So on Wednesday I went out and I purchased a Windows 7 Phone. I ended up going with the HTC 7 Surround with Telus Mobility (Canada).
There currently are two Windows 7 Phones available in Canada.
HTC 7 Surround:
- Integrated Dolby Surround Sound with SRS enabled speakers
- Features a mobile entertainment centre with slide-out speakers and kickstand
- Pin songs, playlists and websites to the customizable Windows Phone 7 start screen
LG Optimus 7:
- Capture and play back with 720p HD video recording
- Slide out Keyboard
- Play To allows you to Connect to a DNLA enabled TV to share your pictures and videos
Those are the features exclusive to each phone.
I chose the HTC 7 because I am really impressed with the quality of HTC phones lately, I really like the external speakers/kickstand, and I'm not too fond of the slide out keyboard the Optimus sports.
Okay, so how is the actual phone?
I must simply say I'm blown away. I have previously used an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc... and they just don't compare (except Android). (Granted, they all have appealing characteristics that got them to where they are today).
I'll evaluate the phone on a few different aspects:
Look and Feel (10/10):
The User Interface for this phone is clean and crisp. The 'tiles' are easily configurable and make your home screen look professional as opposed to tacky and cluttered. The colors are bright and vibrant. The lighting options of the phone always ensures you have a solid picture with little glare. The sound is incredible. This is one feature that the HTC7S shines. The extendable speakers will rock you loud and clear. Perfect for listening to music, and the kickstand makes watching movies more enjoyable than you'd think.
Sliding through the menu's becomes 'fun' with W7P. It feels fast and fluid, and you can always get where you need to be in a matter of seconds. Menu's are laid out logically and thus are incredibly easy to navigate. I would give Navigation 10/10, but because of a lacking of a few 'global' settings, you are often finding yourself going into each individual app to change settings such as data fetching. Searching for what you want on Internet Explorer becomes a breeze with Bing auto-complete. 3G flies on this phone, and the 'loading time' is non-existent when opening apps.
This has to be one of the phones' strong points. Everything you'd expect to be tedious and obtuse is surprisingly simple and practical. Importing contacts doesn't even feel like an importing process at all. Just link your email and/or Facebook account to the phone and it does the rest. It automatically compiles the information together and you're left with fleshed out contacts with all the information you need at your fingertips. Transferring your movies and music is a breeze with Zune Marketplace, software that I have to say I prefer to iTunes quite a bit.
The app section is currently lacking, however with popularity I am sure it will grow like wildfire. At this moment though, it is nothing to get excited about. That being said, what comes included out of the box will chances are be enough for the average user.
I must say I am truly impressed. I do not want to give the impression that I think this is the perfect phone, or the best phone for everyone even. It just fits my needs for what I'm doing perfectly, and the phone feels like it belongs in my hands. The overall score would actually be higher if the app section wasn't as lacking as it is, but that will improve over time, thus opening up more opportunities and making the phone even better. I've worked in the cellular industry for several years, and I've seen a lot of phones. This one just happened to claim the title of my favorite... for now.
Good job Microsoft.