Windows Phone Switchers Tell All: Giving Up iOS, Android and BlackBerry

Microsoft made significant progress with its recent Windows Phone 7.5 software update,  and a lot of people who try the OS seem to like it. The toughest part is getting people to try it in the first place, especially those who are wedded to iOS or Android. To give Windows Phone a fair shake, we had three LAPTOP staffers gave up their iPhones, Android handsets, or BlackBerries for a week. Here’s what we loved about the OS, and what could use work.

Sherri L.  Smith, Staff Writer (Switched from Android)

For me, owning an Android phone sends a message to the world — I’m cooler than the BlackBerry crowd and I’m raging against the Apple iMachine.  So I felt guilty leaving my EVO 4G (my first Android love) in my hotel room during CES in favor of a Windows Phone. However, the guilt quickly washed away as I dove headfirst into the HTC Radar 4G. The initial setup of adding the majority of my emails, social networking and multimedia accounts took between 5-7 minutes.

The display was fairly bright with sharp detail and vivid color. Multitouch gestures such as pinch-zoom and double-tap were smooth with no noticeable stuttering. Scrolling was also pretty zippy and seamless. I was impressed with the clear audio quality, but it got slightly tinny at full volume.  The 5-megapixel rear-facing camera took relatively clear, colorful photos with the flash engaged, but without it, the photos came back grainy.

The Windows Phone interface allowed me to integrate a number of my Windows-based accounts with their corresponding apps (Windows Live ID, Xbox Live, Zune and Outlook). As a gamer, the Xbox Live app was an immediate hit. I really liked being able to download and play Xbox Live games, catch up with friends and rack up some achievements on my gamertag. The ability to sync the Radar 4G with my Zune account and access my playlist was also a very cool feature.

The inclusion of Office Mobile and Outlook was a huge plus. Instead of having to make do with a demo version of Documents To Go, I was able to type, edit and share documents with Office Mobile. Combined with Microsoft SkyDrive, I could store photos and docs in the cloud for access on any phone or computer. Outlook patched me into my work email and calendar for steady productivity.

I was an immediate fan of Windows Phone 7.5’s Live Tile user interface. Instead of the static app icons seen on Android phones, many of the homescreen tiles had real-time updates and animations that made for a visually engaging experience. The ability to move the tiles around let me customize the device.  

However, panning right to the app screen delivered flat, boring icons compounded by the fact that the app screen doesn’t break into manageable pages. It’s fine when it’s only 10-12 apps, but scrolling through 42+ apps became annoying. Android’s app page layout is a more efficient solution for people like me that use a lot of apps.

Speaking of apps, in many cases, I preferred the Windows iteration of an app to the Android version. Similar to the Live Tile interface, many of the apps used bright, colorful tiles to create a clean, visual experience. Instead of scrolling up or down to access different areas of the app, Window Phone’s apps have a side-to-side navigation that takes getting used to. 

The Windows version of the USA Today app was one of my favorites. Instead of Android’s staid blue navigation bar and static list of articles, I was greeted by a large headline image from the top story and a large weather widget. The background image of a landscape of rolling green hills topped by a bright blue sky and billious white clouds was visually stimulating, as were thumbnail images for the photos and videos section. Overall, both versions of the app offer similar functionality, but the Windows version has a slicker, more reader-friendly interface.

Bottom Line: Overall, my week with a Windows Phone was fun and informative. I didn’t miss my EVO as much as I thought I would and since I’m overdue for an upgrade, I’m seriously considering making the switch. I found the interface to be zippy and intuitive. My only real gripe at this point would be the lack of apps. Overall,  I would recommend Windows Phone for anyone looking for a solid user interface at an affordable price.

Oliver Renick, Intern (Switching from BlackBerry)

“Where’s the trackball?” That was my first reaction after trading in my BlackBerry for a Windows Phone, and it should demonstrate the technological level at which I operate on a daily basis. For me, stepping up to the HTC Titan on AT&T wasn’t just a technology boost – it was a lifestyle upgrade.

The Windows Phone operating system is about as far from BlackBerry OS as you can get. My Berry is a giant keyboard; my Windows is a giant, beautiful screen. Windows Phone works like a computer. BlackBerry works like a rusty lever-pull apparatus.

The switch between the two is dramatic because it essentially skips an evolutionary step. The ubiquity of the iPhone makes for a smooth transition for even the most archaic phone owners – that’s arguably Apple’s greatest strength. Google’s Android, while different from iOS in content, has a very similar layout.

The Windows Phone design is extremely vibrant, full of window panes with big fonts and minimal images. Instead of GUIs and pop-up options menus, Windows favors lists and side-by-side screens. There is certainly a learning curve for Windows Phone. As I’m used to clicking on discrete and obvious icons or buttons, it was initially unclear how much of the text – or simply, colored boxes – can be interacted with. As it turns out, a lot of the elements can be clicked.

The interface is similar to a laterally moving slideshow, so navigation is reserved to just swiping and scrolling. As such, applications don’t feel separated from the main menu, and it’s easy to move back and forth between programs.

Consolidation of information and streamlining of social feeds is Windows Phone’s bread and butter. While BlackBerry can conduct a search through social accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Windows takes all the information – I’m still mystified how it got my old phone contacts – and consolidates the info into a single contact (sometimes two). Having all of my friends’ updates in one spot supplies an incredible amount of breathability in an otherwise oversaturated pipeline of incoming social media litter.

