Review

Windows Phone 7 review

Microsoft has not been shy in admitting that their mobile efforts over the past few years have been less than stellar. A decline in market share and mind share has seen the software giant struggle to stay relevant amongst strong offerings from both Google and Apple. Microsoft's efforts in the Windows Mobile 6.5 era were desperate and sorely lacking third party applications, basic OS functionality and support for the ever changing mobile hardware. Engineers and executives at Microsoft decided to reset their development focus on Windows Mobile over two years ago and began to create a new operating system, from the ground up. The result is Windows Phone 7, but is it enough?

The Hardware

Microsoft has been very strict on its Windows Phone 7 specifications. All devices must have the following at a minimum:

  • Capacitive Touch: 4 or more contact points
  • Sensors: A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
  • Camera: 5 megapixels or more, Camera with a flash and dedicated camera button
  • Multimedia: Common detailed specs, Codec acceleration
  • Memory: 256 MB, 8 GB Flash or more
  • GPU: DirectX 9 acceleration
  • Processor: ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion or better
  • 2 screen sizes: 480×800 WVGA, 480×320 HVGA
  • Keyboard: Optional
  • Hardware Buttons: Must be fixed on the face


In terms of additional hardware requirements, the device must have a back button, windows button and search button on the front of the device. Microsoft also stipulates that volume +/- buttons, a power button and a dedicated camera button must be present. These strict guidelines for manufacturers help maintain a consistent user experience across the range of Windows Phone 7 devices. For this particular review Microsoft loaned us a Samsung Omnia 7.

The Omnia 7 is a quad GSM band phone that packs a 4-inch super AMOLED display. The device also sports the minimum 1GHz Qualcomm processor, 5MP camera with 720p video capture and 8GB of storage. A-GPS, Wi-Fi N and bluetooth are also present.

The basics

Microsoft has redone Windows Phone 7 to focus on a structured ecosystem. The platform allows for developers to use tools such as Visual Studio to create applications. Two thirds of all Windows developers use this as their primary development tool so Microsoft believes it's a natural way for developers to create Windows Phone applications. Designers can also use a wide range of Microsoft's Expression tools to create beautiful designs. The core of Windows Phone 7 runs on Silverlight and the XNA runtime which uses the .NET Framework that Microsoft includes in its desktop versions of Windows. Game developers can take code written for the Xbox and have that work on phones because the XNA framework is supported. This broad development platform is bound to be appealing for a wide range of developers.

Development is only one part of the structured ecosystem. In the past Microsoft has allowed third parties to replace the UI on the device. The problem is some devices have the standard UI, others have an OEM custom UI and others have parts of the UI replaced by operators. Third party developers aren't sure what part of the UI to write to and it has created a confused user experience for end users. The goal with Windows Phone 7 is that the "end user is King" according to Andy Lees, VP of Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business. Lees believes that Microsoft isn't controlling the UI this time around, it's simply doing it in a structured way so that third parties can add value and differentiate themselves without compromising the end user experience. Smart design is Microsoft's mantra for Windows Phone 7.

Setting up your Windows Phone 7 device

The first time you switch on a Windows Phone 7 device you will be presented with options to add Windows Live accounts, Facebook accounts and other mail services. Similar to the Android start experience, this will then configure the device for you to make it a very personal experience. One thing we noticed here at Neowin is that you'll need to be careful when you pick the Windows Live account that you first add as this ties itself to the core of Windows Phone and you cannot remove it later on. Why Microsoft has made this decision is unclear, but for those with multiple Windows Live accounts you can add them all to the phone but the first one will be the primary account used for Xbox Live, marketplace and music/video hubs. Once your accounts have been added the device will begin synchronising content.

Home screen/Lock Screen

One of the first experiences with Windows Phone 7 is the all new and unique home screen. This is one of the truly impressive and unique aspects of Windows Phone 7 that is both original and helpful. Think of the home screen as a cork board where you stick all your important notes and information to. Each section is a "tile" and some tiles are double width whilst others are single. Microsoft says that all third party apps tiles will be single width. The company had to make some design decisions to create double width tiles for applications like calendar and pictures. If a calendar tile had remained single width then all the information for a specific appointment would not be displayed efficiently. Although third party app developers will not be able to create double width tiles, OEMs and mobile operators will be permitted to create them. Fortunately these are removable from the home screen and all OEM and mobile operator applications can also be removed from the device to save space.

The home screen serves as your main interaction point with Windows Phone 7. You can pin applications and people to the screen and I fully expect Microsoft will extend this further in later revisions of the operating system. The ability to pin your favourite contacts makes the phone extremely personal. No two Windows Phones will ever look the same thanks to this home screen. The only criticism here is the bright range of colour schemes, on an AMOLED device this is more noticable. The animations for moving items around are seamless and impressive. Windows Phone 7 really feels like it's alive in the palm of your hand. If you scroll to the bottom of the home screen then the arrow at the top slides sideways to point you in the direction of the classic look.

