Windows Phone: The First 24 Hours

Two days ago I wrote about how excited I was about my Windows Phone coming in the mail. So yesterday I received it and set it up and so far the experience has been a positive one. Just to note that I’m approaching this HTC Trophy from Verizon the same way one might look back on the HTC Dream which is to say that this isn’t the end result of this product but rather just the beginning. That being said I’m of the opinion that this is a very good beginning!

The user interface is snappy and me having come from the Windows 8 previews I feel that Microsoft has succeeded in creating an environment where a consumer can purchase one device, say a phone, then pick up a tablet running Windows 8 and know exactly what to do. In fact I may go so far as to say that using the Windows Phone OS might be easier than using the iPhone’s iOS… not that iOS is exactly complicated but Windows Phone just does it so much more elegantly.

Here’s the Achilles’ heel of the phone: apps. I know that this is a new platform so the number of apps available is understandably low. Coming over from Android where there are a lot of free apps I knew I’d have to suck up the fact that I’d have to pay $2.99 for Angry Birds. This isn’t a big deal, though, because I’ve enjoyed Rovio’s game so much they do deserve some payment. Further I like that the games are connected to Xbox Live because, if I’m being completely truthful, I am something of an achievement whore; “I just unlocked a new bird! Look at it! LOOK AT IT!!!”

Apple likes to tout that it has 500,000 apps and that’s good for them but is a single consumer really going to install that many applications? Of those 500,000 how many of them will people use in their day to day and how much of it is crapware? Windows Phone has given me access to Facebook, Foursquare, Evernote, Skype, Twitter and, out of the box, it comes with SkyDrive and Microsoft Office Mobile. All the things I needed from my Android are available on Windows Phone so I’m a happy camper.

One of my friends on Facebook had commented on how poor the battery life was on HTC’s products. On that point all I have to say is that the battery life of the Trophy isn’t too different from that of my Droid 3. At the end of the night, before I enter into my own Sleep Mode, I had to recharge the phone. So that’s not a big deal in my case.

Finally I’d like to point out my like/dislike relationship with PC to Phone syncing. At first I was appalled that I’d have to use the Zune Software, which I never got along with, to sync my Phone to my PC. I downloaded and installed the package last night because I knew I’d have to install an update for the phone and while that whole process was going I took a few minutes to configure Zune Desktop Player. I imported all my music and did some exploring and long story short: I now like the Zune player. It does, in my opinion, a better job of managing my music collection than iTunes does and I can also download apps for the phone from the Zune Player and have them installed and ready to use on my Phone when I disconnect it! I can’t wait to see how the whole thing runs on my HTPC.

Ultimately these are just my first impressions at the 24 hour mark. Presently I walk away feeling that the Windows Phone platform will be successful and I look forward to seeing a variety of hardware two years from now when it’s time for me to upgrade! Very nice, Microsoft!