back to article HTC outs 'Mango' WinPho 7 smartphones

HTC has unwrapped its 'Mango' Windows Phone 7 handsets, now dubbed Titan and Radar. Mango, the next major release, 7.5, of the Microsoft mobile OS, wasn't mentioned of course, but it's expected to debut any moment now and, barring accidents, should be out by the time Titan and Radar go on sale, in October. HTC Titan and Radar …

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anyone has a WinPho7 phone?

I'm in the market for a new high-end smartphone, and although I'm leaning towards something with Android, I'm intrigued by WinPho7. Is there anyone here who has a Windows phone? How is it? Any glaring deficiencies?

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Stop

@Filippo

Windows Phone 7 is playing serious catchup. It's onpar with Android 1.5 from about 2 years ago.

There is no proper multi-tasking, the copy and paste is very rudimentary and often does not work, you can set themes or ringtones, there is very little in the way of customization, and the OS is hugely bloated and sluggish (battery life is horrendous and nowhere near the claims, just like it's Windows CE heritage).

For these reasons, nobody is buying Windows Phone 7. (and the fact it's Microsoft and it tracks yoru every movement).

Avoid, get a cheaper, better Android phone. That's what everyone else is doing.

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Unhappy

Call recording ?

having had one foisted on my by work, I am desperate for a call recording app. Can't seem to find one though :(

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Anonymous Coward

From what I've heard....

...wait for mango. Win7 is about iPhone1 or 2 in terms of usuabilty and function, with some different features.

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I don't have one myself...

... but know a few people who do and really like it. One now has an iPhone gathering dust at the back of a drawer.

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MN
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Yep

I've had a WP7 since launch - and I've said all along that the platform has promise, but tht I wouldn't recommend it, as it was missing far too many features. As a developer, I've had access to 7.5 Mango for a few weeks now, and I can safely say that the only bits that are missing are apps which take advantage of the new APIs in Mango.

Out of the box, the (7.5) phone has a significantly bigger feature set than any other phone out there, but (and this is a big but) once you take apps into consideration, there's still a few bits that are missing - for now. I've not found a decent satnav solution, but I know Navigon are bringing something to the table including offline maps, and now Nokia is embedded into the ecosystem, their Ovi maps might an appearance. I'm also keen to see some SSH clients - in fact, anything which takes advantage of the new sockets API.

Windows Phone has got almost everything right - it's simple, secure and robust, and if they improve their 'visibility' - via advertising, and courting phone sellers, things should look up. I work in an industry which makes use of mobile platforms, and Windows Phone hasn't even appeared on the radar yet, which is disappointing.

If you can wait, I'd see what Nokia have to offer when they bring out their first batch of Windows Phones. Otherwise, you're best considering these two phones.

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Holmes

RE: Filippo

I have had Windows Phone 7 since the beginning after owning an iPhone 4. I can say that i do not miss any features.

In my opinion its the best OS i have ever used. I did try Android a while back and hated it, it seems more driven around people tweaking the setup to suit them. If Android was a desktop OS then i would agree with the tweaking, but when its a phone the last thing anyone should have to worry about is memory management!.

My HTC HD7 feels just as tight as the day i got it and have never experienced any sort of slow down or crashing like I got from the other two OSes. If you are going for a new Windows Phone i would hold out till the Nokia handsets come out, its what I am doing.

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Meh

Yup

I have the Omnia 7 - overall not a bad phone but it does feel very much like a first go, which considering Windows has a fairly long (if rubbish) history with "smart" phones isn't really a good thing.

I find it to be buggy with the way it handles contacts, creating multiple entries for the same contact for no apparent reason and denying the ability to delete one of those entries without loosing the whole lot - and heaven forbid that you try to remove a contact who has details pulled in from either windows live or facebook!

Other issues I have include the lack of a timer function on the clock meaning you have to set alarms for a specific time rather than letting a countdown run. Also lack of official tethering, and in my case lack of unofficial tethering as well as I can't get the bloody thing to appear as a modem once I have followed the "hack".

The browser is fairly buggy as well, refusing to show many pages due to crap java support and lack of flash/html5 and not handling events like pop up windows properly. I have not yet been able to find an alternative browser for it.

Looking in my friends pockets, I am the only person to have a winpho who doesn't work for MS and of those that work for MS (and therefore get them free) all of them have either an android or an iPhone in their pocket as well.

All that said, it isn't a bad phone but it has a lot of issues in my opinion. Hopefully mango will fix these issues but if any of the mentioned issues are deal breakers for you, skip it for now.

