My experience shopping for a Nokia Lumia 710 at T-Mobile stores

So as part of my informal research regarding the new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone line, I have been checking out T-mobile stores in my area trying to get a feel for how aggressively T-mobile is pushing these phones.

It’s not looking good folks.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been to five different T-mobile stores in my area and pretended to be interested in the new Nokia 710 phone. Here are some of my observations:

**Important** All the stores I checked out had the large Lumia 710 poster in the store window.

  • The energy around the sale of this phone is low – very very low. The sales people I met had very little enthusiasm about selling this phone.
  • In 3 out of 5 of the stores, they tried to talk me out of buying the phone, steering me instead to other models instead.
  • In 2 out of 5 of the stores, they couldn’t find the working display model in less than 5 minutes.
  • In 1 store, the display model had a dead battery and they didn’t bother to change it.
  • In 0 stores, sales people tried to encourage me to look at the phone.
  • In 3 out of 5 stores, the sales people knew about the features of the phone and were able to answer my (perfectly) reasonable questions (how do I connect to my POP email account? etc.).

There’s more but I think you get the picture.

Now, it’s important to stress that this probably tells me more about the T-mobile stores in my area than the Lumia Phone. I get that.

In stark contrast though, almost every single time I check out at Best Buy, they try and get my phone number so they can give me a heads up when the new Iphone is coming out.

Here are my overall thoughts about the Lumia 710.

Lumia 710

Lumia 710

It’s beautiful and very rich in color and textures. It feels nice and slim in your hand and the tile animations are very slick.

It feels like something I would love to play with for a long time but ironically not something I would like to own.

There’s just something missing from the experience for me. I walked away after playing with the phone for 30 minutes and forgot about it immediately.

Later on it hit me – that phone doesn’t do anything (within reason) that my Iphone 4 can’t do but more importantly, it also just doesn’t have the massive personality that grabs you and won’t let go.

Apple Iphone

Apple Iphone

My take – the combo of lackluster sales efforts and a decent phone just aren’t going to cut it against Apple and Google phones.

If you’ve seen the movie Purple Rain, you’ll know that that theres a scene toward the end of the movie where Billy the club owner tells the kid (Prince) “Nobody digs your music but yourself!”

Billy and Morris

Billy and Morris

It’s a pivotal part of the movie and at that point, the kid is at the crossroads – he has to do something new and different. He has to think outside the box otherwise he’ll lose his spot at the club.

I feel like Microsoft is in exactly this position right now. Something has to change and soon because the competition just isn’t standing still.

The phones that will be flagships for Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) will need to be way more exciting than this.

Now I know my small experiment involved a statistically insignificant sample size (5 stores) but that’s my experience.

What about you guys and gals? What do you think of the sales experience around Windows Phones?

Also, what do you think of the phones themselves?

Oh one more thing..

Anti-Flame Note: I have owned almost every type of phone available from the Blackberries to the HTC Evo’s etc etc. I love my Iphone but I got rid of the Iphone briefly because AT&T pissed me off. I used an Android Phone for a year and loved it but hated the battery life.

I love my Iphone 4 because it just works. It’s well made, beautiful to look at and has crazy (good) battery life. Having said that, I am always looking for something better and cooler. My point – I’m not an Apple fan boy – I am totally open to being swept off my feet by a non Apple phone.

Now flame away if you want.

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