RIM still takes the cake in the quicker delivery of messages. The notification bar of my BlackBerry is always on time (when service isn’t down) and is a one-glance way to see if I’ve got mail.

The stark design and overwhelming functionality differences that elevate Windows Phone high above BlackBerry overshadowed any inconsistencies in call quality. My first call on the HTC Titan was dropped and at times my voice was choppy – though this could be a result of the service change from Verizon to AT&T for this experiment.

Bottom Line: I’ve used iOS and I’ve tested many Android devices. Neither is like Windows Phone. Though WP7 may not be a better technology than those two, it is superior to BlackBerry.

Davey Alba, Staff Writer (Switching from iPhone)

Windows Phone has sparked an almost cultish appeal among folks who work in the tech industry, prompting others to wonder what the attraction is. So when I had the opportunity to do a story on the experience of being a “Switcher” to the Windows Phone, I jumped at the chance. What follows is the opinion of an avid iOS user after substituting her iPhone 4 with a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, the Samsung Focus S.

Before I begin, I should share that I’m an apps addict. I have more than 300 apps on my iPhone, all fastidiously arranged in their neat little folders, covering 3 screens on my device. In fact, I’m the designated Apps Girl in the office. Whenever a new or exciting app makes a splash in the market, I’m the writer who will cover it—searching, downloading, testing, crashing, complaining and updating.

So now that that’s out of the way, how did I like the Windows Phone? The initial impression whenever I fire it up is always the same: “Whoa. Cool.” It’s the reaction you’ll get, too, when you show it off. The user interface looks fresh and friendly. Colorful tiles flip and bounce, short of sparkling and winking at you. The hardware was solid, too. “Play with me!” the Focus S practically screamed. And that I did, as soon as I got my Windows Phone, until 3 a.m.

But like a bubbly new pop song that you initially enjoyed, then thought was okay, then after the 500th airing on the radio made you want to throw the hunk of metal across the room, Windows Phone’s gloss wore off.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the Samsung Focus S started to blur, because of the apps. It’s not that the platform doesn’t have any. The OS just doesn’t have enough—especially for an iPhone gal like me.

Have you found an awesome vintage car on the street? Tough luck; you can’t Instagram that. Want to listen to a song while you’re waiting for the bus? Well, you can’t on Pandora. HBO Go? More like HBO No-Go. Other apps are just iOS-only— for example, Flipboard, the best social magazine app out there.

Bottom Line: As more and more people are dazzled by the Windows Phone UI’s slickness, Microsoft could start to close the app gap with Android and iOS. Nokia’s scale will certainly help attract more developers to the platform. But at this stage Windows Phone’s offerings can’t plug the app-shaped hole in my heart.

AUTHOR BIO
Molly Klinefelter
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  1. John Dingler, artist Says:

    Hello Molly,
    Hmmm, they look like iPhones to me.

    Your photographer should have also put a pict. of an iPhone next to the other three to allow us to make a fair and unbiased comparison about their outward designs.

  2. ViewRoyal Says:

    “As more and more people are dazzled by the Windows Phone UI’s slickness”?

    Shouldn’t that be “less and less”?

    Since the introduction of Windows Mobile Phone 7, Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market has been consistently dropping!

    The “slickness” is called Metro, and was used initially on Microsoft’s Zune product. Do you remember the Zune? Most people don’t, and those that do were certainly not impressed with its “slickness”.

    Choosing to go with Nokia, which has also been consistently losing market share (Nokia was once the number one smartphone manufacturer, and is now just a footnote) is not going to help Microsoft.

    Two turkeys do not make an eagle.

  3. David Says:

    Um Davey, so only apps are important? I understand that they matter a great deal to you, but what about all the other aspects of the devicet? Camera, email, social networking, call quality. Very weak writeup.

  4. yodani Says:

    The OS is excellent. And runs better than android on a single core processor and doesn’t hog as much battery. The apps argument is getting kind of old, because for every app windows phone doesn’t have, there is almost always a similar, if not better replacement. I don’t see what’s the allure of instagram besides the filters, which any HTC windows phone has and so do many other apps. It sounds almost hipster-like to want to only upload and see others on instagram when you can do it through photobucket, Facebook, twitter, Flickr, and in windows phone – in many cases – multiple services at once. I would love to ask Ms. IPhone apps girl how many she uses on a regular basis and if they’re essential and not some niche do-once-appeal-is-over apps. I’m continue using the OS that has Facebook, twitter, linkedIn, windows live, office, Xbox live, Bing, Zune pass, music recognition service, tag and code scanner, turn by turn directions, augmented reality location service, voice to text, Facebook chat/messenger, msn messenger, Facebook picture tagging, panorama, camera effects and filters, great keyboard, and cloud storage BUILT IN.
    As far as the first reviewer, I am a user of a Motorola xoom tablet and I know that some android devices have just app lists that are scrollable like with the HTC sense GUI only available in alphabetical order when not on one of the 5 screens. Windows phone has that and one UPS it with the letter blocks to jump to that app or use the searchglass to search out the app á lá iOS when you flick to the left on home.

