December 23rd, 2010


Initial Impressions of Windows Phone 7

Ever since the release of Windows Phone 7, I’ve been very intrigued with the UI. Then a friend had bought one so I was able to spend a couple minutes on it, and I was very impressed. I then wanted to test drive one for a few weeks full time as my phone, and luckily, the aforementioned friend just happened to have an extra he had gotten from a conference. And he let me borrow it.

So it’s been about a day since using as my main phone, and I’ve been jotting down a few notes that I wanted share about my initial impressions of using this device.

My very first impression of it, before anything else, was that the UI was very clean and polished. You get a very good sense of consistency across the board when diving in and out of apps. I absolutely love it. It took a little getting used to the icons that in the UI. The global “send” button I still don’t get, but whatever. The built in animations/transitions (moving from screen-to-screen) feel very natural. I’m sure you’ve seen animations in UI’s that feel unnecessary, and it’s very annoying. But the ones here fit very well.

The email app is awesome, as well we the messages app. Of course a clean touchscreen UI doesn’t mean much if the screen isn’t responsive. But that’s not the case here. I found the device to be very responsive, and aside from a couple 3rd party apps, I haven’t had to deal with any lag in scrolling/panning/tapping. Apps also open very fast, which is a huge plus because I have little patience for slow app load times.

The keyboard… excellent. I haven’t used a software keyboard this nice since first using the iPhone’s keyboard. It far trumps Androids. I seriously love this thing. The auto-suggested words works very well, and doesn’t get in the way of your typing. I also like the double tapping of the space bar for adding a period with a space after a word. I use that quite a bit, as I did with iOS.

The only 3rd party apps I dug into were the Facebook and Twitter app. Both I like a lot from a UI standpoint, but the Facebook app is very slow and buggy. I’m not a fan of that, obviously. I might end up using the Facebook mobile site instead. The Twitter app is clean and does exactly what I need it to do.

The Pin to Start option in WP7 is going to be very useful, for wanting to quickly access a location/contact/app/etc.. I’ve used that a bunch already, and is a different take on “favorites” from within the OS.

So those are my initial impressions. I plan on doing a much more thorough and focused writeup after using this thing for a couple weeks as my full time mobile device. I still have to dig into Internet Explorer (which I’m hesitant of, maybe because of the name). In case you’re curious, I’m using the LG E900, which is a European phone. Since I haven’t dug into many 3rd party apps, I’m very open to recommendations, because I’m already missing my normal apps that I use on my iPhone.

Tags: Design, Mobile


  • Thanks for writing this! Been curious about the WP7 user experience, especially from an iPhone veteran’s point of view. Though I’m an Apple guy when it comes to my music players, I’m still a Microsoft guy when it comes to PCs and Gameing systems, so the XBL or other Windows connectivity interest me.

    Here’s a question: is the WP7 also a music player, like a Zune Phone basically? If so, what’s your experience with that, if any?

  • I don’t have much experience using the Zune’s, but yes there is a music player too. It’s an app called Music & Videos. So you can find all of your music/videos/podcast/radio/marketplace. It’s pretty easy to use. Clean interface like the rest of the OS.

  • WP7 does have a version of Zune as the music player, so you might call it a Zune phone. I have the samsung focus and absolutely love it. If music is your thing, and given John’s mention of “pin to start”… you can pin an artist, album or song to your start page. Corresponding graphics will be included on your tiles. It’s a nice way to customize your phone based on your music preferences.

  • Byron, I got a chance to play with the Samsung Focus and it was sweet. Very lightweight and thin. Which phone did you have before getting the Focus? Curious about people transitioning from other mobile OS’s to WP7.