I know that most people, after seeing all the hype on the TV with ads and features on the evening news, have wanted to try out and experience the new Windows Phone 7. Now to be honest, I’ve never owned a Windows Phone…EVER…but for some reason (whether it be the sleek styling of the phone models, unique menus, or whatnot) it grabbed my attention. It didn’t, however, grab so much of my attention that I would abandon my iPhone Instead, me being the geek that I am, thought it would be cool to play around with. Thus, my review of the Windows Phone 7.
Upon initial inspection of the phone I can say that the touch screen, unlike other HTC phones is very responsive and sleek, similar to the iPhone’s screen. Picture clarity and resolution on the phone itself is outstanding, I was shocked at the precision of the display and as far as weight goes, it feels like your carrying a standard smart phone. Navigating through the phone was a bit of a journey. From the initial screen, I swept my finger across the display and noticed an application menu, scrolled through some of the apps and found some useful (such as Netflix) and others not (such as the App Hub — which was harder to search for items than I thought it would). A thing that bugged me and took some time to figure out, was finding the device’s MAC or Media Access Control address. This address is like your Social Security number, it’s a unique number that is assigned to your device and doesn’t change, unless you pass away…or in this case, get run over by a car. This address is used for WiFi access on certain networks (such as universities, or corporate wireless networks) and normally isn’t hard to find on cell phones, computers, and other wireless devices. For some reason though, this information was omitted by Microsoft during the creation of the phone. This means that people who would want to use the phone at these locations, wouldn’t be able to do so.
Luckily, there have been numerous articles posted on the Internet on how to find out your device’s MAC address. Some have said to enter in the manufacturer’s diagnostics code such as ##634# or ##643# at the call screen and look for the diagnostics app that shows up. Other sites have said that you can only find out the information by hooking your phone up to an existing wireless connection and checking your router’s IP logs to get the appropriate information. Both of these methods wouldn’t need to be considered if it was included in the phone in the first place. For example, take the Evo 4, this phone can display it’s MAC address with ease, as can all the generations of the iPhone. Another thing to note, is that in previous version of Windows Phone OS, there were options to display this information, but now it’s not. Sources say that Microsoft will be including this in the next patch, but I’m a bit skeptical on that.
Also, while using the phone I encountered many error messages (e.g. Application Failure 0×34585 — note error code is fictitious) while using the phone. Well although the errors look different, the “windows branded” error codes are still there (0xCCCFE) which are really hexadecimal numbers but instead of blue backgrounds, they use black. All in all, this phone still encounters things you would see in a Windows OS: Black Screen Of Death.
Overall, I would give this phone a 3.5/5…come on Microsoft…get on the ball and create something different. Feels, looks and almost smells the same as an iPhone, but it isn’t. But what can we say, iPhone was the start of a cell phone revolution, in which Microsoft is bound to fail? You tell me. Till next time!