I recently bought a Nokia Lumia 710 with Windows Phone 7.5 already installed on it and I have to say I’m happily impressed by the work done in Microsoft.
I use mainly Android and iOS in the last 3 years, so I can do a quick comparison with all these systems, but I’ll keep this post when I’ll have more complete point of view on Windows Phone. What I can do is a quick “first impression” article.
During the first start I’ve been asked for some questions, like Windows Live ID (I already had one due to the fact I’m a XBox player since years), send or not usage stats to Microsoft, 3G yes or no, etc… What pissed me off is that I’ve been forced to turn on the 3G connection to login with my Windows Live ID. I have a prepay SIM with Swisscom and this costed me 3 swiss francs… I’m quite sure this step can be jumped and the WiFi connection can be turned on, before adding a Live ID account or whatever other account is needed, but the lack of this option during the first start is a shame.
I really like Metro UI, it’s basic, it’s minimalistic, it’s fast and it’s something different from Android and iOS, it’s not a rip off, it’s original! The main menu with big icons, some of them like ‘Contacts’ are even dynamic.
The navigation is a nice experience, sometimes I felt lost, being habit to use iOS or Android, but I always found what I was looking for in less than a minute, I didn’t waste my time surfing all the menus looking for a setting to change, a service to turn on or off or an external hardware to pair via bluetooth.
This was a surprise, because I just turned on the BT of my iPhone and I paired it with the Lumia synching the address book with no stress, impressive. Windows Live was down (and still is down) and was unable to accept new contacts. This is a huge problem because it should be the main service for a Windows Mobile phone and it’s (in part) down since friday.
I’m currently working for a big client in Switzerland (an airline) and it’s not a mystery that these companies use to have an Exchange server, so does this company. I have my account currently working on my iPhone and I was excited to try Windows Phone with Exchange, but… it doesn’t work! Can’t believe, Windows Phone 7.5 doesn’t synch with an Exchange server. I tried it in several ways, with many different configurations but no way to make it synching. This was the second thing that annoyed me a lot.
Synch with Google account, Facebook and Twitter works like a charm, no problems, everything was fast and smooth. What I don’t like is that, by default, all contacts are showing in the app, so if you turn on Facebook synchronization, you’ll see all FB friends inside the contacts app. This can, of course, be turned off.
The camera is a 5M but it looks like the software is not able to handle it in a proper way. The picture looks old and blur, even if the phone is hold by a stand. I’m quite disappointed about the quality, but I always have my iPhone 4S with me, so it’s not a big problem.
The whole phone it’s like a big plastic toy. It’s really light and the look it’s nice, not wonderful, neither ugly, just nice. I have to say, I like it!
The marketplace it’s really expensive, most of games and apps that have an iOS version are more expensive and less tidy, but this ecosystem is the younger, I’m sure the quality of the apps and the general quality will increase when Windows 8 will land in the market.
It’s still a young system, it’s a good point to start and Windows 8 will be a real competitor for Android and iOS, I’m sure WP will gain the deserved market share in the next 2-3 years. In the next days I’ll start playing with the development and I’ll write a couple of articles about WP development for iOS developers.