The Lumia 925 and Sony Xperia C3 experience Part 2

Continued from The Lumia 925 and Sony Xperia C3 experience Part 1 

In and out of your pocket

I adore the back panel of the Lumia 925. How your smartphone feels in your hand is always a matter of preference and although the Sony Xperia C3 feels solid when you hold it despite its size, I like the feel of the Lumia 925 in my hands even after 2 years of use.


 

Different materials are used for the back panel of the Sony Xperia C3 and the Lumia 925 but both provide a comfortable grip.


If there is a disadvantage to the 5.5" size of the C3, it's that the C3 is slightly more cumbersome to use as a camera than the 925. The many months of using the Lumia 925 as a mobile camera has trained me to whip it out and take a snapshot in seconds. The C3 has a dedicated metallic camera button but perhaps I'm more comfortable with the 925's somewhat plasticky button when taking photos.

Despite being considered a "phablet", the C3 is still much smaller and more portable than say the ASUS MemoPad HD7. Both the MemoPad HD7 and C3 devices slip easily into khakis, though of course the C3 is less bulky.


 

Size comparisons between devices. Clockwise from top: iPad 2, ASUS MemoPad HD7, Lumia 925, HP Stream 8 and in the middle the Sony Xperia C3.


As a side note, users of Sony Xperia devices are less shy about showing off their smartphone than Lumia owners. I must confess that I get quite a few disapproving looks from haughty iPhone owners when I take out my oddly rounded Lumia 925. The blocky C3, despite its age and model class, does offer a more professional-look than the Lumia 925, but I like the aesthetics of both devices equally.


Paltry Storage

I freely admit that sometimes I regret purchasing the Lumia 925 for its small storage. However, I've never actually had problems with the 16GB internal memory and lack of micro SD on the 925 since I don't consider it an entertainment device.

The Xperia C3 has even less storage than the 925 at 8GB. Although the Xperia C3 compensates for the 8GB with a micro SD card, Android 5.x relentlessly consumes more than 80% of the internal storage even if you are conservative with the number of apps you install. On the upside, Android 5.x allows you to install some apps and store some app data in the micro SD card. Take note, however, that performance is still affected if your internal memory doesn't have much space left. Windows Phone 8.1 Denim on the Lumia 925 doesn't suffer from this problem.


 

Some customers have unfairly complained about the 8GB of the C3 - read the specifications before buying morons.


Battery life: Lumia 925 + Sony Xperia C3

The Sony Xperia C3 has great battery life even if you use two SIM cards or don't bother to set up Sony's excellent Stamina mode settings. On the other hand, although the Lumia 925 can barely hit 8 hours with mobile data enabled, it does last long enough to use as a back up device if your Xperia C3 dies midway through your trip to Fiji. The whole point of having a back up device is to have it handy when you need it and the Lumia 925, for all the alleged weaknesses of the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, can easily handle most tasks with the right apps installed.

Note: Lumia 925, to its credit, has maintained its battery capacity even after 2 years of use. Windows Phone 8.1 Denim more likely had a hand in this even though the Lumia 925 (and Windows Phones in general) generally have horrible battery life.


 

Lumia Denim on the Lumia 925


The Lumia 925 Camera and C3 photos

Although photography snobs and smartphone camera enthusiasts love to make snap judgements about device lens and mobile phone photos, it's all a matter of preference. One user may find that photos taken from the HTC One are superior to those from a Samsung Galaxy Edge. It's not just a matter of the processor, lens, app or even photography skill - you just like the quality of photos from one device better than others.


 

The C3 is very good at daylight and with snapshots that have plenty of color. Photo taken in Times Square, Hong Kong. Image resized in Windows. No edits.


The C3 Dual was marketed as a camera for selfie enthusiasts (which I most certainly am not). However, I found the snapshots taken from the C3 soft and not nearly as sharp as those taken using the Lumia 925. Perhaps it's because I've used the 925's camera more often than the C3, but I just like the photos taken using the 925 over the Xperia. Photos taken from the Xperia have a bluish tint and although it's fine in bright sunlight, the Lumia 925 bitch slaps the Xperia C3 in low-light situations.


Lumia 925 and C3 together

The Xperia C3 Dual doesn't have the pedigree of the high-end Xperia Z series. Discerning users will notice pauses and odd behavior in Android 5.x on the C3 so it's not a perfect device. I've noted delays in sending SMS messages due to the Dual SIM and issues with app switching on the C3. On the other hand, although Samsung gets all the press regarding their apps, Sony does a great job of enhancing Android and pairing the OS with their own software. In fact, Sony's software is almost invisible apart from the strong emphasis on multimedia features such as the Media Server option in Settings, Album, Music and Video apps.


 

Dual SIM usage on the C3 does trigger odd behavior.


Meanwhile, users who have never tried a Windows Phone will never be able to appreciate the pleasure of a straightforward device. Using OneNote and Excel for Windows Mobile, using installed dictionary apps, making phone calls, taking photos and receiving email seem pedestrian, but the Lumia 925 does this all well, which explains why there are devoted users of Lumia devices (including me). There are also some apps found only on the WP platform that I have found invaluable. Nokia Here Maps, which was originally designed for WP, is invaluable in China, as is Bing Translator, which has the camera option in the WP version but isn't available on the iOS and Android versions.

After using the Lumia 925 for so long, it was hard to switch to the C3 completely due to my preference for the Lumia's camera and some apps that are designed only for the WP platform. In some ways, I wish I didn't have to use two SIM cards while working overseas. On the other hand, it's nice to finally have my own Android 5.x device, even though I only get to harness its full capabilities when I'm outside the Middle Kingdom. For obvious reasons, I need to keep using the C3 Dual due to its dual SIM trays, while keeping the Lumia 925 in my satchel for emergencies. With Windows Phone 10 coming at the end of the year, however, there's every possibility I'll be taking out one of the SIMs from the C3 and putting it back to where it belongs on the 925.

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