Is your smartphone faster than a Windows Phone?

Windows Phone $100 Challenge 7

Just like with PCs, it’s easy to get hung up on a phone’s technical specifications. How many cores does it have? How fast is the processor? Is it the latest and greatest from your provider? Lost in all the technical details is the phone’s speed in real-world use. In a brilliant marketing move BenThePCGuy issued a $100 challenge at CES 2012. If your smart phone was faster than his Windows 7 phone in real-world tasks, he’d give you a $100 bill. The videos are fun to watch — I bet you can’t watch just one.

Know someone who owns a Windows Phone? Chances are they love it. Last year at the Microsoft MVP Summit, I spoke to many people who owned them. Everyone I talked to really enjoyed their Windows phone. While these experiences were from admitted Microsoft geeks, I took a leap of faith and bought one for my wife. She’s not a geek, but she really likes her Windows phone. Have you ever used a Windows Phone? I’ve used it enough over the past year that I’m seriously considering a switch from Android.

Windows Phone 7 “just works”. A familiar boast usually used to describe Apple’s products. Android originally appealed to the geek in me. It’s open-source, Linux based. My phone is rooted. It runs CyanogenMod. The Android Market has a ton of apps… But I don’t use most of apps I have. My phone occasionally locks up requiring a reboot, applications freeze. In some ways it’s reminiscent of *gasp* Windows XP. I’ve spent too much time hacking my phone. I don’t want another hobby. I just want a smart phone that works.

What about the iPhone 4S? I don’t own one. I do own an iPod Touch. It’s not an iPhone, but it runs iOS. The software, interface and experience are mostly identical. The iOS interface just seems somehow dull, boring, and static after using Windows Phone. The iPhone doesn’t really appeal to me. However, just to show you can’t win them all, Ben shares a (narrow) loss to the iPhone 4S:

Windows Phone $100 Challenge: iPhone 4S

Will 2012 be the year of the Windows Phone? Many tech blogs have been giving Windows Phone a lot of love recently. For good reason. It’s a great platform. Unfortunately, the hardware has been mediocre and providers have been reluctant to promote it. If you walk into a cell phone store, chances are the sales person didn’t direct you to a Windows Phone. 2012 will bring exciting new hardware, from Nokia in particular. Carriers will show renewed support and marketing efforts. Does the iPhone leave you wanting more? Android leave you wanting less? Windows Phone may be the Goldilocks option… Just right. Are you ready to switch?