Windows Phone 7 – Devices

Yes, my decision to be an early adopter of the Windows Phone 7 platform has been pleasurable for me. No different than early iPhone and my own experience jumping on the Droid on platform it wasn’t perfect but no show stoppers. I think the OS is very clean and with the maturation of the apps it is becoming a very strong device for me, surprisingly replacing many things I normally only used a computer for (i.e. RSS reading and sharing). I look forward to the Mango update, but apprehensive about how AT&T will drag it on instead of helping the platform.

I know Microsoft established base hardware requirements that vendors had to follow. That was a great start but as we have seen, the manufacturers then skewed causing a huge disruption and in many case a bad perception of the platform. I added 32GB to my Focus and considering it’s my Zune player and I do several Office features (docs and OneNote) I needed much more than the 8GB. However my addition of the microSD card is not necessarily supported, at least I can’t find anywhere that states it’s supported. As I mentioned before I have access to the LG Windows Phone 7 device that was rolled out here in the United States. I have heard people say they like it, but in my use it hurts the Windows Phone 7 brand. The current user is itching for the new iPhone because while they like the OS, the device does not provide the same level experience as the Samsung Focus. While I understand the counter argument I think this is where the iPhone is stronger. Yes you have very little choice in terms of hardware, but that same detraction is also what makes it strong.

Let’s consider the accessory market. Since the iphone market is so large and consistent the listing for accessories is never ending. The Zune has suffered from the same issue but in that case there was only one maker of the device, the brand just never got traction. I bought a pair of Zune premium ear buds a few years ago and still swear by them. You would think Microsoft would’ve worked to get those made with an inline microphone so you could use them on their Windows Phone, keeping the experience consistent (and I have to say rich because they are the best ear buds I have owned and trust me I have wasted a lot of money on ear buds and these are even better than my Bose QC 2’s). I have been looking for a holster for my Samsung Focus. Yes it’s slim and light enough to just go in the pocket but when at work I prefer a holster for my phone. A colleague where I work has this very cool canvas looking holster but he is an iPhone user and has a huge selection of standard and unique accessories to choose from.

One of my initial disappointments with the Windows Phone 7 was the connector. Yes the devices use what is now the Standard min-USB but being a Zune user, I have a ton of cables and A/V docs that are all pinned for what was the Zune connector. It would be nice to just have that one station where I can plug my Zune HD and phone to for synching. Currently that’s not an issue since I use two different computers for the devices, phone connects to one of my laptops and Zunes (32HD and 8HD) connect to my desktop unit. I bought the 8GB Zune specifically to be used with an alarm clock. To date there is still only one alarm clock that supports the Zune connector and I have to say it’s a lame device but works and was the only choice.

Accessories seem like a small topic and maybe it gets overlooked, but revenue is what shows a product is being accepted. I have been looking for accessories and they just aren’t there. In short I can only repeat that many of the knocks I have heard on Windows Phone 7 are more about the devices than the actual platform. Having been a Windows Mobile user (yeah I know there were tons of accessories in the “stylus” category) this seemed true on that platform as well. Then add the “tweaks” OEMs make (pointing to Samsung and the issues with getting updates) it’s like the USB standards, there is a standard but everyone wants to add what they think is their secret sauce until it becomes an ugly mess and the dispersion gets thrown around instead of squarely where it belongs. Just my rant.

If someone knows who made the Zune Premium Ear Buds for Microsoft, please pass it along because maybe they have a set of ear buds I can get for my phone.

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9 thoughts on “Windows Phone 7 – Devices

  1. John

    I have the HTC 7 Mozart. It uses standard 1/8″ 3 prong (Stereo with the additional level for the Microphone). Turns out standard Blackberry earbuds work VERY nicely on it.

    • I bought a pair of Skull Candy earbuds for my Focus and yeah that standard mic jack is nice but the Zune Premium ear buds are still superior to any of the mic’d ear buds I have tried. I have to hear energizedtech’s Powershell rants in high-def sir 😉 I think its also great that most of these phones use the same USB connector so I can’t complain about the lack of a Zune pinning on the Focus but maybe a new Zune A/V dock so that I can upgrade my current rig. Funny story, my Focus wouldn’t perform the NoDo upgrade, I grabbed the USB cable from my old Droid 1 and wala the NoDo upgrade completed… hmmm standard? My Focus’s data/charge port stopped recognizing the connection for power… used my old Blackberry USB cable and was able to keep it charged until I received a replacement device.

  2. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  3. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. Youve got a design here thats not too flashy, but makes a statement as big as what youre saying. Great job, indeed.

  4. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

    • Agreed. The apps never came for Zune but it had promise, for example the email and twitter app weren’t bad but it never gained momentum. Choice is a great way to put it and I am certainly not pitting one against the other. My choice is to never use iTunes 😉

  5. What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say.

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