After the recession, families are realizing the importance of saving versus getting buried under credit debt, returning to the simple principals of piggy bank savings and teaching their children to form positive financial habits....
Windows Phone 7 Review
When I was asked to be a part of the Windows Phone 7 team at Blogher 2011, I was very excited. I have long had a love affair with technology and had heard about the Windows Phone 7 but had yet to give it a try.
I was sent the Samsung Focus Windows Smartphone with AT&T service. I just spent the better part of a month with this phone and I have to say that I am pretty impressed. But let me give you some background first.
I am Android user. I have had Sprint for over 12 years and have a family plan with several other family members. We are pretty happy with Sprint and plan to stick with it for a while.
I am also a Samsung user. I have long been a fan of Samsung technology and could not wait to get the Samsung Galaxy S (4G) as soon as it came out on Sprint.
Frankly, I was happy with my Android and my Samsung. It had everything I needed and I wasn't looking to make a change. I was a little scared of a virtual keyboard. I envisioned my fat fingers typing all sorts of gibberish without me really meaning to.
THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO ME IN A SMARTPHONE:
Camera – flash and good pictures. I capture a great deal of our lives on my camera phone. I expect a lot from it and if it doesn't deliver, I will find a phone that does.
Keyboard – I am not a lover of the virtual keyboard. I can text in the dark on my slideout keyboard. I am pretty big fan of the slideout keyboard although after this test drive, I am thinking that I could easily make the switch to the virtual keyboard.
Connectivity – I want Twitter. I want Facebook. I want Foursquare. I want to be connected and I want to tell everyone about it. I am classic oversharer. I like my phone to be one too.
Speed – I hate a phone that slows me down.
Long Battery Life – my biggest complaint with my phone now is that the battery is constantly dying. It is awful. I have to carry an extra battery around because I never know when my phone will die. It is embarrassing and a huge problem for me.
Apps – I have some specific apps that I like to use and that I have already paid for. When I switch phones, I am always worried that I won't find the exact same app or if I do, I will have to pay for it again. Or if I cannot find it, I will find something with a huge learning curve. I delete apps all of the time because they are not that intuitive.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE WINDOWS PHONE 7
This phone is so visually appealing. It was so easy to set it up exactly how I wanted it. I can pin the apps and things most important to me on the front page (kind of like the task bar on your computer). Most of all, I could do everything without really having to read the directions. Of course my husband loved this as well because what man ever wants to read directions, right?
I am social media addict and many times it is difficult to make sense of my accounts. This phone allows you to set up your account to follow to your own specifications. I can follow everyone on one button and then a select few on another button making following my social media accounts a snap. It really is a cool feature!
The pictures. Seriously, I love the camera. A 5MP definitely takes great pictures. All of the pictures in this post were taken with the phone. They look great. I used Apict and Photogram to edit them a little but for the most part, the pictures looked great immediately.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE WINDOWS PHONE 7
There is a decent variety of phones across the various carriers. I would like to see this phone on the Sprint network.
At times, the phone felt too light. It took some getting used to. Now that I am used to it, my old phone feels heavy.
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE OR IMPROVE
The lack of sharing availability on Twitter has GOT to be changed for me to even consider using this phone long term. I am a Twitterholic. With over 54,000 followers, I just love Twitter. I cannot take a picture and immediately upload it to Twitter.
As a result, I ended up using Facebook a lot more with this phone because I could share immediately with Facebook. Now my family really seemed to like that so I guess it wasn't all bad. However, if I had to pick, I would prefer the instant connectivity/sharing with both sites rather than just Facebook.
Apps. Apps. Apps. Or lack of apps. I know that this is a big deal for most people (iPhone users especially) but for me, I simply wanted Words with Friends. My name is Stacie and I am a Words with Friends addict (StacieinAtlanta in case any of you want to challenge me to game). I actually carried my old phone around with me for the month so I could keep up my Words with Friends games.
WOULD I MAKE THE SWITCH TO THE WINDOWS PHONE 7?
Honestly, the first week, I would have said maybe. I liked so many things about it but the lack of Twitter sharing and Words with Friends was bothering me a little. Also I was still unsure about the virtual keyboard.
By the second week, I was liking it a little more. I figured out some workarounds to my Twitter issue. I was loving how easy it was to stay connected. I was even enjoying the virtual keyboard (and so were my fat fingers).
By the third week, I was considering switching the entire family to AT&T so I could keep this phone. Alas, with five people on our plan, that will not be happening.
By week four, I stared at the phone is disbelief when I realized it no longer worked. I had gotten pretty used to it and I was sad when it was gone.
Something that I would love to see cellphone providers offer is an app credit. If am going to switch phones, give me a $25 app credit (or some amount like that). If I know that I can get all of my favorite apps and someone else is paying for it, I would love that!
I would like to see more apps or at least an app from Windows Phone 7 allowing me to request apps or what features I would like to see. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?
I would rate the Windows Phone 7 a Top Technology Pick for The Divine Miss Mommy and my readers. I am honestly not certain how iPhone users would fare as I have never used an iPhone. I was pretty sure that I was an Android user for life but after testing this out, I would definitely continue to use it.
I am anxiously awaiting the new Mango update available later this year for the Windows Phone 7. Mango promises both Twitter and LinkedIn integration (YEAH!); a group feature allowing you to organize a dinner or outing and send out group texts or messages; threaded conversations bringing texts, Facebook chats, Windows Live messenger into one place; Improved and more interactive Live Tiles (already one of my favorite features); and much more!
SPECS ON THE SAMSUNG FOCUS WINDOWS SMARTPHONE
Browser Type: Internet Explorer
Network & Data: GPRS Class 10, EDGE Class 10, HSDPA
Operating System: Windows Phone 7
Internal Display Size: 4″ Display
Battery Talk Time: Up to 6.5 Hours
Battery Standby Time: Up to 300 Hours
Auto Focus: Yes
Camera Resolution: 5.0 Megapixel Camera & Camcorder
Digital Zoom: 4x digital zoom
On Board Memory: 8GB ROM
Connectivity: Bluetooth, GPS, Internet HTML Browser, Outlook Sync, Wi-Fi
Features: Speakerphone, Voice Recognition, Mobile TV
Product Dimensions: 4.84” x 2.56” x 0.39”
Weight: 4.07 ounces
WIN A SAMSUNG FOCUS WINDOWS PHONE 7 HERE!
I am absolutely thrilled to be able to give away one Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 (on AT&T – ARV $ 499.99) to one lucky reader of The Divine Miss Mommy! To enter, tell me which feature of the Windows Phone 7 you are most excited about and why. Leave the answer below in the comments as your first, mandatory entry.
BONUS ENTRIES FOR EXTRA CHANCES TO WIN
Blog about the giveaway as a separate blog post
Enter any of my other giveaways – take five entries for each contest you enter.
List this giveaway on any giveaway linky or giveaway site
Add a relevant comment to any non-giveaway posts on my blog
Add the Divine Miss Mommy button to your blogroll or sidebar
Share the giveaway on your Facebook page
Friend me on Google Friend Connect
Like this post by clicking the Facebook “Like” button
Follow @StacieinAtlanta on Twitter (that’s me!)
Tweet about the contest (up to 4 X per day – Subscribers can tweet every 2 hours). Tweet MUST have the giveaway item, the word giveaway in the tweet and a link to this post.
Giveaway ends 9/25/11 and is open to US only. All entries must be properly recorded in the comments to count (i.e. Link to tweets, Facebook page, etc). Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen and notified.
Disclosure: Windows Phone 7 was my Blogher'11 sponsor and provided me with a phone for review.