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I have one.

I've got an HTC HD7. I like Windows Phone 7, although by choice I use an Android phone day to day. Overall I'd give it a cautious thumbs-up, it has a very nice UI and all the major features seem to be there - Mango should be even better, given the time it's been in development.

GJC

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Gold badge

Interface is the key

A phone is only as good as the user interface, be it the software or the hardware interface.

Nokia's Symbian phones are some of the most advanced in terms of features, they've had decades of development. Yet the user interface is dreadful and so nobody wants them any more.

The best GUIs on the market at the moment IMHO are iOS and WP7. Why? they're consistent across phone models and have been designed by companies who have decades of experience in designing computer interfaces.

It's why if you go onto Microsoft and Apple's websites you will see lots of developer guidelines on sensible interface design.

The problem Android has it the interfaces are increasing in complexity and power purely for sales and marketing reasons as well as keeping geeks happy. Having that one extra feature and button that the competition doesn't have. It's the only way they can differentiate themselves.

But as the interfaces increase in complexity it can result in an interface that is too complex. You wouldn't load up Photoshop to crop or resize and image in a hurry.

Word also suffers from having way too many options. Microsoft has tried a few times to mitigate this problem, but the problem is adding lots features to get sales. Bug fixes and usability improvements don't sell software.

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FAIL

... and...

... wait for the lawsuits to hit Google over IP abuse, just like MS a few years back.

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Stop

Re:Yep

Ovi Maps for others Microsoft licensees?? Keep dreaming (well, at least for now), but who in their mind would use Ovi Maps? The routing algorithm remains garbage

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sorry

Which Windows Phone 7 device did you use?

I'm no Windows Phone 'fan-girl' (even though at the moment its my phone of choice, that may change in a couple of years but at the moment it's not looking that way) but there's something seriously wrong with whatever device that gave you such a bad experience.

Bad battery life: Not in my experience, I regularly get 2 days of usage out of one charge (still not good enough) on reasonable usage (internet, lots of phone calls, text messages, apps, Facebook etc.) and 3 days if it's not used much at all (as was the case when travelling this year in Italy) - HTC Mozart in this case. For a smartphone this is adequate, though I long for the day a Smartphone holds a charge like my Nokia 1800 PAYG - 2 weeks!

Copy and paste: Never had a problem with it myself and where it's meant to work, it's worked.

Themes: Fair enough Android and even iOS probably give you more options but I personally prefer Windows Phone's minimalist aesthetic, not for everyone mind, that's up to the user to decide what they like most.

No proper multitasking: Yes that has been the case up to the Windows Phone 7.5 release, but never been a problem except for Stopwatch apps which annoyingly paused when the phone went into lock! But Mango supports multitasking to the best of my knowledge, I don't know if it's full blown pre-emptive multitasking though but if it works and battery life is not hammered that's good enough for me, but maybe not for some geeks.

Hugely bloated and sluggish: Absolute shit mate and you're talking complete bollocks there. Sorry but you really haven't got the first clue on that statement. Windows Mobile 6 and before were awful as you suggest and I wouldn't foist them on my own worst enemy. However, Windows Phone 7, slick, fast and very very fluid. Better than an iPhone or Android, definitely on a par, better -- I haven't tried enough devices to definitively say that. But it's definitely extremely good, on a par and better than a couple of the Android devices I tried when purchasing in February 2011.

Nobody is buying it: Comparatively no it hasn't set the world on fire. Yet. Maybe it never will, but to discount it as an option, silly.

As to what everyone else is doing? Oh yes let's all do what everyone else does because I can't make my own mind up.

It might turn out that for this user Android is indeed the best option and as I say in 2 years time I may decide that Android is now the better device for me. But for now I think WP7 is a very good phone platform and worth considering.

But seriously you make your decisions on what everyone else does. I actually feel a bit sorry for you.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed mostly

Yes I'd wait for Mango devices, even though the current crop are pretty good, some very good.

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Anonymous Coward

At last some sensible comments

Good for you, a nice balanced view so far as I can see. WP7 has a little way to go but it's showing promise.

Nice to read something that isn't disingenuous poppycock.

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@AC (08:20) and @Advocate

Fillipo, you're describing version 7.0 and 7.1. The devices in this review run Mango (7.5).

That said, Windows Phone has always had proper (pre-emptive) multi-tasking. It just wasn't avaialble to developers. It is in 7.5.

