Whether you’re getting a new one as a present or shopping for one with that influx of holiday cash from your relatives, there’s no better time to get yourself a new smartphone. But, don’t just go one model number higher than whatever you’ve got now—shake things up this year with a Lumia phone. In a sea of static, square app icons, the Lumia runs Windows Phone, which takes a radically different approach to their smartphone interface, allowing you more room for customization and giving you more information faster.
There’s no shortage of reasons why a Lumia phone is a great idea in 2015. Best of all, that holds true no matter what your budget is this year—the Lumia line really does have something for everyone.
Nothing says Windows Phone louder than Live Tiles. Like iOS and Android icons, these tiles are square—and that’s where the similarities end. Live Tiles can be resized, repainted, and, unlike their app icon cousins, are actually more than just pretty faces on your home screen. Live Tiles give you real-time information and notifications from your apps before you’ve even opened them—you can see previews of new messages, weather updates, what song is playing, your photos, and a lot more just by glancing at the Live Tiles pinned to your home screen. Third party developers can come up with their own ways of using their apps’ Live Tiles, making for a varied and dynamic home screen that is as fun to use as it is useful.
Alright, we get it. Brushed metal is cool. Whatever—some of us are looking for something a little bolder. With Lumia phones, you can get a phone that pops with bright colors that reflect your personality, instead of the personality the Smartphone Establishment tries to force on you. You can find various Lumia phones in vibrant shades of blue, yellow, purple, red, pink, orange, green—just about every color in the rainbow, and then some.
That she’s the best-named virtual assistant in the game is a given. As it turns out, Cortana is tops in a lot of other ways, too. Cortana is capable of setting up context-based reminders—instead of just setting a time, reminders can be triggered when you call a certain person, or if you arrive at a specified destination. That way, you’ll only get reminders exactly when you need them. Add in very capable voice search and the ability to remember preferences and previous searches to get you exactly what you need, and you have the makings of the best virtual assistant around.
Microsoft Office has long been the most familiar and most trusted name in productivity software. So, if you need a good work phone, why not get a phone that has that trusted and familiar software installed from the start and ready to use at no extra charge? You’ll find Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and OneNote, in Lumia phones. And, when the time comes to get some extra eyes on your project, you can upload your files to OneDrive for quick and easy sharing.
You might have heard a little about the cameras that go into Lumia phones, and for good reason. Take the Lumia 1520, which features a 20 MP sensor with PureView image processing technology and Carl Zeiss optics, along with an incredible host of features like optical image stabilization, auto-focus, and dual LED flash. All that adds up to one of the best smartphone cameras, performing well in low-light conditions and giving you beautiful, richly detailed pictures. Even the mid-range Lumia 830 has a camera that bests what you find on a lot of flagship phones, thanks to a 10 MP sensor plus everything you’d find in the high-end Lumia 1520 (but with a single LED flash).
Quality Budget Phones
Budget doesn’t have to be a bad word when it comes to smartphones. The Lumia 635 has a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC running the show, which is power aplenty for the efficient Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. Even the 854 x 480 IPS display manages to look good enough at 221 ppi pixel density on this 4.5″ smartphone. And, as always with Lumia, the camera exceeds expectations—you won’t find a 5 MP auto-focus camera on too many other phones priced at $100 off-contract.
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