2 years ago, on a whim, I decided to go Windows 7 Phone – for the 14 days until the droid I actually wanted became available. But I was impressed with the slickness of the device; that Windows 7 Phone UI – the UI where they got rid of all the reasons to need UI chrome – is really slick and elegant. Unlike the Windows 8 UI, which is a PC UI hacked to look like Metro and coerced into removing necessary UI chrome (but still needing it).
Ultimately, the lack of apps and an assortment of stupid feature changes are what sluiced me out of staying with Windows phone.
Windows Phone 7 Summary:
- + Ultra-streamlined UI makes sense down to your bones after a few days adjustment,
- + Great text-to-speech for reading text messages and giving alerts,
- + Great speech-to-text – best I’ve seen so far for dictating texts etc,
- + Fast little device
- – One Volume Setting to Rule them All,
- – Tendency to reset the volume to full on incoming calls, texts, or pretty much any sound,
- – Speech functionality only available when you’ve have or have just had a bluetooth headset connected,
- – No significant app support
Plus I had a grand-fathered unlimited data plan.
So today, I used my end of contract upgrade to switch to the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
This may be a problem, because I’m a phone-in-pocket type of guy. The Note is HUGE. Half-way between my old phone and the size of my first-gen Kindle Fire.
In terms of the device in-hand, I like the size. In terms of portability – it’s bigger than my pockets. I bought an “Otter” belt-case for it. Yeah, that’s … just gonna take a normal guy’s pants down. The thing is huge.
Off the bat I had problems with the home screen customization. I want the time, date and temp displayed, sure. Do I want it so large I can only choose four other short cuts on that screen? Erh. No?
First App: HD Widgets.
Gives me a 2×1 clock + cal + weather widget. Replace the google search bar with a button and now I have a good 12 extra shortcuts on that page.
My contacts were mostly stored in Google and Windows Live so I got those imported nice and easily.
Getting Amazon Kindle running was a little bit of a pain.
And finally: There was selecting ring tones, alarm tones, notification tones and etc.
It didn’t come with a ringing phone tone. WTF.
And I’ll miss the alarm tones from the Trophy. I supposed I can always record them and make my own ring tones :)