Thursday, September 01, 2011

Windows Phone 7 - the Verdict

So, I've had a Windows 7 Phone (Samsung Focus) for four days, with the goal of getting it set up to do everything my old Windows 6.5 phone did, and more.

Let me say that there are certainly many features that I liked. The interface is cool and very responsive, and options offered for most functions were logical and easy to configure. Installing applications from the Marketplace is totally simple.

But, to spoil what little suspense remains here, I'm not going to keep this phone.

There were three deal-breakers for me:

* The POP/IMAP setup certainly connected to my web email without any difficulty, but (unlike the Winddows 6.5 mail client), there is no option to leave email on the server when you delete it on the phone. This is a killer for me - good thing I tested it with one deleted message before I accidentally purged my entire inbox! Strike one.

* My email service provides a VERY lean, cool WAP interface, and the free UCWeb browser does a masterful job of presenting that interface, under WM 6.5. Alas, the developer does not yet have a WP7 version, and Internet Explorer for WP7 is confused by the WAP instructions. Furthermore, viewing my email's normal web interface with IE on WP7 was unusable. Strike two.

* No Google Maps for WP7. The 'Maps' application that is included is OK, but really lacks a lot (no links to restaurant reviews, satellite view, etc.). I love Google Maps. Strike three.

I have a couple of other quibbles, and some things were certainly extremely nice (SkyDrive/Windows Live integration is excellent, not surprisingly). Phone call quality was excellent, and the Focus attaches to my home WiFi two seconds after turning it on.

Final verdict on Windows Phone 7: for me, sadly, it's a thumbs down.

Next up: an Android 2.2 phone.

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