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  • wharris1 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Web site is great; now I need to read article Reply
  • deputc26 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Where are the actual load times (in seconds) for web pages? Synthetics never tell the whole picture... seems like you might be embarrassed for WP7 on this front ;) Reply
  • GoSharks - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Are there supposed to be images in this article? Reply
  • jimhsu - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Article seems to be half done as Anand makes a huge number of edits. Guess that's normal. Reply
  • SelesGames - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    I see images just fine.

    Btw, I don't know whether any app reviews will be done, but for anyone who has access to a phone, check out some of our apps. Search for "Seles Games" to see all our apps, or check out any of the apps we have demoed here:
  • Mumrik - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    So you decided to advertise in the Anandtech comments... Classy move. Reply
  • Termie - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    The HTC Surround page seems to be missing, or at least it's not coming up when I click on the link to that page. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Images are incoming, please bare with us :) Reply
  • atmartens - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    "please bare with us :)"
    Skinny dipping? Or just streaking?
  • Zstream - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Do you know what the talk time is for the LG? It's not showing on the graph. Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Everything is displayed fine. Dunno what to tell you Reply
  • numberoneoppa - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Could have something to do with your reply coming a day after the article was posted. :P Reply
  • Kashmire - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Hardware review website goes political? Good way to irritate your viewers by sneaking in the Obama advertisement (phone's screen on AnandTech homepage). Why make your readers suffer through your political statement to read tech hardware reviews? Wrong place for this. Reply
  • bdattilo - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    That is a Pepsi billboard... Reply
  • dreamlane - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Beautiful Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    LOL. Seriously, just ROLMAO. Reply
  • earthzero - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Are you serious? You know that is a Pepsi Cola "get out and vote" ad, right? That's a Pepsi logo. Reply
  • lwatcdr - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I also thought that was a Pepsi bill board.

    Welcome to the polarization of America.
  • - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Geez... I'm guessing you're the only one who noticed it, and I'm betting you're the only one who gives a crap, let alone accusing the authores of political biasing. Get a life, will ya? Reply
  • Smilin - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    BWAAHAHA. Oh boy what a tool you just made yourself out to be. Do you really hate Obama so much that you have PTSD like flashbacks of him everywhere? You see "hope" symbols where others see "pepsi". Reply
  • AssBall - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    LOL! Yeah, I think he needs to lay off the Ritalin. Reply
  • morphologia - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Seems to me you are creating the problem yourself by caring about it so much. No one is forcing you to take such exception to political imagery. All you have to do is not care and the problem magically vanishes.

  • Fleeb - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    I did not even noticed that there is a Pepsi billboard in there up until you mentioned it. :S Reply
  • Exelius - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Given the head start Apple and Google have, what are Microsoft's prospects with the carriers?

    Carrier support is obviously very important with licensed models like WP7 and Android... As Google learned with the Nexus One, what are Microsoft's prospects in mobile? Verizon is highly invested in Android, so don't look for them to push Android phones heavily, and AT&T is still riding Apple's cash cow... I don't think the two platform's positions are a coincidence.

    Furthermore, is Microsoft prepared to potentially be the #3 mobile platform long-term? And that's assuming they can get out in front of RIM. I don't know that they have a chance of catching Google or Apple (Microsoft as a consumer brand is probably irreparably damaged and Google and Apple are still very popular.)
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    this is the #1 reason that I have right now for buying a WP7 phone. "Microsoft needs to pay the bills"??? Are you serious!?!? So their profits on Windows and Office are only for spending 1 billion on advertising and we get to eat it on seeing ads when I am searching through my email??? I can't understand the justification on not blasting MS here on this... which of their competitors do this now? This opens a door full of feces that I would rather not touch... Imagine turning on your phone to be bombarded by 3-10 ads before you can use the phone... and it starts with consumers being ok with an ad here and there while you do things not web related on your phone... "xbox live brought to your WP7 phone by Applebees- tap here to find the nearest applebees while your game loads"

    NO WAY MS... good try though. I guess it's up to Nokia/Intel with their meego to get my hard earned money... I am not paying for those ads on my phone - no way no how.
  • Smilin - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    Which of their competitors do this now?

    Apple and Google that I'm aware of. Settle down beavis.
  • mcnabney - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Consumers know of three key smartphone products right now - Apple, Android, and RIM. The people that do know about Microsoft's previous offerings are probably still bitter.

    How will Microsoft overcome this deficit? They actually don't offer anything more than a nice slick interface that runs integrated functions smoothly, but falters on Apps. They won't even benefit from the latest must-have hardware - the launch phones are essentially 6 month old equipment.

    RIM has always banked on the business customer, Apple with the trendy, and Android got everyone else. Well, they all have mature products now. Android was able to gain traction due to the iPhone/AT&T exclusivity which made them the only 'consumer targeted' smartphone on the other three American carriers. That was key to Android's success. There is no longer a pent-up demand for Microsoft to attach itself to.