I've never had copy/paste issues. How doesn't it work? And how is the OS bloated and sluggish? It is more responsive than many Android devices (i.e. as buttery smooth as iOS). Battery claims for my Omnia 7 are lower than the performance I get, and I use GPS heavily on my bicycle, as well as what I'd consider average data and voice. Can't comment on HTC devices because I've never used one.

Location tracking is no different to iOS and Andriod.

What movie are you in dude?

Advocate, contacts appear split because you have entries for one person from many places (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live and Exchange). You can link them to make them appear as a single entry. This is by design, and IMO an awesome feature.

The browser in Mango is full-blown IE9 and fixes all the issues of old.

There are herds of count-down timers (even free ones) in the app store.

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Pretty good

Got a Desire for personal use and a Trophy for work phone. My next handset will probably be WinPho7 now I think - Android is cool but a lot of faff compared to iOS and WinPho7, and I can't stand Apple as a corporate citizen so it's either WinPho7 or BlackBerry.

Windows Phone is a nice platform from a UI point of view - however lacking features at launch. The stuff in Mango makes up for it so i'll jump on then. Titan looks lovely!!

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Linux

An Anecdote for you ...

My Colleague recommended an HTC Android phone to another friend. Weeks later said friend was complaining that his phone was useless, difficult to use and not what he was looking for. It turned out he had been duped (by the helpful sales-folk) into buying a WinPho7 HTC instead of an android one.

I am on my second Android phone and certainly would not recommend a Win phone to anyone with half a brain.

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Linux

ahem

"If Android was a desktop OS then i would agree with the tweaking, but when its a phone the last thing anyone should have to worry about is memory management!"

Has someone forgotten Windows Mobile ? That sucked ballz and never closed applications, I found myself killing running applications all the time.

And, If you are referring to Android, it has it's own memory management process that takes care of dormant applications if it /*needs*/ to.

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Anonymous Coward

title...

I've got a wp7 - an HTC trophy, I'm very happy with it, the UI isn't the prettiest, but it is very well thought through and executed. I find it much more usable than my previous Nokia 6800 xpress music. Sure there aren't as many apps as there are for iphone/android, but this is changing. The main problem with the device is the short battery life if you use apps a lot, not a problem with Nokia, but is with all other smartphones.

The real teller for me is that my partner has a Samsung Galaxy-something Android phone and loved it, until I got the WP7, now she finds the WP7 much better.

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Anonymous Coward

since last year have hd7

well, if you copy one number and you want to paste it in the telephone application you can't. that's quite annoying. i had to hard reset the phone once to get over some problems *having the agenda shown in bluetooth device in my car* - very annoying. Also the phone crashes every couple of weeks. If you don't talk on the phone it lasts for about 5 days the battery. Bluetooth implementation on hd7 is quite buggy - connecting headphones takes a couple of tries every time. You can't really create playlists in the media application. lately i seem to be dropping more calls than usual with this phone. I liked the programming model behind the WP7, it's better than iOS and i was toying with the idea of building apps for it (did some learning and programming on it). But the rest is not satisfactory.

For making normal phone calls, the phone is better than iphone or android - big buttons, great UI. Integration to microsoftonline is awesome. I was for a good while more than satisfied with it. Now though it is a bit dated compared to the competition, all in all.

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Gimp

@ Spearchucker Jones .... To assume....

"Advocate, contacts appear split because you have entries for one person from many places (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live and Exchange). You can link them to make them appear as a single entry. This is by design, and IMO an awesome feature"

I know all about this and for the majority of my contacts this is true however I have one friend in particular who has the same entry being displayed no less the 36 times in my phone book. Whilst he is present on FB, Twitter, G+, Live & Linkedin he does not have that many accounts. This is irksome and weird behaviour.

In addition, there is a limit to how many accounts you can link and you cannot link a live account to a live account.

I look forward to Mango, mainly for the IE9 improvements but I am no longer a developer and haven't been privvy/bothered looking too closely at what else mango brings.

Re timers - yes there are 3rd party apps for that but why isn't it part of the standard build?

Also, forgotten in my previous post - I hate bing, it is a rubbish search tool. Purely subjective but there you go.

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Facepalm

Annoying

My posts seem to have all appeared not in reply to someone. Rats. Now that's possibly due to some website bug or more likely that I am stupid and didn't hit reply. But to do it three times...hmmm.

Anyway

"I'm sorry" should be in reply to AC at 8.20am

"Agreed mostly" should be in reply to AC at 8.22am with a reply called "From what I've heard"

"At last some sensible comments" in reply to advocate at 8.23am

Sorry!

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Oh, Mr Ballmer...

