There’s also a slew of updates that probably should have been on the original incarnation. Among them is the ability to display messages as conversations, voice search (which was included in the US version of WinPho 7) and create your own ringtones from MP3 and WMA files – still, better late than never.
The 5Mp camera turns out some fairly decent snaps
Mango now includes speech-to-text too. It's more basic than Apple's Siri featured on the iPhone 4S, but you can search the web as well as searching for local amenities and images, and it will let you dictate and send texts too. As ever with speech recognition, it's not perfect, but it did a pretty good job of recognising my transplanted Irish accent.
The 1GHz Snapdragon processor backed by 512MB RAM certainly isn’t the most powerful you’ll find on a high-end smart phone, but it does a bang up job in general use. It’s not magic though, and it does start to struggle a bit when you start to take full advantage of the multitasking capabilities.
The 5Mp camera (the minimum Microsoft says a Windows phone can have) has autofocus and flash and a maximum resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels, along with macro and burst settings. As HTC cameras go it’s one of the better ones, producing some fairly crisp images, so long as you’re mindful to have adequate lighting. It includes 720p HD video recording too, which is always welcome, and there’s a VGA quality camera on the front for video calling.
While not a new feature for Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft Office hub is on board. This suite of apps allows you to create Word and Excel docs, yet with PowerPoint you can only edit, rather than create these files. Besides SharePoint and Office 365, it now integrates with Windows SkyDrive, so you can access your cloud-based documents from anywhere.
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daft storage decision
The asinine decision to provide so little storage while denying memory card expansion rightly cost this device a slew of customers. Seeing as most smartphones today need to be tethered to the power grid just about every day, it appears deranged to force customers into the cloud for their media files, too - wasting expensive bandwidth and precious mAhs on 3G. Not to mention potential customers living in areas with patchy wireless coverage.
For a phone that is supposed to increase WP7's market penetration, MS's business decisions remain rather unfathomable.
if by "greeted with cautious optimism" you mean:
"eeeugh, does it bluescreen?"
"eeeugh what a bunch of loosers, they don't have a fully populated app store yet"
"eeeugh what an unpopular choice; less than 30% market share? I don't want to know"
"eeeugh blah, blah, source code, Micro$oft, blah blah"
I'm not in the market for a phone, so I've no particular axe to grind; but it seems that if it were any other player coming to the market they'd be welcomed for introducing some competition....
The most ironic thing is the mobile o/s which most like the old XP experience of registry settings, dodgy drivers, programs that could hang the o/s, the occasional need for a reboot isn't the windows one! Yes, I'm sure *your* particular droid behaves impeccably...
Oh, and if we're going to take marks off for lack of memory card slot... lets do it universally :)
Being able to show a list of apps currently in a suspended state in the background isn't multitasking. It's app switching. It might ease flitting between various apps but it's not the same at all as multitasking which would imply multiple applications running at the same time with preemptive, or cooperative multitasking.
Instead WinPho 7.5 has things called background agents which are for running stuff in the background which might be regarded as lightweight non-interactive asynchronous job, usually scheduled, but nothing comparable to true multi tasking. It would poll or do something in the background and notify the foreground to update a tile or the app its associated with. It's analog in Android might be a service class which is there for a similar purpose.