Saturday, March 28, 2015

Yezz 4.7 Billy Phone

I’ve been giving the Yezz 4.7 Billy phone a try for the past day while traveling to Portland. I was in the Microsoft Store downtown when it caught my eye. The form factor is pretty striking, feeling like an iPod Touch in your hand, maybe even lighter.

The screen and touch input is good. I like the simple circle and dot haptic buttons at the bottom and the very minimal branding on the back. This is definitely made and marketed for people who once carried a Nokia and find there is nothing to buy now. With a better camera, screen, and LTE this could almost feel like a flagship phone for how thin and light it feels. 

It comes with a screen protector, three detachable backs, ear buds, manuals, charging cable, and wall plug. You won’t be looking for basic accessories when you pick this up for around $200. The replacement and coverage plan Microsoft offered was $100, almost half what the phone cost. If Microsoft is going to sell nothing but cheap phones they should probably adjust their marketing strategy with warranty plans.

Bad Stuff:

It does not play well with Microsoft’s Windows Phone app. You’ll be cruising directories to add or back up content on your phone.

Netflix doesn’t work on the phone as advertised. Audio Driver issue/error.

Instagram Beta does not work with the phone for some reason. My feed won’t load. I couldn’t find anything on Instagram’s site or the Internet that availed me of a fix or explanation.

It has the Windows Phone OS on it. Microsoft has largely abandoned the platform. The Browser, Email, Calendar, and Music apps are terrible or so lacking in functionality to make one wonder how Microsoft ever thought it was a good plan to release them. Microsoft has done nothing to improve them in years, and shows no sign of ever trying to breathe life into the platform. Proceed with caution.

May or may not be Windows 10 capable.

It’s a 3G Phone.

Good Stuff:

Dual Sim, and takes a micro SD card.

Tethering works well in spite of being on a slower network. This is a big deal because my supposedly faster, better, and more expensive LTE handsets struggle to perform this basic function. No idea why.

The form factor and hardware are compelling to say the least. This is a thin and light device.

Audio playback via Microsoft’s craptastic Music app is clear and unfettered! Until now, I’d yet to own a phone since my Motorolla Razor (ten years ago) that could play audio without skipping, garbling, or otherwise interrupting the experience in some way.

Other than Instagram, social media applications are smooth and load content quickly. My iPad struggles to do this.

It runs my first Indie Game. Heh.


I’m going to give some different games a try.

Not sure how it holds up on battery life. Being so thin, I suspect that it runs through the battery pretty quickly under my particular usage.

OneNote, Office, PDF Viewer, and productivity apps. I’m curious to see how it handles some business tasks.

I'll get some pictures of it beside some other phones for contrast.

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