OK I wasn’t going to write a review on Windows Phone 7 because I am not interested in getting in to a debate about which phone is better iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 etc. But alas I felt compelled to fill the blogging drought again so here we are.
You will either like Windows Phone 7 or you won’t. There are more than enough people out there that will/have formed an opinion about Windows Phone 7 already and without ever seeing one, touching one or knowing what it’s all about. And that’s fine, if you want to live in a world with blinkers on that’s your choice.
However, having waited for this phone and new OS to arrive since I first caught wind of it I have been living with the fear that I might be let down like when a movie is overhyped, you having been waiting like a child at Christmas for it screen and when it finally does you feel ripped off.
Well I am happy to report that this is anything but the case having lived with my HTC Mozart for 3 days now.
Now there is a lot more to Windows Phone 7 than just the phone but lets start with that.
HTC have done a great job with the HTC Mozart. The phone is light (feels about 1/2 the weight of an iPhone 4), the size is good, the screen is great and all the buttons are where you would expect them to be according to Microsoft’ hardware requirements.
I like the fact that the 3 standard buttons on the front of the phone are touch. Probably my only criticism is the volume and camera buttons seem to be a little tricky to press but I think that perhaps is deliberate so they don’t get pressed accidentally and is something I am already compensating for, so all good really.
The phone feels sturdy and solid. The combination of the metal body with the rubber areas on the back feels nice in the hand. Smooth but with enough grip that the sucker isn’t too slippery, which is perhaps (Flash aside) my biggest complaint about the iPad/iPhone when not in a case. Both are like trying to hold on to a greased eel if you have cold hands.
Windows Phone 7 OS
Ok let’s get in to the guts of it shall we.
- This is a 100% touch OS.
- Scrolling + Pinch & Zoom are as smooth as silk. Superior to both Android and iPhone.
- The phone is very fast.
- The animated page transitions are also smooth as silk.
- It is in my humble opinion, and I say this with no bias (even though I am a Microsoft Developer) the best OS out there. I have tried them all and this is fresh, rock solid, intuitive, easy on the eye. I could go on but I think you get the idea of how I feel about it.
A picture speaks a 1000 words so check out the video below.
As far as apps go there are plenty out there and all the ones that you would want from day 1: Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, Maps, Mail Integration etc. The only thing I don’t have on this (yet) that I had on my iPhone is “Words with Friends”.
So don’t be fooled by all the marketing BS you are hearing from the competition. This is a phone and a platform to be reckoned with.
If you are happy with what you have already fine, stick with it. However, it’s nice to know that there are options.
As I said there is a lot more to Windows Phone 7 than just a phone. There is an entire eco-system out there that integrates with and supplies content to the phone.
First up we have Zune: This is the iTunes equivalent for Windows Phone 7 and is a media library/player I have been using on Windows 7 for some time now. I like it, I like it a lot and even more so now that I have my Windows Phone 7. One thing I have loathed about iTunes for ages now is Synch.
With Zune it’s all about drag and drop (if you want).
Want an album from your library on your phone? Easy just drag and drop it on to the phone through the Zune UI.
Want to see what is on your phone when you are connected to Zune? Easy, just select your phone and music and there is your library from your phone looking just the same as it does on the PC.
If like me you want to develop apps for Windows Phone 7 well you have the best toolset in the world at your disposal. Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend 4 make developing apps for Windows Phone 7 remarkably easy.
Integrating Bing Maps in to your application is a cinch and works brilliantly on the phone.
Enough said about developer tools as this is more a fluffy consumer focused post.
Ok so how do I really feel after finally getting my Windows Phone 7?
It is without a doubt beyond anything I had hoped for. With all the marketing spin that goes on with the competition its sometimes easy to doubt your beliefs in a product you have faith in until you have actually had a chance to sit with it for a few days.
I can say that hand on heart all the negative talk I have heard from the so called Market Analyst’ is a big steaming pile of crap.
This is a serious competitor to any other phone out there.
Competition aside, it stands on it’s own as a truly remarkable piece of design and engineering.
That’s 2 Microsoft: Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7. Next stop Windows Tablet 7?