The Windows Phone 7 OS (microsoft.com/windowsphone) looks good enough to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Apple iOS and Google Android (or at least at their elbows). HTC, Samsung and LG have handsets ready to go, all sporting impressive specs. (They have to: Microsoft has specified that WP7 handsets must have a 1GHz processor, 256MB of RAM, 4GB flash storage, a capacitive touchscreen, five sensors — accelerometer, A-GPS, compass, proximity and light — and a 5 MP camera.)
LG’s Optimus 7 (also known as the E900) will possibly be the first WP7 handset in India. It has an augmented reality mode in its video camera: It’ll overlay points of interest or provide a weather forecast. It has a ‘play to’ feature to let you send video, music or photos to a compatible TV or stereo. (Specs: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8650; 3.8-inch, 800x480-pixel capacitive touchscreen; 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity; N Wi-Fi with DLNA, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.5mm audio, micro USB; 5 MP autofocus LED flash camera; 720p video; 16GB storage; 8 hours talk time, 416 hours standby.)
Samsung’s Omnia 7 has the best screen: A 4-inch Super AMOLED. It has 16GB of storage, the same 1GHz Qualcomm processor as the HTC handsets and 720p video recording. (Specs: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8520; 4-inch, 800x480-pixel Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen; 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity; N Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.5mm audio, micro USB; 5 MP autofocus camera; 720p video; 8 hours 40 mins talk time, 390 hours standby.)
The HTC Mozart 7 is more... musical: It has SRS WOW virtual surround sound. It is testament to how far ahead WP7 is of the late, unlamented Windows Mobile. (Specs: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8520; 3.7 inch, 800x480-pixel capacitive touchscreen; 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity; N Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.5mm audio, micro USB; 8 MP, autofocus, xenon flash camera; 720p video; 8GB storage; 6 hours 45 mins talk time, 360 hours standby.)
Arguably the pick of the bunch is the HTC HD7, it’s big screen cries out for movies to watch and games to play. It has a kickstand for propping on the table for prolonged viewing. (Specs: 1GHz Qualcomm QSD8520; 4.3 inch 800x480-pixel capacitive touchscreen; 7.2Mbps HSDPA connectivity; N Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.5mm audio, micro USB; 5 MP autofocus dual LED flash camera; 720p video; 8GB storage; 6 hours 20 mins talk time, 310 hours standby.)
It’s a very solid start for Microsoft, with the quality of the third-party hardware matching the promise of its sparkling OS. Other WP7 highlights include live, constantly updating tiles on your home screen, scaled-down Xbox Live games on the go and the Zune media player. Two glaring omissions: Multitasking and cut-and-paste (promised by “late 2011”). With a slick OS and high-spec, good-looking handsets, Microsoft is back in the mobile game. With support from app developers, WP7 should really fly in 2011.
This material is reproduced from T3 magazine and is the copyright of or licensed to Future Publishing Limited, a Future plc group company, UK2010. Used under licence. All rights reserved.
(This article is excerpted from the latest Forbes India 14 January, 2011 issue which is now available at news stands and book stores. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com)