I’ve been doing so much online reading about Windows Phone 7 that I’m starting to dream about it. Obsess much?! My desire behind this post is to aggregate what I’ve found into one location so that you can decide if WP7 is for you. There will be some linkage and much video so prepare to be run over by the Windows Phone 7 information truck!
Endgadget.com – Windows Phone 7 Review
CNET.com – Windows Phone 7
Now that you’ve read that, check out the videos below. The first is an in depth review from MobileTechReview.com. I’ve really enjoyed Lisa’s reviews on anything from a Windows Phone to Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. She is unbiased and just gives solid reviews.
The next set of videos is from SmartPhoneEnvy.com. Craig also gives non-biased reviews, simply showing off the phones as they are. Here is a three part series of the Samsung Focus vs. Samsung Captivate. It’s nice to be able to see the two os’s in a side-by-side comparison.
Now, all of this is wonderful but you may be asking your self, how does WP7 stack up against Android. I was curious and sent some emails off. I asked –
I have a question about WP7. Regarding functionalaity, to which Android release does the WP7 os roughly compare? Meaning, based on functionality alone, the launch WP7 os is roughly similar to Andriod 1.x? This may seem like comparing apples to oranges but I feel that it’s a legitimate question when looking at functionality.
I have a friend who is very tech savvy and he feels that the functionality of WP7 at launch roughly compares to Android 1.5 (cupcake) and that the rumored upgrads that Microsoft is supposed to be releasing in Jan/Feb 2011 will bring WP7 pretty close to Android 2.0’s functionality. I know that there has been no official announcement of what is coming in those updates, but if the rumors are true then is that comparison fair?
I consider myself an average tech user but nothing more, and the simplicity and fluid function of the WP7 has caught my attention. As my current mobile provider is Sprint, and I don’t currently have a smart phone, I’ll have some time to consider my next phone purchase since Sprint will not have a WP7 until “first quarter 2011.” Having an answer to this question would help me know if WP7 will be worth the investment.
The first to respond was Lisa from MobileTechReview.com. She said –
I too really appreciate the very elegant, intuitive and clean Windows Phone 7 user interface. And I use pretty much every phone and mobile platform available as a testbed for comparison.
In some ways WP7 is similar to Android 1.6 since there are missing features, but WP7 is certainly ahead of Android 1.5 and 1.6 which lacked even Bluetooth stereo profiles and other basics. There will be significant updates to WP7 to address some of these deficiencies (like copy and paste), as you’ve read. WP7 is light years ahead of Android (even Gingerbread 2.3) when it comes to multimedia and gaming. So I’d say that overall, WP7 launched in a more complete way. But Android is now maturing and is more feature complete at the moment.
I’m not a fanboy of any OS but I do carry a Samsung Focus and Google Nexus S. Both are appealing in different ways (Android for the geeky/tweaky aspect and WP7 for the wonderful user experience, multimedia and gaming). I would say that WP7 is worth the wait and investment.
I appreciate her honesty and that she was able to answer my question with precision. I really like the main concept behind Windows Phone 7 – make it quick and easy so that you get the information that you need and can get back to life.
Craig from SmartPhoneEnvy.com also responded –
There are parts of the WP7 OS that I think are superior to the Android OS such as the ease of use, scrolling and the UI of certain applications. WP7 doesn’t multitask in the way Android does so there are some limitations such as listening to Slacker Radio and writing a text message, email or anything else. Once you go to another application Slacker Radio shuts down which for me is a big draw back as far as WP7 and something all Android OS versions do. You can however listen to the music player and do other tasks and the music application is better than whats currently offered by Android especially if you get an HTC WP7 device with HTC’s audio enhancer application.
The gallery application is also better on WP7 than anything I’ve seen from Android even 2.3 Gingerbread. I also like the notification system on WP7 its easy to see notifications by just looking at the lock screen or live tiles when you unlock the phone.
The big difference is the options inside applications. WP7 is very limited when compared to Android. If you like to have a lot of options like adding an attachment to an sms. With Android the list is very extensive including video, pictures, music,calendar events slide shows and contact info. With WP7 its just pictures. The browser is much the same with WP7 you have the choice between mobile and desktop view, allow cookies and delete history. It does offer multiple windows and the ability to share page, find on page and pin a short cut to the home screen but that’s it. Android browsers are much better in my opinion and far more advanced when it comes to options and page rendering. If you’re going to view mobile pages as a rule than WP7 is fine but full web pages can be a problem for the WP7 browser. The Samsung Focus I’ve been using won’t render my web page properly which as you might expect bothers me.
Widows Marketplace is still in its infancy so don’t expect a lot of apps to be available for download. This is the biggest risk you take when buying a smartphone that’s not from Apple or offering Android as the OS. Will developers write apps for the WP7 OS? Who knows, but if the OS doesn’t do well than developers won’t write apps and that can be a problem if you want more applications available for your WP7 smartphone.
Over all I like WP7 and with a few teeks hopefully coming next month it could be a great OS to use and I think an OS you might enjoy. I would suggest when you get ready to buy your smartphone that you buy a WP7 device first knowing you have 30 days to decide if you want to keep it and if you don’t like it get an Android handset. The more time you spend at the Sprint store playing with both is a good idea too.
Craig brings up a good point – Apps. At launch WP7 had only a few hundred apps. Within four weeks the app store had grown to just over 4,000 apps. Internet rumor has the WP7 app store growing at about 150/day. Will it keep going? Who knows for sure, but I think so as Microsoft most likely has WP7 in for the long haul. Curious to know what apps are out there? Download the Zune desktop software and go look.
Before we go, here are three more videos about Windows Phone 7 that I want to share with you. IntoMobile.com posted the vids, Windows Phone 7 Tips and Tricks