Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s first serious attempt at taking on Apple and its iOS platform, used in the iPhone and iPod Touch. It launched in October 2010 and, as many hoped, wiped the slate clean for the Windows mobile series. Previous iterations such as Windows Mobile 6.5 and 6.1 were viewed by many as clunky, over-complicated systems that didn’t work well with the small touchscreen displays used in most Windows smartphones. Conversely, Windows Phone 7 is perfectly tailored for today’s capacitive touchscreens, and is very fast and easy to use.
Unique features it boasts include full integration with the Xbox Live platform – some games on the platform allow you to collect Xbox Live achievement points, as you would with an Xbox 360 game – and the Live Tile-based UI. Windows Phone 7 also placed the strictest hardware guidelines seen in any current-gen smartphone platform. All Windows Phone 7 devices have to have a 1GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera and large capacitive touchscreen – or better. Like the iPhone series, Windows Phones do not support expandable memory, so the internal memory of a phone matters much more here than it would with an Android device. All feature a minimum of 8GB. Top Windows Phone 7 picks available in the UK include the HTC HD7, the LG Optimus 7 and HTC 7 Trophy.