Smartphones Arms Race

Mango, which is the codename for the latest version of the OS is slick, smooth and a pleasure to play with. If you are of an Android turn of mind you might find the inability to pimp frustrating, but for the minimalists of this world the cleanness, the slide, glide and flow are sumptuous and delightful. It’s easy to get connected via a Windows Live or Hotmail account (indeed that’s a necessity if you want to take advantage of all the social networking features) and to set up a Gmail or any other email account is straightforward too. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can all be embedded into your identity allowing seamless transitions and postings. An ever changing display of your friends faces (if like me you add pictures to your address book) will greet you every time you fire the phone up. The feature that will grow with Windows Phone is “live tiling” which will allow tiles to alter according to need or notification. A BA app tile will turn into a boarding pass QR code when you check in for example. Multitasking has arrived too, after a fashion. It seems to apply to some apps but not others and I haven’t figured out how to quit an app that’s running in the background. That’s probably just my stupidity, and I certainly haven’t found speed in the least compromised by having four or five apps running at once.

The Lumia, like the iPad and iPhone, takes a microsim card, though in the Lumia’s case via a rather fiddly system of flaps that have to pressed and slid and prodded and poked. Each time you connect your USB cable the flap has to be popped and lifted and I fear that many phones will have lost theirs after just a few weeks. Nokia have rather overdone their attempt to be entirely sleek and finished here.

I should imagine the closest rival phone to the Lumia 800 is the HTC Titan, which offers very similar specs. I wish Nokia well. For them to fall by the wayside would be sad indeed. They have produced a phone here that should have great appeal to first time Smartphone buyers who are comfortable with the name Nokia and pleased by the elegant simplicity of Windows Phone.

Windows Phone Mango looks and feels great, it is simple and yet – the more you drill down and play – remarkably flexible and versatile.

It is an anxious time for the corporate chiefs in Finland and Redmond, WA. Much gnawing of nails. If the Nokia gains momentum and is a sales success this Christmas, if the number of Windows Phone users increases, then so will the variety of apps, and that critical mass will also increase the resolve of Microsoft to keep innovating with their tiles and their widgets and encourage Nokia to produce new and ever more interesting and desirable devices.

If, if, if …



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This blog was posted in Techblog

One comment on “Smartphones Arms Race”

  1. LadyGirlPerson says:

    Ah, Stephen, this is where you lost me. Unlike you, I’m not phone savvy. I have never owned one.

    My friends swear they are going to buy me a IPAD? What ever that is….

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