As we’re coming to the end of the Telstra Social Review process, it’s time I pulled a few thoughts, good and bad together about my Windows Phone 7 experience to date. I’ve been keeping a long, running note of things that I could just put up, but I think I’ll probably explain myself a wee bit more than a bullet point note.
The Hardware and Connectivity!
HTC have produced a beautiful, light and compact device in the Mozart 7, that feels incredibly robust, sturdy in the hand without being a complete paper weight. The looks and line of the phone are classic with just enough bling brought with it’s touches of chrome and contrasting black, or gun metal brushed finish, and the silky black plastic inserts. As an aside, one of the things I like about the Desire, was the full plastic back, I don’t know what process that plastic is put through to make it so warm, and one may even say flesh like, it’s certainly warm and alive.
Much has been made of the difference between AMOLED and SLCD displays on phones, personally, the difference escapes me. The SLCD on the Mozart is a vibrant as any other screen on a phone that I’ve seen. I run the screen on medium brightness, to try to save power, but even running it on automatic, letting the inbuilt light sensor adjust the brightness for the conditions you are in, out door performance is poor, but probably to be expected. The glare factor is very bad, some sort of anti glare, matt screen protector should really be included with the phone.
The screen itself, and the capacitive touch buttons, are extremely sensitive which is a plus and minus, a light brush on any of the buttons will catapult you to somewhere else in the OS, which is a real annoyance whilst in the middle of a game. or trying to get a quick tweet out. The combination of WP7 and the Mozart’s accelerometer, is probably the quickest and most fluid I’ve experienced.
Volume and sound quality are just above average, although the big lump of aluminium that the Mozart is made of, acts as a resonation aid, like any good audio speakers, so external sound, speakerphone, is exceptionally good. The included headset is of a quality I’ve come to expect, mediocre. Made better though by the included equaliser software, which only works with an external speaker or headphones. If you want to take full advantage of the Mozart’s music capabilities, you will want to get yourself a good set of wired or bluetooth earphones. I’m in no way an audiophile, but the included headset, was hard to wear for any length of time.
Connecting the phone to a bluetooth device other than a headset, doesn’t seem to be supported at this point, but if someone can tell me different, I’d like to know. I haven’t been able to connect to a PC or another phone successfully via bluetooth at this point. Wifi is good when there’s an existing network, but ad hoc connections to a PC have evaded me, even with the Zune software. I set up a a new network but the phone can’t seem to find my PC. It does say 801.11n, not b or g, so it’s maybe not compatible with my current old EEEpc. Wifi speed for downloading apps that are larger than the 10 Mb OTA limit, are not great though. Some of the larger games I’ve downloaded, have taken more than an hour over wifi. I still have pending downloads that will not happen when I connect to a PC as well. This just bugs me.
For anything smaller though, internet, messaging, email etc, lightening fast OTA downloads. I’m not on Telstra, with my normal phone, and the speed of the NextG network is evident, especially for data. My highest usage comes from Google reader, and marking all read in a page, and getting to a fresh page on the Desire can take a while. I’m getting less than one second refreshes with Internet Explorer on the Mozart. It’s not always the same, but it’s always faster than I’m used to. The lack of flash support, and the IE6 sort of experience, just makes me search for third party browsers. There are a few out there, and this is probably the best, so the WP7 browser wars begin in earnest.
The only real fail. with the hardware, is battery life, today, from 11.00 am to about 5.00 pm, I went through more than 90% battery. yes I was hard using the phone, but my major battery loss came whilst using Twitter for an hour in the afternoon. Any time you run the display for an extended length of time, you will eat the battery in a seriously short time. Now there have been work arounds posted, that involve changing the APN for the network, that extend battery life, but limit your access to Microsoft services. I don’t know if the same power issues are happening with LG or Samsung devices available on the Telstra network, but the battery issue on the Telstra network, specified for WP7, has to be rectified to make this a viable device on Telstra.