Windows Phone 7

Ok, so I bought one of the new Windows Phones for my wife. Well, fortunately it’s all new to her, so learning one is the same as learning any other… First, let me tell you her reaction to the phone… she likes it. It is taking her some time to learn all the features of her phone, and I must apologize to her for not always being the most patient instructor. The whole smartphone concept is new to her because she never even did text messaging on her old phone. So far, she likes that it’s not all about the apps that are installed on the phone – it’s focus in on her and her contacts. She also has commented on the quality – specifically the quality of the voice while talking to someone on a phone call (but this could be a factor or the service provider since it’s not the same as her old phone). I also like the quality of the hardware itself – it’s a solid phone. If it were for myself, I probably wouldn’t have bought the LG phone, but she wanted the slide out keyboard.

What features do I like? Well, I absolutely LOVE the integration with Windows Live. I love that my contact’s information is always up to date because of the Windows Live/Facebook integration. I love the Windows live “Find my Phone” (you can find your phone by causing it to ring, or by locating it on a map) and “Lock my Phone” features (and by the way, these features are free). Driving directions are very nice too (it always knows where you are so you can get directions to any other address). I am getting used to and like the way the screen navigation works – but this is new and it takes some learning. I like that the tiles on the main screen show new message and mail counts, and highlight contacts that are updated or that I’ve communicated with. I like how the camera works – very easy for both stills and videos. To test the sharing features I took a photo of my son in his school Christmas play costume, simply clicked share on Facebook – and I wasn’t sure it actually worked. Later when I browsed my Facebook account, there it was, the photo I said to share… like magic. It’s a nice feeling when you try to do something and it actually works! One thing you should note: I did most of my testing without reading the instruction manual or even the quick start guide. I did read how to turn it on and off to get me started, but that’s it. I usually like to try to use things without the instructions… in my mind (as a software developer) if you need instructions, there’s probably a design flaw there someplace. If there’s one negative, it would have to be that I wish battery life could be longer… but there’s so many new things to do on the phone, I find myself, and others playing games all day and using the thing continuously… that’s bound to drain batteries. I just charge it every night or every other night. As the novelty wares off, and someone’s not playing with it every second of the day, this won’t be as big an issue. I mean, after all, it’s a phone, not a toy!

So, do I think this phone will destroy the iPhone? No, at this stage, the marketing strategy has to be to continuing to teach people of the features that distinguish this phone from any other. People also need to be sure this is something Microsoft is committed to. Nobody really wants to own a dead product. I think we can be relatively sure that the iPhone and the Android phone are not going away.

I am definitely glad I bought a new Windows phone – and I would buy one again. Would I recommend that you buy one? Yes, I think this is a capable, feature rich, and solid phone, and competes well with the other smart phones out there now.