    What wasn't mentioned in the article is the competitive landscape for these devices. They will be going against superior Android hardware and a new version of the Pre. I just don't see much demand for these outside of the Zune-faithful.
  • lwatcdr - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Yep it all comes down to on thing.
    Is Windows Phone 7 better in every way than IOS and Android. Frankly WebOS is also a very good mobile platform but is not getting anywhere near the buzz that it should.
    Just being as good as just isn't enough when your competitors have a huge lead.
    For me the big thing that WP7 offers will be ZunePass. If you are a music person that could be a huge benefit and it is a really good service I hear. I just don't think these devices are good enough and the lack of apps is a huge barrier.
  • AssBall - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Remember the microsoft compatibility though. This OS has the potential to make for excellent corporate phones. Reply
  • teohhanhui - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    Latest must-have hardware? That won't really matter to the average consumer. (And higher raw performance doesn't necessarily translate into better responsiveness, which greatly affects the user's perception of performance.) Reply
  • serkol - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    "Flipping through pages upon pages of square app icons just isn’t the most efficient way to do it. Folders help reduce the clutter, but they don’t fundamentally address the problem."

    Try placing folders onto the iPhone dock. I've placed 4 folders there. Tap on the folder (in the dock), and it opens up the folder, then tap on the app. This look like 4 mini "start buttons" - very convenient, and looks very good.
  • bobjones32 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    FYI Anand - there's a dedicated Facebook app in the marketplace that was posted today. Actually created by Microsoft, not Facebook. Any chance you can update this article or write another quick one once you have a chance to take a look? The screenshots in the Zune software look interesting, at least. Reply
  • Regenweald - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    The xbox live integration on this alone makes it a much more attractive platform that anything else out there.( i thought I was going to have to buy an xbox for the new plants vs zombies exclusive content, lol) I'm looking forward to WP8. Many persons have sold WP7 short without anything to actually go on, but now, it already seems like the most complete platform out there. Full windows integration, ZUNE, XBOX and Facebook. Reply
  • Dobs - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    All sounded great for me until IE mobile - What a let down.
    Basically a deal breaker. Other faults I reckon I'd be happy to live with until they fixed them.
    My high hopes sunk :(
  • RetroEvolute - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    How did this let you down? The article didn't really have much of anything to say negative about the IE browser included in Windows Phone 7. Unless you're just one of those people who hate anything with the name IE or Internet Explorer...

    If you haven't already, try the IE9 Beta for Vista/Win7. It's a huge improvement from their previous versions, and you may just like it.
  • Dobs - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Did you read page 9 (Rebuilding a Brand: IE mobile)?

    The benchmarks, blocky text and..
    "Slower page loading times aren’t as big of a deal anyways, since you can leave the browser and go do something else entirely while the page keeps loading."
    This statement instantly reminded me of dial up internet - not a smart phone.
    I don't open a browser to then go and test my multi-tasking or my patience.

    Like I said - I'll wait for now. If IE mobile is fixed I'll seriously reconsider.
    I don't currently have a smart phone and had been patiently waiting for win7 phone as I thought it might be The One - but it looks like I'll continue waiting.

    And I don't think browsers for PC have anything to do with a phone review - Thanks anyhow.
  • B3an - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I dont think the benchmarks matter that much if actual real world browsing is still good, which it is, and that sites are rendered correctly, which they are.
    Compared to the current state of many other phone browsers at the moment IE on WP7 seems atleast decent. Other browsers might have greater speed and specs on paper but they wont run as smooth and they often have trouble displaying certain pages.
  • B3an - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Just read the Engadget review and they also like the browser:

    "we've got to say that web browsing on Windows Phone 7 is actually a really pleasant experience. "

    "Loading the desktop version of Engadget was just a hair slower than an iPhone 4, and just as importantly, rendering new parts of the page as you scroll is plenty fast -- not instantaneous, but fast enough so that you never find yourself consciously waiting for it to catch up. Zooming -- which is accomplished with a pinch gesture, of course -- is buttery smooth. The phone accomplishes this in the same way you're probably used to from other devices: when you first zoom in, it uses the same render resolution so that it can at least show you something without going blank, then it renders the appropriate level of detail as it catches up (Google Maps works the same way on almost every platform). It works well. Zooming in and out of a page -- even when still loading up content -- was super fast in our testing, and rendering happened in a split second, meaning hardly any time spent looking at jagged pixels. We're tremendously impressed with how well the browser works "

    However they go on to mention that because of no Flash (yet, Adobe are working on it) that watching streaming video is out of the question for now as the browser also dont support HTML5 video.
  • MacGyver85 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I was at the launch event in Belgium at the Microsoft HQ and had the chance to ask a few questions. One of which was if they'll be moving to the IE9 rendering & javascript engine once it is finalized. The answer was a resounding yes. The guy also said that they are already using some parts of IE9 as well in addition to IE7 and 8. Reply
  • ishbuggy - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Does anyone know how WP7 will handle updates? I really hope they enforce updates across all the devices so you don't get stuck with old software versions months after new ones have come out like with android. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Check out page 26. It's dedicated completely to how the "update" process works. In short, it's more like iOS than Android....which is sounds like you'd prefer. Reply
  • ishbuggy - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Yeah I accidentally skipped that page :P
    I really hope it works out as well as Microsoft hopes it will
  • Voldenuit - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    Will AT be reviewing the Nokia N8 and E8 Symbian phones? Nokia is pretty obscure in the States (since they mainly sell direct from their website, with no carrier subsidy), but are pretty big in Europe and Asia. Reply
  • epyon96 - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link


    With such a glowing review from you, it's almost enough to bump Windows 7 above my initial choice of getting a blackberry. I need a physical keyboard. I'm very picky about it. You are simply a very engaging writer.

