Windows Phone 7 from “user” perspective

One month ago I was thinking which type of phone I’d like to have. I was choosing between Android and Windows based phones. After some review reading, talking to people and hands-on experience I’ve selected Windows 7 phone: HTC Trophy.

There were couple of reasons for this:

  • Didn’t wanted to have a toy to play “hacking” games
  • Spending time figuring out OS version upgradeability not for me
  • Wanted to know what works and what doesn’t early
  • Form factor

In other words, I wanted more “user oriented” phone than a smart device.

Of course, WP7 misses a few things that I was used to on previous (Windows) phones. One of those features is: fast contact lookup using keypad – where pressing keys would search number and names at the same time. It was super convenient and fast, and for dialing I’ve used only this approach. Now – it’s gone. Bad, very bad. In the end, this particular feature reduced ergonomics of the phone a lot.

Actually, when reading reviews I was always wondering: everybody were talking about screens, sensitivity, applications, but no one (at least I haven’t found) noted that WP7 misses “phone capability”. I mean, when someone is talking about smart phone, then they mean smart device.

The second feature that I’ve missed once(!) was the ability to connect to hidden WiFi networks. Other than that – I’m pretty satisfied with the OS, applications and hardware.

And no, “copy/paste” is not on my wish list at all. Don’t have a smallest idea when I should use it. I didn’t had a single case in the month, when I’d miss copy/paste. I just don’t … and I don’t understand why people are putting it on top of the list. For me – bring back the fast contact search.

I’m using the phone for more than a month and one thing sure, my behavior and usage changed a bit. Before WP7, I barely used any smart phone more than a phone with smart address book (synced with Outlook). And initially my home screen had a few apps only:

  • Phone for the easiest access to the recently dialed numbers
  • People – the contact store
  • Hotmail – if you don’t know it, then it is like a Gmail, but integrates with office documents better
  • Messaging for SMS and parking (in Lithuania, you can pay for car park using “specially encoded” SMS messages)
  • Calendar
  • Twitter – for those who don’t know it, it is a stream of 140 character sized crap that you can get addicted to. And it made into my initial home screen. Stays so far …
  • Settings – to deal with Wireless and some other necessities
  • Weather

One month has passed and the screen has some changes:

  • REMOVED: weather app – used really infrequently and live tile was updating was crap. In other words – useless.
  • ADDED: Xbox Live – oh yeah baby … take a look at my Bejeweled Live achievements. Only 3 to go …
  • ADDED: Outlook – corporate is corporate. Interestingly, phone became a the place, where both corporate meetings and private appointments are right in front of me and easily accessible. Much better than Outlook itself.
  • ADDED: Parking-LT – finally an app that allows paying for parking done easy way. No SMS encoding anymore. Big thanks for the developers.
  • ADDED: Amazon Kindle – I never thought that it will end up on my home screen, however, it did. The main reason for happening was that I’m using public transportation to get to the office quite a lot. I use this time to read books. I prefer books to twitter Smile

In just a month, my usage patterns changed slightly and I could say that smart device features are getting into my life. However, I still miss the fast contact search with less clicks. I hope it will be fixed with “Mango”.

Next thing in my plans related to the phone – Visual Studio Smile

Posted by / March 23, 2011 / Tagged with / Posted in WP7