As you may have sensed from Instagram, I spent this past weekend in Miami capturing a weekend of adventure through the new Nokia Lumia 1020 phone. The Nokia Lumia 1020 is part smartphone and part camera, and the lenses (yes, plural) are above and beyond your typical phone grade camera. It has 41 megapixels and a fancy 6-element lens. I noticed right away how much better it was than my Galaxy S4 camera (although I’m waiting to see how good the Galaxy S5 camera is!) Our objective for the weekend was to capture and share and give honest feedback on the phone. I’ll say, it sure was nice not to have a giant DSLR to haul around. And while the photos aren’t quite as good as my Canon Mark II would have taken, they are pretty amazing for a phone!
Friday night after I checked into the hotel, we met the team for a happy hour at Touche.
We enjoyed an open-air rooftop lounge along with cocktails and appetizers
The live music that started later kicked things up a notch!
We went to bed around midnight, and I had big plans for the morning…
As desperate as I was to sleep in, my body clock woke me up at 6:30am. Ugh!! Not to worry though, as I found breakfast in bed to be just as fun.
Afterwards, we loaded up on a bus and headed towards the Everglades for a gator tour on air boats. This was a REALLY fun experience that I would recommend!
We started in canals and ended up in the middle of wide open marsh. There were little “roads” carved out of the grass where the air boats went, and at times the water was only a few inches deep. Our reflexes kept telling us we were going to hit the ground and fly off, but the air boat was magic!
We eventually found the deeper water where the gators hang out
And that’s where we met Scarface. This dude was NOT afraid of us and was about 11 feet long! I was very afraid of him! Friendliest gator ever.
We saw about 20 gators in total, including a trio of sweet babies that made me miss my little one at home.
After the tour we headed to South Beach where we had a fabulous lunch – cheers!
Monica had this raw T-bone for lunch…. kidding!
I had a salad topped with lump crab,marinated mushrooms and big pieces of bacon.
Plus tastes of this truffled mac and cheese!
And wild mushrooms
It was a lovely + long lunch right on the water.
Afterwards, fueled up on liquid courage, we headed to a dancing lesson! Note to self: apply sunscreen to legs!!
I had such a blast partnering with our teacher who knew every move and could lead like a pro. We learned a short swing routine that was loads of fun.
After a the world’s shortest nap and a shower, we dressed up to head out to dinner at 1826 Collins in South Beach.
The restaurant was AMAZING! Super modern, very creative and serving delicious food. One mojito please!
We were seated in the upstairs VIP area and served a lovely 4 course dinner – complete with the perfect bottle of pinot. That’s Erica with the awesome hair on the left. She rocks!
Our first course was a pureed gazpacho with “almond snow.” The snow was served in dry ice that flowed from the bowl as the garnish was dropped in. Super cool, but too hard to capture on camera in the dark lighting.
Next up was this unique salad of shaved radishes, avocado, fresh dill, creamy dressing and edible flowers, among other flavors. It was so good! I’m so over lettuce right now and I loved the idea of a salad made from shaved veggies.
My main course was halibut served with tons of herbs and a buttery sauce. Delish! I loved the bites of baby basil on top.
And finally….a chocolate torte topped with all kinds of fun things (cake // chocolate // hazelnuts) served with milk chocolate gelato.
Danny is a well connected guy in Miami and is friends with the one and only Bachelor JUAN PABLO as well as James, from Desiree’s season. We were |this close| to having JP join us for the Nokia event, and I watched Danny text him several times about meeting up with us after dinner. I almost stayed out just to see if I could meet him, but my gut told me that he probably wouldn’t be able to show up so I was better off taking the bus back. The next day, after I made my way to the airport, Juan Pablo DID eventually connect with Danny and Nokia – and I missed it by a few hours!!
Sunday morning Anne and I met Caitlin for the hotel breakfast buffet. I had eggs, a bite of a sad piece of french toast, a gritty green smoothie and some delicious but overly sweet overnight oats topped with berries and granola.