    I really hope Windows 7 mobile comes up with a superior keyboard version
  • VashHT - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    The Dell phone coming out looks like it will have a really nice keyboard, I think it is called the venue pro. Also ATT is supposed to have a keyboard phone by LG I think. Reply
  • heelo - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    The Venue Pro *looks* great, but it's somewhat of a monster in size and weight.

    If I weren't stuck on a T-Mobile family plan, I'd probably opt for that LG Quantum. Like Anand said, WP7's interface is extremely usable on smaller screens, and the reasonable form factor and physical keyboard likely make for a very convenient real-world user experience. The drawback is that the looks and (supposedly) build quality are sub-par.
  • EarthwormJim - Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - link

    OMG a screenshot of me in action is on the Xbox Live page!! Woo-hoo Reply
  • gstrickler - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    That's the ugliest and least interesting home/start screen I've ever seen on a smartphone. It may be functional, but even a 6 year old crackberry looked better (and I don't like the BB). The rest of the UI doesn't look too bad, but the start screen needs some work. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I couldn't agree more. I find it funny that people are claiming this UI is "100% right" as if everybody is going to like it. Obviously it's a matter of preference, but I just cannot see the overwhelming majority of people getting into this UI. I find it appalling to look at and couldn't imagine using it every day.

  • B3an - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Dont know what you're smoking but most people prefer an easy to use simple looking UI thats functional rather than cluttered eye candy.
    From the vids i've seen it seems to be the smoothest running, most functional, fastest, and natural UI on any phone to date.
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    You call it smooth running and functional, which is fine. That doesn't dissuade me and the OP from feeling it is ugly and off-putting. You even say it doesn't have to be cluttered eye candy, but the review claims it is the most beautiful UI he has ever seen. The thing is big blue blocks. It is exactly what he explained on the first page that Windows typically does with any refresh of their OS: "make it bigger and bluer."

    It is definitely ugly, but if you only care about how functional and fast it is, then you will love it. I admit that I can't stand iOS cluttered eye-candy style either, so I'm with you on that. Give me functional, customizable and sleek and I'm in heaven. Glad somebody already figured out how to do that.

  • geniekid - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    In my opinion, it's quite good looking and better than the default home screen on my HTC Incredible.

    Like you said, it's all a matter of taste. I will put myself out there and say the guy who thinks the "6 year old crackberry looked better" probably has poor taste.
  • Smilin - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    It is the most beautiful UI I've seen. Mind you I've SEEN it. Have you? Screenshots don't do it justice. You have to see it moving and the text shifting in parallax. It's eerily 3D.

    iPhone and Android are beautiful too....if you're a Windows 3.1 progman.exe fan.
  • gstrickler - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    It may be simple and functional, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring and ugly. I'm a huge proponent of simple and functional, but that screen looks like something out of the late 80's or early 90's. The tiles have too little to differentiate them from each other. A little use of color and better contrast would make it a lot clearer and faster to identify the icons, and it would look better.

    Note to MS, hire a usability consultant and put some of your graphic designers to work (I know you have graphic designers). It shouldn't look like just like Windows 7, but it definitely shouldn't look like it comes from Windows 2.0
  • inighthawki - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    That "ugly" home/start screen interface is one of the main reasons I'm interested in WP7. The other smartphone interfaces I've seen from others like iOS and Android are nothing more than glorified and eye-candy enhanced versions of every other phone out there IMO. And as someone who owns a Zune HD which has a very similar interface, I can tell you that it works really well, and is very nice. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    There is no eye candy in Android. It's basically a blank slate desktop background. And obviously it's no surprise that a Zune HD user would prefer the Windows Phone 7 UI. It's also not a surprise you use subjective and vague justifications for your preference :) Reply
  • inighthawki - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I don't see why I have to justify a subjective decision. The bottom line is "I like it" and my entire point was that just because the OP thinks it's the ugliest home screen they've ever seen, there are people like myself that not only like it, but actually dislike the style they do. I am not trying to force my opinion on anyone. Reply
  • Smilin - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    I agree with you FWIW. Reply
  • cknobman - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I agree 100%

    Gigantic big colored tiles? Seriously?

    What a waste of space and an overly boring-bland appearance!!!
  • Guspaz - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I agree, the WP7 UI looks horrendous to me. Giant space-wasting bland UI components.

    My biggest concern is how HUGE the tiles are. Anand complained about iOS/Android cluttering screens with app icons, but it seems to me like WP7 will be incredibly worse.

    Reducing the number of tiles on the screen so that you can only view 6 full tiles at a time, as WP7 has done (the bottom two tiles appear cut off in pictures) is a huge limitation. The iPhone displays 20 icons.

    If I've got 50 apps, and I'm not using folders, an iPhone will give you three screens to scroll through. Android, I assume is similar. Windows phone 7 seems to require something like 8... And the lack of some sort of folder or grouping support is only going to make this worse.

