Microsoft announced around ten different WP7 devices including LG Optimus 7, Samsung Omnia 7 and five different HTC 7 devices earlier today. Steve Ballmer described the new line of Windows Phones as “different” from the competition and with focus on two things: always delightful, and wonderfully mine.
The always delightful part refers to the UI and the user experience which comes loaded as part of the operating system. While the wonderfully mine part refers to the personalization of the phone’s homepage.
As you expect from any major product release, you are bound to bump upon extreme views and opinions about the new line of products. Here is an effort to help you know, understand and analyze the Windows Phone 7 handsets with minimal bias and maximum facts.
What’s Good about Windows Phone 7?
1. Brand new architecture – Unlike RIM and Nokia, Microsoft has actually designed the Windows Phone 7 OS right from the scratch, from bottom-up, which is very encouraging. The brand new architecture isn’t anything like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android.
2. ‘Metro’ UI – WP7 boasts of a brand new user interface which looks really cool. Unlike the bland icons of iOS or Android, WP7 features Tiles which are unique, stylish and intuitive.
3. Personalized Homescreen – The homescreen or the Start Screen is made up of Tiles which are links to applications, features, functions and individual items. Tiles are dynamic and update in real time which makes them really intuitive. Users can pick and choose the Tiles they want to have on their start screens.
4. Hubs – WP7 devices will start with six hubs that act as folders or groups for related functions. Recent communications (contacts – from here you can email, text or Facebook them), photos (share them from here on Facebook or Microsoft Windows Live), music and videos (Zune Pass, Slacker Radio, etc.), and so on, and so forth.
5. Xbox Live & Office Integration – Windows Phone 7 will also connect to your Microsoft Xbox Live, so you can receive game-related updates, news and networking. Syncing options to Microsoft Office will also reduce the need for third party app downloads, centering access around services you’re already familiar with.
6. Bing Search – WP7 features instant one-touch search feature, powered by Bing. Using the phone’s GPS, Bing makes recommendations as you type. It also features Web search and voice search.
7. Superior hardware – All of the WP7 phones feature at least 1GHz SnapDragon processors, Capacitive, 4-point multitouch screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution and DirectX9 rendering-capable GPU.
8. Varied models – Unlike Apple iPhone and much like Android, WP7 will be carried on multiple varied handsets from different makers around the world, which ensures availability of a range of devices which would fit the pockets of everyone.
9. Camera – Phone can take pictures even while locked by simply holding down the camera button. It bypasses the lock screen, home screen and everything else, and allows you to take a photo straight away.
10. Cloud Integration – Phone has sync-to-the-cloud function, and content can be quickly synced via your profile on Microsoft’s Live.com. This will also be handy if you lose your phone. You can make it ring remotely.
Windows Phone 7 – What’s Bad?
1. No Copy & Paste – For some weird reason, Microsoft isn’t shipping the Wp7 phones with the very basic copy and paste feature. This is so much like Apple. But then, Steve Ballmer has promised that an update to the OS will come early 2011 which would fix this void.
2. No multitasking – Another Applacious decision. There is no multitasking option for third party apps which is again a big let-down for many, though as per some rumors it is expected to arrive in 2012.
3. Not many apps to start with – Apps have rules the roost in the past couple of years. Unfortunately for WP7, it is starting afresh with only a countable apps and games. Many developers are unsure if they need to invest their time and money on something so new with absolutely no user base to start with.
This sums up our raw analysis of Windows Phone 7. We haven’t tried to conclude by giving a verdict since we haven’t got to try a WP7 handset yet (sigh). But then, we hope it will help you formulate an opinion of your own depending upon your choice, taste and requirements.
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