For the past few days I’ve been reviewing a Windows Phone 7 and I like it.
I have long been a Windows Mobile user (prior to 7), migrating from a variety of Palm devices to Windows Mobile and staying there for years.
However, as the storm of applications and “cool design” from Apple iPhone and then Google Android took hold, like many of you, I switched from Windows Mobile’s very archaic design and moved to Google Droid (HTC Incredible).
The applications, sliding screen and overall design were a refreshing respite from Windows Mobile.
But now this has all changed.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 is brand new and slick. It’s functionally improved, looks good and has innovative tiles that come to life.
The strength of Windows Phone 7 is that it easily connects and showcases your online world (be it photos, social media or email) to your phone. Secondly, it tightly integrates and natively works with the full suite of Microsoft office applications.
If you’re happy with your current iPhone or Android phone, you probably are not going to get enough out of Windows Phone 7 to switch. This goes for Apple users switching to Android, and Android to Apple. The overall functionality of these devices is so similar that switching platforms is probably not going to happen for many, except for those who have a specific reason for doing so.
For those of you who are still using older Windows Mobile devices or are using traditional cell phones and not smart phones, Windows Phone 7 is definitely a platform for you to consider.
Microsoft’s use of Live Tiles makes it easy for you to see what’s happening right from the start screen. As Microsoft’s web site reads -- with Live Tiles you can quickly see what’s happening next or what you missed. Microsoft also has convenient hubs which help you to easily categorize a variety of scenarios -- Music, Videos, Pictures, People (so you can quickly see updates of those you care about), Office and Games.
I found the phone very easy to use. There are three buttons always on the front of the phone -- back, phone and search. All other buttons and menu options are dynamically updated, depending on what application you’re in.
I liked the dedicated button to take a photo. On my HTC Incredible (Android) I have to press two buttons to take a photo, instead of just one, like a camera.
If you need to connect to the office, and in particular are using Microsoft infrastructure such as SharePoint or other Microsoft Online services, you’ll like Windows Phone 7 a lot. It’s tightly integrated into Microsoft’s application ecosystem. Editing files, saving files to the cloud and sharing information is pretty easy to do, natively, with this phone.
It’s not a perfect phone, but what phone is?
I didn’t see a way to easily manually add WiFi networks. There is no cut and paste. If you love applications and applications are important to you, there are far fewer applications with Windows Phone 7 Marketplace than Apple or Google’s marketplaces. This is Microsoft’s first foray into this new class of smartphones and things will only improve as more updates and upgrades come.
If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone, the choice is now not just Apple, Google or RIM, it’s definitely Apple, Google, RIM or Microsoft.
Image credit: Morten Rand-Hendriks