Microsoft has sent out technical preview units of Windows Phone 7 to selected tech writers. The hardware is a Samsung Taylor SGH-i707 with 480 x 320 (HVGA), a 5MP camera, speakers plus microphone on the top and bottom for both and a dedicated camera button.
Matt Miller of ZDNet got one of those devices. He starts off his preview with this:
Welcome back into the smartphone arena Microsoft, it looks like you have a serious challenger entering the ring and I will definitely be purchasing a device as soon as I can. I spent an hour with the Windows Phone 7 team and was then given a Samsung developer phone (looks to be something like the i8910 Omnia HD device) with the latest Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview to use for about 3 weeks.
The user interface and experience on the old Windows Mobile has been the greatest weakness of that platform. Matt has these to say of the user interface:
There is swiping and panning, elements that flip in and out and zoom in and out dynamically, and motion control that is more fluid than ANY smartphone user interface I have ever used before.
The user interface is completely different than any other smartphone operating system and is a nice, refreshing change. It helps that this current Technical Preview of WP7 flies with fluid animations, switching between tasks, and diving into hubs and apps. I understand that multitasking like we saw in Windows Mobile 6.5 is not supported, but honestly I never even noticed since the Zune part plays fine in the background, email still gets pushed to my device when doing other things, and with the lack of 3rd party apps I never missed multitasking. When the 3rd party application market takes off then the lack of multitasking may be a problem, but at this time I am not concerned with it since the operating system is designed for helping you complete tasks and is not focused on distinct application experiences.
Still, its not all good on all fronts. Matt points out the following cons of Windowsphone 7:
- Lack of Twitter service support or 3rd party app
- Lack of USB drive mode or other method to transfer Office docs
- No landscape support for Office documents
- Lack of ability to search your Exchange email server for email
- No copy and paste
- No multi-tasking of apps
Read Matt Miller’s Microsoft Windows Phone 7 technical preview: A definitive guide for a full glimpse of what to expect from Windowsphone 7.
Credit: Image from WMExperts.