Sunday, May 15, 2011

Got me a Windows Phone 7 (and happy with it)

Since we, at QFrame, are developing for Windows Phone 7, it was only a matter of time until some colleagues and I got a couple of those devices ourselves. I went for the LG E900 Optimus 7 black. Ordered it at pdashop and just two days later my new phone got delivered. And of course, ever since, I have been playing with it.

What I like about the phone? First of all, the Windows Phone 7 OS gives quite a good integration between a lot of services I use on the Internet (Facebook, my different Exchange accounts, my Google mail, Windows Live, ...). My contacts and calendars get imported automatically, which is really, really handy, no time wasted giving them all in by hand or syncing them on regular intervals. The only configuration that took a bit longer was the exchange account we use at work, but that was mainly due to the fact that Cronos uses different settings on their servers than the defaults. Normally Windows Phone 7 devices are quite capable of connecting to your exchange server while just using your email address and password. They auto-detect your mail settings and configure the connection for you.

I did have some problems though with an account I misconfigured and which I can't get deleted (there just isn't a button for it). If anyone has an answer for that, feel free to fill me in!

Next thing I like is the fact I have all kinds of data with me now. Emails are synchronised once I get near a wifi connection (I don't have a data subscription on my SIM card, but I'm thinking of getting one). Oh, and talking about my SIM card, I lost a couple hours because my card didn't get recognised by the phone. Blame it on me being a woman, but I put the card in the wrong way. Yes, that was really stupid. I even retried putting the card in a couple of times, still doing it the wrong way. My boyfriend also pointed out afterwards that there's a picture next to the slot indicating the right way. Making it even more stupid of me.

Further, the camera is fine, it also has a panorama shot option which is pretty cool, but which you don't use that often. Another feature specific to the LG Optimus is the 'Play To' app. With this you can directly play your audio, video or picture files to any devices that are capable of this. I can now stream this content to our XBox 360 or to our DLNA device. Pretty easy way to get my music loud and clear out of the Bose surround system connected to it.

App-wise I really like the Kindle reader app. We already have an Amazon account and a couple of books on our Kindle. Now being able to read those books on my phone is quite handy. I even like the navigation on the phone through these books a bit better than on the Kindle itself. I also have some RSS readers and feeds on my phone for keeping up with the news, A Facebook and Wikipedia app, a runbuddy and (of course) a lightsaber app. I just couldn't resist that last one.

Game-wise I'm thinking of buying Ilomilo now that I've played the trial. And yes, I have been able to not be tempted in buying angrybirds (yet). I also got the Guitar Hero trial, but for some reason it won't start up.

There are also some things I don't really like about the phone. First of, I went for the LG, instead of Samsung, because of its 16 Gb memory which is bigger than the 8 Gb of Samsung. But still, I think 16 Gb is not that much, and there is no way in putting in an extra memory card. Do I need that much space? Yes, I do. I like it when I have most of my music with me, which is a lot. My 30 Gb iPod has been too small for me for quite some time now.

Another thing is battery lifetime. I do need to recharge every evening. probably because I'm playing with the thing all day long, but still, I come from a simple phone that lasted a whole week. Although I need to admit that that same phone occasionally just stopped working for a day or two for no reason at all.

The Zune software isn't ideal either. But still, anything is an improvement to iTunes, which I really hate. Fact is iTunes keeps on not finding my media files even though I pointed the program to the location of the files for like a billion times. Last thing it did was not copy over my Start to Run podcast. I just hope the Zune software will do a better job at this. What I don't like about the Zune software however is the fact it doesn't give a good overview of all my media files (I miss some categories). I also had to set up a second Windows Live account so I could get at the good stuff. The Belgian marketplace just isn't what it should be.

But overall I am very very happy with my new phone. It gives me some good response times and nice features which come in handy in everyday life. I'm not that into playing with stuff that much, but I can't seem to keep my hands of this phone.


  1. Removing a mail account:
    Tap and hold the mail account and a popup will appear with the "Delete" functionality. Nice and easy and a leftover from the initial PocketPc/WinCE OSes.
    Also be aware that the Win7Phone causes alot of data traffic on the 2G/3G. A 2Gb data subscription is not a luxury with this OS.

  2. I've noticed that a lot of features can be found by trying out a couple of finger gestures (like the tap and hold you just mentioned). I have also been searching a while how I could shuffle my music in an album, which can also be done by using tap and hold.

  3. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
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