First of all, thanks for the links to the hats. This aluminum foil I wear on my head gets uncomfortable sometimes.
There are two reasons I got a Windows Phone. First, I would have loved an iPhone but can't afford one. Second, I admit I am on a personal crusade to keep Google from learning anything more about my life. If there was an "open source" chrome OS phone I'd love it. I was on the verge of buying a discontinued webOS phone. I'd still love that OS, but read about mechanical problems with some of the "new" old phones being sold now. So Windows Phone was just my choice by default.
There was one other factor in this- it was cheap, but all reviews said it was good build quality. It cost $100 with no contract.
Today was just my first day of using it. It has a lot of quirks that aren't covered in the official lit but were easy to find on the forums. This is a Nokia 620 and it really does feel solid, responds quickly, has a nice screen and good sound. This is only 3g. Another carrier has the 520 which is 4g but an inferior display.
The WP8 tiles aren't really annoying at all, once you figure out how to move them. You can also go right go a second screen which just has all the apps in a list, like the Windows "start" list.
The whole system is not intuitive but the learning curve for the basics is pretty quick.
I found that a lot I'd read in reviews was wrong, sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. They're playing up a big update "Amber" and making it sound like it's available now, but it's just trickling out.
One big disappointment is that Wp8 is also very cloud-centered like Android. I think there will be work-around. Most of my day today was controlling the "crapware" just like on a new computer.
A big negative for me is that so far the only browser is IE10. It makes me appreciate how remarkably good Opera Mini was on my dumbphone.
If it was a different world, I wish I could have tried out a BlackBerry.
I'll let you folks know how things go. Brian and everybody, these phones really should make us appreciate how cool our old PDAs were. I just bought a battery to try to revive my old iPaq.