3 days with a WP7 phone

  • Christian Stocker

Disclaimer: this is a personal review, about what I liked and not liked about the phone, not about what you may like or not. So I miss maybe some points, but not because i think they are not important, I just don't need or care about them.

I ordered an “Windows Phone 7” Phone for Liip for testing purposes. I just got the “cheapest” one, an HTC Trophy (but with CHF 530.- not really cheap) . I now tested it over the weekend as my primary phone and here's some short roundup:

  • It's a nice phone with a good build quality and good large screen, I guess it's HTC standard stuff.
  • It's easy to get used to. Most stuff is quite intuitive, the design is “refreshing” and if you know how to use an iPhone, you won't have much troubles using this.
  • The built-in apps like mail, SMS, Phone, Calendar are ok and up to par with what's one used to on smartphones. Good enough for everyday use. Certainly room for improvements, but almost every mobile OS I know has this.

= The “Hub” concept is overrated. Facebook integration into contacts for example. I don't use Facebook much, but still if I would, it's not that great. And integration with other services like Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing is totally missing. webOS 2.0 for example has a similar concept (with Synergy) but allows developers to add such integration into contacts.

= It's clearly 1.0. It doesn't have obvious bugs or crashes, but missing functionality like copy&paste

= 3rd party apps are either not there or not polished enough, but that's maybe gonna change.

= Battery: Doesn't look better than on the iPhone or any other Smartphone. With heavy use, you need to charge sooner than your workday is over.

  • No (3rd party) multi-tasking, not even the fake one from the iPhone (suspend the app on exit). The apps (especially 3rd party apps) always start from the beginning when re-opened, highly annoying.
  • The Web-Browser. It does a good job on displaying normal webpages (and it's as fast as the others), but as it's based on IE7/8 it has not a single html5 feature. On html5test.com it does 12 out 300 points. Therefore html5/Niwea apps will have a hard time on this phone.

Summary: It's a nice phone, easy to use with a good look&feel. If you “just” need it for the stuff natively included (phoning, SMS-ing, mailing with not too many accounts or folders, surfing around, listening to music and gaming) and don't need 3rd party apps, I guess you won't be disappointed. BUUUUT, IMHO, it does nothing better (i care about) than the other smart phones, but the other smart phones do a lot of stuff better then WP7. More 3rd party apps, more open, multi-tasking, better future-proof browsers and so on. I see no reason, why one should buy a WP7 phone, when there's Android or the iPhone to have. You just get less and not one single aspect is better. I guess it's around iOS 2.0 feature wise, and that's more than 2 years old. And that sums it up pretty good: It's a nice phone, as the original iPhone was, but in 2010 that's just not enough to be able to compete. Microsoft has still a lot to catch up here, and I'm really wondering if that's gonna work out.

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