The 3.7in screen has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, which is fairly typical for a phone of its caibre, and is an LCD panel. In terms of general clarity, sharpness and readability, it’s excellent. However, it is a tad muted when it comes to colour saturation and contrast (much like the Desire HD in this regard), while viewing angles, though adequate, aren’t the best with slight drop off in saturation and some colour shift. It’s very good for all everyday work duties but if you want to game or watch video, the punchiness of an AMOLED display like on the Samsung Omnia 7 may be your preference.
What can’t be faulted about the screen is its responsiveness and size (the whole phone measures 62 x 119 x 12mm). It’s a comfortable size to be able to reach most of the screen one handed and the multi-touch panel picks up speedy finger taps perfectly.
One of the areas this is most acutely felt is when typing where the screen combines with an excellent onscreen keyboard to make typing a breeze. The 2.3 update to Android (not yet widely available of course) probably still has the best keyboard in terms of extra features (not least for the fact that you can cut, copy and paste, which you can’t yet do in Windows Phone 7) but this one is still very nice to use.
As for the rest of the software side of things, what Microsoft has stipulated is that phone manufacturers can’t actually change the interface, as they can on Android and Symbian, so what experience you get on one Windows Phone 7 will exactly match what you get on another.
We’ve written at length about the merits of Windows Phone 7, so if you want the full low down we suggest you give that a read. But in summary it is a very slick, speedy and smooth operating system that feels as free flowing and finger-friendly as iOS or any other top notch alternative.
The design is very different to most with the homepage consisting of large Live Tiles arranged in one long column, rather than multiple pages of shortcuts and widgets. Swipe left and you’re presented with the full list of you’re installed programs. It’s an interesting design with some merits in terms of simplicity but we generally find it a bit limiting and inefficient in terms of finding your favourite programs quickly.
One of its key features is integration of social networking. Sign in with your Windows Live, Facebook, Exchange or other email accounts and you’ll find the People Hub (contacts to you and me) populated with updates, photos and information from all these services. Moving through the OS you’ll also find other apps using this information like the Pictures Hub, which pulls down your Facebook pictures to the device as well as showing you a stream of other people’s pictures direct from these services.