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My impressions after a few days of Windows Phone 7 ownership

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I recently decided it was time to upgrade my iPhone 3GS - but what to?

I looked at iPhone 4, Google Nexus S and Samsung Omnia 7 and when a deal came up on the latter, I decided to go for it. I've now had the phone for a few days.



The hardware feels very nice. I really liked the metal back on the original iPhone and I love this phone too, as the whole of the rear of the phone is made of metal. There isn't any creak or flex in the phone, and the buttons that are on the device are very solid and give good feedback when you press them. I really like having a dedicated camera button, and using the hardware back button has made me wonder just what Apple was thinking when they decided not to include one.

The first thing I noticed when I turned on the phone was the screen. It's a Super AMOLED display and it's truly incredible. The black levels are so good that it's almost impossible to see the edge of the screen against the rest of the phone. I compared it to my iPhone 3GS and it really was no contest - the colours were much richer and the blacks and whites were so much more pronounced. Even when compared with my friend's iPhone 4 I was impressed - the colours were definitely better than that too, even if the resolution was slightly lower.

It feels like this display was made for the Windows Phone 7 OS. The default setting is to have white text on a black background, and this looks amazing on my phone. I was thinking that I'd switch it to black on white, but once I had been using it for a few minutes I knew instantly that I'd be leaving it right on default.

The UI itself is very, very unique. I've seen a lot of comments criticising the titles being "cut off" due to the horizontal scrolling, but these seem both petty and ridiculous now I've had a chance to use it. It's really good to see more than one "screen" on the screen at one time, and it makes it easy to navigate through a lot of content.

I also really like the home screen. The "live tiles" give a surprising amount of feedback. My favourite has to be the Alarms one, which shows me what time the alarm is next scheduled to activate and whether it is on or off. Far easier than the process of checking if you have set your alarm on iPhone. The same goes for Calendar (which displays upcoming appointments right on the home screen).

I also get to control the home screen in a better way than I think I could on iPhone. I really like that there is a master application list (accessed by swiping right on the home screen), so it means I can ensure that my home screen only includes the applications I really want there. The phone handles the organisation of the others, putting them into alphabetical order automatically.

The touch screen keyboard is also probably the best I've ever used. It's incredibly accurate and the way it suggests words to you is also very clear and useful. I haven't noticed any difference in the accuracy of my typing compared to iPhone. The keys are very clear thanks to the nice simple UI.

The whole thing is very slick. There are animations for most transitions, but none of them feel sluggish or intrusive like some of them do on iPhone. I like that when I get a notification, it doesn't interrupt everything or pause what I'm doing. It just slides in and then disappears. I also like that I can see if I have unread emails on the lock screen.

The performance in all of the stock applications is very, very good and this includes Internet Explorer. The browsing experience is at least as smooth as Safari on iPhone.

As a gamer, I really like having an official Xbox Live app and I absolutely love unlocking achievements on my phone. All of the Xbox Live games that are available seem to have good reviews, and it's promising that Microsoft is running a weekly promotion and also adding new games every week.

The only things that have disappointed me so far are:
- Lack of notifications from apps other than SMS and Email.
- No multitasking.
- No turn by turn navigation apps in UK yet.
- A few websites not recognising the browser's user agent.
- Browser not compatible with some sites, looking forward to IE9 update to fix this.

I bought this phone primarily because it was a bargain (at £350 SIM free), but the more I use it, the more I'm feeling like I've made the right choice.

I know there are a lot of people here who would like to try it, so does anyone here have any questions about it?
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I know there are a lot of people here who would like to try it...

Don't kid yourself. But I'm happy for you. What will you "upgrade" to when the Windows Phones are discontinued?
post #3 of 19
If it suits your requirements, it is a good deal. The biggest issue with Microsoft was lack of credibility for their mobile venture, but with the tie-up with Nokia, that has changed. Microsoft+Nokia / Apple / Android manufacturers = more choice for the customer.
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

Microsoft+Nokia / Apple / Android manufacturers = more choice for the customer.

True, but irrelevant.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Don't kid yourself. But I'm happy for you. What will you "upgrade" to when the Windows Phones are discontinued?

Umm, nothing?

