"Great Phone. Amazing OS! A Few Drawbacks."4.0 starson by Thom_Katt
Pros: -Used Price ($83 w/o contract on Ebay)
-Gorgeous, Thoughtfully Designed OS
-Zune integration and the optional ZunePass
-Camera & Camera Interface
-4" Super AMOLED display
-People & Media hubs
-Xbox Live integration
Cons: -Plasticky build of the phone
-Bing Maps WILL NOT double as navigation/gps
-No Draw Something, Angry Birds Space
-WVGA Screen Resolution :(
Summary: Let me start with THE BAD: The plasticky build is not that terrible, but anyone who has owned an HP laptop knows how, over time, that kind of plastic can get caked up with fingerprints, dead-skin, and who knows what else. Solution: a texturized matte-finish case.
Switching from Android (my previous phone was a Droid X), I knew I'd be giving up the convenience of google navigation, but I was hoping that Bing Maps would at least help with directions on-the-go. But NO. It won't even re-route: If you make one wrong turn, you have to pull over, cancel your current route, re-enter your destination, and THEN start your trip again. Ridiculous! I will point out again that I knew I was giving up google nav. I have a relatively good sense of direction, so it wasn't a huge deal for me. If it is for you, the Nokia Lumia phones have Nokia Drive turn-by-turn and there's always Android.
For the most part, Windows Phone Marketplace has all the necessities. For example, some of the apps I've downloaded include Amazon Mobile, ESPN Scorecenter, imdb, Facebook & Twitter, Pulse News, Sound Hound, Yelp, Youtube, and Weatherbug. However, some major apps are missing. Key among them are Draw Something and Angry Birds Space (which is supposed to be coming). Draw something is the major kicker, for me. It's more than a bit frustrating when virtually everyone around you is playing a game and you can't get it.
THE GOOD: If those complaints sound harsh, it's because it these elements are made more frustrating, knowing that the rest of the phone is so amazing. It's quite simply, a joy to use. You might have to spend some time using it really get what I'm talking about, but doing routine tasks is just easier and more pleasing than on Android, and perhaps even on iOS. The battery life is good, lasting all day, doing better than my Droid X. The memory is expandable, although you'll want to go all-in with a 32GB card upfront, since you have to wipe your phone to install it.
The camera and camera interface are great. Pressing & Holding the camera/shutter button opens the camera application, even when the phone is in sleep mode. In addition to using the camera/shutter button, you can also take a picture by pressing and holding any point on the screen and in doing so choose your focus point. This makes taking quick one-handed portrait shots a snap. Picture quality seems to be better than my Droid X, despite the Samsung's lower resolution (5MP).
The Zune integration is also a plus, leaving out the need for doubletwist. The interface for the music player is really beautiful, displaying your new music and listening history with mosaics of your album art. Play/pause controls are accessible from the lock-screen and from a pop-down menu that's accesible anytime you press the volume rocker, one of the many design features of the OS that make it a pleasure to use.
ZunePass subscription option is great. It allows you access to, I would guess, about 90% of the music in the Zune store. The best part is that you can download it to your Zune library and sync with your phone, which saves you from the data-overage anxiety tends to go with services like Spotify, and Slacker Radio.
WRAP UP: I think I'll stop there. There's a lot more I could say. I definitely love the phone. It's a beautiful OS. The lack of Draw Something remains a sticking point, but overall I think the good outweighs the bad. If you're interested in Windows Phone, but need navigation, the Nokia Lumia phones with Nokia Drive may be a good option. If you're interested in this phone in particular, definitely check out ebay. If you're willing to buy a used phone, you should be able to get this one for under $100 w/o contract. I was able to get mine for $83 + S&H. Of course, it's also available for next-to free w/contract.