    My prediction is that, if WP7 takes off and starts getting a decent number of apps, they're going to have to rethink the home UI or it'll be unusable.
  • Crono - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    A lot may not have been taken from the Kin One and Kin Two, but the square, multi page Start is the same concept that was implemented in the Kin phones.

    Looking forward to moving from my Kin One to the Surround. Microsoft is offering 3 months free Zune Pass for those who sign up to be notified about preorders.
  • heelo - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    You might be the only owner of a Surround.

    That thing has a "value proposition" that I'm really struggling to relate to.
  • peter7921 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I have to give recognition to Anandtech for another great review. I have been looking for a detailed review on WP7 and you guys delivered. Not only is it extremely informative but it's also very well written. I read through it all, not once feeling bored or skipping ahead.

    These types of articles are the reason Anandtech is my first source for all things tech!

    Keep up the great work guys!
  • Confusador - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    OK, wow. I mean, even by Anandtech's unusually high standards that was intense. Just one thing I'm not clear on, though... am I reading this correctly?

    "WP7 calls presents its browser user agent as “Mozilla/4.0 ...""

    If that's correct we've come a long way from the days I had to have Firefox masquerade as IE to be effective.
  • Guspaz - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    IE has *always* done this, including on the desktop. IE6 reports as as Mozilla/4.0 too. IE2 also did it (a different version of Mozilla, though). A quick search didn't turn up IE1 user agent strings, but I assume it also did. Reply
  • Spivonious - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Remember back when IE was introduced, Netscape was king. Netscape is based on Mozilla. That's the only reason it's in there - so pages made for Netscape would load correctly in IE. Reply
  • arturnowp - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    IT seems strange that WP7 cannot pass test, has very slow JavaScript engine but still pages are fluid and displayed porperly. Maybe Microsoft renders pages remotely and serves them to the phne? Reply
  • UCLAPat - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Wow! After reading this review, it makes all the other reviews look like previews. Definitely going to be considering WP7 when it's time to upgrade my phone. Still have time to burn on my current 2 year contract. By the time it's up, LTE should be up and running and Verizon will probably have a WP7 device for us to consider as well.
    Apps will come. But they're not a huge part of my life anyway. I want a rock-solid core experience for a phone. A smartphone has to nail the basic experiences first (calls, messaging, calendar, etc). I never liked the main screen completely filled with app icons. That reminded me too much of my old desktop computer before I cleaned up the desktop.
  • Belard - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    But very detailed... tells us pretty much everything anyone can ask.


    While I'm not exactly PRO-MS... its good to see good design.
    I still like Google's a bit more and its shortcoming are easy to spot. Hopefully Android 3.0 will improve on its weaknesses.

    The icon / naming is well thought out and is used by others... including Apple, but not on a phone.
  • silverblue - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    "...displays up to 8 tiles of people you’ve either recently communicated with or whose profiles you’ve viewed/stalked."

  • Lapoki - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I think WP7 has potential and could very well be my next purchase. Great article guys, it was long but very detailed.. got me through a boring afternoon.
    One thing seems missing though... the infamous signal strength comparison that you have been doing for all other phones ever since iPhone 4.
  • wht1986 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    One of the most informative WP7 reviews I have read. I actually didn't skip to the end just to read the conclusions. I read it all and enjoyed every page. Well done. Reply
  • epyon96 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Did I read that right?

    Only Mp4 and WMVsupport?
  • strikeback03 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I'm guessing that is the audio codecs allowed for videos Reply
  • Tanclearas - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    "When Apple introduced the iPhone, Steve Jobs made the point that a virtual keyboard was preferable to a fixed keyboard because you shouldn’t always be stuck with the same keyboard layout. Some applications would require a slightly different layout and other applications wouldn’t need it entirely. A physical keyboard requires you to pay the space penalty regardless of what you’re doing with the phone."

    Really? So, by that argument, Google/Android is the better choice of phone. You shouldn't always be stuck with a single choice of phone layout. I use my hardware keyboard regularly on my G1. As for "applications requiring a slightly different layout", that's a load of crap. When typing, I always want letters and numbers, and I want QWERTY with number keys above. I don't want an on-screen QWERTY with a separate button to press to switch back-and-forth between letters and numbers.

    The "applications that require a slightly different layout", perhaps like the phone keypad, can still use an on-screen keypad when necessary.
  • DP-16D - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Windows 7 Phone must be absolutely phenomenal given the writers' incredible Mac-centric slant (especially with the Windows 7 desktop non-sequitor at the end of the review). Furthermore: The e-mail and messaging pages don't include comparisons to Blackberry, the de-facto standard for communication on smartphones. In fact, I cannot recall that line of phones being mentioned at all. As an existing Blackberry user considering a switch to Windows 7 Phone your review is nearly worthless, because 99% of my phone experience is about functionality and not whether or not my handset can sing and dance better or worse than iOS and Android.

