Speech recognition on Windows Phone is superb! Or perhaps I just have a great voice


No matter how good a reviewer is, having a phone around to play with for just a few days will never be adequate to discover all the good stuff on the phone. As such, standard reviews will always come short. It is why I am glad that often, I use my devices for extended periods, allowing me to discover more in-depth stuff – good, bad or ugly – about those devices. I have had the Lumia 610 since November last year, and since the departure of Pretty, it has been my primary phone for voice calls.

I also own two bluetooth headsets, both of which have been very dormant for many months until recently when I picked up my Bluedio piece and got to using it again. Paired with the Lumia 610, it works like a champ, and I am able to take some calls that I would otherwise not have been able to take. Anyway, I was surprised while one day, an SMS arrived while I had it the headset paired, and heard an audio prompt:

“Message from [insert name of sender here] You can say Read It or Ignore.”

So, I said, “Read it”, and the contents of the message was read out to me. When done, the audio prompt then said:

“You can say Reply, Call, or I’m done”

I said, “Reply” and the voice prompt responded:

“Say your message.”

I dictated my message, and somehow, the software correctly unscrambled my horrible voice accurately and typed out the text for me to see, and then read it out to me. Then another audio prompt:

“You can say Send or Try again”

Since the message was accurately transcribed, I said, “Send”, and the phone sent it off like a good assistant. I was so amazed at how well the speech recognition system worked that I went about exploring it some more.

Speech recognition is a feature that is built into Windows Phone OS. You can press and hold the Start button to use Speech to initiate web searches or compose text messages. You can also configure the system to read out your incoming text messages always, only when you have a Bluetooth headset paired, or only when you have a wired headset plugged in.

I find myself using this again and again, and I can see the future in this. Yes; there have been a few times that I ended up with scrambled eggs… Sorry, I mean scrambled text messages, when dictating. However, it has worked well for the most part. Of course, if you are at a noisy venue, you can forget about this being of any good. Ditto if you have a voice that is more horrible than mine. I am surprised that the Lumia 610 recognises my voice at all. Perhaps I do not have such a horrible voice after all. Perhaps I really do have a great voice.

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