The Windows Phone 7 lock screen takes the static and sometimes boring screen and improves it greatly. Across the top, you'll see indicators for signal strength, connection type (3G, EDGE) and whether Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are enabled and battery status. Information such as emails, text messages, missed calls and voicemails are all provided straight on the lock screen. The lock screen allow users to customise the wallpaper and also see latest calendar appointments, including their location. The tagline is "less stop and stare, more glance and go".

Calling/SMS

Calling and text messaging (SMS) is as you would expect on Windows Phone 7. Dialing is simple and you have direct access to the People Hub to select your contact. The standard speaker phone, hold, mute and conference calling is all included. We found reception on the Samsung Omnia 7 to be fairly reasonable, especially in areas where usage of smartphones is high. Text messaging on Windows Phone 7 is also straight forward too. Instead of using coloured bubbles to differentiate incoming and outgoing text messages, Microsoft has opted for a minimal design. Small little speech bubbles point downwards for outgoing SMS and upwards for incoming. We'd prefer a stronger visual indicator as it was often confusing to work out at a glance. MMS picture messaging is present alongside the ability to send to multiple recipients. You can also forward texts by simply holding your finger down on them and selecting the forward option, this copies the text into a new message. Simple but efficient.

People Hub

If ever there was a Facebook phone then this is truly it. Facebook is at the very heart of Windows Phone 7 and it beats throughout the operating system. Synchronising and adding contacts is extremely easy. You simply add your Facebook account and relevant Gmail/Hotmail or other account and Windows Phone 7 will scan through your contacts and link them dynamically. If you have multiple contacts that haven't linked correctly then Windows Phone 7 will suggest links for those contacts under their profile page. This functionality is extremely powerful and compelling for such a device. We found a few things we'd like to see Microsoft address in future releases to increase the usability of Facebook but overall it's a great experience.

Games Hub

The games hub of Windows Phone 7 is the part that will excite any seasoned or casual Xbox Live gamers. If you setup your Windows Live account on the device it will pull down your Xbox Live information and display your avatar within the games hub. Microsoft also provides an Xbox Live Extras application which displays your interactive Avatar. Players can prod the Avatar and list their Xbox Live achievements. The Extras app also lists your online Xbox Live friends, why this functionality wasn't baked straight into the games hub isn't clear. A number of big names have signed up to provide Windows Phone 7 games. The marketplace, at the time of writing, includes games such as Frogger, Star Wars, The Sims 3 and Uno. Unfortunately since the marketplace is in test mode at the moment, we've been unable to fully test the functionality. Expect a feature focus article in the coming week to highlight this further.

Marketplace Hub

Marketplace is the name of Microsoft's application, game and music store for Windows Phone 7. You can access the store from the Marketplace app, via the Xbox Live Hub and the Music and Video hub. Microsoft has gradually been approving a number of high profile applications during the test mode marketplace that Neowin has had access to. Applications such as Foursquare, Shazam, eBay, IMDB and Seesmic have all been recently released. Microsoft's store is a joy to use unless you're searching for something specific. Hitting the search button allows you to narrow down your search but the final results mix in applications, games and music so it's often hard to find the application you require. This leads to a frustrating experience that we hope Microsoft will address before the store hits thousands of applications. We've installed around 30 applications from the store and our list has become rather cumbersome to scroll through. We'd suggest pinning settings to the start screen as Microsoft lists applications A-Z on its classic start screen. We can imagine this would become a bigger issue for those who are app crazy and load on  large amounts of apps. Microsoft's answer is to pin apps to the home screen but this only shifts the problem elsewhere. We're hopeful that a local search for applications will be provided in future OS updates. Our limited experience with the IMDB, Twitter and eBay apps shows that third party developers are embracing the metro look and feel throughout their applications. Most applications feel like they are part of the operating system. 

Music and Video Hub - Zune

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 media offerings come in the form of Zune. The Music and Video hub offers a one stop shop for all music, video, podcasts, radio and marketplace content. The only thing missing from this hub is photos. Powering your content onto the device is a slick desktop application called Zune. Most people will not be familiar with the software unless they have previously owned a Zune player. The software will ingest a range of different formats such as MP3, WMA and AAC etc. Zune doesn't support playlists from iTunes or DRM content but fully supports Zune's marketplace content. The big win here is that Microsoft will support wi-fi syncing for Windows Phone 7. Although there's a slight catch. In order for the wi-fi sync to work you'll need to plug your device into a power socket and have your PC running. Microsoft says the reasoning behind this is to prevent considerable battery drain when syncing large amounts of content. Overall the Music and Video hub offers everything you'd expect. Windows Phone 7 supports a variety of formats including MP3, WMA, AAC, MPEG and H.264. DivX and MKV formats are not supported natively but we fully expect third parties to offer separate applications for these. The music and Video hub also tracks your YouTube history and provides this to you within the hub. Windows Phone 7 users can also take advantage of the Zune pass subscription service which provides unlimited music streaming for a set price per month.