  5. CRC Kenshin Says:

    @ViewRoyal
    Windows Mobile and Windows Phone are distinct operating systems. Windows Mobile marketshare is going down while Windows Phone marketshare is going up (albeit slowly).

    The Metro concept was pioneered on Zune and refined on Windows Phone. Metro has transitioned to Xbox 360 and is coming to Windows 8.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think that Nokia was ever the number one smartphone manufacturer. I think it was just number one phone manufacturer. According to the latest worldwide sales figures, it still is.

  6. Pedro Says:

    @ViewRoyal: I think you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Windows Phone is only mature since Mango, which in practice only exists for a little bit more than 1 quarter of a year! Yes, you read this right. Of course WP already exists since the end of 2010, but the first year was some kind of introduction to the market; the product wasn’t really ready yet. Since their 7.5 (Mango) the OS is as modern as all the others, including iOS and Android. IF you deny this, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Since the introduction of Nokia Windows Phones, market share is definitely rising, although of course you can’t expect Nokia to sell 20 million devices of just the same model in only a handful of countries. Yes, again, you read this right. The “more than 1 million Lumias” from Nokia were only from the 4th quarter of 2011; uh, sorry, the second half of the 4th quarter actually, because the first Lumia was released mid-November! And this in only 6 countries (later added by 5 others). I just want to say that there only 2 models yet: one since mid-November and one since somewhere in December. And those were only available in a very (!) few countries. If you then sell more than 1 million smartphones in the current market (dominated by Android and iOS), then this is at least NOT BAD.

    Market hsare of WP and Nokia WP is rising, that’s for sure, but of course it’s not like the iPhone 5 has been released, I must admit that too. I can understand you don’t know all the facts and you are a fan of another OS, but don’t sell rubbish or be some blind fanboy.

  7. Pedro Says:

    @ViewRoyal: oh yes, one last thing: Nokia is still the number one when selling mobile phones or when selling mobile devices in the “feature phones and smartphones” market. If you only take a look at the actual smartphone market, their share is indeed much smaller, but definitely no footnote. Don’t exaggerate please.

  8. derek Says:

    I bet this Davey chick uses the Facebook app instead of the amazing Facebook integration that comes with the phone. These people are stuck in the mindset that everything has to be an app. It isn’t good for it to be baked right into the phone. And who needs Pandora if you have Zune and last.fm? Zune, if you remember it? I have Zune on my phone, PC, laptop, Xbox and of course my Zune… 10 bucks a month for unlimited music on all of those devices is way better than what you pay for on iTunes, and way better quality than what you get free on some android app that’s illegally downloading the music anyway. These write-ups were so short that they didn’t even get to anything important like all the day to day tasks that 90% of people use their phones for, because a small percent of people actually use alot of apps and a smaller percent of those people use more than 5 of the apps they have on a day to day basis(not counting games as apps).

  9. Dimitris Says:

    All got the wrong phone to try… Sheri and Davey should have tested a Nokia lumia and Oliver should have tried a Dell Venue Pro with the hardware keyboard.

  10. John Says:

    Ditto, David. That section should have been “app store vs app store.” Wasn’t this article about the phones themselves?

  11. John M Says:

    I did just the oposite, went from a Windows 6.1 phone to a Galaxy2 and love it. real productivity, real apps and actual support from a large company as well as a huge forum community.

  12. Andy Crossett Says:

    I also have an Iphone.
    But also have an android for testing purposes.
    I purchased a Samsung Focus last fall and installed the 7.5 update.

    The phone is very slick and polished.
    Really like how it works.
    Liked the alarms and the integration between certain services.

    I choose to stick with the Iphone because it just has a much larger ecosystem, and the apps appear on the iphone first. I became bored with the Windows phone very quickly for this reason. So I agree with Davey.

    However, for the average person who is not using many apps, I’d definitely choose Windows Phone 7 over Android.

    Android is very unpolished, and can be a nightmare for users with its horrible battery life.
    Windows phone 7 might be the ticket for these users, and in future, may be better in general.
    The metro interface is very nice on the surface, but is very boring, very quickly for me.

  13. Phil Says:

    @viewroyal

    Go troll somewhere else. Anyone who says that WP7 is not better designed than IOS and Android is deluded.

  14. Davey Alba, LAPTOP Staff Writer Says:

    Hey David — We had a word limit on these write-ups. Yes, the features of a phone aren’t entirely dependent on apps, but we only had enough space to go right to the crux of the issue. For an iOS user, the biggest trade-off IS apps. If you converse with app developers, most will tell you that Windows Phone doesn’t have the user base for them to actively develop software for the mobile OS. Not now, anyway.

  15. Warren Says:

    I own an Evo and a Zune. People who spout about market share slide for WP seems to forget up until now Microsoft has sucked marketing especially in the social and cultural scene, which is why the zune failed prior. I have ipods and itunes in my household. I challenganyone to compare the two economy systems. Zune is amazing and efficient. Bottom line the last two years of Windows Mobile /wp reflects those who were under contract with carriers who were dead set on iPhone or android from the start not to mention the store employees weren’t going to push a poorly marketed product. That’s why this year will be different. My gripe with android and ios is they failed until recently to mitigate the “sea of icons” and from what I have seen it still could be better. And app quality tends to be suspect versus quality. WP seems to have mitigated this with strong standards whether it’s shallow or deep application.

