The writing seemed to be on the wall for Windows Mobile. Ugly, unloved and hopelessly out of date compared to its more intuitive models, not many expected much from its successor. Microsoft surprised us all with Windows Phone 7 Series, a verbosely titled reboot of the entire series. Early praise flooded in, but since its unveiling at Mobile World Congress in January a number of worrying cracks in its glossy veneer are starting to appear. So here they are, exposed for you all.
The preamble: My cult and contentious reviews’ system. Designed as a time saver to highlight the potential deal breakers in a product before you commit to reading lengthy reviews on your favourites sites and/or magazines. For a more detailed description please read: THE RULES
Just the Bad Points Review: Windows Phone 7
- No multi-tasking at launch (Microsoft confirms it could be added in future)
- No expandable storage (Microsoft hardware guidelines forbid it)
- No copy and paste at launch (yes, really!)
- No Adobe Flash support at launch
- No backwards compatibility with Windows Mobile (potentially a good point, long term)
- Microsoft’s high minimum specifications for Series 7 handsets suggest there won’t be many affordable options from day one or design variants
- Windows Marketplace (app store) begins from scratch thanks to incompatibilities
- All 7 Series smartphones are likely to be large thanks to Microsoft’s high screen resolution minimum requirements
- No proof Internet Explorer mobile edition can yet compete with Opera Mobile, Mobile Safari or even Mobile Firefox
- Currently no Mac support to sync Series 7 handsets (unsurprising really)
- Q4 release date still a long way off – where will the competition be? (A multi-tasking iPhone?)
- Bing search, Bing Maps and Bing Video verses Google search, Google Maps and YouTube?
- Unlike Android/iPhone firmware, the upgrade path for 7 Series uncertain. Free 8 Series upgrades? Don’t bet on it
- Music and video syncing through Windows Media Player is a love it/hate it affair
Now here’s a surprise: Microsoft has quietly released a significant new version of Windows Mobile 6.5 for Sony Ericsson’s upcoming Aspen handset (pictured), ahead of the expected unveiling of WM 7 at Mobile World Congress next week.
ZDNet has been sent the official feature list and it’s impressive:
- Capacitive touchscreen support
- Platform to enable multitouch
- Touch controls throughout system (no need for stylus)
- Consistent Navigation
- Horizontal scroll bar replaces tabs (think settings>system>about screen)
- Magnifier brings touch support to legacy applications
- Simplified out-of-box experience with fewer steps
- Drag and drop icons on Start Screen
- (Mobile) Internet Explorer Page load time decreased
- IE Memory management improved
- IE Pan & flick gestures smoothed
- IE Zoom & rotation speed increased
- Updated runtime tools (.NET CF 3.5, SQL CE 3.1)
- Arabic read/write document support
- Watson (error reporting) improvements and bug fixes
Is Microsoft back in the game? Not solely with this, but it is a promising stepping stone for Windows Mobile 7. Let’s hope Microsoft gets its finally gets its act together in the smartphone market. After all, the more competition the better…
Given the devices’ UK launch today I’ve republished and updated this JtBP review for your perusal…
For once the hottest smartphone on the planet isn’t made by Apple. Even more incredibly it’s made by Palm, the comeback kid so far of 2009. On TrustedReviews I have already guided you through the wonderful plus points of this handset but could there be any good reasons not to be buy it?
Read the Rules if you aren’t familiar with my already seemingly cult and contentious reviews’ system. In short, with JtBP I save the gushing praise for every other review you’ll read and bring you the bullet points on any potential deal breakers with something before you commit to the long winded waffle on your favourite sites/publications. It’s a time saver.
After I managed to grab more than an hour with this stunner here’s the JtBP review:
Just the Bad Points Review: Palm Pre
- It may be superbly innovative but at 138g the Palm Pre isn’t light
- The 3MP camera has above average image processing, but it hardly competes with dedicated camera phones
- The Palm Pre ‘App Catalog’ has made a slow start to life with very few apps and teething problems launching paid apps.
- The Pre is not compatible with previous Palm third party apps
- Lacking business support (office document compatibility, editing, etc) though Microsoft Exchange is there
- Battery life is poor with heavy use requiring two charges per day
- Build quality isn’t great with a cheap plastic finish and wobbling sliding mechanism
- The keyboard is neat, but the keys too compact if you have large fingers.
- No microSD/SDHC slot limiting you to 8GB of onboard memory. Why oh why?
- Video recording functionality is not ready in time for launch