    Normally I enjoy reading Anand for very thorough reviews, but this review's omission of the essential and inclusion of the irrelevant will make me reconsider reading any future submissions by these two writers.
  • beefnot - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    C'mon man, although Blackberry is a mkt share leader, it is a 20th century platform with very little innovation. It is walking dead with respect to consumer devices, which is the segment that Windows Phone 7 is currently targeting. I own a blackberry for work, but there is no way in hell I would consider it for my personal mobile device, and I don't give a rat's ass that it is excluded from comparison. Reply
  • Reven - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I'm happy with my iphone 4 for now, but I will seriously consider getting the next generation of Windows Mobile phones when I eventually upgrade. Reply
  • anona6 - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Hey I live in Tucson, and I was wondering if anandtech was based out of Tucson or something.
    This article made it a little more exciting for me just because it was local to me, and you have
    one of my favorite coffee shops there that's nearby my University.
  • Zstream - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Do you know what the talk time is for the LG? It's not showing on the graph Reply
  • soaringrocks - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    I find it amusing that for a 'phone' there is often little to no discussion on call quality, reception, and ability to maintain connection in a difficult environment. We know that all phones are not equal on that score...

    It's like you don't expect people to actually make phone calls.
  • beefnot - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    Making phone calls with your smart phone is just so passe. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    They said they have reviews of the actual phones coming, that is the type of info that would be in a review of the phone, not the OS. Reply
  • thartist - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    sick amount of quality work. the only WP7 review on the web so far as it had to be done.

    Anand, keep that quality work that puts you so above from the rest.
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    The lack of "change on the fly" micro SD is a deal killer for me.
    It's a shame too, because I really like everything else about this phone.
  • Smilin - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    Curious: Why do you need such a feature? Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    whoa, i don't know if anyone else, or even you will get back to reading this but...

    i use SD cards to store music on. i have a situation where i can't always sync with my home pc very often, and i can't always carry around a laptop, so bringing along a handful of different SD cards with a variety of tunes has been important to me.
    what i'd really like is for card-swapping to get more convenient, like in cameras.
  • btdvox - Thursday, October 21, 2010 - link

    In your review you guys say the LG Optimus 7 has a MicroSD slot that we can expand on, yet nowhere else does it say that on the web. Can you verify this? If it does than this phone is a clear winner for me, It's also avail in Canada btw. I'd hope we're just as important as Asia and Europse but I suppose were not haha. Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    the trick is that the microSD card gets treated like part of the built-in memory, and you cannot replace it without completely erasing your phone and starting over.

    so you basically have to choose a single SD card and stick with it, there is no changing on the fly like in android phones.
  • btdvox - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Wasnt really my question but thanks.

    But still unanswered is, I dont think LG Optimus 7 has a microsd slot, Engadget just reviewed it and stated it doesnt have a memory slot. Can you guys confirm this?
  • Kentcomp - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I really appreciate you guys so thoroughly reviewing WP7. Your review was like reading a really well illustrated, yet candid owner's manual. Thank you!

    PS I find the home screen to be kind of boring too but I'll choose functionality over style 99% of the time. After all, the homescreen is just there to get you to where you really want to be.
  • Riccardo - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    That's a remarkably in-depth review. Thanks guys! Reply
  • rye222 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    amazingly thorough article. i've been eagerly awaiting these phones ever since i bought the Zune HD and thought, "if MS made this into a phone, they would own". thanks Anand, great job as usual on your articles! Reply
  • lewchenko74 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    The interface is too minimalistic. Hate the massive two color icons. Just looks ugly.. and really not that functional if you have a lot of these 'icons' to wade through.

    Then there are the limitations that mean it isnt quite as feature rich as an iphone or Android in certain areas.

    There is absolutely nothing compelling to sway me to this phone (at all).

    Anyone with an app library (android or iOS) is hardly gonna part with their spent money on a new device and lose that investment... plus it barely has an app library yet.

    I wish MS well as competition is important... but it really doesnt give an iOS / Android owner anything new, plus if I was buying fresh... I think that the iOS / Android phones and app-sphere etc are just more compelling.

    Nice thorough review though.... just read a little too enthusiastically MS focussed at times, but a good read.
  • hakime - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    "The UI is a thing of beauty. Microsoft got the style, customization and performance one hundred percent right on this thing. It makes iOS feel old and utilitarian. It’s funny to think that Microsoft was the one to out-simplify Apple in the UI department."

    This sentence summarize by itself how not objective and professional this review is. I mean no one on Earth being a little bit rational can think that this Metro interface is beautiful let alone functional or easy to use. I mean how a hell can a text based interface with half displayed text all around and ugly flat colors on top of black background can be called beautiful? This interface just lacks taste, it is different yes, but it is bad, it lacks interaction. You are so Microsft driven that you come to think that a different interface is necessarily easy to use and functional. Nothing is right here, the theme, the colors are ugly with little sense for giving some wish for the user to use the phone, there are too many steps needed to go to what the user wants to do, the tiles are a mess as they can be anything and hubs are an obscure UI concept that serve little interest. You want to browse through your apps, you are presented with only a list view and good luck with that. The calendar and SMS apps are a horrible vision for the users, they are just ugly. The email app looks like it was design by a bunch of students in GUI design with no clue on how to present the information to users. And everything else is just a mess in itself hidden behind a ton of useless animations.

    In contrary, iOS just looks easy to use, clean, beautiful. You have your phone and that's it, not extra useless UI concepts and distractions. They are nice for a demo, but for daily usage, they rapidly get useless.

