Lumia 550 is The Cheapest Windows 10 Phone at $139

Microsoft’s Lumia 550 is the latest budget smartphone running Windows 10 Mobile.The phone costs just $139 and it is available for sale from today.

After launching its flagship Lumia 950XL at $649, Microsoft seems to focus on Budget consumers. Announced on its blog, The Latest Lumia phone from Microsoft, called Lumia 550 costs just $139.

At this price, Lumia 550 is not powerful enough to support all new features introduced in Windows 10. People who are interested in using Windows Hello and Continuum need to look for other higher end Lumia phones.

At $139, the phone ships with a 5MP camera, a 4.7-inch display and LTE. The Lumia 550 has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard memory. The Phone looks like any other Lumia device, having a Plastic back and two color variants (Black and white).

lumia 550

Windows 10 has done well for desktop and Laptop computers. However, the mobile phone market is radically different for Microsoft.

Microsoft is trying to make Windows 10 a USP. The Lumia ships with standard Windows Apps and it will run all universal apps made for Windows 10. The list is currently tiny compared to Android Apps.

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Further Reading: Windows Phone is best for you if you are concerned about security and hate iPhone.

Windows Phone is Best If You Are Concerned About Security and Hate iPhone

Microsoft has been trying to make its mark on smartphone industry for long. For recent years, it doesn’t seem to be working. I have already  written about some of the biggest problems with Windows Phone.

Consumer technology is rapidly changing, we are now seeing a time period where users are getting more concerned about privacy than the initial feature set of a software or hardware product. Smartphones are one of the most used personal devices. We take care of them just like we do with our babies and smartphones know a lot about us: Where we go, what we search, what we do and the list goes on and on.

Current OS leader in mobile devices is Google’s Android. No doubt it has a nice feature set, zillions of apps (OK, Not really, but there are lots of apps) and it is open source, which gives anyone the ability to tweak the OS in is the desired way.

Privacy matters

It is hard to see a single week without a major security breach. It feels like everyone is waiting to get our credit card information and to steal our identity.

Some of these can’t be fixed by end users, some of them can. As consumers, we should pick the most secure software solution for daily use. Nobody wants to see his/her private photos found on corners of the internet and this is why the privacy matters.

On the smartphone world, this is the point where Android fails. It falls off a cliff.

Let’s Face It: Android Sucks on Security

Fanboys can say whatever they want to say, but this is a fact. Sadly, it is not possible to blame just one person. As the main developer, Google tries to make it as secure as possible. Phone OEMs also try to do the same, but with this hell like fragmentation, it just doesn’t work.

In past years, we have seen some serious Android vulnerabilities.  As an example,  a hacker can hack your Android smartphone with just a text message. Google wants to fix all of this, but it is not possible. Google creates updates and makes sure that they are delivered to all supported nexus devices, but this doesn’t cover millions of other Android handsets.

Even after google releases a security update, OEMs and Network providers don’t deliver them on time. (Mostly, they don’t even bother) Big brands such as Samsung, HTC and others may even release a security update, but smaller brands  (I am Looking at you, Micromax and Spice) just ignore them.

iOS is good at Android’s Weak point

iphone 6 and 6s Plus sales

Apple iPhones are shipped with its propriety iOS and it is good at security.

That is not because they are coded better.

Google knows how to code software too, Google just can’t release update for every device.

Apple controls all the iPhone software. Because of this, whenever Apple finds a vulnerability, it can patch them over the air. There is not need to wait for network carriers and OEMs to take action. It is similar to Microsoft’s process of updating Windows for desktops.

This also makes sure that whenever an update is available of iPhone, all iPhones who match the system requirements will be updated.

 

Windows Phone is good middle ground

Despite being good at security, many users don’t like iPhones. I do not want to get into a debate on Android vs iOS vs Windows Phone.

Getting to the fact that iOS devices are expensive than Android and Windows Phone devices, it makes sense too. Android has diversity majour plus point and availability of Low-cost phones is one good point too.

Windows phone is a good (if not perfect) middle ground.

All Lumia device are updated by Microsoft. Windows 10 Phones are also able to run universal apps and it can also be used as a full desktop computer when it is docked to a station.

Windows Phone is also more secure than Android because of one reason.

Low market share.

Windows Phone is just opposite to desktop Windows on market share. If nobody is using a platform, no one will want to create a virus for it.  Android suffers most because it is most used OS for mobile devices. Windows Phone saves itself because very few people are interested in such low user base.

What Should I pick?

