Wow, two weeks flew by. Will be nice to move back to one phone after carting two around with me. Whilst I spent most of the time venting my thoughts on Twitter and Whirlpool etc. I thought I’d post a bit of a wind up here to hopefully summarise my thoughts
The NextG Network:
I’ve been on Optus for the past 30 months, so getting a free chance to test out the Telstra network was appreciated. I found it to be more than satisfactory. While previously I’d have drop-outs, or my phone wouldn’t ring or I wouldn’t have coverage I found using the HTC Mozart/Telstra combination I didn’t have to think about coverage and didn’t once curse a dropped call. Awesome.
I’ll be swapping to Telstra Prepaid now the trial is over, just wish their plans were a bit more clear in what you get for your dollar.
Windows Phone 7:
Making Calls: Was quite phone like, no noticeable echo or distortion. The loud-speaker is great, along with the ability to flip it over to get to turn the loud-speaker on! very useful when driving, just answer and flip.
SMS: Not a huge fan of the way the SMS appear on the screen as a bar up the top of the phone, prefer the iPhone method. The picture below shows how the number counts up and a bar appears up top with the sender’s name and half the message.
e-mails: I like the way it shows new emails in the lock screen, means you can quickly look without unlocking. Didn’t like the way the number on the Live Tile didn’t represent the number of unread e-mails. Entering and exiting the application caused this number to reset. Sending an e-mail on the device however is very easy and it multiple cases used it over a sms.
calendar: The calendar is great, very easy to use, lots of options and the ability to send invites. Shared my Gmail calendar well and having the next appointment on the live tile was handy. I mostly used agenda view, though month was useful for seeing what days had appointments on them.
camera: I took lots of photos, but i’m not a photographer. For a point’n’shooter I found it delivered decent quality. when its low light it was quite difficult to get a good picture though and also if the flash when off to close to people’s faces it made people glow. It’s really easy to upload them to Facebook or email the photos direct. Video quality was perhaps as good as you could expect from a phone, but no way to upload or email which was frustrating!
Office Integration: I thought Microsoft would have nailed this. The ability to sync documents between the computer, phone and sky drive wasn’t present. Basically useless if you don’t have a sharepoint server. Poor as.
Zune: AAAAAAAAARRGGGHHHH! why could a product that looks so great not be available in Australia. The lack of Music Marketplace is crazy! Zune software is miles ahead of iTunes, the marketplace for videos and apps is quick and responsive yet we can’t buy music. Other countries have a product called Zune Pass which gives them 10 downloaded songs a month, plus unlimited streaming for around $150 US Per Year. My other gripe with the Zune Marketplace is that you are forced to use Xbox points to buy/rent media. Meaning you need to log in, use a credit card to buy points then use points to buy media. It’s the same on Xbox Arcade, cut the middle man Microsoft. If you let me strap my credit card to my windows live account you’ll get heaps more drunk purchases off me (like the time I bought Herman and the Hermits greatest hits off iTunes).
Bing: WTF is a bing? This search engine is terrible, which I had the option to switch the default search to Google. I did like the universal use of a search button though. Press to Search marketplace, or emails etc while in those screens.
RingTones: I wish I could set the vibrate mode to be on when the phone volume is on and off when I’ve got the phone off. Sometimes you want to leave your phone off and have it dead quiet.
The HTC Mozart
I had two main issues with the device while using it. First was the small non expandable storage. 8gb isn’t good enough, not sure what genius at HTC thought it would be, but I filled it up quickly. Price? well the difference between an 8gb and 32gb microSD card is around $80. That would be $80 well spent. It really will end up being the deal breaker with this phone for many people. Luckily there are better WP7 phones out their and lovers of the Platform aren’t stuck with it. Second was the touch buttons down the bottom of the phone, the amount of times I pressed them by accident, it drove me batty.
On the positives, the form factor was great. Feels nice in your hand, the camera and flash was good for a portable device. The speaker is great too, and a lot louder than I found the iPhone.
There are loads better WP7 hand sets out there, the Samsung Focus would be the main one I’d look at.
Well, it was a step up from my iPhone 3G, but mainly due to apple crippling it with the 4.x software. I’ll be using it from now on as my main phone, but if someone offered me a iPhone 4.0 instead I’d probably swap. Its obvious the device was only released this year as the applications and features are clearly first gen. Hope that Microsoft stick with it as I think they are on to some winning features.
NB: I have been given a HTC Mozart with Windows 7 Phone by Telstra free of charge to review. The comments expressed by me reflect my own user experience and personal opinion and are not made on behalf of Telstra.