Pictures Hub

The Pictures hub is the central place to interact with photos on your Windows Phone 7 device. The hub syncs down your photos and albums from Facebook and Windows Live. The Facebook integration is solid in pictures, allowing you to save photos locally and comment on friends Facebook images. Pictures taken from the camera are also listed in the hub. Sharing to Facebook or Windows Live is a simple operation. We'd like to see Flickr available in the pictures hub, fingers crossed that will become available in the coming weeks.

Office Hub and Internet Explorer

Microsoft has also included an Office Hub for Windows Phone 7 users. Office Mobile allows you to access and edit Word and Excel documents on the road. PowerPoint editing is not included but you can read the docs on the device. OneNote is also included and syncs fully to Microsoft's SkyDrive service in the cloud. When you open an Excel sheet, it maintains the original look and feel of the file and includes graphs too. PowerPoint files retain a large majority of their transition animations and audio also.

The calendar on Outlook supports multiple calendars which are colour coded to make it easy for you to access personal appointments versus work ones. The Office experience on Windows Phone 7 is leaps and bounds from Windows Mobile 6.5. Outlook email provides an unread filter and users can also flag emails and navigate between messages quickly. You can also bulk delete content if you tap to the left of messages.

Browsing on Windows Phone 7 is surprisingly good. Despite not using the Webkit mobile standard that most other devices rely upon, Microsoft's implementation is solid. Browsing is fast and zooming in to content is quick and easy. Microsoft's ClearType technology makes fonts crisp, clear and easy to read on a small screen. Microsoft claims it's one of the fastest browsers on the market. Internet Explorer supports up to six browsing tabs and standard pinch to zoom features. You can also double tap to columns where columns will be snapped and small amounts of text word wrapping is applied. Microsoft has no commitment to support Adobe Flash 10.1 just yet. It's a question of implementation and the software maker is taking the same stance as Apple, claiming the largest use of Flash on the web is YouTube. Microsoft does not have an extensibility model inside the browser for Flash or Silverlight yet. We understand, from company insiders, that this will change very soon and Flash is on the cards in the next few months. The lack of HTML5 support could be an issue in future but Microsoft is likely to have updated the browser before HTML5 is wide spread.

And the rest...

Microsoft's virtual keyboard on Windows Phone 7 is one of the most impressive I have used on a mobile device. The implementation of a wheel for word suggestions makes it quick to pick out words before you finish typing. The target size of the keyboard increases smartly. For example if you type "th" it guesses that the next letter will likely be an "e" or "a" and increases the target size of those characters. You don't see this visually but it certainly helps for typing words. When incorrect words are picked out, it shows a wheel of suggestions and underlines the incorrect word with a red squiggly line, like Microsoft's Office products. The target area for the backspace is also reduced when you're typing to avoid mistakes.

Bing search is included on the device and baked into the maps application. Bing allows you to search for local content. For example if you type "Pizza" and swipe to local then you'll get local pizza restaurants wherever you're currently located. When you first load Bing maps the map zooms in from the clouds to your current location, a nice little animation for those using the service for the first time. Microsoft has hard coded the search button to Bing in the OS and has no plans to open this up to other search engines in the future.

Settings for the device are somewhat basic. The brightness is simply high, medium or low and automatic. On an AMOLED device the colours can be a little overpowering even on the low setting. We also found it odd that the security lock for the device has no time out. You either set it to come on every time the device is locked or not at all. There's no options to ask for a password after 15 minutes or 1 hour of inactivity.

Windows Phone 7 also supports voice recognition. By pressing and holding the start button you can use Microsoft TellMe speech features. You can use your voice to call people, start apps and search the web.

It's clear that the company has put design and implementation first over some features. The lack of copy and paste will annoy some but Microsoft has promised an update to address this and other issues in early 2011. On the plus side, the functionality the device has for social networks and the personal experience is executed extremely well.

Final thoughts

Microsoft's approach to Windows Phone 7 is refreshing. The concept of hubs and tiles pays off across the operating system and provides a seamless and integrated experience for consumers. Although the operating system has a number of issues and feels like a work in progress in some areas, we're confident that Microsoft will address this quickly. Windows Phone 7 devices are extremely compelling smartphones at a time when many will be considering their holiday purchases. Microsoft is betting big with Windows Phone 7 and that bet has to pay off. From what we've seen, Windows Phone 7 will be a huge success for Microsoft. Although Apple's strategy and device offerings are solid, we fully expect Windows Phone 7 to eat into Android sales and recover its lost market share. Is Windows Phone 7 enough to save Microsoft's failed mobile efforts? Yes, it's a giant step in the right direction and one that the software maker will back with funding, support and development. Windows Phone 7 is a beautifully crafted work of art that you should definitely consider on your next phone.

Stay tuned to Neowin as we dive deep into each individual feature of Windows Phone 7 in the coming weeks.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Preview: Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, beta due October 24

Next Story

The Old Spice guy shows off WP7, sensually

114 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I stopped by the AT&T store today for the express purpose of laying hands on this phone that has been only available to me in video. I have to say this, the video DOES NOT do this phone justice.