It depends completely on personal opinion, Mobile web is good enough to do all necessary tasks online and web looks the same on every device (Mostly)

If you are concerned about user privacy and security, (And don’t like iPhone) consider buying a Windows Phone. It has some good features to keep you happy. granted that there is a large app gap, It will (hopefully) get better as Windows 10 supports universal apps.

However, if you really love android, Consider buying a Google Nexus or Android One device.

Google updates them frequently and it is much better than nothing. They are considerably cheaper than Samsung flagship phones and other Android Phones for their specifications.

What do you think about Android Security? Do you agree with me about Windows Phone? Share with us in the comments below.

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Microsoft Has an Android App to Convince you to Switch To Windows Phone

In its attempt to make people to switch to Windows Phone, the Redmond giant recently released an Android App on the Play Store. The App is named AppComparison and it tries to do what the name says.

We already know that App gap is the biggest problem in Windows Phone. This is -for the most part- why people don’t think of it even as a choice when they are buying a smartphone.

However, Microsoft thinks that it can fix it by creating an app for Google Android. In its attempt to make people to switch to Windows Phone, the Redmond giant recently released an Android App on the Play Store. The App is named AppComparison and it tries to do what the name says.

The AppComparison scans all installed apps on your phone and then compares them to the Windows Phone apps.

RELATED: 5 BEST MICROSOFT ANDROID APPS

After the scanning is done, the app shows a list of apps which are available for Windows. As obvious not all apps are ported to Windows Phone platform yet. Therefore if the AppComparison can’t find an app it will show you similar app to lure you to switching to Windows Phone.

appcomparision

Almost all the attempts of Microsoft have failed in getting users to switch to Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how the latest idea works.

Android users are loyal to their Mobile OS, recently when Apple created an Android app called “Move to iOS” people slammed it in the ratings and reviews.

The App just has a rating of 3 out of 5 stars at the time of Writing. In a few reviews, users have reported that it can not find alternatives for all apps which is fairly predictable.

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The Biggest Problems with Windows Phone

Starting from 2000s and later where Windows Mobile was the flagship Mobile OS for Smartphones and PDAs, It began with Windows Mobile 1.0 and kept going on till 6.5, suddenly after Microsoft realized  that it is losing the battle of mobile phone software market (thanks to Google’s android) there came the drastic change. The next version of flagship Mobile OS was now named Windows Phone and it was not the only change that Microsoft did.

Windows Phone sounds to be made perfect, and it is being advertised well. It does have something unique in itself and is a lot different than the competitors but still it is not doing well, we will take a look on the facts which are being a bottleneck and are the main reasons it is still 3rd ranked OS in mobile Phone industries.

The goodness of Windows Phone

There is a point worth noting, Windows Phone is stable, quick and unique. All the components are designed from such a noble idea. You power up your phone and you are greeted with a Start Screen, displaying all the information consistently, showing all your important notifications, just about everything you need to take care of is right there.

The Biggest Problems with Windows PhoneThen we jump to apps, all good apps (created especially for Windows Phone using Metro Design Language) have a kind of familiarity. It is so simple that you can  predict what this or that swipe will do.

The settings app is very simplified, even after offering many types  of customizations it does not look cluttered at all. Most of Microsoft app can be configured from here. You can make system wide changes etc.

Dear Cortana

I am not personally a fan of digital assistants. Still if I am asked to choose from Apple Siri or Microsoft Cortana, I will bet for Microsoft girl. It is fun to use, the sound seems more natural than Siri. In the virtual assistant field Goggle Now should not even be counted, or I should say Google Now is man of a few words. Cortana is sharp crisp responsive and gets the job done.

The Biggest Problems with Windows Phone
Cortana on Windows Phone

Not everything is good with Windows Phone

After looking at the positive points of windows phone, let’s just be honest and ask ourselves, how many of us do have a windows phone? Answer will definitely be a lot less than the question if how many Android users do we have. I tried to use Windows Phone for a few days and then gave up (due to reasons I will cover after some paragraphs)

For an instance my friend Shivam is a Windows Phone user (I sometimes wonder why) and I see him getting frustrated some times. He owns a Lumia phone running Windows Phone 8.1 and I use Android Kitkat phone. On android I can use download managers to download large files and on Windows phone you just can’t.

For a more illustrative example if you are using UC Browser (one of the best for Windows Phone) the download is paused if you jump to any other app and only resumes when you open UC browser again.

Not just that, native Facebook messenger lets you use chat heads on android phones, it means you can chat while using other apps, if you are a Windows Phone user there is no possible way you can get that.

