For the last week or so I got to play with one of the first Windows 7 Phones in the country! I was sent a Samsung Omnia 7, and my being a self-proclaimed BB slut you can imagine that using the Windows Phone was, erm… interesting.
I LOVE the big screen and the “pinch to enlarge/ shrink” functionality.
I LOVE how websites are displayed.
I LOVE how the majority of the screens flip when your rotate the phone.
I LOVE the “Live Tiles” functionality.
I LOVE how I could put my VIP profiles onto my home screen.
I LOVE how the screen is properly visible even outside in the sun.
I LOVE the weight and the look of the phone. Its a sexy phone.
The Samsung Omnia 7 is a pretty cool phone in and of itself, but I was a little disappointed with the functionality I didn’t have. For one thing, I was expecting the Windows 7 functionality of the phone to be far more compatible with my Windows 7 laptop than it is. I couldn’t plug it into my laptop and share files or back it up, which is a concern for me.
The first thing you have to do- if you don’t already have one- is set up a Windows Live ID for yourself. You will need one when you switch the phone on the first time. Just one thing- which Windows and Samsung aren’t allowed to tell you– is you cannot tell Windows Live that you’re in South Africa, ‘coz then you won’t be able to access the marketplace where all the apps are hiding! When you create your ID online make sure to select the United Kingdom as your country, and if you already have an ID, I suggest you log in and change the country!
When you switch the phone on for the first time you select the time zone, set the language, time and date, then log in with your Windows Live ID. Then from the Settings menu option you go to Accounts and log into your Facebook and Gmail accounts. Once I had logged into Facebook and Gmail, I had a looong list of contacts because it fetched all the contacts on my Gmail account and linked them to their Facebook profiles! That was pretty cool as it even tells you what a contacts’ latest Facebook update is. Unfortunately a lot of these don’t have cellphone numbers included. And I couldn’t delete any of them off the phone because they would be deleted off my Gmail as well!
I battled with the phone- really battled- for several hours before I found @Zoddies on Twitter via the prescribed #WP7Experience hash-tag, and she suggested I reset the phone. This meant erasing everything I had managed to do and starting again. I gathered later that I wasn’t the only person who resorted to these measures.
The touchscreen thing was new to me for sure, I’ve been anti-touchscreen for years and whilst this one wasn’t bad, I am still leery of whether it will work properly for the full 2 years that I have to have a phone before I can upgrade. And I found that the keypad that you use to type messages on is really small, and I don’t have big fingers! I regularly hit the wrong letter or the backspace key and had to retype something. It does prompt you with words whilst you type which is cool, but you often have just about finished typing a word before it suggests it.
I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t transfer all the contacts from my BB to the Samsung- name, number, website, Twitter handle, birthday, address, email, etc- because I could only copy numbers from the SIM. And even though I can back up my contacts from the BB to Windows 7 Contacts on my laptop, the Samsung can’’t be “linked” to Windows 7 Contacts.
When you plug the phone into your laptop it will download “Zune”- not a small download- and the downloaded “Zune” is pretty much only for entertainment and music, and copying the pictures & videos off the phone.
There are tons of free apps for Facebook and Twitter available, there are games, and apps for playing with photos- all in the “Marketplace”. The music is not free though, and even if you buy music, you can’t use it as a ringtone. You can use Wi-Fi to get music onto the phone though, purely for your listening pleasure.
You can share photos taken with the Samsung Omnia’s 5MB camera using Facebook, Flickr, Friendster, MySpace, Photobucket and Picasa- and all these options are already loaded, you need just switch them on and log into them.
Sharing to Twitter is not an option though, and the phone doesn’t “recognise” Twitter handles either. Once you’re in a Twitter app you can select pictures to share, but the various Twitter apps I tried didn’t notify me of messages and mentions which is annoying considering I spend all day on Twitter.
I also had to log into Facebook repeatedly when using various apps and functions, rather than the phone remembering the log in I did when I set up the phone initially!
I couldn’t download Whatsapp (which I don’t normally use but thought I’d try it since I didn’t have BBM) because the phone can’t download the .aspx file, and Windows Phone can’t tell you when Whatsapp will be available. I also couldn’t view a few websites that use Flash (yes, I know, I hate it too, but people still use it) because the phone can’t download .exe files either!
Yes, it has Windows 7 Mobile- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook- and they work really well which is fabulous for a business meeting, but I’m afraid this is not the phone for me.
I need my Twitter notifications.
I need to be able to hold in a button on my keypad and automatically dial my Glugster.
I need my just-about-free internet.
I need to be able to set my current favourite song as a ringtone.
If you have the Samsung Omnia 7 and you have any technical support issues or hardware queries you can contact the Samsung Call Centre.
- Dial 0860 (SAMSUNG) 726 7864
- Select 1, and speak to the operator
Take it to the nearest Samsung Service Centre
Visit the www.windowsphone7.co.za for how-tos and tips…
I’ll be sticking with my BB for now.