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!