  16. Korneel Says:

    @ViewRoyal So according to you, something can only look good if it’s a hit on the market?
    So television series with a lot of viewers are automatically better than television series who don’t target the general public?
    As I assume you’re not into-Microsoft: you’re reasoning would mean that you think Windows 7 is the most beautiful OS around (I do think that). China would be the most beautiful/best country in the world. iTunes would be the most beautiful user-experience as a music-player/marketplace on a PC or Mac. Fast Five would be the best movie of 2011 (http://torrentfreak.com/top-10-most-pirated-movies-of-2011-111223/) etc.

    The numbers don’t say everything, my best ViewRoyal.

  17. Sherri L. Smith, LAPTOP Staff Writer Says:

    @Warren An EVO and a Zune? We’re like two peas in a pod! @Dimitris, I actually reviewed the Nokia Lumia 700 (http://www.laptopmag.com/review/cell-phones/nokia-lumia-710.aspx) and really enjoyed the experience. I think that if more people can take a WP for a spin they might like it enough to consider making the switch.

  18. nikolas Says:

    What kind of review compares an Evo 4G (top of the line, 1.5 yrs old), with an iphone 4 (top of the line, 1.5 yrs old with likely the newest software upgrade), and an unnamed Blackberry with a TRACKPAD?!?! (Therefore at least 3 years old, previous generation OS)…
    Stupid is what that is.

    You want to be fair, then ask someone with a top of the line Bold, or at least one that less than 3 years old! Then you won’t get the same negative response as this intern.

  19. John Dingler, artist Says:

    I love the design of those three iPhones. Don’t you all?

  20. RayinNJ Says:

    @Davey Alber, totally agree. I love my interface and speed but I feel like the poor kid in school when comes to apps. Come on, MS! Get your app game up, can I get heytell please!

  21. RayinNJ Says:

    and wifi calling!

  22. vinod Says:

    I love the UI , and the power of using the powerpoint in the Windows mobile make me to work like in the windows pc , i used the window phone(Nokia lumia 800) from my friend and i really amazed by the features but at times the phone gets hanging , very annoying one :(

  23. Robert Says:

    In the U.S. the bottom line is the carrier. I have been waiting for Verizon to get a newer W7 phone. I know they have the Trophy, but I first was waiting for mango, by that time the trophy was already old. I would buy a Lumina 900 or equivalent if they only had one.

  24. Jarrod Justus Says:

    My comment is directed at Davey; there is actually Pandora and Instagram, they’re called Metroradio and Instacam. Yeah, they’re 3rd party apps, but they have all the functionality you could want (not to mention WP has Zune Music Pass and Slacker Radio, and iHeart Radio). You’re oversight of these apps make me question how much of a chance you really gave WP.

  25. Andrew Says:

    I am not trying to troll here. I am just reading a lot of the comments and laughing a little inside. If you replace “Microsoft Windows Phone” with “Apple”, and “Apple” with “Microsoft Windows Phone” it is exactly the same arguments from 20 years ago. Funny how the cycle has reversed itself.

    Apple had less apps for computers, but everyone argued the apps were “better” so quality over quantity.

    With all that aside, I actually am still using a crappy flip phone on a pay-and-talk basis. I am going to get a smartphone shortly and it will be an iPhone. Why? Well, for me (and this is what all these arguments fail to understand and address) I live with both Windows and Apple machines at home and at work. The Apple ecosystem is (for me) better integrated in what I own and what I plan to own in the future.

    I am not a huge app buyer. I buy what I need when I need it and not much else. So Apple’s gazillion apps makes no difference in my decision between phones and OSes.

    What makes a difference to me is how much time I have to sit and “manage” my gadgets and online life. Apple is doing better for me at this time. Nothing is perfect, but iCloud is doing a very good job in cutting down the time I am required to spend managing myself. I know today’s generation is more and more about selfish, instant gratification and bragging about it in realtime (sorry, I should not generalize like everyone else does), but I do not have those requirements at this time.

    I don’t use FaceBook. I don’t twitter to let you all know I am currently typing this while going to the bathroom. I don’t play Xbox or game 12 hours a day. I don’t NEED to have my pictures instantly online. I spend my time elsewhere and just want my phone to integrate with the least amount of effort. iPhone will do that at this point for me where the other phones I have looked at will require a bit more tweaking and configuring and maintaining.

    Again, this is for me. Not for you, or the majority, or the minority, or whatever other category you want to argue about.

    My belief is that without even knowing it, these blogs and tech reviews are just the subliminal way that companies and entire industries have pre-programmed us in to having to have the latest whatcha-macallits. Get the masses arguing about the fact that they “need” all these new functions and whatevers and they will buy the new stuff even though they don’t really truly need it at all.

    Mooooo says the cow. Moooooooo says the herd.

  26. kanji sasahara Says:

    I’m an Android user and have tried both iOS and Windows Phone 7. I was initially drawn to iOS, but after spending some significant time with WP7 I want one. I had a Zune before the hard drive failed, lasted me 5 years, and I love the software on it. I still use it as my default media management software, more appealing to me than iTunes. And since I already have that it’ll be easy to just get WP7 to play nice with my PC. The lack of apps is disappointing, but WP7 has all the major apps I use frequently, so no problem with that. In the end all I want is something that works and I know will get an upgrade. All the WP7 phones are good performers and have great interface and that’s what I want. My current Android phone will never get an upgrade beyond Froyo, so screw that. iPhone is great, but iTunes sucks. I’ll need iTunes to load my music onto it, so forget that. Specs at this point don’t really matter to me. As long as it doesn’t lag, does all the things I need, and has a decent battery life, then I’m fine. If I want to watch videos, read books, and catch up on news I have my Kindle Fire for that.

