Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From BlackBerry to Windows Phone

Last week, I landed myself brand-new Samsung Focus Flash phone with Windows 7.5.  I had debated about going with the older Samsung Focus model in mid-October, but figured it was probably worth the wait for some new hardware too.

Having a physical keyboard on the BlackBerry was hard to give up, but outside of the lack of real keys, I pretty much love everything about it right now.  One of the big factors in deciding on what phone to select was my ability to hold it and have a reasonable chance of being able to type with one hand.  The Focus Flash is the only phone in the Samsung Focus line that is the same width as the BlackBerry Bold 9700.  If I wanted a tablet, I would have bought one that has a screen larger than 4.3 inches.

As someone who spends a good amount of time using Twitter and dabbling in the other popular social media sites (depending on where my friends are), the People Hub has got to be the best idea since sliced bread.  Being able to group certain friends and family members and highlighting a tile for that group on home page is fantastic.  Even after a week, I feel less like I have to constantly watch my Twitter stream or check Facebook because I can easily view the postings from the people I care about the most.  The native integration for interacting with Facebook and Twitter lack some of the more robust features, but it certainly good enough for the majority of my social media interactions.

The live tiles on the home page are great for highlight the next appointment and the latest status updates from the People Hub.  Not having to open the calendar to see my next appointment is a nice bonus.  Plus having a miniature "digital picture frame" that highlights my favorite photos is a fun feature.

I know many iPhone lovers may find faults in some of current features in the Windows Phone. There isn't the extensive catalog of apps yet and some of the ones that exist lack some of the more refined functions that more mature apps for iPhone and BlackBerry have.  But I think it's only a matter of time before those app offerings catch up.  And I have a list of things that I do miss from the BlackBerry - battery life being one of them and I'm developing a wish-list of things I hope to see change or become available in 2012, but that's a post of its own!

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