Every video I've seen, and I've seen many on Pocketnow and Engadget but you cannot get the flavor of this phone from watching videos. It simply cannot be done. After actually using the live demo phone at AT&T, this phone if hella fast and smoother than melted butter.

I used the browser to get to the pocketnow website and popped up fast, fully loaded. But what really sold me was pinch to zoom. You could pinch and zoom as fast as your fingers can pinch and zoom and the browser never once broke stride. I have never seen that on any iphone or ipod touch do that. It made the iphone 4 feel like a feature phone. Obviously the iphone 4 is not, but comparatively speaking, it is. You'll have see it for yourself lest you think I'm hating.

But I understand about being hooked. When I left the store, I found myself planning a return visit to see if what I experienced was real.

Quikboy said,

That's funny. If you have Windows Live Mail, and go into the Contacts section, you can edit any of your contacts and place them in a certain category and there are fields like anniversary and such. Though whether WP7 supports it, I have no clue, but I would think it would.

My bad for not looking deep enough. I can now see categories but I still can't see Anniversary field?

Microsoft have a LOT of history they need people to try and forget in the mobile space. Windows Mobile has been, for the last few years at least, a complete joke and only redeemed by HTC's efforts with SenseUI.

My last Windows Mobile was an Orange SPV C500 which I thought was absolutely brilliant.. but it felt to me like the whole OS went significantly down hill after that. I tried a friends HTC Touch Pro and hated it. So did he. And he was a devout Windows Mobile enthusiast up until that point.

So Microsoft have been woken up from their slumber, been knocked around the ring for a few rounds. That said I'm quite keen to see what they've done! I love my HTC Desire but don't blindly give my support (money) to any one vendor.. I've owned Motorolas, several Nokias, an iPhone, Windows Mobiles, and now an Android phone.. never thought Windows Mobile would ever be back on the radar again TBH!

Whoever did the first piece to video has clearly never used an android phone. Android auto imports photo's from facebook too. Clearly a WP7 fan.

"One thing we noticed here at Neowin is that you'll need to be careful when you pick the Windows Live account that you first add as this ties itself to the core of Windows Phone and you cannot remove it later on. Why Microsoft has made this decision is unclear"

Android devices do this as well do they not?

I prefer Anandtech review.

I like this part of Anandtech review which is a very positive review BTW

"If you're looking for a feature replacement to an Android phone or Windows Mobile device, WP7 will disappoint. Windows Phone is more like the iPhone than it is anything else. If you don't like the iPhone (for reasons other than an inherent dislike for Apple), you probably won't like Windows Phone. If your sole reason is disdain for Apple, then pick up a Windows Phone."

I despise the user interface. The Metro UI is not appealing at all. Minimalist is good, large fonts that go out of bounds and squares everywhere is not. Although Android UI is not 100% consistent it trumps in my opinion WP7. And why wanting to be different from anyone? If other interfaces scroll screens to the sides, Microsoft has to scroll vertically.

In my opinion, without using one but from what I've seen, W7 is the less appealing User Interface, but overhaul has a nice user experience. The top of the Interfaces for me is still Apple iOS, followed by WebOS and Android. I own an Android and I'm a happy Windows 7 user.

But in the end is nice to see Microsoft back into the game. I still shows tho that Microsoft was never at the top of their game in User Interfaces, Windows show that, WP7 shows that. The only time they hit the nail was with Office 2007 and the Ribbon UI.

I expect some success from the WP7, Windows has a big name and that sells. Although for me, I'm hooked into Android because of the integrated services like Gmail and Google Calendar, my contacts sync with my Google contacts, etc... I don't like Microsoft Online services as much as Google ones. But I'm sure they will be integrated into WP7 anyway, Gmail has, so.

Anyway, nice review.

Lexcyn said,
The phone looks good however I just don't like the interface or the fact it uses IE and not a webkit browser.

Say what you want to about the interface, but it's very usable. Internet Explorer mobile is very snappy and I don't see a problem with it.

Goldenlotus said,

Really????
Its still a phone..you can make calls, send text messages and emails, play games...etc
WP7 does not FORCE you to use Facebook....

So, by your logic iPhones and Android phones are just APP phones as they concentrate on apps than anything else...jeez


I am not talking about that. Jeez. The point is it wont sync with Outlook that is not connected via Exchange or not connected to the cloud service!

wrack said,

I am not talking about that. Jeez. The point is it wont sync with Outlook that is not connected via Exchange or not connected to the cloud service!

There are more people who use a cloud service for email than just Outlook. They have to look at what makes sense to make. Decisions sir.

This phone clearly is for the Facebook/twitter generation! I'm just not feeling the need to buy one. The homescreen is way to plain. I want Eye-candy! Glassy tiles and a animated background.

aero9 said,
Tom, We know your iPhone pass code!

Oh noes, now you gotta find me and steal my phone to update my Facebook status to something rude

Tom W said,

Oh noes, now you gotta find me and steal my phone to update my Facebook status to something rude

That sounds like a challenge... LOL

In regards to performance, it seem quite snappy.
Too bad the GUI is ugly as hell and all the facebook integration is a total turn off, but it might cater to teenagers.
Well hope MS lets you change that interface or at least they give you a way to customize and remove applications, like twitter and facebook.