  27. Chassit Says:

    “but scrolling through 42+ apps became annoying”

    Poor sherri. Download 3 more apps. I think 45 is the magic number. Once you hit that, the endless app ocean on the right screen will aid you with a initial-letter-based jump mechanism, grouping all your apps into “#” (name starting with a symbol), “A – Z” (normal apps names), and “[globe icon]” (app names starting with non-English characters). After that, jumping through the app list will be zapping fast. I’ve got exactly 80 items in my app list (including system preloaded ones), and locating any of them takes no more than 3 quick taps, in most cases no scrolling needed.

  28. Jake Says:

    John M:
    No, you did not. Windows Mobile 6 is more like Android. Windows Phone 7(WP7) is a completely different Phone OS.
    Just regaring stability it shows the difference (google “most stable OS” ) = Windows Phone 7

    Review:
    Nice comparison and write up. 2 get the WP7 message and 1 did not.
    She did not even give it a proper chance name calling herself iphone gal ? Come on, how low can you go?
    And a background shifting icon interface is less boring then Metro? That was a long laugh :)
    I almost feel sorry.

    Personally after having had phones/all major phone OSes, I can’t image anyone still on the old icon interface except for one or two apps. Now on a head turning Lumia 800 after a year HTC Trophy.

    All in all a nice write up. Thx.

  29. AS147 Says:

    @ViewRoyal stated: “Since the introduction of Windows Mobile Phone 7, Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market has been consistently dropping!”

    The statistics you refer to include the declining Windows Mobile numbers so they are not a true reflection of Windows Phone market share.

    Give it a year more as the first year really wasn’t going to do anything as they had almost no hardware vendor support (no real compelling devices) and the sales channels were pushing the iOS and Android platforms (for which Apple and Google were incentivising the sales staff on every sale).

    Now MS have “hopefully” got sales staff on board to give a fair shake to windows phone and they at least have Nokia on their side, along with some increasing support from the other hardware manufacturers.

    They have such a large mountain to climb however I would not expect massive numbers until Q1/2013. They may hit 9-10% by the back end of this year and if they do that will be a very good start.

    Their one quoted weakness (though I think too much is made of it) is the number of applications. They have gone past the 60,000 mark and to do so in a year is far better than any of the other solutions achieved. Also as they are growing by 12,000 per month by May they should hit the 100,000 mark. As far as I am concerned this constant chase for volume rather than quality of apps is senseless but it is what it is. The other one is the chase for 4G (a real battery hog) and dual core (who cares if it runs fast and uses less battery).

  30. djdragonfire Says:

    Davey wasn’t open-minded enough, as most iOS people seem to be. No Pandora? You can listen to it though the actual website now AND the music still plays in the back ground while you surf other sites. Or there’s an app out called Radio Controlled. It’s really nice and is essentially Pandora. You sign in with your Pandora login and it’ll pull up all of your radio stations, you can choose stations, rate songs, etc. just like on any other Pandora app…

    People are concerned about not having enough apps? Well when no one gives the OS a chance because people who are close-minded rip it to shreds in a blog and other people read it, consumers don’t want to try it so no developers want to make apps for the platform. I think Nokia was a great choice for MS. I have an HD7, but I really want a Lumia 900, those things are sleek as all get out.

    My MS fandom started with the Zune HD. Loved it. It wasn’t my first mp3 player though. For a while I REALLY wanted an iPod, everyone had one and I did too. My parents bought me a Zune HD for Christmas and I loved it! Smaller, CHEAPER, and lighter than the iPod and not as clunky and busy as the iOS home screen. I am a bit of a nerd so when there wasn’t an app I wanted I found it on the XDA forums and ported it on my Zune. I found some of the coolest stuff ever! So I said screw Apple. Thus my fandom was born. I’ll go away now.

  31. Erik.P Says:

    To all those ignorants, Windows Phone MarketPlace is the fastest growing app store in the history of OS, so stop complaining if you dont know about it, not iOS neither Android had 50000+ apps in their app store in their first year so stop it, i realy dont want to insult but it gets me when people talks shit!

  32. cristian Says:

    Solution: Get an ipod for apps and Windows Phone for the Rest

  33. Gilad Says:

    As a WP7 owner for more then a year now, I can say I really like the user experience and the variety of productivity, photo and other apps and the many great XBox live games.
    Reading Miss Alba’s review had me a bit confused. The integration of social sites is wonderful and there’s no single IOS feature I miss.
    On top of that, compared to the IPhone, and I did, I have a bigger and brighter screen and an easier to type keyboard on my Focus handset.
    As one IPhone owner told me, WP7 feels like you’re looking into the future.

  34. jason Says:

    1. You don’t have to scroll through all your 42 apps, you can jump down to them by letter.
    2. How is the blackberry user qualified to judge that iOS and Android are better?
    3. Wasn’t it around 50000 apps that Apple started saying you can do it all on an iPhone? Instagram, Pandora, HBO Go there are plenty of alternatives.