Even if Samsung stopped selling this phone, mine wouldn't suddenly stop working.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

True, but irrelevant.

Irrelevant? How so?
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #7 of 19
It's stating the obvious. Of course more products means more choice. You, like many others, assume that more choice is good. That's not always true. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Par...y_More_Is_Less
post #8 of 19
Upgrading your iPhone, huh? So when posted this, all of four days ago:

Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

I don't care about this test. I don't own an iPhone or an Android phone.

However, what confuses me is the response from the Apple fansites to this test. It seems that they see it almost as their "duty" to defend Apple against what they see as inaccurate information. If the test is inaccurate, then why post about it at all? By doing that, all you do is draw MORE attention to this test (I hadn't heard about the test until I visited this site today) and giving MORE traffic to a website you think isn't capable of performing tests like this, thus giving them the ability to release more data in the future.

were you lying then or are you lying now?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Upgrading your iPhone, huh? So when posted this, all of four days ago:

were you lying then or are you lying now?

My Samsung phone was delivered on March 15th and I sent my iPhone off to a recycling company on March 16th, one day before I posted that message.
post #10 of 19
I realize that this is, after all, an Apple "enthusiast's" site. Not everything I post can be, or should be, taken to be authentic or verifiable as genuine or free from a hidden mission or even as a typical diatribe from the anonymous entity or on-screen presence I seem to be. Having said all that, I am sometimes disconcerted by the feeling that there may be posters who are even more disingenuous than myself (not that I am in any way irrascible or even malfeasant).

Sometimes when I read a post, I am struck by the overall quality of its offering and I must admit I am inclined to check the date of joinder to see if it is a new member (as if that would really imply anything at all). I guess what I am trying to say in a clumsy way is that I wonder, given the obvious attempts by the occasional recent admittee of AppleInsider to register and post as part of a directed campaign to sway opinion, if there are sometimes "embedded memberships" which have been taken out long ago just for the purpose to be relatively dormant and appear to be one of the long term registered membership who happen not to post with great frequency but when they do post on a subject to promote a particular product at the beck and call of a chief orchestrator who directs their opinions, they do so with the cachet of one who is a long-term member - as opposed to an obvious "noobie" who joined just to push an agenda.

As many mistakes as I make in a typical day, it is a wonder that I do not trip over my own words far more often than I do. This, of course, would apply equally here as well as in other domains of my life. I post this with some trepidation, because of the maxim about "throwing rocks" when one lives in a crystal glass house. However, it is oddly thought-provoking to me that there may be a deeper movement behind some posts than what may appear on the obvious surface. Of course, on the other hand, this may be my time of the month for wild speculations... and if so, I beg your forgiveness.

Without perhaps revealing too much of your personal insight or develop a laundry list of tell-tale traits (so as to end up helping those who operate covertly for hidden agendas), or without meaning to derail a topic, has anyone noticed a pattern to posting that typically gives away or tips a hand that there may be a completely different agenda being served other than the one the post would have us believe?
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by meh 2 View Post

I realize that this is, after all, an Apple "enthusiast's" site. Not everything I post can be, or should be, taken to be authentic or verifiable as genuine or free from a hidden mission or even as a typical diatribe from the anonymous entity or on-screen presence I seem to be. Having said all that, I am sometimes disconcerted by the feeling that there may be posters who are even more disingenuous than myself (not that I am in any way irrascible or even malfeasant).

Sometimes when I read a post, I am struck by the overall quality of its offering and I must admit I am inclined to check the date of joinder to see if it is a new member (as if that would really imply anything at all). I guess what I am trying to say in a clumsy way is that I wonder, given the obvious attempts by the occasional recent admittee of AppleInsider to register and post as part of a directed campaign to sway opinion, if there are sometimes "embedded memberships" which have been taken out long ago just for the purpose to be relatively dormant and appear to be one of the long term registered membership who happen not to post with great frequency but when they do post on a subject to promote a particular product at the beck and call of a chief orchestrator who directs their opinions, they do so with the cachet of one who is a long-term member - as opposed to an obvious "noobie" who joined just to push an agenda.

