There are several options when it comes to smartphones, and it can be hard to figure out which one is going to work best for you. Today we’ll check out some of the pros and cons of Windows Phone 7 to help you make an informed decision next time your phone contract comes up for renewal.
What you will notice when you first start using a Windows Phone 7 device is that the user interface is beautiful. I’ve used all of the mobile operating systems, and this one is by far the most pretty. Each major application was designed with same Windows Phone 7 interface with side scrolling between different functions of the application. You can see how the application is laid out horizontally and the background remains the same as you flick between the different parts of the application.
When you turn the phone, you’ll notice the “Live Tiles”. This was designed for you to be able to glance at your phone, know exactly what is going on, and get on with your life. As evidenced by this hilarious commercial Windows Phone 7 put out prior to it’s release.
The live tiles can show you how many missed calls/voicemails you have, how many emails you have, your next appointment, the weather, and many other things. At a glance you can see what is going on and get on with it. You can also “pin” shortcuts to your frequently used applications. Swipe that home screen to the left and you can see all of the applications you have installed on the phone.
There are also “hubs”. This is where you have different areas of the phone to check out the various things you are interested in. First there is the People Hub. When you click on the People Hub you are first taken to a list of all of your contacts. If you tap on a contact, it will bring up their profile picture and most recent status update (if you have your Facebook account linked to your phone), and from here you will be given options to write on their Facebook wall, send them an email, text them, call them, or even pull up a map to their home if you have the appropriate information for the contact. The next area of the People Hub is the “What’s New” section. This will show the recent status updates from all of your pages and friends. My only complaint here is that I’d love to be able to filter out the “pages” that I like and ONLY see status updates from actual friends. You can comment and “like” the post right from the hub. The third screen in the People Hub is the “recent” section. This will have the contacts you have most recently interacted with, so you can quickly find all the people you talk to most.
The Pictures Hub has similar interactions as the “What’s New” screen. It will show recent photographs your friends have posted which you can then view all the pictures you have added to your phone or taken with your phone. You can also view the albums you uploaded to Facebook.
There is also a Games Hub that will tie into your Xbox Live account to help you earn achievements for playing games. Of course it’s got the most important games… Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.
My one MAJOR complaint about the operating system is the lack of multiple Google calendar integration. I have several Google calendars associated with my one Google account. Currently Windows Phone 7 only supports your first main calendar. You can add more than one Google account to get around that, but I’m not going to create multiple Google accounts just to get this functionality. Rumor has it that this is going to be fixed in the Mango update that will be released soon. Overall, it’s compromised a little bit of functionality for design, but seems that the functionality aspects I’m complaining about are set to be fixed very soon.