Advice For Moving from Windows Phone to Android

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Hello! I will shortly be (FINALLY) leaving Windows Phone, replacing my 1520 with either an S8+ or S9+. This will be my first experience with Android, as well as my first smartphone that ISN’T Windows (my first being the Samsung BlackJack II).

Therefore, I was wondering if you kind folks would be willing to provide any insight and advice for me regarding topics such as, but not limited to:

–Advice/guides for the migration process – how to ensure I get everything I can from my Windows Phone to my new Android Phone.

–Differences between the Windows and Android experiences that I should be prepared for/aware of.

–Any recommendations for certain apps as well as general phone settings I should tweak when I begin using the Android phone.

–Whether anyone who owns an S8+ or is interested in the S9+ would recommend at this stage getting one over the other – I know the specs are relatively similar, but is there any particularly important reasons I should get the S9+ over the S8+? Is the S9+ not particularly worth the higher cost (especially if AT&T discounts the S8+ in a month), and/or will the S8+ show it’s age over the next few years in a way that will be particularly regrettable for someone who could have gotten the S9+?

Thanks in advance for any help you guys could provide!

Comments (9)

9 responses to “Advice For Moving from Windows Phone to Android”

  1. arunphilip

    I bought the S8+ at launch, replacing a Lumia 830. Brilliant phone, but pricey. A few months later, I bought an S7 Edge on discount (and use it for work).


    Functionally, both phones are very similar, and I don't see much value-add for the extra cost of the S8+ over the S7 Edge. So, my first learning there was that discounted 1- year old flagships are tremendous value.


    The S9 duo are expected to bring better camera tech, so if cameras are a big deal, you might want to wait for reviews and then decide (I personally read GSM Arena reviews). That said, the cameras on the S8 duo are damn good in themselves, so it won't be a loss going in for them.


    If you can wait until April or May, that's when you'd see bigger deals on the S8 phones, and can then make an informed decision about the S8 vs. S9.


    If your email account, calendar and contacts are on Outlook.com, then install the Outlook app. That will bring in contact integration. If you then configure the Samsung Email app with your Outlook.com account, out will also bring in calendar integration.


    Samsung bundles its phones with the Office apps and OneDrive, and the latter has some free storage (100 GB I think) for 2 years.


    You can use custom launchers (home screen + apps screen + similar functionality), Microsoft themselves have a launcher. Or, you can stick to the bundled Samsung Experience launcher. Similarly, you can install alternate keyboard apps like SwiftKey Pitt goo with the bundled Samsung and Google keyboards.


    You will have to customize your home page UI with widgets to expose the kind of information that the WP UI offered via Tiles, and will need time to get used to the new UX.


    In all, it's a good shift to make, and a good choice of phone. If you've any more specific questions, let me know.

  2. wright_is

    Sync everything to OneDrive and then install OneDrive on the phone.

    Depending on what Apps you have, try and make backups in the App, so that you can restore it. WhatsApp, for example will make a backup, but writes it to your cloud, but on Android only reads from GDrive, so you would need to move that accross.

    You will need a Google account. If you don't want yet another email address, you can create a Google Account unsing your Microsoft email address, as opposed to also creating a GMail account. I have both, but my wife and kids all used an existing email address to make their Google accounts.

    When I swap phones (I went from a Lumia 950 to Nexus 5X and replaced that with a Huawei Mate 10 Pro this week), I always keep the old phone running (without SIM) and carry it with me for a few days, until I am 100% sure that all the data I need has been transfered and I haven't forgotten any apps.

    On Android, I use Outlook as my mail/calender/contacts client. If you do this, you have to toggle the switch to allow it to share its contacts with the system contacts, otherwise the phone will always display "unknown number" when you receive calls and apps, like WhatsApp that browser you local contacts to see who you can talk to in their app will not show any names.

    S8 or S9 - here, I would wait for the announcement, but I would probably go with the S9 as Android is going through a big change at the moment and phones that COME WITH Android 8 or later will be easier to upgrade, in theory. Google are extracting the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) from the core OS (like Windows), meaning they can provide easier system updates, without having to wait for the manufacturers to update the hardware drivers. This should mean quicker security and feature updates in the future, as they should be independent of the manufacturer. In theory, at least...

  3. Orin

    I don't mean to undermine the advice wright_is or arunphilip's advice, but please steer clear of the Outlook Android app for now. Nine is the best option for contacts, e-mail, and calendar for Outlook and Exchange account syncing. See this thread for more information:

    www.thurrott.com/forums/microsoft/mobile/thread/problem-syncing-contacts-from-android-to-outlook

    • arunphilip

      In reply to Orin:

      I've not tried contact's photos, but plain contact management works fine for me.


      Bear in mind that on a Samsung phone, it is a Samsung Contacts app that is used, not the default Android Contacts app (which is what is used in a Motorola phone). So the problem faced in that linked thread might not be applicable to Samsung phones (definitely isn't, in my case).


      Samsung's software side is very amusing - in some areas they are like a hardware company stumbling around in software, and in other areas they make pretty impressive software. The biggest surprise in my case was identifying a suitable music player to play my local MP3s. After experimenting with Google Play Music, and a few other options, I gave Samsung Music a try, and was floored by its polish, functionality and general eye-pleasing appearance.


      Likewise, their software's integration with Microsoft's services has been better than native Android apps, in my experience.


      That said, I shall give Nine a shot on my throwaway Android phone (Never say Nein to Nine!).

    • wright_is

      In reply to Orin:

      A year ago I would have agreed with you, outlook was pretty dreadful, while it couldn't edit or add contacts, but since the summer it has worked fine.

  4. Winner

    Honestly I think the Pixels are better choices.

    Samsung: more bloated SW, slower and poorly located fingerprint reader (might be fixed with S9), Bixby button isn't very useful, and VERY slow and infrequent updates. And camera not as good.

    • Usman

      In reply to Winner:

      The only problem I have with the S8 is the bixby button but can be disabled, other than that there is nothing wrong with the S8 and definitely isn't bloated, I can have 20-30 apps in the multi tasking view and it's blistering fast still.


      What makes android phones slow is the lack of RAM, the S8 has enough, I experienced this performance issue on my Nexus 5X which only had 2GB RAM( entire OS uses around 1.7-1.8GB, leaving only 200MB for apps), when I then used a hammy down Note 4, despite the CPU being older and thus less performant than the 808 in the Nexus 5X, the extra 1GB of RAM in the Note 4 made it snappier and a much more stable experience than the 5X which was a completely stock device.


      Do note that all the android devices I mentioned all are/were using Arrow Launcher. I have about 18 hours battery on my S8 when it's nearly a year old (location enabled, find my phone enabled, screen set to FHD+ and always on screen set to off). The finger print sensor is poorly located but most cases have a divider, so from my experience it fixed the issue of camera smudge.

      • wright_is

        In reply to Usman:

        I can back that up. The Nexus 5x with Oreo was painfully slow. Going from an app to the home screen could take 3 or more second, the camera up to 5 seconds between pressing the shutter button and it taking a photo... I'm hoping my new Huawei will be better, 6 GB RAM.

  5. rameshthanikodi

    Install the Outlook app. That's all there is to it.

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