    Then you continue with the Zune pass, noting that it is better than iTunes, but in what regard? You are strange enough to like the Zune pass, that does not make it better than the iTunes model. Again non objective argument.

    Best integration of Facebook in WP7? Is it a big deal or even a nice feature? The question is if it is really a good thing. Why should I have all my contact and photos all mixed up in an almost uncontrollable mess? Someone objective would surely recognize that such exaggerated integration of Facebook just makes little sense. A well designed app is more than enough to access the Facebook content without having to have all the time friends and non-friends popping up with messages and photos. Distractive and useless like the UI of WP7.

    And what about not being more reserved with the major shortcomings of WP7. How many times we have been told about the lack of multitasking in iOS? And now an os comes to a market where all the other mobiles os have multitasking and this is not called a deal breaker! It is a deal breaker, not having multitasking on WP7 is just inexcusable from Microsoft.

    Same thing with copy and paste, in 2010 an smart phone should have an efficient copy and past implemented, and WP7 not having it is a total shame. Sure, most implementation out there sucks, and only the iOS has a real efficient and easy to use implementation, but that does not forgive Microsoft for that.

    What about also the significant lack of unified mail box in the email app, the lack of robust security features, the lack of tethering, the clumsy Exchange support, the pour performing third party apps, the lack of universal search, the excessive $14.99 for zune pass, the inexcusable lack for support of HTML5 which is even more unacceptable as the os does not support flash either, no YouTube app, weird interface concept when you need to long press to reach some options and in-app menus, etc...

    The list is long, WP7 is surely full of animations but it is little functional. And the authors fail to give an objective review of this system which is new but far behind the competition. Having a different UI style does not make this os more functional or even attractive. It just sacrifices too much on real usability for bringing useless UI concepts. The authors wishing so much that their lovely Microsoft brings something to save itself from the mobile market that they have forgotten what objectivity means.

  • dustcrusher - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    It's a review. Reviews are inherently subjective. The only parts that aren't are the benchmarks, and even those are arguably not 100% objective. I think at points they were gushing over what worked well but there were other points where they did bring up some valid objections, even if they tinted them a little with rose-colored glasses.

    Thanks to this review, I learned enough to realize I'm probably better off going to an Android phone when I am able (disclosure: I'm on WinMo 6 right now). Android simply fits my wants and needs better. I don't see WP7 taking giant chunks of market share from Apple or Android, but I think it will do better than WinMo did.

    Microsoft is trying to do something different; seems like they are trying to make a smartphone that is as easy to use as a featurephone. It's risky but it could pay off big time. If their sole intention was to cram all of Android and iOS's features into their new OS, it'd be closer to WinMo 6.6 w/HTC's UI shell on top.

    A couple of reviewers decided they like the way WP7 does some things. You are clearly happy with your iPhone, so why are you letting it bother you so much? Do you really want to come off as a trollish fanboy?
  • cjl - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    Have you read any of Anand's Iphone reviews? If anything, Anand is biased towards the iphone at the expense of pretty much anything else, so the fact that this review is so positive speaks volumes about the phone.

    Also, to everyone complaining about the interface, you should really try using a Zune HD sometime. It's amazing how natural the interface is.
  • headrush69 - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - link

    There is a big difference between saying an interface is natural to use over saying it is a thing of beauty.

    Frankly many of the screen shots make elements of the interface look very basic, dated and rushed.

    Example: plain square flat buttons on call screen, on/off toggles in setting screen.

    Of course these things are pretty trivial to improve and I'm sure they will, but statements like this in the article

    "The UI is a thing of beauty. Microsoft got the style, customization and performance one hundred percent right on this thing. It makes iOS feel old and utilitarian."

    I just can't agree with and believe exactly the opposite.
  • Smilin - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    Have YOU seen the UI? Not screenshot of it. Have you seen it? Used it?

    Your opinion is worthless.
  • Smilin - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    smells like hater in here.

    Sorry man but this is the most comprehensive and *objective* review I've seen yet. Most of the things you're griping about are IN the article. Did you read it?
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    It cant play avi files? What do you call a $500 device that cant play avi files? FAIL. Reply
  • beefnot - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I'm so sick of seeing "fail" in user comments. 99% of the time, it follows a point or points being made that wouldn't have swayed them to deem it worthy anyway. YAWN. Reply
  • mutatio - Friday, October 22, 2010 - link

    I'm glad you guys found it to be as smooth and useful as you did. Based on what you described and the corresponding pictures, however, I'm having a hard time understanding something "just works" when the UI looks like a crap sandwich and almost makes my eyes bleed. "No, we don't use those oh-so-80's icons that graphically represent what the App does. We're much too posh for that, minimalist traffic signs for everything! Brilliant!" Maybe it'll be different with hands on, but it looks like MS went out of their way to try and make this thing look clever and almost abstract. Think myspace made into a smartphone, and if you're like me and think that myspace pages more often look like pop culture chewed up, swallowed, and thrown up onto a web page, then you get where I'm coming from. If that is the case when I get my hands on one of these, I can't see how MS can get any significant traction in the smartphone market. They might get some young emo hipsters who dig the abstract layout, but the appeal thus far of iOS and Android is the overall ease of use. My impression from your review, despite your reassurances, is that MS has again made a product much more complicated than it needs to be. I hope for MS' sake that is not the case when actually using the phone. Reply
  • MacGyver85 - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    You'll just have to try it to appreciate it I guess.
    I can understand people when they say the interface looks bland or overly simplistic based on "screenshots" of the UI. But when you see it in person it's so much better. Really.
    Likewise with how you navigate around it. It's just so intuitive you don't for a second have to think how to do something. Every time someone asks me if what it's like I always respond that they'll have to use it themselves. And everyone that does loves it. Seriously :)
    Dare I use it but what the hell: it just works!
  • DJJoeJoe - Saturday, October 23, 2010 - link

