Windows Phone 7 (WP7) The Good, The Bad and Ugly

Two days ago Ap.Rox saw the arrival of the new HTC HD7 Smart phone delivered to our office door. After some considerable time playing with the shiny new device we thought it was worth a blog post to say the good and bad points we have found with the device so far.

We feel at this point that its worth mentioning that this isn't just a fancy theme revamp of Windows Mobile 6 (WM6) but more a total rewrite and with this comes some treats as well as some not very appealing tricks.

So what are WP7's treats?

A slick new UI which is very easy to browse and super fast to boot. Microsoft have set some pretty serious baselines for hardware vendors which will guarantee that the new platform works smoothly. This is a well needed push by Microsoft in my opinion which will reduce the instabilities and miss-matches caused by hardware vendors putting the OS onto slow or inadequate hardware, which was sometimes the case with the previous Windows Mobile versions.

Social Networking is a key part of the new WP7 with heavy focus on Facebook and other social networking integration.

Images look crisp from the flash equipped 5MP camera and are also easy to browse with a whole host of features to boot such as auto tagging where the image was taken via Microsoft's location services. The camera is also equipped to take 720p HD video.

Music and videos are now handled through the Zune UI and is a really nice touch compared to the old method of using Windows Media Player (WMP).

Windows Market Place is seamless and a one stop shop for paid and free apps meaning you can find loads of apps on the go. This is also a good thing for any budding developers out there who want to make some cash from their self made apps.

The phone also boasts a whole load of other features such as GPS mapping and in-built compass etc.

So what about the bad points?

No more file explorer, this means that you can no longer plug your device into your PC and us it as a removable storage device. I know for us here at Ap.Rox this was a big disappointment as this was always a handy feature when going onsite to clients.

Tethering is not currently available which means you can no longer connect your phone to your PC (Wifi or USB) to enable your PC to have internet access. This again was another big disappointment for us but maybe this will be introduced in the future.

Music and videos can no longer be dragged and dropped to your device and all music/videos must now be synched through the Zune software. Again for us this was a disappointment as this was one of the key things that stopped us purchasing iPhones for the office as we did not want to be bound to ITunes. It seems that Microsoft are going the same way by locking down the device for its users.

SatNav applications are currently non existent due the OS being so new but hopefully we will be seeing some vendors step up soon.

Migration of contacts from WM6.5 is not completely straight forward as Activesync is a thing of the past and you will be required to install Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector instead.

There are also a number of reported bugs which we have also experienced on the device.

So we felt that Microsofts new platform was a mixed bag and wanted to let people out there who were thinking of moving the the new platform know exactly what may effect them by doing so. All in all though a lovely platform to use and we hope that once it has matured Microsoft will improve on some of these things which Microsoft's die hard fans are missing.

HTC HD7 Windows Phone