old) wording is wrong as download continues (depends on the app. Either WiFi stays on until download finishes, or download finishes through cellular data or then download resumes when screen is on again).

78.       If you receive a text message when talking on the phone an audio alert will blast your ear at the full volume set. All other phones will give a soft beep.” Not true, although not fixed in original list either. (Oh yes, also has the original wording.)

84.       Phone will wake up and display sms content on lockscreen when locked – a privacy violation.True – and so does the N9 Tomi so much loves (except N9 leaves the info visible until user dismisses it whereas Lumias dismiss it automatically.

85.       Phone can be rebooted without unlocking to bypass security lock.Not true in this wording (has been reworded in original list). So bad lie I count this as item 124.

96.       No silent option (no vibrate and no ring).Not true (and has been removed from original listing). So bad lie I count this as item 125.

Thats a pretty nasty set of 10 huge surprises for any user who expects a modern smartphone” [4]

Well, if I we remove invalid items and the ones that can in no way be counted as “huge”, we end up with 3 surprises. Wow. But hey, let’s see what else we have from Tomi:


20.       Alarm clock cannot work when phone is turned off. All Nokia Symbian and Meego phones can do this.
(Tomi comment – a massive annoyance the first time this happens. Your Nokia phone causes you to miss work or an important meeting or date or whatever.)True – and I also listed this to be bad surprise to Symbian owners.

21.       The idle screen is completely blank and cannot display time or notifications.Not true. (I know what was said earlier, but you need to take into account the text below.)

“(Tomi comment – all Nokia phones have understood the power of using the phone as a clock/watch for more than a decade now. A huge regressive step back and big disappointment for all Nokia users. How many times per day do you turn to look at your phone for the time? Dozens of times for the average user – per day. So this new Lumia series disappoints average users dozens of times every single day)As said, not true since all that content is in lockscreen.

As said, original author does the wording as bad sounding as possible, but the truth is that phone still shows you the time in lock screen, which you need to activate with one single key press. Same thing you need to do with Asha line touch screen phones. Same thing you’d do if you don’t want to spend power for the screen saver clock in your E7. (Feature I think was off by default in Anna SW).
Tomi said in Twitter he will never buy a Windows Phone. Too bad. It would be nice he used one so he would stop writing stuff that is not true.

26.       Cannot use Bluetooth keyboard.True – I also listed it as possible reason of rejection for BT keyboard owners (who form a very limited group as those were never sold in large quantities).

44.       Cannot save draft sms messages.True – but applies to other Nokia phones too.

(Tomi comment – Nokia has always supported thisNot true, as said above and in my text.

51.       Calendar scheduler has no weekly view and monthly view is non-zoomable.Not true.

65.       FM radio doesn’t work on speaker.
(Nokia introduced FM radios to its handsets and have had this feature for nearly a decade. It may not be relevant to you, most of my readers, but remember, most of Nokia’s phones are sold in the Emerging World where for many, their first ever FM radio the person owned – was the one that came on their Nokia phone. Those FM radios are used very often with the speaker playing the radio broadcast such as for example farm and factory workers who can’t use earphones for getting the wires caught in the work)Not true (and has been removed from original listing). Unnecessary rant you could have avoided if you bothered to use Lumia even for once. So bad lie I count this as item 126.

81.       Phone cannot be charged when off.
(Tomi comment – duh! This is madness)Not true (I would count it as madness too if it was true.)

88.       Cannot save new contacts from call history.Not true (and has been removed from original listing). I count this as item 127.

97.       Cannot send/receive contact as a csv file. In a sense not true as with Lumia you could send via SMS or email, but original list does not mention that either.

98.       Cannot backup sms to PC.True – and also listed as reasons for rejection by me.

Once again only 3 valid items. I really wish Tomi would update his blog. Reading that list where items are mainly not true or huge exaggerations is depressing.

Well, considering length of this post, I guess that’s enough FUD about Windows Phone for now.


[1] http://my-symbian.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44034

[2] http://mynokiablog.com/2012/05/10/windows-phone-myths-debunked-the-truth/

[3] http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=84187&page=6

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/05/the-i-wish-i-had-known-this-list-about-101-things-wrong-with-windows-phone-smartphones-like-nokia-lu.html

[5] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/05/the-i-wish-i-had-known-this-list-about-101-things-wrong-with-windows-phone-smartphones-like-nokia-lu/comments/page/5/#comments

[6] http://my-symbian.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44034&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=120