by Marcus Solorio
Choosing a mobile phone is a very personal and subjective activity. There are a multitude of devices to choose from along with a good handful of device operating systems. All of this variety is only surpassed by the variety of the users and the combination of compelling factors we base our phone purchase decisions on. We all have specific reasons for choosing the phones we use. In this article, I will share my reasons for choosing the HTC HD7S w/Windows Phone OS, why I don’t see myself moving off of the platform anytime soon and what other features this phone could provide to make it even more invaluable to me day-to-day.
Initial factors for choosing
- It handled the basics well: I needed a phone to make calls and exchange texts, read email, hold calendar and contacts, browse the web, and take a picture now and again. In that context, iPhone didn’t stand out as much, in fact, I found that ALL smartphones did all of these basic functions well. Blackberry had a disappointing web browser, but all the others had a nice browser experience.
- I wanted something “different”: The new iPhone at the time had new hardware, but the iOS was basically the same. I looked at Androids and Blackberries which all seemed to have the same basic icon layouts. Windows Phone looked VERY different. Metro’s icons were different shapes, very colorful and some showed clear, animated pictures of what they contained. The system fonts were clean and simple, yet stylish. The “back end” was basic and intuitive – a long list of the programs installed. This was a very welcome difference from the look everyone else had adopted of pages and pages of icons and icons inside of icons.
- Social network integration: This hooked me – no need to install the “apps” for social network integration! I simply connected to my accounts and the phone pulled in the contact information and allowed me to link it all together into a single app called “People” (how personal). One “person’s” page had ALL of their contact information from my Outlook contact for them, their Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. It also showed their latest posts and pictures from those accounts….and I could post to these accounts myself WITHOUT having to load separate apps for each. No other phone was doing this as clean at that time! I was sold…
Why I’ll stay:
- It continues to work: Bottom line – this phone still fulfills its purpose for me. I have a few apps that I have added, but the apps I use the most were all built in. For example, email processing is probably one of the things I do the most on my phone. I currently have email accounts for Microsoft Exchange Online, Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook.com/Hotmail.com on this phone and the built-in email app for my accounts allows me to flag the email, read it, mark it unread, and quickly view those messages marked “urgent”. Moreover, all of those status changes are quickly and smoothly synchronized with my Exchange Online account which is the one I use the most. It just works.
- It’s still different: While the other players are busy suing each other over how similar they are, there is no confusing the Windows Phone interface with anything else on the market. I like that. It is ironic to me that Microsoft stands out in this way, especially in this market segment.
- More apps all the time: I knew going into it that the Windows Phone app library was not as robust as that of the Apple App Store or the Google Play store for Androids. Initially, this was VERY limiting. My experience is that there are more and more apps becoming available to the Windows Phone Marketplace every day. I waited for an audiobook app to become available and now Audible has a new customer. Mimecast deserves applause for having a Windows Phone app when many new apps are only written for the “Top 2”, instead of the “Top 3”. I am excited to see more apps being developed and made available in the Marketplace.
What more I want from it:
- Ability to adjust the size of ALL of my tiles – I really like the tiles! I just want more control over their behavior (more colors, more sizes, more shapes, more animations, etc. I hear that some of this increased control is coming up in Windows Phone 8 – good call, Microsoft!)
- Swipe text input (like the Android folks have) – Ooooh…I love this feature! Swipe is awesome and Windows Phone needs to have this as an option for the system keyboard on their phones.
- Better direct to Windows experience (without the need for Zune software) – I heard this is on the way and I am glad to hear it! I dislike the idea that I need to load such a large program to simply sync my phone to my computer.
- A really good voice to text translation program (for dictation to word docs, notes, or email and SMS…something akin to what Jott.com was…rumors are that this is coming in Windows Phone 8, too. Yay!)
- Better Wi-Fi performance (difference between cell networks and Wi-Fi networks should be very clear in performance, which is not the case at this time)
Overall, my Windows Phone has been an excellent choice for my needs. I am excited to see what the future brings for Windows Phone 8. My current phone hardware will only support a “lighter” version of the new release, called Windows Phone 7.8 – which will contain only some of the new features of the new OS, but these may be enough to keep me happy for a while longer….we’ll see. Otherwise, it will be a new phone running Window Phone 8 for me!
Contact us today if you are interested in more insightful information about new technology choices you are facing.