Just bog off... your trolling is astonishing, and I'm sure the reg only put up with it because it creates responses like mine... You talk absolute tosh, just desperate to have a go at anything microsoft.

Just TRY the OS... go on, dare you. Yuu obviously haven't because each of the points you suggest are complete tosh.

Mango addresses multi tasking, as far as it needs to, copy and paste works just fine, OS bloated and sluggish??? Which phone are you using ffs??? Battery life is substantially better in dame use examples than the android phone it replaced.

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its the dogs bollocks..

As an app dev at first I found it frustrating. Mango 7.5 does wow me though. In terms of simply being efficient at bringing your online life together its bang on perfect. I'm suitably impressed.

I have some gripes though: I want tethering and more Bluetooth support and usb mass storage.

Then it would be nearly the perfect phone. 300,000 apps? Who gives a crap: I only use about 10 apps anyway, and the xna and Xbox live on wp7 is a gamers dream.

For me I just need some better hardware for wp7, a phone with hardware buttons and not the onscreen non capacative, and i need a keyboard.

Nice to have, better all round landscape support.

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FAIL

Sorry but your friend is pretty stupid

All WP7 handset have a big ass Windows logo on it.

/Not to mention when you first turn it on Windows Phone pops up

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Devil

I see someone been too busy sucking off Android

Have you used Mango?

Copy and paste is easy.

Multitasking is in Mango. Ringtones is in Mango.

Facebook and twitter is intergrated in the OS so you don't have to open a app.

Sykpe intergration is coming to the Tango update.

Bloated? WTF are you talking about WP& lets you remove bloat fron OEMs and carriers within 15 seconds without rooting your phone.

Battery life? WTF WP& kills any Android phone at battery life(bet your friends come over and need your charger).

/Posting this on a pro-open source site

//Dude get a farking clue

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Holmes

What's the Tawainese word for masochist?

Being shafted by the m$ mobile plan B for $5 per Android handset not enough? Watching m$ devour the largest player in smartphones for the last decade, and about to launch a torrent of handsets which will blow away anything you can produce?

Truly, the mysteries of the East will forever elude the Western mind.

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This post has been deleted by its author

rip off

Did Apple ever mention that they weren't the first to think of two taps on the iPhone spacebar giving you a full stop and capital next letter? Do you think Apple invented the concept of a tablet device?

Get over yourself. Everybody steals from everybody, and that includes Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Yup, Mango...

I was at the launch in London and they certainly mentioned Mango there.

Even being a self confessed Android fan, I thought both handsets were rather nice. The Titan especially. It didn't feel as big as I thought it was, and even though the screen dwarfs the Desire HD, the phone didn't actually feel bigger. It's actually thinner but the unibody aluminium case keeps it feeling solid.

Very nice bit of hardware.

Can't really comment on the OS, you don't really find the deficiencies of those until you've had one for a few days, but everything seemed to be there included threaded conversations.

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Anonymous Coward

Addendum...

The camera seems to be much improved from the previous offerings. The HTC always did seem to be a bit behind the curve on the camera front (copying Apple too much maybe?!), and whilst my Desire Z doesn't quite measure up to the camera on the Nokia N95/N97, the new ones on the Titan and Radar seem to be much improved, especially in the low light environment of the event last night.

I asked about AMOLED, but they said they were happy with SLCD in the new models, especially given that the largest AMOLED manufacturer is one of their competitors!

I would have liked to see a slightly increased resolution on the Titan, a 4.7" display really could handle a little more, although that would then need more grunt to drive all those extra pixels, but it does have the 1.5Ghz CPU compared to the 1Ghz of the Radar... I wonder what the extra 500Mhz is doing in the Titan?

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WTF?

4.7", seriously?

Now that's a BIG phone. At least companies selling 5" Android devices have the courtesy to balk at calling them phones.

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Anonymous Coward

4.7"

I know, it does sound excessive, but it really doesn't feel bigger than the Desire HD. It's thinner and feels better made. I wouldn't have a problem using it as a phone (man's hands) and I doubt my other half would as even though she's a little girly with girly hands she doesn't have a problem with the Desire HD even with a case... Or it could just be she's so addicted to Angry birds that she'll put up with anything just for the bigger screen?

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Thumb Up

really

Pretty much the same size as the old WM HD2 or the newer WP7 HD7, both do a nice job of being a large phone or small tablet.

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WTF?

So HTC is still qucker of the mark than Nokia

Despite Nokia almost being Microsoft's OEM of choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So HTC is still qucker of the mark than Nokia

Nokia are still having meetings about the colour of their box.