Euphoria said,
In regards to performance, it seem quite snappy.
Too bad the GUI is ugly as hell and all the facebook integration is a total turn off, but it might cater to teenagers.
Well hope MS lets you change that interface or at least they give you a way to customize and remove applications, like twitter and facebook.

Um you don't have to login with a facebook account. If you do, then you'll see the facebook stuff, if you don't well then you won't.

Also with the peoples hub, I believe they added a filter so your phone / live contacts don't get mixed with your facebook contacts.

Euphoria said,
In regards to performance, it seem quite snappy.
Too bad the GUI is ugly as hell and all the facebook integration is a total turn off, but it might cater to teenagers.
Well hope MS lets you change that interface or at least they give you a way to customize and remove applications, like twitter and facebook.

Too bad you're ugly as hell also. It's all opinion ain't it.

/- Razorfold said,

Um you don't have to login with a facebook account. If you do, then you'll see the facebook stuff, if you don't well then you won't.

Yeah, I don't understand why people don't see that...

And as for removing apps, as mentioned in the review (And easily assumed as it would be a rather basic feature), you can add or remove apps from the home screen, or uninstall them entirely.

neoxphuse said,

Too bad you're ugly as hell also. It's all opinion ain't it.


Wow, I see you've taken it quite personaly... Very mature response though, good job!

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, I don't understand why people don't see that...

And as for removing apps, as mentioned in the review (And easily assumed as it would be a rather basic feature), you can add or remove apps from the home screen, or uninstall them entirely.

Well that was my initial response to the review. I wish the reviewer spoke more about the other features of the phone like schedule and email integration, web browser, battery life, professional apps. But it seems like he spent 99% of the time glorifying the face-book integration..... Also can you lower the font of the title and the other text within the phone? The way is setup, my grandma can read it from a mile, and not to mention the guy sitting next to me in the subway...

Euphoria said,

Well that was my initial response to the review. I wish the reviewer spoke more about the other features of the phone like schedule and email integration, web browser, battery life, professional apps. But it seems like he spent 99% of the time glorifying the face-book integration..... Also can you lower the font of the title and the other text within the phone? The way is setup, my grandma can read it from a mile, and not to mention the guy sitting next to me in the subway...

Well, the title text I am 99% sure is fixed, as it is built into the app template in Visual Studio. The developer could change it I'm sure (Though I've not tried), but it wouldn't really make sense. Keep in mind that in apps making use of the pivot control, those words are meant to be clicked on, and with a finger it's easier if the word is a clickable size. Having played with the phone, I can say that the other fonts being used elsewhere are not that large, and make reading on the device comfortable and nothing more. I can't say that there isn't a setting to adjust that for you (And apps do have access to settings like text color selected by the user, so it could be wide spread if available), but it's not as large as you might think honestly.

Euphoria said,
Ugh.. Facebook this , facebook that... I haven't even touched the phone and I already dislike it.

Well, you aren't required to use Facebook. It's there, and very well integrated if you do use it, but not necessary at all.

M_Lyons10 said,

Well, you aren't required to use Facebook. It's there, and very well integrated if you do use it, but not necessary at all.

Like it says below, you could just not sign in with a Facebook account...

warr said,
for the same phone size, you get a much bigger screen than the iphone's.
I wouldnt say -much- bigger but when browsing, for example, it looks slightly bigger.

warr said,
for the same phone size, you get a much bigger screen than the iphone's.
I didn't realize the HD7's 4.3" screen and the iPhone's 3.5" screen were the same size. Units of measure are funny that way, huh? /sarcasm

The web browser is good? I don't know but isnt the mobile neowin page supposed to have the forum, blogs and login/logout links? Or is there a special version for it without those (which would just be stupid)?

A web browser in a mobile device that fails at loading pages designed for mobile devices, that's bad...

Leonick said,
The web browser is good? I don't know but isnt the mobile neowin page supposed to have the forum, blogs and login/logout links? Or is there a special version for it without those (which would just be stupid)?

A web browser in a mobile device that fails at loading pages designed for mobile devices, that's bad...

No, it's the mobile Neowin site that's bad. It seems to work on nothing but an iPhone well and there have been MANY complaints about that... The browser in WP7 has gotten really great reviews from everyone and seems to work very, very well. I wouldn't base anything on the Neowin mobile site though, I have Opera Mobile and it can't display the Neowin site right either. Nor can any other mobile browser (Aside from Safari) that I've used. So perhaps this will finally cause Neowin to fix their mobile site as it was clearly designed solely for iPhone.

M_Lyons10 said,
No, it's the mobile Neowin site that's bad.
No, not really. It can be fixed, but that's not the root of the problem.

The mobile site works pretty well on Android. It was designed for mobile WebKit browsers, not for the iPhone. However, since the WP7 browser is REALLY lacking in the HTML5/CSS3 department, there's only so much they can do with the same mobile layout to make it work.

