When I first laid my hands on the HTC Mozart which is a phone running on WP7, I was really impressed with how the user interface looks and feels. It doesn’t feel like Windows Mobile at all. The tiles, the transitions, the way they integrate your social media, I think it’s a refreshing take on smartphone UI.
However, digging deep into its feature set after all those oohhhs and aahhhss you would make after seeing its sweet UI, you would see some critical must-haves missing from this new mobile OS.
Here are 7 things you should keep in mind before getting a phone running on WP7:
1. No Flash Support in Browser
For some reason, there’s no Flash support for the Internet Explorer on this platform, unlike what the IE on Windows Mobile 6.5 (HTC HD2) can give us. One could say that the iPhone survived without Flash support but you have to remember that the iOS has tons of apps to offset that drawback. WP7 needs Flash support to compete and to maximize the 1GHz processor it requires.
2. No USB mass storage mode
Microsoft went the iTunes way with their WP7 phones and the Zune software. You can’t simply drag and drop videos, music, photos, documents and what have you in your WP7 device unlike what you can do with even the cheapest Android phone out there. You must do your file management thingy using the Zune software on your PC. Really sucks if you just want to copy something from a friend’s Zuneless machine.
3. No copy paste
Got a message from a friend and you need to copy that link into OneNote or into your Facebook status? No can do. You need to memorize and type it again. However, we got news that this feature will be available on the upcoming update probably this month or the next.
4. No multitasking
When iOS 4.2.1 arrived on the iPad, I got giddy after finding out that I can run my downloads on the background while playing Fruit Ninja. No need to stare at my download progress since I can just leave it to finish while I do other stuff. Trust me, multitasking is something you would want on a smartphone. Like copy and paste though, there are reports that Microsoft is bringing it in on the next update.
5. No DivX/XviD video support
This is a huge turn off for me. You can convert your downloaded HIMYM episodes in Zune so your handset can play it but that would be a waste of time especially on a geriatric PC such as mine. Yes, it might be smaller in size but I don’t care if I’m going to delete it from my phone after watching it anyway. Can’t I just copy the movie from a friend’s PC using a USB cable then watch it immediately afterwards? If the Android can, why can’t you WP7?
6. No internet tethering support
Really not a fan of internet tethering here but for the price you are paying for a WP7 smartphone (around Php22k and up), you would at least expect to have tethering support right? It’s not a device limitation but a mobile platform one. I’d say share your 3G and win a friend.
7. No video calls
I guess this is ok since WP7 handsets don’t have front-facing cams anyway. Or is it because WP7 don’t have support for video calls? Oh come on, even the Symbian can do video calling. Now nobody would create a Skype app for WP7 phones. Yes, if you’re planning to do some video chat in the future, don’t get a WP7 phone yet unless it has a front-facing cam.
I would really love to love Windows Phone 7. It’s one of the most well-thought of UIs I’ve seen on a mobile device. However, there are more issues one can find aside from the things I listed (cannot see hidden network SSID, no BT transfer without a registry hack, no Silverlight support to name a few more).
We need to give this OS more time to mature just like when nobody paid attention to that little green robot bearing a cupcake. But when the biggest thing to happen on its first update is copy-paste and multitask support, I think we need to be really patient with Microsoft.
At best, WP7 phones makes for a really great and beautiful handset if you’re into social networking and maybe gaming with Xbox Live. As for being a smartphone that we’re already accustomed to no thanks to Google”¦ well it’s just not there yet.