Moving to Windows Phone 7 from iOS–and back again!

I’ve been using a Windows Phone 7 Samsung Omnia 7 since the beginning of October. Today, I’m back using my iPhone 4, but the experience has let me to an interesting conclusion:

WP7 is a superior OS compared to the aging iOS. However, the iPhone 4 handset is far, far superior to the Samsung Omnia 7 I’ve been using and probably superior to most currently available WP7 handsets. So, for me, I’m choosing hardware over software.

The WP7 OS has many strengths and is definitely a joy to use. The iPhone 4 however, will remain one of the best handsets I’ve ever used.

More Storage (hardware)

The Samsung device I’ve been using has only 8GB of storage. This has required a constant juggling of space. Deleting music to fit a podcast. Deleting a podcast to take some pictures. Deleting some pictures to fit new music. I only ever ran into issues like that on the iPhone after taking several long videos at a wedding. I’ve always had about 5GB spare space.

Better Display (hardware)

The Retina Display is still one of the most best mobile displays around. I mentioned in some of my earliest posts on the topic that I could definitely noticed the difference when browsing the web. Sure, the Omnia’s AMOLED screen might be brighter etc., but the iPhone’s is easier to read.

Better Sound (hardware)

The Samsung Omnia 7’s sound is just awful in comparison to the iPhone. I struggle to hear people whilst on a phone call, even at full volume. On the iPhone I could hear music and podcasts with ease, despite traffic noise. Not perfect, but a far sight better than the Samsung. This may be specific to Samsung phones and using their headphones might have eliminated that, but I doubt it.

Audible App (3rd Party)

It’s nice to be back listening to Audible again! The lack of an Audible player is something that I really, really missed. This isn’t really the fault of a particular OS, but the fact remains that Audible haven’t released a WP7 client, and that is very disappointing.

Market Place and Zune (Microsoft being useless!)

The earliest issue I had with WP7 was that my Zune account was tied to Ireland, whereas I now live in the UK. Since it’s *impossible* to update the location of a Zune account, I would be forced to create a new Live ID and put that into my phone. Not sure what I’d be required to do with regards to my contacts etc. The thoughts of having to move all that stuff from one account to another is depressing. As a result of this, I’ve not yet purchased a single WP7 app.

In the end…

Maybe comparing these phones isn’t fair. The Omnia 7 isn’t exactly a premium device. I only paid £220 for it as I only wanted a device for testing WP7 apps. Compare that to the £550 I shelled out for the iPhone 4. I know the Omnia 7 is an older device so the lower price probably is partly reflected in that. However, having used the iPhone 4 hardware, it’s hard to imagine anything else being as good.

More storage would go a long way to making the WP7 more appealing to me, but as it stands, 16GB is the largest storage you can get (with out getting bogged down in the “Expandable” memory stuff). iOS has a beautiful flagship phone in the iPhone 4S. Android has an amazing flagship phone in the shape of the Nexus Prime.

Microsoft needs to produce a high-end, flagship device for the Windows Phone 7. And when they do, I’ll line up to buy one!

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4 thoughts on “Moving to Windows Phone 7 from iOS–and back again!

    1. Lumia 800 looks lovely, but only 16GB of storage. I’ll wait until there is a 32GB version that has a pixel density approaching the iPhone 4. The point I’m trying to make is that I think WP7 is excellent, but I need better hardware before making the switch fulltime. I wasn’t trying to review the phone itself, just the OS.

      1. I’m giving the Dell Venue Pro a shot this week after receiving it for free from a Microsoft promotion. I’m a long time iPhone user and I’ve been itching for better hardware than the iPhone (last being the 4). When I say better hardware to me the priority is the screen. Even the Dell which has a slider keyboard I don’t use wins the hardware choice simply because the screen is bigger. The design of the WP7 OS makes reading on it superior even if the pixel density is noticably less. Originally, I had considered trying one of the ICS Android devices with the good pixel density but now the WP7 OS is starting to win me over enough that the Titan (a 4.7″ screen) may win me over for good.

        Missing audible as well. Considering doing DRM stripping until they get an app out (one recent news source shows that as soon).

      2. The Venue Pro was actually my first choice, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. It was just out of stock. I do agree that the OS design makes reading very easy, especially email, which I found very easy to use on WP7. The unified inbox and unread view were brilliant. I miss that now that I’m back on the iPhone.

        The large screen is not something I find appealing, but since I’ve never tried a large phone, I may be missing out!

        Best of luck with the new phone. I’d be interested to hear your comments in a few weeks after you’ve been using the device, so we can compare notes!

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