iPhone vs. Windows Phone 7

I have been doing a fair bit of traveling in the United States. My iPhone 4 is on Telus in Canada. The roaming fees are not cheap. So I’ve whipped out my old US cell account – and put it on a Samsung Focus running Windows Phone 7 (from a Nexus One on Android).

In short, it has been a pleasant surprise. Windows Phone 7 is clearly the best thing Microsoft has done in years. Will it make me give up my iPhone? No…but it is a worthy second in my eyes and an experience I certainly prefer to Android.

The good:

  • User interface is extremely intuitive. Everything works as it should. It passed the friends/family “I have to borrow your phone” instant test.
  • It looks good as well as is functional. Everyone that has seen it has also been duly impressed.
  • Mail offers more capabilities (e.g. – priority support).
  • Calendar is significantly more functional than Apple’s (e.g. – proposals work)
  • It does a very good job of unifying all of the contacts
  • Search is much more natively integrated into the experience
  • XBox integration is cool – though not of interest to me as I’m not a gamer
  • The combined people view is pretty cool
The bad- or things that really drove me nuts:
  • Push does not work when you’re in your inbox; you have to manually sync. it.
  • There is no single inbox.
  • There is no way to group applications – a problem if you have lots of them
  • The maps experience is not as rich
  • The browser is downright horrible at rendering complex Web sites
  • The integration with Live is mandated – and can be problematic. Especially as I broke it by getting the country/account mixed up so Marketplace was broken and you cannot change this easily (involved having to use an XBox)
  • Ability to filter contacts is really limited – I don’t want to see, for example, everyone I have ever sent a Hotmail to (as this is my spam-account)
The ugly:
  • There are no applications relative to iOS – the choice is abysmal and things I use all the time are not there (e.g. – Dropbox)
  • You have to download lots of additional applications to get out-of-the-box that matches the iPhone
  • Zune is good – but its not as rich as iTunes
  • You are limited by the hardware; the Focus is good – but its touchscreen is not as sensitive and lack of storage is an issue (supposedly there is a hack to increase storage – but I haven’t spent the time)
In short – it has a lot of promise. I look forward to Mango.
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