    I don't think any OS at this point can grab a drastic number of market share like we see in the phone space obviously, or even the slightly slower moving browser space. Modern Operating Systems are so mature at this point that there is really little you can do, both Win7 and Snow Leopard were just small refinements to their previous versions.

    I think it's doubtful that even something as force-ably drastic as Chrome OS will do anything to the landscape either, even if Google bucketed down and really nailed it. Sadly the market share is ruled by the people going to costco and grabbing up a pre made pc, or large corps running xp, and I can't see something drastic being sold to either groups in the next handful of years.

    tis all in the phones these days, and I wish I had a time machine so I could get the second wave of hopefully nicer wp7 handsets and maybe a good update to the os itself. Don't got the money to spend on a 'amazing start'.
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, October 25, 2010 - link

    Looks to me like Vista's bad press helped Apple reach 9% market share, but that's as far as they've moved up. Win 7 is sweet and everyone knows it so Apple is no longer making headway.

    I don't want Microsoft execs to think that way though - like was written in the article, I think Microsoft performs better as an underdog, and if they think more in terms of being threatened by Apple or someone else then perhaps they'll be more inclined to put a shining example of what they can do out on the market.

    Glad to see Microsoft did produce a product with some shine.

  • dotroy - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Windows 7 phone is good ...umm ..some things not as good ..but win7 phone is good, there are somethings done better by others OS but win 7 phone is good. I never felt like this before. This is a paid advertising. Anand is making good money. Reply
  • pete2s - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Will Windows 7 Phone store apps on the ROM partition? If so, this severely limits the number and size of apps as well as their quality.

    Although Android is evolving past this limitation, Android, Blackberry and Palm phones store the OS and all apps on an encrypted partition referred to in the specs as the ROM. Usually, this ROM is 512MB. After the OS is installed, the phone has less than 300MB for apps.

    Initially, I thought Windows 7 Phone would not store apps on the ROM because of its unified storage system that creates a single volume. If this were the case, however, there'd be no point in having a larger ROM because the ROM would only be holding the OS + the 60MB limit of pre-installed software. Some phones, like the Samsung Focus, do have larger ROMs though (1GB compared to 512MB). The only point of having a larger ROM would be to store more apps because apps are installed to the ROM.

    If the above is true, Windows 7 Phone will be severely limited in app size and thus development.
  • drwho9437 - Monday, November 01, 2010 - link

    "It’s almost as if Microsoft is taking Apple’s approach and simply letting everyone build iPhones."

    Exactly and it is genius, it means the cost margin will vanish and the experience will still be as the software people want, people won't think poorly of these phones just because of a few badly designed devices they used. Let's hope it works out.
  • owbert - Monday, November 01, 2010 - link

    best review of win7 phone amongst others. great work! Reply
  • x0rg - Wednesday, November 03, 2010 - link

    To me it looks like Microsoft just needed to release something ASAP. Later they can work on interface improvement, I mean fonts, sizes, blocks, text location, easy shortcut access, backups, etc. There are tons of things to improve. Reply
  • landswipe - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    "The downside to this layout is that every time you want to enter a different URL, you’ll have to rotate to portrait, enter it, and then swap back. Same if you want to change tabs or use a favorite. That can get a bit frustrating if you’re used to viewing pages in landscape, but not totally killer. There’s an impressively fluid rotation transition between portrait and landscape, however."

    Same theme through the whole article...

    Little Upside... bit more downside... a little frustrated?... but HEY come on we are friends!!! there is some cool animation by our designers to make up for it all :D <cheesy grin>

    It stinks of slight of hand, and overall sounds like an epic fail waiting to happen... This just won't compete.

    As a developer, I don't think the apps/games produced are going to cut it... With Android and iPhone you can at least write cross platform opengl games in C++. dotNet is just pure lock-in.

    I hope they sell just enough of these things to put an early end to it... I have a feeling a lot of people are going to get fooled.
  • jeans_xp - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    It's bad news for us, AMOLED is not used.
  • vhx - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Only problems I have are no custom ring tones (really now...). No messenger support yet. No clue about 3rd party apps, no one is talking about it. Will it be like Android or the tight control Apple has? I couldn't find any article talking about this. Reply
  • DKant - Saturday, November 13, 2010 - link

    I got through 15 pages and that was it. I have already decided this is my next mobile-platform anyway (unless I start hearing rumors of a hologram-projecting iPhone 5), no point reading the remaining 200. I can't imagine the amount of patience it must have taken to WRITE this behemoth! :) Of course it's your job, you've been doing this forever etc, but still.

