After using the Windows Phone 7 for some time now and reading a couple of other reviews, I have decided to give my own opinion on the new devices. I have written a full disclosure at the bottom of this blog post in case you were wondering. Now let’s dive in:
In earlier versions of the Windows Phone operating system user interface, it seemed like it was “too corporate” and I did not feel like I could relate to it as a young, urban professionals. The user interface Windows Phone 7 feels like it is more tailored to my generation again. The navigation uses large tiles and the fonts are large and thin. I really like the color combinations used throughout the operating system. The tiles have a solid colored background without gradients and either has white text or a white icon on top of it. The speed and touch responsiveness of the navigation is very impressive too. I did not see much of a lag-time when sliding the tiles around. You can customize each and move around the tiles also.
The home screen shows the important information like the time, date, and any scheduled appointments for that day. It also shows you whether you have any text messages, voicemails, e-mails or missed calls on the homescreen. When you tap on the home screen, the homepage jumps up a little bit to remind you to unlock the phone.
Notifications and search
Let’s now consider the notifications and the search: Notifications involve a drop-down window shade on Windows Phone 7, similar to Android. When an Apple iPhone sends a notification, it usually involves a pop-up box that interrupts you in the middle of whatever it is that you are doing. Personally I think the window shade notification is a bit less annoying. Windows Phone 7 currently does not have a universal search option, but I would not be surprised if Microsoft adds this later on. The iPhone and BlackBerry devices did not have this feature in their earlier OS versions.
Copy/Paste and 3rd Party Multitasking
Copy and paste and third-party multitasking is currently not available in this OS version. Copy and paste will be available in early 2011, but it is unknown when multitasking will be available. The iPhone did not have copy and pasting for at least a year so I can’t imagine this being a reason why people wouldn’t buy the devices. Multi-tasking is a highly sought after feature on mobile devices so I’m sure Microsoft is working on a solution for that as well.
The Windows Phone 7 keyboard is awesome. It is accurate when using it and I actually like it better than the iPhone keyboard. If you press down on certain keys, accent options will pop-up. I also like how there is always a comma, period, and @ sign always present on they keyboard. This makes it easier for the teenagers that like to text 3,339 per month.
WP7 does not have a contacts application, but it has a People hub and it is compatible with Facebook data and Exchange ActiveSync. When logging in to your Facebook account, your contacts gets pulled in, but you do have the option to remove Facebook contacts who are not represented in your existing contacts.
E-mail set up and syncing is very simple. You can easily add Windows Live, Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail. EAS support is available for Google accounts. And contacts/calendars can be pulled in too. Push support for e-mail can be set for manual, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and hourly. The e-mail search is pretty powerful too. It can search for message content, senders, and receivers at once.
The web browser on Windows Phone 7 is phenomenal. As you scroll down, the web page rendering is fast and colorful. Zooming can be done using pinch gestures and is smooth/fast. Tabs are supported and there is a “pin to start” feature that lets you add web pages to he home screen tile page.
After you take a picture with the camera, the photo moves to the left side and you can swipe right to see previous photos you have taken. Some of the photo options include white balance, image effects like grayscale/sepia, exposure, ISO, and saturation.
Xbox Live For WP7
Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7 works great also. The game titles offered through the service were high quality and it feels just like you are playing an Xbox 360. Some of the ames include The Sims 3 and Rocket Riot.
I would recommend buying a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 if you are in the market to try something new, flashy, and different. I would recommend going to a store and playing with the devices first before paying for it so that you know what you are getting yourself into.
Full disclosure: I sell applications on the Apple App Store and have been using an iPhone for the last couple of years. A huge chunk of my personal wealth is tied directly tied to the Apple App Store.