The best of Windows Phone 7, so far

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 has met with praise from tech reviewers around the world, noting that the strengths of this first-generation platform far outweigh its many shortcomings. In Australia the new system was launched with five partner devices: two LGs, two HTCs and a Samsung.

We've now had a chance to review all five and we've collected them together to help you make comparisons if you're planing on upgrading to a WP7 handset. Even so, these comparisons are hard to make. Microsoft has placed rigid limitation on the manufacturers for this first round of releases and the result is a collection of phones distinguishable only by a few key hardware differences and by applications developed in-house by LG, HTC and Samsung.

The good news is that these strict guidelines for required hardware means you can be confident that you should get a great experience from any of these phones, regardless of whether you splash out on the keyboard-packing LG Optimus 7Q or save a few bucks choosing the more affordable HTC Mozart.

If you want some more information about the system itself, check out our full review and our Guide to Windows Phone 7.

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g1nchy posted a comment   

in the words of team america (feel free to sing along) Windows 7 phuck yeah.. Now ... Wot Would U Do....


Mike posted a comment   

I remembered when I bought the zune HD over the ipod and getting a fear that microsoft would leave the systems and provide little or no updates to make it a true competitor. Yes, that kinda happened but I still absolutely LOVE the device. Sure; it has slow app loading times, shonky web browser and a heap of little problems but it's something different and something i'll keep. Lucky-ish the new ipod has came out and now i don't feel as bad for not buying a 3g ipod.

Anywho microsoft has spent quite a lot on this platform, so they'll try their best to show that their investment was worth it. I have had a quick use of the LG optimus 7 and once again the software is ridiculously sexy and provides something different, so i'd be happy to be seen with one instead of a iphone 4 which is everywhere now.

Also: when iphone 4 was first released it was kinda half-baked too with the whole reception issues, but hey, it's still a good phone. i'd get one if everyone didn't have one.


CoA posted a comment   

The Best of windows 7... featuring EVERY Windows 7 phone? Sigh...


Joseph Hanlon posted a comment   

I'm not sure assessing a piece of software is ever as simple as writing a list, and I'm not sure all of the shortcomings listed are dealbreakers for most smartphone users. I would definitely trade off Bluetooth file exchange for a system which is responsive and reliable.


HanaC posted a reply   

Completely agree. I would rather have a fast and responsive OS on my handset with room for improvement and add-ons. Bluetooth File Exchange can never turn a crappy OS into a first class one. Looking forward to seeing what Windows Phone 7 rolls out next year!


Seth posted a comment   

It's bizarre to claim that "the strengths of this first-generation platform far outweigh its many shortcomings."

Have you read down the missing features list? Or the Missing APIs list?

Software apps can't access the video camera or compass. It doesn't fully multitask. Bluetooth file exchange not working. Video doesn't work within the web browser. It won't let you set a custom ringtone. There is no turn-by-turn navigation.

You're saying that those shortcomings are outweighed by the benefits?

Windows Phone 7 is unfinished, half-baked, and should be avoided.


SanguinarySeraph posted a reply   

Rewind 3 years, what you've just stated as the failings of Windows Phone 7 on release mirror that of the iPhone almost exactly. Clearly everybody avoided such an unfinished, half-baked platform...oh wait...

Both platforms were/are limited, both platforms have/will improve and continue to do so. Is WP7 perfect? No. Is it competitive with iOS and Android platforms? Absolutely.

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