HTC have been in with MS for years, although according to stories they have been bitten by it a few times, so it's a little surprising they stuck with them. I guess it's a case of not keeping all your eggs in the same basket.

I was at the event and did ask the head of EU sales about Nokiasoft, he wasn't worried. He said Windows had such a small market share at the moment that there was plenty of room for it to grow with both companies taking a slice. Plus of course the other eggs are in the Android basket for those that just don't want a Microsoft OS on their phone.

One thing that was very noticeable was the build quality. They really do seem to have focused on it with the new phones. They are really solid and well made. I guess the idea of bumping heads with Nokia has made them play their A game.

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Coat

letters, digits

And even better, it's infinitely more likely someone will manage to hack Android onto it than a MSNokia!

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FAIL

Anyone still cares?

Windows Phones have been out for more than a year and they only represent 1% of the market.

Why do media keep talking about them?

Nobody wants anything vaguely related to Microsoft anywhere near their pocket.

Wait for the iPhone 5 or buy a Sammy S2.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

At a guess the media keep talking about them because:

1) They are the mobile platform of one of the, if not the, biggest software company in the world

2) They have only been out a year and are still in growth phase

3) MS and Nokia have just combined forces and it looks like all Nokia phones are about to be Windows phones, so expect the Windows phone market to explode.

Where was Android in its first year?

Just because you don't want them in your pocket, doesn't mean that others don't like their products. Maybe I don't want Apple or Google in my pocket, for similar unstated reasons to you, that gives me an realistic option of MS.

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Gold badge

Ripping off Nokia?

The HTC Radar's case design looks similar to Nokia's E7.

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Happy

looking forward to Mango

I've had a HTC Mozart since launch and love it. The UI is very nice some thing totally differant from all the rest and very usable.

My other half has just got an Android based HTC phone for work and its pretty much the same phone as the Mozart hardware wise, but the andriod UI is really fiddly tiny icons, etc she much prefers the Win7 phone that I have

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FAIL

(untitled)

How can anyone take seriously a phone that has Facebook integration but won't sync with Outlook properly? Sorry, it's just another MS V1 offering. It will be OK by V3 as usual!

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@ tirk

Not sure what you mean about not syncing with Outlook properly. I have my phone hooked up to two exchange servers and outlook works brilliantly.

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FAIL

@advocatr

Ah, but try synching with standalone Outlook! Just when ActiveSync was working nicely, they chuck it up for some wobbly and potentially insecure cloud horror to use up your data package.

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EF

More info ...

There is more info over here:

http://thisismynext.com/2011/06/21/windows-phone-mango-75-preview/

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Go

Titan is deffinately Windows Phone 7.5

http://www.htc.com/www/smartphones/htc-titan/index.page?#specs

HTC has windows phone OS 7.5 on the Titan specs.

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Silver badge

Amazed... but not positively

I'm not really looking for a new phone but still checked out the official website and the section on the MS Answers website.

Quite frankly I was amazed with the lacking features. No option to send files to/from the device using bluetooth (the only way to do this seems with using an online storage service), not even an included filemanager, limited bluetooth connectivity, no option to select a ringtone on a per-contact basis, heck you can't even use an MP3 file as a ringtone (but this seems to be fixed with the update). Seems you can't even sync certain stuff using USB.

On my Samsung I have 3 windows which I can switch between. One of them holds several functions I most often use; like enabling wifi or bluetooth. So; one swipe and one click is all I need to activate bluetooth. With the windows phone you always need to muzzle through the settings. Even MS officials advice you to "simply leave wifi turned on". Yeah, that's going to do GREAT for battery life!

But stuff like that; very elementary stuff which even my Samsung Jet provides (even /without/ any OS updates).

So can't say I'm really impressed with the windows phone so far. By far enough to even consider getting one myself in the future.

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Silver badge

I dunno.

Disclosure - I like HD7. It's not perfect but it's really convenient, which is (I feel) the major function of any smartphone.

"No option to send files to/from the device using bluetooth"

No indeed. I use wifi for that and sync to Windows Live Mesh. Which works pretty well.

"limited bluetooth connectivity"

Limited how?

"you can't even use an MP3 file as a ringtone"

As you say, you can now. Although you'd want to is beyond me. Ringtone differentiation beyond the basic beeps and trills is for teenagers.

"Seems you can't even sync certain stuff using USB".

Music, contacts, email, movies you can. The rest is cloud-based and remarkably efficient.

I do agree that it would be nice to have homscreen control over bluetooth and wifi. Beyond that, it fails to annoy me.

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