  35. Fraze Says:

    I have an iPod Touch which is now my car audio system, a rooted Android powered Nook Colour (great for books, but android isn’t good on tablets), and my phone is an HTC HD7 Windows Phone running mango. In other words I use all three systems daily, so I have an idea here.

    WP7.5 is all about integration, yeah there is a facebook app etc but the whole point is to use the system which integrates the services, not really the seperate apps, so the last comparison was a bit crappy. There wasn’t a mention how you can switch apps as they stay in a saved state, fb message integration alongside sms, skydrive integration for office files which also hooks into office 2010 on the desktop, bing local scout to list takeaways etc, pinning screens inside apps as seperate tiles, spotify instead of pandora or even last.fm, what about the system notifications of news articles from various apps, etc.

    the main points which should’ve been covered are if you have hotmail, skydrive, office, xbox, sharepoint, facebook then windows phone is ideal as everything is integrated in the system (not seperate apps though some are available). If you have gmail, google+, dropbox then android or ios are best suited for the app availability. If you have loads of apple movies & music then maybe best with the iphone, games too but xbox rules in gaming so its a tough call there on the phones – especially when you consider xbox live is integrated into windows 8.

    real world examples are needed, e.g. what tasks people do with their existing phones, then how to replicate these tasks on the competitors, and at least 1 month with the other phones to get out of the mindset as wp7 & ios are very different, android is simply a clone of ios with a couple of extra features so its the same mindset as ios (hence the lawsuits).

  36. Francis Says:

    Davey: There are PLENTY of apps to listen to music, including Spotify, Zune, iHeart,… I have a feeling you didn’t bother looking and haven’t bothered to give WP7 a fair review. You may be an “Apps Girl” who likes to “complain” but at least complain after doing a full review. You’ve used it for a full week and that’s all you could write?????

  37. Pierre Says:

    Try WPFandora! Though an unofficial client app to Pandora, it does it all
    AND!!!! Uses OS features in abundance. Cool look, easy to use.

  38. Tommy Says:

    Great review on the phones. As a WP7 owner, its interesting to see what users of other smartphones have to say about it. After reading it, I can’t help but point out to writer Sherri L. Smith that the Windows phone actually does have a way to get to apps faster than srolling. After downloading a certain number of apps, it works just like the contacts screen with lettered tiles that can bring you to the app that you want by clicking on the corresponding tile in the alphabet.
    All in all, loved the article.

  39. Jay Says:

    Of the three stories, Davey’s seems to be the weakest. It feels like she’s not even trying. I mean, everyone knew WP7 had the least apps. If she loved apps so much, I dunno why she “JUMPED” at the chance to be a switcher. Seems to me like she should have left the opportunity to another iphone user with less of an apps addiction, or write a bit more about the OS and phone features. I’m disappointed in her section of the article, which feels more like the rant of a capricious teen than that of a professional writer. And I had the intern’s section to compare with.

  40. jen Says:

    Sure… The iPhone has a million apps. We get it. But my iPhone dropped calls routinely, crashed and I had to traverse way too many screens to check each of my many email addresses. I’m happy to be rid of my iPhone, and be holding a Samsung Focus. The experience has been superior in every way. But then again, I don’t require access to HBO on a phone.

  41. Siddharth Kanjilal Says:

    If I see a vintage car on the road, I will put it up on Twitter or Facebook, not Instagram. Even when it does eventually release for WP.

    I am from the UAE so I won’t get Pandora anyways, but I do use Grooveshark Mobile, YouTube and ofcourse Zune to play music while driving.

    What was the other thing? HBO? I used an iPhone 3GS for the longest of times and never remembering using HBO. The same goes with Flipboard.

    No one denies that WP lacks in the apps department, however that is getting better day by day. In terms of the real essentials – Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, MSN, WhatsApp – we got ‘em all. Not to mention I never did document editing on my 3GS, but have been doing consistently since making the switch to Omnia 7 (and now Omnia W).

    The browser is certainly better than Safari. This I can guarantee you. I know the newer iPhones have that Retina display which is amazing for reading when you have zoomed into some ridiculous level, but for what you do 99% of the time, IE offers faster, slicker and smoother experience, atleast compared to the 3GS.

    Every now and then I experiment with my friend’s Android and iOS devices. Android has a lot of features that I hope I did too, but it lags, no matter what phone you have and with processor. Sooner or later it will lag. Something that has never happened on my WP devices. iOS I see no reason to switch too – it looks dead, boring and dated. Its very difficult to switch to a non-Live Tile operating system once you are used to it.

  42. Jayinatlanta Says:

    I agree with yodani. We’re talking about an ecosystem that was born in November 2010 and has 50,000+ apps already. Boy, I’m sorry that’s not enough for you iPhoners and ‘Droiders who apparently spend your days solely collecting apps, but it is absolutely enough to find an app that can accomplish any specific need. Personally, I have about 75 apps, 20 Xbox Live Games, and 30 indie games, and that’s plenty for any itch I have had.

    As for the OS, it’s gorgeous, fluid, user-friendly, and has had voice-commands, searching by voice, and cloud storage since 2010. Four out of the five people I’ve taken to a store to try it hands-on have switched from another smartphone on the spot.