How much data does it download, cause with at&t data plan and limit of 200mb or 2 gig. The bill is going to be rather bigh if the phone constantly updating.

Neo003 said,
How much data does it download, cause with at&t data plan and limit of 200mb or 2 gig. The bill is going to be rather bigh if the phone constantly updating.

I guess that would depend on how much you upload or download. It's tough to really say. But if it's just downloading text and such for your friends status' and such, text is very compressable, so that shouldn't be too bad... There's really no telling though as one person could have 10 friends, and another could have hundereds...

Neo003 said,
How much data does it download, cause with at&t data plan and limit of 200mb or 2 gig. The bill is going to be rather bigh if the phone constantly updating.
Text is tiny. If you're just updating certain statuses and whatnot, the amount of data that you pull is totally insignificant.

Looks really nice in terms of social integration features. The OS itself looks bleh, but the smooth animations sort of make up for that.

jinishans said,
One isssue is Omnia 7 used in this review is not available in US

But the OS is (Or will be) available everywhere, and the OS is what was reviewed...

sexypeperodri said,
No multitasking? That blows.

wait for the WP7 Jailbreak.

can't wait myself. I think the home page GUI looks a little tacky a best but hey its a great device and I want one

sexypeperodri said,
No multitasking? That blows.

Yes and no... It does multi-task, but 3rd party applications are suspended. The model used in WP7 is what the iOS4 is using, with limited 3rd party multi-tasing and states and event pushing.

Android is very open about 3rd party applications multitasking, but because how the OS handles applications, there is no guarantee that the OS won't dump your background application when RAM is need - which happens a lot - and sadly these dumps are not 'saved' so your application has to be restarted and any data unsaved is also lost.

I know Microsoft is opening up more multi-tasking to 3rd party applications, but even now I would rather have an phone that saves the state of your recent application even if it isn't running the background. There are only a couple of applications even in the Android world that work well and need to run in the backgroud. The rest of the applications could easily function with pushing events to the applications as needed.

For example: there is no reason Twitter and Facebook and Amazon MP3 and Podcast App and etc. needs to be running 24/7 on an Android phone, as these applications can just as easily be updated via Sync and Push events, and function identically when ran as polled or when the user opens them.

As for other multi-tasking features, like media and phone and Internet and other core features, they do multi-task on the WP7, so you can listen to music while surfing the web or surf the web while on a phone, etc. Remember it is only 3rd party applications not a part of the OS or designed by Microsoft that are denied unfettered multi-tasking abilities at this point, and like I said, things like Facebook doesn't need to stay running to keep updated like it does on Android.

PS I love my Droid, and it is my main phone.

thenetavenger said,

Yes and no... It does multi-task, but 3rd party applications are suspended. The model used in WP7 is what the iOS4 is using, with limited 3rd party multi-tasing and states and event pushing.

Android is very open about 3rd party applications multitasking, but because how the OS handles applications, there is no guarantee that the OS won't dump your background application when RAM is need - which happens a lot - and sadly these dumps are not 'saved' so your application has to be restarted and any data unsaved is also lost.

I know Microsoft is opening up more multi-tasking to 3rd party applications, but even now I would rather have an phone that saves the state of your recent application even if it isn't running the background. There are only a couple of applications even in the Android world that work well and need to run in the backgroud. The rest of the applications could easily function with pushing events to the applications as needed.

For example: there is no reason Twitter and Facebook and Amazon MP3 and Podcast App and etc. needs to be running 24/7 on an Android phone, as these applications can just as easily be updated via Sync and Push events, and function identically when ran as polled or when the user opens them.

As for other multi-tasking features, like media and phone and Internet and other core features, they do multi-task on the WP7, so you can listen to music while surfing the web or surf the web while on a phone, etc. Remember it is only 3rd party applications not a part of the OS or designed by Microsoft that are denied unfettered multi-tasking abilities at this point, and like I said, things like Facebook doesn't need to stay running to keep updated like it does on Android.

PS I love my Droid, and it is my main phone.

+1, very well said. There seems to be a LOT of misunderstanding about WP7's multi-tasking support. In the months since they first announced that I've only thought of a single instance where multi-tasking could really be important, and that would be an IM client... The ONLY reason I want Microsoft to open up multi-tasking for 3rd party apps (Even if they do so on an approval basis) is so that I can have Trillian on my WP7... That would really be great to have IMO. But otherwise, very, very few apps would ever need it.

thenetavenger said,
I know Microsoft is opening up more multi-tasking to 3rd party applications, but even now I would rather have an phone that saves the state of your recent application even if it isn't running the background.
Exactly. The entire post was well said, but I wanted to add: on iOS, which people love to tout as supporting multitasking, developers hardly use it.

Because most apps don't need it. The only feature that has really come in handy from the multitasking support on iOS is the saved state, which basically writes the entire process from memory onto disk when it needs to, to enable fast switching.

sexypeperodri said,
No multitasking? That blows.

Actually, I'd rather wait and see what app usage and performance is like on WP7 before throwing in 3rd party multitasking.

lordcanti86 said,

Actually, I'd rather wait and see what app usage and performance is like on WP7 before throwing in 3rd party multitasking.

