| | 12-01-2010, 06:07 PM #1
First, my background:
I'm a smart phone lover. My first smart phone was a Kyocera Palm OS phone with a Greyscale screen and 8 MB of ROM. Since then I've used Windows Mobile, Treos, Centros, iPhones, a Pre and now I'm trying a Samsung Focus WP7 phone. I am fortunate where my job allows me to play with several different phones and OS's. The company I work for is an internet based company who sees the future of mobile and wants to learn about this fledgling branch of the internet as it happens. I figured it would be interesting, and would help me sort out my feelings on the platform by writing a short review of my first 24 hours.
On opening the box, I am immediately impressed by the styling and the weight (or lack of) that is the Samsung Focus. The screen is big and bright, and the handset feels light and good in my hand. It makes my droid feel like a brick and my Pre look like a postage stamp. The lines are smooth, the phone is light, yet has a sturdy feel to it. I'm impressed.
I boot it up and my first hour with WP7 is all smiles. The home screen tile metaphor is fresh and interesting. The phone is responsive and stutter free. Flipping through photos is quick and the camera loads quickly and I can take pictures with ease. I used my hotmail account that I've had for over a decade. Not that I use it for anything but MSN messenger, but I have it. Email setup was easy, even connecting to my corporate exchange server was fairly easy. I had little trouble finding some starter apps like Netflix, Twitter and the likes. But the more I used and tried to configure the phone, the more out of love I began to fall with it.
My exchange server forces me to have a PIN on my device. Not a big deal, my phone detected the policy and applied it for me. However, it doesn't let me configure a lock grace period. My server specifies I can have up to a 15 minute grace period after sleeping my phone where I can wake it up again and not have to reenter my PIN. This option is simply not there. I, like most people, have several email accounts. I cannot configure different alert settings for different accounts. I get lots of reports that are emailed to my exchange account at midnight. I don't want to know about those. But I do want to know when our emergency email account gets an email regardless of the time. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with an all or nothing notification system for email.
The marketplace. At first glance it was new and fun, but now I find it painful to find something. Searching isn't much help since when I search the Marketplace it includes music and movies in my results, even though I start the search from the Apps section.
I have mixed feelings on the Zune desktop app. It is heads and tails better than iTunes, but that is like saying "My vomit when I drink Jager tastes much better then my vomit when I drink peppermint schnapps." I love being able to browse apps on my desktop and install them on my phone. But why do I have to sync with a cable? What is this 1998? Let me click a link and send an install notification to my phone. Same thing with syncing music, podcasts and videos. Why the hell can't I get these things over the air? I'm done with cables and desktop sync software. Sync to the cloud or don't sync at all.
XBOX Live and Zune. So I don't have an XBOX or an XBOX live account. Nor do I have a Zune or Zunepass. I don't want extra subscription fees. I'm paying AT&T a buttload a month for service and data. I might start buying apps. But the last thing I need is extra fees for Zune, XBOX live, AT&T Navigator, and countless other services trying to get $3-$15 a month out of me. No thanks. I may try the Zune trial to see if it is worth it, but I've invested so much time into tweaking my Pandora stations that I would much rather continue to pay them then to sign up for a different service just so I can download songs on my desktop and sync them. F-That. Stream it to my phone or take your service elsewhere.
Ring tones and alerts. I can't make my own? I can't even buy them from somewhere? I'm stuck with yours? Yuck.
These are my impressions after 24 hours with the phone. I do focus a bit on the negative side, but overall I'm impressed with the new paradigm that is WP7. It is still a very 1.0 OS and hopefully this promised update will hit soon and address these issues and more I haven't even discovered yet.
What do you guys think? Where are my initial impressions wrong? What did I not look at, or look at wrong? This phone has gone from love at first site to a "why was I excited about this?" Hopefully it will come back around to something I can live with and learn to love.