With a stylish and unusual operating system,Miscrosoft has given rivals a reason to worry.
Faced with the challenge of resurrecting its not so popular mobile platform,especially in the face of the onslaught from iOS and Android,Microsoft seems to be thinking out of the box. Its solution for smartphones is full of boxes,and that too adorable ones.
The new Windows Phone is an operating system that does not try to imitate its competitors. This one does not want anything to do with homepages full of grid-spaced icons,so iconic of its rivals. In the world of Windows,its all about small rectangular and square metro tiles,which tell you whats happening in the background. The tiles are arranged close to each other and your homepage is a cluster of the tiles of your choice. There is another column on the right,which shows the apps individually,somewhat like the menu of older phones.
But you will seldom need to go there. For the tiles consolidate your needs. The People tile will let you call,mail,SMS those in your contacts,and even let you peep into their Facebook page or send a direct message on Twitter. Facebook and Twitter are seamlessly integrated into the OS,allowing you to share anything from your device with any of your contacts.
But what sets apart the Windows Phone OS,especially the latest 7.5 version,popularly known as the Mango,is its style and sophistication,and though I havent used this word in ages,suave sort of sums it up.
The movements are so fluid that you wouldnt have trouble going up and down even if you add numerous new apps from the Microsoft marketplace. The transitions are so fluid that they seem natural. But despite all the flamboyance of the OS,it is still essentially minimalist. The typeface is clear,especially in the mail.
However,to get more apps,you will need a Windows Live account. The ID will also help you access Xbox LIVE for online gaming or to download more games to your collection. Another standout feature is the integrated Internet Explorer 9 in the OS. Never a favourite on mobile,the IE seems to have got a new lease of life here.
So the next time you go out to buy a smartphone,dont forget to check out the Windows Phone options.
Samsung Omnia W
The Samsung Omnia W was among the first set of Windows Phones to hit the Indian market. Though originally a Windows Phone W,users can now upgrade to 7.5 for free.
This 4 touchscreen phone has a super AMLOED screen that brings the high contrast metro tiles to life. You can just run your finger down the surface to see the responsiveness of the screen complement the high speed graphics of the OS. Just below the screen is a Windows button,flanked by the back and search buttons. The back button was a real revelation,for it is much more apt than a menu button. On the sides are the camera and volume control buttons.
The phone has a standout 5 MP camera,front and back,which churns out pictures that look stunning on the AMOLED screen. The camera can also shoot 720p HD video and comes with almost all basic tweaks and settings. Clicking pictures is as simple as touching the screen after which the camera locks focus and saves the image.
Weighing just 138 g,the Omnia runs on a 1 GHz Scorpion processor. Samsung promises 8.66 hours of talk-time with the 1500 mAH batteries. The phone comes with 8 GB built-in storage. At Rs 17,000,this is one of the best options if you have decided on the Windows.
Nokia lumia 800
The Lumia 800 is the flagship model in the series of phones that Microsoft and Nokia hope will make Windows the second most popular OS within a couple of years. The start seems to be good,for the Lumia 800 is the sleekest Nokia.
The Lumia 800 is all about superb design and comes in vivid colours. The 3.7 inch AMOLED ClearBlack curved display blends seamlessly with the reduced body design. The phone has a 1.4 GHz processor with hardware acceleration and a graphics processor and comes with 16GB of internal user memory. Another great feature is its 8 MP camera with an auto-focus Carl Zeiss lens,LED flash and HD video.
Smart apps like the latest Nokia maps and Drive (a personal navigation device) set Nokia phones apart. Then there will be the all-new MixRadio,a free,global,mobile music-streaming application that delivers hundreds of channels of locally-relevant music.
There is no word yet on how much the Lumia will cost in India,but pre-bookings will start early December.