  43. Wendy Liu Says:

    I have a Windows Phone and I love it but I’ve learned not to criticize other people’s tech preferences. While I do agree with some people’s opinion that Davey Alba’s critique was not a fair review I feel that certain phones are for certain personalities. Maybe Davey’s like an app hoarder and she likes all that busy-ness and clutter. Maybe she actually has time to use all 300 apps on her Iphone. Good for her. Also bear in mind that Windows Phone is *very* young. It was born in November 8, 2010. That’s TWO years. It has accomplished much in those 2 years. Also since this mobile OS is privately owned by Microsoft it takes a greater number of hurdles “quality control” for apps to get published into Marketplace so it will take a while for WP Marketplace to be on par with Iphone’s App Store.

  44. molbal Says:

    Why did not you choose Lumia 800? :) That’s the best Windows phone out there IMO

  45. Andy Says:

    Did the first reviewer just say…”static app icons seen on Android phones” FTW! I lost total respect right there! WTF do you think the app list in WP7 is? Heard about widgets on Android!?

  46. Gary Says:

    I stumbled “accidentally” into the whole Windows Mobile/Windows Phone scene almost two years ago. I needed a new phone since my previous phone (a flip-phone) broke right about the time my contract with T-Mobile came up for renewal. I chose a Smartphone, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. I purchased a HTC HD2 (Windows Phone) and immediately loved it. But before long it became apparent that other people’s phones could do things my HD2 could only dream about. I felt left behind.

    Then a strange thing happend: the Internet connectivity on the HD2 failed. A quick trip to my T-Mobile dealer produced a replacement phone, the HTC HD7 (Windows Phone 7). Microsoft says that Windows Phone should not be confused with the old Windows Mobile operating system; and they are right. Not even in the same league, much less the same ballpark! Not only is the WP7 operating system much more functional than the old Windows Mobile, it’s also FASTER and EASIER to use, too.

    And this was only with WP7. I soon downloaded the 7.5 (Mango) update and wow! what an advance! I often use the Bing search engine to get directions to a location, similar to using a GPS. (Guess what? I don’t have to put out another $300 for GPS functionality. How’s that for saving money–and bulk–while you’re at it?) If I need to identify music that’s playing on the radio, Bing does that. If I need to find a pizza parlor nearby? You guessed it–Bing again. (I was also able to download Yelp for free, which also does that. How’s that for having sufficient apps?) If I don’t want to type something into the search engine, I can always speak it into Bing. Handy for when you’re too occupied–or too lazy–to type by hand. Want to read a bar code or one of those QR codes for more information? Oh, yeah–Bing can do that, too.

    Now to be sure I have never been too fond of Bing as a general purpose search engine, but for the examples I have mentioned, I have found it second-to-none. For regular searches for info–is such-and-such-celebrity still alive?–for instance, I prefer Google. Now Google doesn’t come integrated in Windows Phone. (Duuhh! The competition’s product!) Not a problem–there’s an app for that. I downloaded Google Search for free–then pinned it directly to my Start screen. Who cares about scrolling through a long list of apps when you can pin any or all of your favorites to the Start screen? I use Google Search on my WP7 to look up all sorts of information all the time.

    Weather–It comes integrated with the phone on the HTC Hub. Stocks? Same thing. Want a second opinion about the weather? The Weather Channel downloaded for free and pinned to Start. NBC Nightly News–free. CNN–free. KBB (in case you’re looking for a car)–free. What’s all this about “not having enough apps?” I haven’t even been able to LOOK at a TINY FRACTION of the apps that are available in several months! After a while, there gets to be so many of them that more would be overkill.

    And if you have a lot of apps installed and don’t want to scroll through them, Mango has a solution for that. There is a Search feature. Tap on the magnifying glass and the type in the first couple of letters of the app’s name. Bam!–there’s your app. Simple!

    No Pandora? No problem. iHeart Radio works for me. And as long as we’re on the subject, I might as well mention that my HD7 comes with a regular FM radio tuner as well.

    Photo Sharing? Both Sky Drive and the integrated Facebook functionality take care of that handily.

    No Facebook app? No problem. I have access to my most used Facebook functions from not one but two (that’s right–TWO) places: 1) the People tile; and 2) the Me tile. AND just in case that is not sufficient, I also have pinned Facebook to my Start screen. Now I have no less than 3–count’em–three ways to interact with Facebook. And I’m still not through. There is now a Facebook app available in the Marketplace for–are you ready for this?–free.

    Those people who say there are not enough apps are either misinformed or are just being crybabies. There are certainly enough apps for anyone who wants to get anything done. How many different apps to tell you what the stock prices are do you need, really? And those who say that the WP platform is declining in the marketplace haven’t been paying attention to the statistics (yes, there is an app for that!). In truth, I have personally seen the number of WP7 users in the world QUADRUPLE just since Christmastime.

  47. Anthony Davis Says:

    Most of the comments seem to be about the hardware and bright colours with very little about the OS..

    Android user – More impressed with the screen quality, camera and bright colours, That’s phone related and has very little to do with the OS.

    Blackberry user – Said it’s better then Blackerberry but not a better technology then either iOS or android.

    Iphone – Not enough apps and didn’t really seem to like it very much.