Windows for desktop i.e. Windows 7, 8.1 are so much full featured and are so customizable. You can do almost everything you imagine in desktop OS, but that is not in the case of Windows Phone.

App Crisis is the biggest problem with Windows Phone

Android and iOS have the advantage here. Let us just see why is that, iOS was the solo hero upon its arrival so developers took it as an opportunity, in case of android, developers jumped on that because they knew that it is going to be famous. After these two monster OS there was very little space left. Developer who has a choice to create and sell an app would always go with a platform which is widely used so that he can maximize his earnings and because of that heroines of the show are always Android and iOS.

Basically and frankly speaking most experienced android user can’t switch to Windows due to its limitations and most importantly lack of apps. Take our example I use Slack –an team messengering service it is available for Android, iOS even as a native client for Windows but not for Windows Phone. Also taking about other apps you won’t find any great web browser (other than Internet Explorer). You will be left with most of the Microsoft made software. If you are a regular computer user and you see Start button 5 or more hours every day, an installation serene every other week and Registry editor once in a month, strong chances are that you may not find Windows Phone a pleasant experience. A windows 7 or 8 user will feel more like home on android not on windows Phone.

I personally think it is ironic that Microsoft Windows for Desktop is popular because of its huge software library and Windows Phone is suffering from lack of apps.

Is Microsoft doing anything about it?

The answer is not so clear, previously it was rumored that Microsoft may do something to run android apps on Windows Phone –if that happened that would change the fortune of Windows Phone. Microsoft is focusing on Mobile devices more than ever before. It has been releasing a lot of apps for android and even iOS. Recent Lumia Denim update also bought an android like swappable drop down notification menu in windows Phones.

Recently Microsoft was found making Flash ROMs to install Windows 10 on android powered Xiomi phones, however after some inquiry, Microsoft cleared that it was only for selected customers.

And at last Microsoft Is doing really hard work in making Windows as SaaS (Software as a service) and after the public release of windows 10 and Windows 10 phone some great things may happen.

What do you think about Windows Phone? Do you own one or you just stay away with it? Do tell us that in your comments.


 

Image Credits: Kārlis Dambrāns on Flickr, Bhupinder Nayyar on Flickr.

WhatsApp now supports Free Calls

Whatsapp –a cross platform messaging client has recently launched calling support for Android devices.

Whatsapp –a cross platform messaging client has recently launched calling support for Android devices. iOS and Windows Phone support is also expected to arrive soon, apart from that there are rumors that Whatsapp may now come with Video Calling support in near future. All these implementations are generally good for customers unless telecom companies try to stop them using their dirty tricks.

What can be impact of Whatsapp calling?

Most people own smartphone and most of them are using Whatsapp –considering millions of installations from play store. We should not forget that there are other apps and websites as well who provide free calling services. Some notable of them are: Viber, Skype and most remarkably Facebook. Using Facebook messenger you can make audio calls and by using the site on a desktop you can make free video calls as well. The main point is that Whatsapp calling is not revolutionary. Personally I prefer Messenger calling more than Whatsapp calling. The logic is simple in my case: Facebook is more widely used than Whatsapp and also it does not requires the receiver to update to latest version of messenger.

In other countries and more developed areas of India where everyone has a 3G or Fast Wi-Fi access available, Whatsapp or other calling is a lifesaver. In other most of the areas of India where a lot of people are still stuck with grandma age slow 2G, VoIP calling is just Hokum.

Although this case is changing rapidly in India and also in other developing countries. People are getting faster Wi-Fi in their workplaces and also in their homes. There is growth in 3G and 4G coverage in India. As network will become faster, naturally people will go for VoIP Calls and Video Chats.

Mobile Operators are in panic because of WhatsApp

Most of mobile network operators are in panic because of Whatsapp and other VoIP calling. Still I strongly think that they are acting like a giant douches. Instead of acting smartly and providing a better alternative they are trying to charge people for Whatsapp and other VoIP services,

Mobile Operators, people are starting to hate you

Honestly I have not met any person in last year who said that X mobile network is best. Instead of providing a smart choice they are providing stupid plans and increasing Data prices in every couple of month.

Now in these situations they need to change their business model, instead of just increasing data charges they can make Voice plans cheaper. That can be life savior for mobile network providers if they start subscription based service, like an example: one tablet, one phone and one Wi-Fi with unlimited data at price of 3000 per month per customer, if there was such kind of plan I will certainly go for it as I spend 1K every month just for my 3G internet plan. This kind of services can be win win for both –the provider and also for customer.

What do you think about VoIP and Mobile network providers? Do share with us through comments.


Image Source : downloadsource.fr on flickr