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Monday, March 12, 2012

30 Minutes was all I could take with a Windows Phone

Every six months or so, I get this urge to try a Windows Phone again, so today I took my SIM card out of my LG G2x and popped it in my htc HD7 to try it out again.  I was going to try to use it for a week, but  I couldn't use the phone for more than 30 minutes and I had to rip the SIM right back out.

It's got one thing going for it:  it's super snappy and fast.  Way faster than both Android and iOS.  And I love fast.  But otherwise, this is the worst user experience around.

One of the reasons I got the urge to try the phone again was that I needed to check something in my hotmail account, which I rarely use.   Even after logging out and logging back in with my Windows Live account, the phone continued to show me that I had no hotmail messages even though when I went to double check on the web, I clearly did.  You want apps that just work, and I got apps that just didn't work.

I went in to update the 10 or so applications I had installed, as the phone told me they were in need of update, but I got a "Windows Live service is down" - sorry.

The IMAP client to Gmail is just horrible.

Maybe this is the best experience around if you have an Exchange account, but I don't get it.

The "Metro" UI to me doesn't work because it wastes too much space.  I don't need title bars and fonts that take up 10% of the screen.   It works okay on the Xbox, but not so much on a phone.

I think a lot of this does have to do with perspective.  I saw this article by Danny Sullivan, who I respect and think knows what he is talking about, on how Android needs a better email client and it is amazingly the opposite of what I think.  

If you use Google apps or Gmail as your primary method for calendar and email management, there's nothing better than the Android interface, and actually the iOS mail client is terrible.   It doesn't bring the Gmail experience to iOS at all, but then again, I don't think Google's iOS Gmail client does either, as it doesn't support multiple accounts (last time I checked).

At any rate, I've seen the new Lumia phones, and although they are nice, I can't see myself ever using one of these phones.  

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