    I can skin my android phone in seconds to look like W7.5 interface…

  48. Slade Says:

    Although the integration with social is great, it’s not perfect. I still need a Facebook app to see posts from all of my friends. Some posts from Android phones do not show up all in the integrated app. I have to use the app to see their posts. I also haven’t seen a way to access Notes outside of the app. I have to use the web site if I want to change the visibility of the post. Most of the time Friends Only is fine. I do make some posts for other groups sometimes like Close Friends or Public. Most apps including the integrated one allows you to deleted a post or comment. Most Twitter apps don’t let us block someone. Only the main web site let’s us report someone for spam.

    I still love my Windows Phone. Someone asked why we’d need apps when it’s all part of the main interface. I also admit I get bored at times because it’s hard to waste time on a Windows Phone. While working, I’m not going to play games or music. It’s too easy to check for new messages – just look at the screen even when locked. I don’t even have to unlock the phone. This does not include stuff from social media – just emails, texts, voicemail, missed calls. If I was listening to music, I don’t even have to unlock it to control the music player.

    The old ads make more sense to me now – getting back to life quickly.

  49. Drazyw Says:

    How about some decent Windows phones on a carrier OTHER than AT&T. Then we might be seeing some progress. I’d love to move to a Windows phone, but I’m not leaving Verizon to do it.

  50. BJ Says:

    Anthony – you CANNOT skin your Android device to look like the 7.5 interface. Launcher 7 and WP7Contacts, etc are all very poor substitutes for the real thing. WP7 is all about integration and each of those apps lacks integration. While on the surface they can kind of look like the real thing, in practicality they are just a shadow of WP7.

    In full disclosure I run an Evo and Nook Color (running ICS alpha). Hand me downs that I have used in the past include a Touchpad for my wife (also running ICS alpha and webOS), iPod Touch (now my daughers), and Zune classic (30GB model). Before my Evo I sported an MDA running Windows Mobile 5 and a TouchPro2 running Windows Mobile 6.1/6.5 and then eventually Android 1.6. Had a BB before. I think it’s fair to say that I have used extensively all of the major OS’s over the past 5 years. That leads me to …

    The best device to just get things done is WP7. For making calls, sending messages, posting pictures, viewing social network streams and casual web browsing it does it all. It looks much better than the iPhone. It is far easier to use than Android. As an actual phone WP7 is the best OS out there.

    Now, if all you care about is app volume than the iPhone is best. If all you want is customization then stick with Android (by a country mile). If your IT department won’t allow an alternative I guess BB is your best bet. WP7 wont be for everyone but if more people gave it a shot (or if the idiots running the kiosks for the carriers would stop jamming the iPhone or Android devices down people’s throats) you would see it’s popularity take off. As much as I love my Evo I can’t wait to drop it for a WP7 device.

  51. erash Says:

    Reading the article was funny! Especially knowing the article was forwarded from the official windows phone twitter account! I have been following the windows phone UI and the functionality through youtube videos and reviews and I guess I know better than these three users..especially the Davey person! You need to con net windows phone with the daily uses of a mobile phone. Windows phone needs to tell people that the time of “there is an app for that” is gone with the introduction of Mango! Mango already has built in facebook+twitter integration! You don’t need an app for that. You don’t need an app like sound hound to find the music playing, you have bing installed fully capable of doing that. I can write so many about the phone and it’s usefulness in daily life…yet Microsoft and LaptopMag has to give the job of writing to this dumb peole. Especially, the Davey! She is an example of..”i’m smiley girl trying to sound techy” condition. Please get better people.
    I am the user of iPhone, iPad and Macbook…still I can see how beautifully Mango is been designed and planning to get myself a windows phone.

  52. Mathieu Says:

    Wow I see all the WP fanboys are out in numbers here. WP7 has some cool looking features, but it will take a lot more than that to get me to switch from Android

  53. Gwen Says:

    I have had an iPhone and many different Android phones and each had things I liked about them,but if you want the hot new apps it’s iPhone all the way. They were asked for an opinion and just because you love Windows doesn’t mean they have to. I might try Windows soon but if the app marketplace sucks I’m back to IOS or Android.

  54. KC Says:

    Big plus for me is “Windows Live Mail” & it’s seemless integration of Email, Calendar events & Contacts into the phone. I decided to move everything over to WLMail. I did not like WLMail before my WP7 phone, NOW I love it! It is great to not have to manage different SW/APPS in order to get everyting in the phone. It SYNCS 2 ways. If I change a contact on my phone, it changes it on WLMail. If I delete an event on my phone off of my calender tile, deleted from WLMail. Same thing if I add/edit events in WLMail, it’s on my phone. The + part is that on the phone it’s a live Calender tile that’s built in w/a nice text/time desc. of the days events. In WLMail, If I receive an email message & it contains a new contact name & email address, next to the email address it says “Add to contacts”. I click it and it’s stored on my PC and on my phone. It takes less a few min to show up on your phone. Mind you, WLMail only added the Name & Email address, but then I add additional info later & it all shows up on my phone, company, addresses, websites, phone numbers, etc. As a business owner, it’s a beautiful thing!

  55. Juan Garcia Says:

    Windows Phone has too many shortcommings:

    101 Reasons Not to Buy A Windows Phone
    http://my-symbian.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44034

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