Well, whether I intended to or not, yesterday while out doing some Christmas shopping I wandered into the AT&T store at my local mall to get some hands on time with the Windows Phone 7 handsets.
Although I had had some very brief moments with a couple of handsets prior to this I wanted to really handle them and see what they felt and looked like. I knew I was going to be upgrading during my next upgrade cycle – just wasn’t sure of which handset I would get.
Shortly after I had been in the store one of the clerks walked up and asked how I was doing, etc. I told them I was looking at the handsets and very interested but was not able to upgrade because our renewal dates are in April and June.
Well they immediately offered to waive one of the early upgrade fees ($40) and sell me two phones under their Buy One, Get One Free offer. They were even willing to let me get two different handsets under this offer.
What could I say? I decided on the LG Quantum for myself because I like the physical keyboard and the Samsung Focus for my wife. By the way don’t tell her about this – it is a Christmas gift.
So I brought the handset home, got it set up and then started putting it through its paces so I could learn my way around the new Windows Phone 7 operating system. It has been an enlightening 24 hours to say the least!
Well the remainder of this post is my notes from the first 24 hours with the LG Quantum Windows Phone 7 handset. These are not in any specific order except for how they come from my notes and my brain.
- In Windows 7 we have the Right Click or context menu. In Windows Phone 7 it is Tap and Hold. There is no rhyme or reason for where the capability might be in the mobile OS and I did find this video that points out quite a few of them. Experiment to find others.
- There are quite a few ring tones on the phone out of the box but no way to add your own. That ability needs to be added to the OS in an update or someone needs to create a Ringtone App that is similar to the Backgrounds 10,000 App.
- When you set up POP3 email accounts there is no setting to leave email on the server. That is because it is the default setting. However, if you delete an email from your handset and hit the Sync button then it will be removed from your POP3 server and no longer available.
- While I am on the subject of email – can we get an Email Hub? Currently I have a separate tile on the homepage of my Windows Phone 7 for each account I set up. That is a total of 6 tiles which includes 4 POP3 email accounts and 2 Hotmail/Live email accounts. We should be able to consolidate those accounts under one Tile or maybe by type of account (POP3, HTTP, IMAP). Also, a centralized place to change sync settings on all accounts, at one time, would also be handy. Future feature request maybe?
- Your Windows Phone 7 calendar syncs with the calendar associated with the Windows Live ID that you log into the handset with. That means the calendar in your typical Outlook data file is not the one syncing with your phone. I did some searching on the web and apparently there are ways around this – all looked painful. At the moment I am opting to just keeping all my calendar items in my Hotmail calendar and that is synching just fine to the phone. I guess I could make my Hotmail account the main account in my desktop Outlook and that would then default all calendar items into the right calendar.
- Did you hear Cut and Paste functionality is not in Windows Phone 7? Well, for at least the first 24 hours I have not needed it. Not sure what the excitement is about. Would it be handy at some point? Probably so. Apparently it is coming in January 2011 as part of the first package of updates to the phone OS.
- There is no hardware button to push that will change your phone from Ring to Vibrate. You have to hit the Volume Up or Down key and then tap the on screen icon in the top right corner to change.
- Rotation between portrait and landscape modes is very inconsistent across the OS and apps. Some apps have screens that rotate just fine and others in the same app never budge. Same thing applies with elements of the phone OS. Hopefully these will get sorted out in future OS updates so that the implementation is consistent. Personally , I think every screen should rotate. Especially on the LG Quantum, presently the only US handset with a physical keyboard, if the keyboard is slid out then the screen should be rotating to landscape view no matter what.
Despite the hiccups I have described above the phone is a blast to use. Sliding around the handset to do various things is just so natural. There is a lot to learn in the shift from Windows Mobile 6.5 to Windows Phone 7 but I think the transition is well worth it.
Now it is your turn. I would really like to hear about your own experiences with Windows Phone 7 as you have been using. If you have any tips to share with everyone please post them and your comments below.
Also, if you happen to know I am doing something wrong and that there is a way to do any of the things I have mentioned above then I hope you will also let me know that as well.
I will take the best comments/suggestions and send along a Windows 7 Mousepad to say thanks.