Microsoft officially launches Windows Phone 7 in the Philippines


Microsoft Philippines, in partnership with HTC Corp. and Smart Communications, Inc., launched Windows Phone 7, the latest and much-awaited mobile technology from Microsoft, to join the battle for supremacy among mobile operating systems. Is it a worthy contender? Read along to see our first impression.

A completely new experience:

The new Windows Phone 7 OS delivers a completely fresh user experience. The home screen is unlike any other mobile OS out there. Microsoft uses a unique home screen they call Live Tiles – which is practically a wall of everything you need to see on your phone on a regular basis. Oh, it also has live updates and push notifications so literally, you’ll find everything in a glance. These Live Tiles can be created from virtually any application or content such as music, websites, images.

The Windows Phone 7 is all about the cloud. The people hub displays live updates from your contact’s twitter and facebook – all details are connected and synced. Another amazing feature is that whenever you access your gallery, it will not only show you pictures stored on your phone but your pictures in facebook as well. You can also access and edit documents on your Windows skydrive using the pre-installed Office application. Now that’s a cloud phone.

The transitions of the OS look snappy and responsive. As a matter of fact, Windows Phone 7 strictly enforces a specific hardware specification for their devices so that the experience is consistent among different devices. There’s pretty much no slowdown or lag when it comes to standard commands and navigation.

The Windows Phone market has more than a thousand apps already, which really is more than enough for the essentials – there’s facebook, twitter, messaging plus a couple of games. Knowing how aggressive Windows is, we’ll be seeing more apps in the near future for sure.

A bit premature:

As amazing as the Windows Phone 7 is, there are a few setbacks that makes me think that it’s still a bit premature. One of course is the lack of cut/paste. Windows Phone 7 also lacks multitasking for third party applications. Lastly, there are very limited options in the network settings. You won’t be able to manually set the IP address of your device, nor can you connect to a VPN.

Also, although more of a personal preference, there is no option to view apps in grid format. It becomes tedious to have to scroll down a long list of apps just to find the one you need.

Most of these, however, are software related and hopefully, can be adjusted in the next software updates.

The Hardware:

Leading the way is the HTC Mozart which will be the first available Windows Phone 7 phone in the country. It will only be available through loyalty/retention with Smart starting January 2011.

Here are the specs:

CPU: Qualcomm QSD 8250 1GHz

Memory: 512MB ROM, 576MB RAM

Storage: 8GB internal

Connectivity: Wi-fi, Bluetooth, microUSB, GPS

Camera: 8mp with auto focus and xenon flash, 720p video recording

Others: Dolby SRS surround sound

We expect more phones to be released in the early months of 2011. In the meantime, check out this small gallery to get a better look at the HTC Mozart.