Yeah, I agree (Though I don't expect it to be a problem). Honestly, I would support 3rd party multi-tasking with approval to be honest. It's not necessary for most apps... It would be a waste to make that available to all developers and then have them abuse it. Making the API's available to developers but requiring approval to use them when approving them for the marketplace would be perfectly fine with me. Like I've said before, the only real app that I can think of that would need multi-tasking would be something like an IM client...

Ely said,
I can't wait, anyone knows if/when Sprint will have this?

Microsoft said that Verizon and Sprint (CDMA) support would come the first half of next year. I'm personally expecting it to come in the first major update to be honest.

Ely said,
I can't wait, anyone knows if/when Sprint will have this?

HTC 7 Pro (essentially the successor to the Touch Pro 2/Tilt 2) is coming to Sprint sometime in early 2011

Having HTML5 support is pointless at this time considering it's not even that popular yet and other stuff. Though I really do hope to see Flash on the Windows Phone 7.

stablemist said,
Having HTML5 support is pointless at this time considering it's not even that popular yet and other stuff. Though I really do hope to see Flash on the Windows Phone 7.

Well HTML5, especially on phones, can be a huge benefit. Soooo.....

thatguyandrew1992 said,

Well HTML5, especially on phones, can be a huge benefit. Soooo.....

Once it starts being adopted more heavily by websites. I'm sure that this is in the plan for WP7's browser, but until there are websites that USE it, it doesn't make as much sense as other things that the OS may need and would be used now.

M_Lyons10 said,
Once it starts being adopted more heavily by websites. I'm sure that this is in the plan for WP7's browser, but until there are websites that USE it, it doesn't make as much sense as other things that the OS may need and would be used now.
It is. I imagine that once they finish IE9 for Windows, then they will focus on porting the important features to the phone.

After all, IE9 uses DirectDraw to improve drawing performance, and all WP7 devices are DX9 compatible. I hope it's sooner rather than later though, so that we can start getting some of the cooler features of IE9 onto the phone. Plus, if it's done right, then it could actually improve processing times while at the same time improving battery life, and that's always a win (though if it currently doesn't use the graphics chip, then the power draw could negatively affect battery life...).

Happy to see the inclusion of multiple buttons. Navigation, search, and camera being key.

I just want to game on Xbox live!!!

Is IMAP supported on WP7?

It was surprising to find that Android does not support IMAP folders. Anyone know if it has been fixed?

iPhrankie said,
Is IMAP supported on WP7?

It was surprising to find that Android does not support IMAP folders. Anyone know if it has been fixed?

I use IMAP folders on Android, they work fine now.

As much as I want to say I can't wait, it is hard for me to say.

* I don't use FaceBook so I don't really care how wonderful it is at it.
* It will NOT sync will Outlook that is NOT connected via Exchange or Cloud
* * This means that you will NOT be able to just sync your existing contacts and calendar in Outlook to the WP7 phone sort of dragging them to your live account using Outlook Live Connector
*** Fine you say, I will do this. Nope the Live contacts don't have all the fields in Outlook contacts, missing a major thing like Category which is why I use the Outlook in the first place. Also missing Anniversary field and the list goes on.
* This is a social phone so those whose lives are tied with Outlook, AGAIN that is NOT connected to Exchange will find it useless.

wrack said,
As much as I want to say I can't wait, it is hard for me to say.

* I don't use FaceBook so I don't really care how wonderful it is at it.
* It will NOT sync will Outlook that is NOT connected via Exchange or Cloud
* * This means that you will NOT be able to just sync your existing contacts and calendar in Outlook to the WP7 phone sort of dragging them to your live account using Outlook Live Connector
*** Fine you say, I will do this. Nope the Live contacts don't have all the fields in Outlook contacts, missing a major thing like Category which is why I use the Outlook in the first place. Also missing Anniversary field and the list goes on.
* This is a social phone so those whose lives are tied with Outlook, AGAIN that is NOT connected to Exchange will find it useless.

Really????
Its still a phone..you can make calls, send text messages and emails, play games...etc
WP7 does not FORCE you to use Facebook....

So, by your logic iPhones and Android phones are just APP phones as they concentrate on apps than anything else...jeez

wrack said,
*** Fine you say, I will do this. Nope the Live contacts don't have all the fields in Outlook contacts, missing a major thing like Category which is why I use the Outlook in the first place. Also missing Anniversary field and the list goes on.

That's funny. If you have Windows Live Mail, and go into the Contacts section, you can edit any of your contacts and place them in a certain category and there are fields like anniversary and such. Though whether WP7 supports it, I have no clue, but I would think it would.

MrBurrrns said,
Not a SINGLE word on the lack of multitasking???

Engadget said that Pandora won't continue to stream music after you exit it

So maybe the stuff about linking through the Music hub to stream audio in the backround wasn't true after all.

MrBurrrns said,
Not a SINGLE word on the lack of multitasking???

Or lack of socket API, which will filter out a whole lot of apps, such as VoIP apps.