As many mistakes as I make in a typical day, it is a wonder that I do not trip over my own words far more often than I do. This, of course, would apply equally here as well as in other domains of my life. I post this with some trepidation, because of the maxim about "throwing rocks" when one lives in a crystal glass house. However, it is oddly thought-provoking to me that there may be a deeper movement behind some posts than what may appear on the obvious surface. Of course, on the other hand, this may be my time of the month for wild speculations... and if so, I beg your forgiveness.

Without perhaps revealing too much of your personal insight or develop a laundry list of tell-tale traits (so as to end up helping those who operate covertly for hidden agendas), or without meaning to derail a topic, has anyone noticed a pattern to posting that typically gives away or tips a hand that there may be a completely different agenda being served other than the one the post would have us believe?

Interesting post. That's the problem with essentially anonymous message forums like this. You never know if the person at the other end is sharing honest opinions, is working to an agenda, or is just trolling occasionally over the years for a few cheap laughs. I'm sure anyone hoping to promote competitors to Apple on a site like this is wasting their time and money. This is Apple after-all with its cult like following. I doubt anyone could fail to understand that from the outset.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eksodos View Post

Interesting post. That's the problem with essentially anonymous message forums like this. You never know if the person at the other end is sharing honest opinions, is working to an agenda, or is just trolling occasionally over the years for a few cheap laughs. I'm sure anyone hoping to promote competitors to Apple on a site like this is wasting their time and money. This is Apple after-all with its cult like following. I doubt anyone could fail to understand that from the outset.

I just posted my thoughts on my new phone here. After all this is a forum where we can talk about technology in general as well.

I know how difficult it can be to try new phones - very few stores let you try them, and with contract commitments it can often be difficult for people to change.

I wasn't trying to start a war, I was merely sharing my honest opinions about my new purchase. If you guys aren't interested, that's fine but please don't accuse me of having any sort of agenda.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

... but please don't accuse me of having any sort of agenda.

Please accept my most humble apology. I suppose it is natural to assume that I was referring to you. Actually, although I did not make it plain, I was making a general observation and took the following reply to be made in the general case also. Again, please accept my apologies for any misunderstanding.
post #14 of 19
You can't manually sort apps that aren't on the home screen? I guess that doesn't matter when there are so few apps available. But I've got over 600 apps and if I had to remember them all by name I'd be in a terrible mess.

And no multitasking is more than a mere nuisance. It's a deal breaker. I know it's relatively new to the iOS, but it's there and I couldn't accept any smart device that didn't allow me to run eBuddy in the background.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

You can't manually sort apps that aren't on the home screen? I guess that doesn't matter when there are so few apps available. But I've got over 600 apps and if I had to remember them all by name I'd be in a terrible mess.

And no multitasking is more than a mere nuisance. It's a deal breaker. I know it's relatively new to the iOS, but it's there and I couldn't accept any smart device that didn't allow me to run eBuddy in the background.

There were three third party apps I used on a daily basis on my iPhone:

Twitter
Facebook
Reeder

I've found equivalent Windows Phone versions for them all, and the only application I used frequently that I can't find a substitute for is TomTom.

I can't imagine having a use for 600 applications on any phone, regardless of how many are available.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

There were three third party apps I used on a daily basis on my iPhone:

Twitter
Facebook
Reeder

I've found equivalent Windows Phone versions for them all, and the only application I used frequently that I can't find a substitute for is TomTom.

I can't imagine having a use for 600 applications on any phone, regardless of how many are available.

Well, I guess a Windows phone might be suitable for a very casual user, then. How do you know when someone tweets or posts to your Facebook? You have to open the app every time just to check?
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

How do you know when someone tweets or posts to your Facebook? You have to open the app every time just to check?

Yes.

I'd still love to know how you find a use for 600 different apps!
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Yes.

I'd still love to know how you find a use for 600 different apps!

What can I say -- I'm a collector. I could probably whittle those down to about 200 that I really need to keep on my device at all times, but even then, I'd hate to search by name rather than category.
post #19 of 19
LOL coming from a "Samsung user" that reads like marketing copy... I don't think there are any "real" Samsung users out there...
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...et_claims.html

A+ for effort though... And, don't take me too seriously, k?
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