Mid-morning we headed outside the city limits to the Zoological Wildlife Foundation of Miami where we got to see rescued and endangered animals up close and personal. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Danny gets anteater kisses!
I held a baby Grey Timberwolf,which was particularly frightening after watching the movie The Grey a few weeks ago!
My favorite animal was the gibbon!!! She was just a year old and weighed what Mazen weighed at birth. She was SO sweet and had the most delicate little hands.
Ever watched a lion eat lunch?
Happy Hump Day!
And finally – a tiny tiger sweet enough to take home! I never thought I’d get the chance to touch a tiger!
I ate fish and chips and a salad for lunch before heading to the airport.
As for my thoughts on the Nokia Lumia…. I had a great time comparing and contrasting features with my Samsung. The Lumia body and hardware are most impressive. It feels heavy and expensive and the screen is super sleek and sensitive to touch (in a good way). I liked the screen a lot more than Galaxy S4. The camera wins by a long shot for its clear, crisp photos. I feel like I can really use this as my primary away-from-home camera. The battery life was just so-so, but we had some accessories that helped keep our phones juiced (a camera shell and some stick plugs).
The Lumia 1020 is a Windows phone, so that was the biggest change. I was able to snag an update to Windows 8.1, the latest and greatest update, and that added a few more features to make it feel like home (swipe text, which I use all the time, and a notifications panel).
Here are some thoughts on the Windows operating system:
- Very clean and modern. Much more beautiful than Android phones. Love the fonts.
- Love the layout of Windows 8 and that it scrolls down rather than side to side. It’s more simple and therefore easier to use. The live tiles are great for a sneak peek at what’s inside the apps. Love that you can change their size to give apps more or less space. They are like a blend between the limited iPhone tiles and the big widgets of Android. While I ultimately think widgets take the cake, the tiles are a close second.
- LOVE that you can change the color theme to an assortment of really fun default colors. I picked lime green and aqua for the weekend!
- The camera is awesome, and the built in camera editor is amazing as well. There are lots of features like collages (although I found it to be more limited than an app) and color pops that I’d go to an app for on my Android. The filters are great too. The camera quick access button was also so helpful.
- The photo gallery layout is better and more intuitive. Love the “recently changed” section
- The “next” and “save” buttons are in better locations and are easier to find when the keyboard is up. On my Android a lot of times I have to close the keyboard before I can hit next or save.
- I loved the sounds from notifications to the noise it makes when you plug it in. Very musical!
- Lack of apps is hands down the biggest issue with Windows. I’m sure they will catch up in time, but it would take a lot of convincing for me to use only a Windows phone as my primary phone right now. Instagram isn’t even up to date enough to have video, and while you can use a third party app called 6Tag to take videos on the spot (you can’t upload them), it had its flaws as well. As a huge Insta-video girl, I found this to be really frustrating on the trip. I had a baby tiger video for you that I couldn’t upload and lost!
- The gmail/mail app is just not that great. Gmail on Droid rocks. I’m sure this will get better in future releases.
- While the update to 8.1 will get you swipe text, I missed having numbers at the top of my keyboard. I hate having to take the extra step to bring up the numbers on the keyboard – esp. when typing in passwords and things.
- Flow between apps was a bit cumbersome. I had trouble sometimes going from photo to editor. I like how Android has a share shortcut right at the top for quick access.
- INTEGRATION. I’m a Google girl through and through and there are apps that I just can’t live without – Hangouts, Google Drive, Gmail with labels, and Google Now. I use Chrome on my computer and Chrome on my Android phone and love that all of my passwords and bookmarks sync. If Google would release all its apps to Windows, the phone would be a lot better package.
- Bloggers: I’m trying to convince them that a Windows Live Writer app might convert a lot of iPhone/Droid users – if it was good!
All in all it’s an awesome camera phone that is 85% ready to be my full-time phone Thanks to Microsoft/Nokia for letting me express my inner nerd and for all the Miami adventures!