But hey, everything's great and shiny.

While it was a thorough review, it read a bit like a Paul Thurrott review.

andrewbares said,

Engadget said that Pandora won't continue to stream music after you exit it

So maybe the stuff about linking through the Music hub to stream audio in the backround wasn't true after all.

That seems like an odd statement, as I've heard (And seen) multiple times that first party apps like the Zune hub do multi-task and will continue to play music in the background. The OS does support multi-tasking, just not for 3rd party apps at the moment. And Microsoft is working on that as well. At the WP7 event I was at the Microsoft Evangelist said that he's seen multi-tasking support for 3rd party apps in nightlies... So they just have to fine tune it.

brent3000 said,

Not due out untill 2011

Looks very nice though
*adds to wish list*

Huh? HD7 is coming out in 2010, November for T-Mobile US. I think it's even a launch device for everywhere except the US, so that means October.

andrewbares said,

Huh? HD7 is coming out in 2010, November for T-Mobile US. I think it's even a launch device for everywhere except the US, so that means October.


In Australia Telstra will not be releasing the device untill 2011

Says the sites i have read (Cnet etc)

/- Razorfold said,
Decent review, though I'd say WP7 will cut into iPhone sales more than it would into Android sales. Just my two cents.

Funny thing is Apple and Microsoft are both flinging mud at everyone except Apple and Microsoft. Conspiracy?

But I disagree with you. Vast majority of people go to Android because they want a fun smartphone on a provider other than AT&T. A few of the nerdy folks here like Android because of the "openness" it provides (although Motorola, HTC, and Samsung snub their noses at said "openness"). WP7 will be on multiple providers sooner than iPhone will. But only time will tell.

If WP7 brings the games, they may have me switching from iPhone to WP7.... so I guess I contradicted myself there. Oh well, hum.

Shadrack said,
Funny thing is Apple and Microsoft are both flinging mud at everyone except Apple and Microsoft. Conspiracy?

Well when Microsoft did their silly hearse parade, they didn't include Android at all. So they probably feel that Android is a bigger competitor to them than Apple is at the moment. Or more confident of stealing iPhone marketshare.

And if you think about it, it makes sense. WP7 has pretty strict minimum specs, which makes their phones more expensive. Apple only has well the iPhone 4 as a main device, and that's also expensive.

Android is the only one that can, currently, be put on phones with very low specs..which makes them cheap and marketable in countries where people don't have the money to afford "premium" handsets.

/- Razorfold said,
Decent review, though I'd say WP7 will cut into iPhone sales more than it would into Android sales. Just my two cents.

iPhone will always have its fanboys. Fanboys among Android would be few, however, since the user experience would be inconsistance from device from defice.

/- Razorfold said,
Decent review, though I'd say WP7 will cut into iPhone sales more than it would into Android sales. Just my two cents.

I'm not so sure, because it's Android and WP7 who compete for the same users, not Apple.

Apple users are often bought into the Apple ecosystem already, and besides, are often not sharing the belief of "more open = better" for various reasons. Android, on the other hand... Those users share the same side of this coin.

day2die said,

iPhone will always have its fanboys. Fanboys among Android would be few, however, since the user experience would be inconsistance from device from defice.

You're right! i used to have an iphone, iphone 3g with T-mobile, very happy! With all this problems a was happy, weeks ago, i locked my iphone 3g with a new 4.1 and a new baseband, so i decided to get an android phone, fully disappointing, it was like comparing Mac to Linux, the only thing i liked was contacts on screen and the google services all connected, so i rooted my phone with cyanogen-mod, everything it's going better, but still not happy. Nobody tell you most Android games suck even the paid ones, application crashing most the time, naggin screen and the list continues.

As soon I can get a new iPhone or unlock my iPhone 3G again; ill be back with Apple.

If there is any way to put WP7 OS in a Android phone, if that happen i would try.

I don't always like Warren's reviews and takes, however, this is a very well written, balance and fair... especially compared to Engadget. I still think more context could be used as many reviewers forget about the non-techie, the younger folks, the older folks etc... added use case scenarios. For instance, tweens would look at this differently than a working professional. Poweruser vs a gamer etc. From my Android/iPhone (some blackberry) friends... they use copy and paste as a punch line, but rarely ever use it themselves. It's a bit confounding.

I can't wait for the feature reviews.

majg said,
I don't always like Warren's reviews and takes, however, this is a very well written, balance and fair... especially compared to Engadget. I still think more context could be used as many reviewers forget about the non-techie, the younger folks, the older folks etc... added use case scenarios. For instance, tweens would look at this differently than a working professional. Poweruser vs a gamer etc. From my Android/iPhone (some blackberry) friends... they use copy and paste as a punch line, but rarely ever use it themselves. It's a bit confounding.

I can't wait for the feature reviews.

Yes, I agree. It's a very well done review and I can't wait to see the feature reviews.

Owen Williams said,
I cannot wait! I'm gonna explode with joy!

Me neither. I can't wait for it to come to Verizon so I can get one. lol