Living With Windows Phone 7

I’ve had a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 device since the day they were launched back in November of last year. I’ve had over eight months to put this thing through the rigors of everyday use and see how it meets my needs. Essentially I was looking for something that provided solid email support, a good calendar, a robust music player, and a good selection of apps. Everyone has different needs in a phone, but those were mine. Lets run down that list and see how the phone has performed.

1. Email support- Basically I just needed to be able to check all my email accounts. WP7 makes it easy to set up if you have a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail/Live account. I was also able to set up the phone to receive email on my military account without any difficulties. So in terms of being able to access all my accounts it has succeeded wonderfully. With the Mango update coming this fall the email hubs will get even better.

2. Calendar- I use Google Calendar as a sort of hub for keeping all my calendars in sync across my desktop, laptop, iPad, and phone. This works marvelously in WP7 as it has built in support for Google Calendar and I simply had to make it my default calendar option. If I add something on my phone it gets added to all my other devices. If I add something on Google Calendar through a browser, it gets added to my phone. If you are a Google Calendar user this phone is an excellent choice.

3. Music- All I have to say is, “Zune.” The software and the implementation on the phone is far superior to any iOS device (and I own 2 iOS devices). WP7 is a stellar multimedia device complete with great playback controls, wonderful album and artist art, and access to the Zune store and Zune Pass music subscription. Nothing even comes close to this combination for music lovers. If you love music you should have a WP7 device. The only downside is the limited storage space on the phones.

4. Apps- WP7 does not have 3 billion apps like iOS and Android. However, it has more than enough. There has never been a time where I went hunting for an app that I needed that I have not been able to find something. Sure, there might not be forty apps that all do the same thing, but I have always been able to find what I need. For example, one of the first things I went hunting for was an app to use the GPS to track my runs. At launch I was able to pick from several apps and found the one I liked the best (RunSat). Don’t let the size of the app store sway you. WP7 has plenty of apps plus it has really cool Xbox live integration for a number of games.

Windows Phone 7 is a great mobile OS and it is only going to get better. The major update coming this fall will add a ton of features and functionality to an already great system. If you are looking for a new phone, do yourself a favor and give this OS a chance. I think once you actually get your hands on a device you will like what you see.

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