I saw this thread on Reddit and I found it interesting because I’m in exactly the same position. A couple of years ago, I got the Nokia Lumia 920 on contract. I also took out a separate SIM only plan as it was cheaper for me to have a secondary line with unlimited internet than constantly paying the excess (which is another story).
Now it’s time to upgrade. If I didn’t already have the 1020/1520, I’d be jumping on the 1520. Don’t get me wrong, I love that phone. WP8.1 DP made it even more fun to use (though the most recent updates did get me some weird restarts when using the calendar). But there’s no other new, high end flagship Lumia. What are my options? It’s definitely true that I’ve gotten attached to some aspects of the Microsoft ecosystem. OneDrive and Skype will definitely follow me wherever I go. Office on the other two platforms is oddly better on them than on WindowsPhone (especially with office 365 editing).
Unlike the other two ecosystems where it’s best to have their particular OS to experience it best, it’s not really the case for WindowsPhone.
I’ve requested Orange to change my contract to a pay as you go plan as I initially wanted to wait (they haven’t listened and have billed me another month). Also I was thinking that as my exams were coming up, it would be nice to have something that can properly organize my calendar (I’ve tried third party apps and they stem some of my needs but it’s just not cutting it).
I think it’ll be a good learning opportunity to try Android again. Especially if the rumours are true that Nokia would eventually return with a new Android Z-launcher smartphone. iOS on the new iPhones are too expensive and I’d have similar restrictions WP has. Though perhaps MS ecosystem works even better with iOS? I do have macbook and the now ‘gifted’ uni iPad to complete my triad of iThings (I will not touch their iPod-nano-on-a-wrist-strap)
If I go the Android route, where’s my options? The Nokia Lumia 1520 has made sure I don’t even look at phones that are smaller than 5.5″. Ideally I’d have something similar but other phones at that size don’t have enough appeal to sway me away from the 1520 anyway.
The only other ‘big phone’ that seems to offer something different is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. The camera has improved with OIS (still no camera button and performance in low light doesn’t seem to be as good as Nokia, with and without their single LED flash), the build with the metal sides is supposedly the best on a Samsung. I like the thought of S-pen. Reviews on that are a bit mixed. I’m very concerned about having to use TouchWiz and that seemed to be highlighted quite frequently in various reviews. Browsing on iOS/Android might be a better fit (as most websites are geared towards iOS/Android – WP8.1 helps but there are still issues).
The last Android I properly used was the S2 (and the last Samsung I got was the Omnia 7 to prepare me for using a Nokia with WP). Are there drawbacks to consider? Or perhaps I should scrap the whole notion of going to a Samsung and pick something else? Or perhaps a completely different avenue altogether?
My advice for a user in this scenario (if they had a 1520) would most definitely be to wait. A 920 owner might find that the 1520 is very affordable on contract (how far is February to you? Plus waiting some couple of months or so after that for availability).
It’s different in our case because we’ve been so lucky to be allowed to test new devices from Nokia/MS. Going to a different brand doesn’t mean ditching it altogether but it does mean learning from them. I’m also pretty sure that I’m probably the only member of the MNB team that is only using WP (Michael, Ali, Demetrius all seem to have multiple devices on different OSes). I can be certain that I’ll encounter gripes and complain about them on whatever phone I end up on, as well as find stuff I’d really like.
Whilst on the subject of upgrading, a few friends in the last three months who took entry level lumias have since upgraded to slightly higher end ones. Nearly all flagships of their time but now very good on a cheap contract (620 to 925, 520 to 1020, 920 to 1520, 710 to 920, 800 to 920, 800 to 820 etc). The only time I might suggest to look around is if they specifically mention an app that is NOT available or has not been updated for so long. Otherwise, they really enjoyed using their Lumia and on their own chose another. Hopefully we’ll see the same with 535 so that Microsoft sees a future in their own mobile OS and plugs more support behind it.