As you might understand, I had to buy a Windows Phone 7 for work…
I went to the brand new Microsoft Store in Bellevue and finally got the Samsung Focus. I have to say the store was super crowded (I guess that doesn’t count in a city where most of the people work for Microsoft); and I didn’t know Dave Mattew was there, I am just seeing it now while writing the post. Damn!
So, this a quick post about my first day experience with the phone, both the device and the OS. Please take into account I was already familiar with the Windows 7 Metro design but had never used a real device; and also, that my daily phone is a Google NexusOne.
- The Samsung Focus screen is *amazing*, is bright, clear, colorful… is really great.
- The phone is also incredible light. That’s why I actually picked it in the store. There were other devices which looked better, but this one was so freaking light.
- The Windows Phone keyboard input is perfect. Suggestions and input feedback is really great. As far as I can tell it’s much better than the Android and also than the iPad.
- The panoramic metaphor actually works. The touch is really sensitive and the metro style, when applied correctly is very subtle and useful.
- Being able to pin more than apps to the desktop (i.e. a particular contact) is kind of cool and useful.
- Application aren’t there yet. This is kind of expected as it’s still a new platform, and also because it brings some new paradigms that developers should understand first. You can see issues in most applications, either native or third party ones, from GMail integration, to Office Word to the official Twitter client.
- The People Hub has auto-converted into a messy place, where all the contacts from many different social networks are repeated in a very silly way. Not sure if I did something wrong.
- The OS seems to keep track forever of the apps you have opened in the past, building an exaggerated long stack. I guess you can press back forever, and it sometimes does some strange jumps… I guess the OS should provide some kind of visual feedback to show when the Back is available and how long the stack is.
- The first time I turned on the phone, instead of just starting it asks you for many configuration steps. That’s really silly IMO.
- Not having the ability to change the language as-you-type is a show stopper to me to use in everyday scenarios. I am pretty sure it’s coming in the pipeline but for someone like me, that writes emails in one language and text in other, this is a pain*.
- I miss my NexusOne track ball for text selection & move the text focus. The track-ball just over performs any other way of navigating the text by touch. Probably the devices with QWERTY keyboard can hide this somehow, but in my Focus, I really miss it.
So, these were my initial feelings with my Windows Phone 7 & Samsung Focus. Will try to get a conclusion when I get back home and could use all its functionality as I have no SIM card here in USA.
[*] I used to have the same problem with my Nexus One, but then Google added that feature in the Frodo release.