    Man, finally. A "proper" competitor to iOS, which was getting a little stale. And I have too many issues with Google's approach to consider any of the quadrillion models on offer.

    Well. I do hope WP7 sells and lives longer than the Palm. :_(

    (And I'd never imagined I'd finish a post with this..)

    To Microsoft!!
  • CSMR - Saturday, November 13, 2010 - link

    Very informative review, but shouldn't this site be serving people who are technically minded rather than the average consumer?

    There is no question WP7 has a lot of excellent points.

    But I'm not sure how you can accept a system that does away with files, and uses a limited sync system to move content around in approved ways.

    Or call software "The Best Smartphone for Music Lovers" when:
    - it believes that music consists of "songs" written by "artists" and put into "albums", when only a minor part of the history of western music is of this form
    - it does not allow a folder structure for navigation, only limited tags of the above form
    - gapless playback is incomplete

    Microsoft needs prodding to update the system in a way that retains the new features and GUI but also implements the basic features. If it doesn't get this from tech sites, where are we left? Perhaps Windows 8 will decide Turing completeness is no longer important, people just need to be able to do x, y, and z as simply as possible. I'm sure there are a lot of people at Microsoft who want WP7 to be a real OS - without changing usability. They just need a bit of support.
  • Millsington - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Excellent point about folder navigation, I had forgotten about that. It is sorely missed in modern music players.

    Sadly, I don't see the issues you raised being addressed for some time unless WP7 really takes off.
  • billybarker - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - link

    Check out these Windows Phone 7 Application Icons - there are 350 icons in the set. Reply
  • warden6 - Friday, November 19, 2010 - link

    I've had my HTC 7 Mozart for a fortnight. I like it. I like the big square icons on the Start screen (although I've toned down the colour as much as possible); I like the integration with Google Mail, Contacts and Calendar (yes it does work, set it up as an Exchange server); I like the threaded conversations for texts like the iPhone; the music player is good; oh, and it's not a bad phone either.

    There are some issues -- there's no Messenger client, gapless track playback is haphazard to say the least, there's a limited range of alerts/ringtones and you can't add more, and battery life is a bit short. Especially with push email. Hopefully some of those can be fixed, but they're definitely not deal-breakers for me.

    What I can't figure out is how to do "Inverse" on the scientific view of the calculator. No inverse-sin, inverse-log, etc. That's not a deal-breaker either, I don't use those very often! But it's an odd omission.
  • anistoona - Sunday, November 21, 2010 - link

    " but while home I don’t use those apps as much. Instead my smartphone behaves more like an SMS, phone, email, camera and web browsing device, and it’s in those areas that Windows Phone is easily just as good as the competition."

    With all my respect: If I need only the SmS, phone, email, Camera and web borwisng things form my handheld device, I would like to buy a 150$ Symbian phone, I don't need to buy an up to 700$ smartphone to do that things!!

    WinMob 5, 6.x was the system which puts the definition of what " Smart Phones" should capable of, and disappointingly Microsoft chose to give up that system and replaced with a modified copy of Old, aged and discontinued competitors system ( I mean first generation of iOS ) ..

    Really good choice Microsoft !
  • Hrel - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    Am I the only one who sees that the "brown" option for the UI color is red? Am I losing my sight? My tv is adjusted perfectly to THX standards. All the other colors look right. Or is it just the camera you used to take the shot? Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    As far as I'm concerned any phone that doesn't have a "fine me" feature with the ability to lock it doesn't even exist. Seriously, why has it taken SOOO long to have this? It should be standard on all phones. Now I want to be able to make my phone the key for my car. Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, December 05, 2010 - link

    I'm the same as your dad. I mean I want to view everything is the proper aspect ratio; but I also REALLY want usefull pixels filling the whole screen. That's why I wish everything was just filmed in 16:9. I mean, that's plenty wide. When I want movies on DVD I just zoom in once so the whole screen is filled and with the exception of far right/left text in some movies I honestly don't miss out on anything. It doesn't cut off very much on the sides and really when you're filming who's gonna point the camera so where you're supposed to be looking is at the edge of view? No one. 16:9 is the only aspect ratio visual media should be in. That way everything is uniform and just fits. Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, December 05, 2010 - link

    ie no trade offs Reply
  • natewaddoups - Friday, December 23, 2011 - link

    The article mentioned the confusing behavior of IE's back button... The confusion starts when you open IE from the start menu, because at that point IE throws away your browsing history, so that the back-button will return you to the start menu. It makes sense if you were opening IE to look at a new web page, but it's maddening if you were opening IE to resume a browsing session that had useful stuff in the web navigation history.

    The workaround is to switch to IE by holding down the back-button and selecting IE from the list of running apps. That opens IE without throwing away your browsing history, so that the back-button continues to work for web navigation.

    I actually removed the IE tile from the start menu, just to prevent myself from accidentally throwing out the browser history. I've always got two or three tabs open in IE, with meaningful history in each tab, so it was always aggravating to press the back button and get kicked back to the start menu.

    If you'd like to see this fixed in a future version of Windows Phone, please vote for it here:

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