Eldar’s Windows Phone 7.1 Mango Review

| June 7, 2011 | 43 Replies


Before I even knew this was from Mobile-Review or Eldar, the first thing that struck me is how can anyone review Mango when all the upcoming features (500!) are not yet ready? We were demoed about, what, 20 on Mango Day (May 21) and so there’s at least 400+ stuff to go until Fall. Windows Phone folks stated themselves they’ll be showing us more stuff as the weeks go by. This is like a food critic reviewing the dish when the chef is only just preparing the ingredients.

I don’t know if this mention has been lost in translation (this review is in Russian) but I don’t know if this was clearly noted that Mango as he’s playing with right now is NOT what consumers are getting. It’s not even half of it. I don’t know how much Eldar’s dislike for Nokia affects his opinion of Windows Phone (with so much of Nokia’s interests hedged on Windows Phone success). Just read on.


Something that concerns me is that features we do talk about (keyboard improvements to Mango, next word prediction) are ignored. Eldar states, “Unfortunately, no improvements have been made in the keyboard. This is exactly the same keyboard“.  One the things we heard from MS is that there was a smarter keyboard. I was surprised to hear about keyboard improvements as the keyboard on Windows Phone is absolutely fantastic. It is so very intuitive and I have typed up thousand word long notes with ease on it (Great word prediction, intuitive keyboard adjustments, great use of kb sounds)


They don’t talk about the nitty gritty. Does it affect battery life? Does it affect performance? He just complains that you can’t close apps manually. Andre has talked about multitasking on Windows Phone. It’s quite technical but worth a read.

In his particular comparison, we have a task manager on Android and visual cards (Symbian^3/WebOS/BB Playbook) style. At the moment it does seem that Windows Phone wants to cater make the phone so much easier to use, and part of this was done with trying to get task management out of the user’s hands.

For me, I find myself sometimes unknowingly running lots of apps in the background and when I realise, I have to close down all the others manually for the main one not to lag. I’m not sure precisely what effect having a manual close option would have (would be nice to have it) but the bigger concern is what effect this style of multitasking has on what we value more – performance and battery life.

I know all of my non techy friends don’t get task management. If they are going to close an app, it’s within the app itself. You can do that in Windows Phone, just press “back” within that app.

Phonebook Groups

The slick integration with facebook is very welcome. Putting such importance into a pleasing facebook experience is a smart thing to do. It is an essential thing to do: Some FB stats:

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of ctive users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

On average people spend more time on facebook than google and youtube combined.

Some of you might not be facebook users and have no use for such deep FB integration. But you can see why having it would be such a big deal for other people who would, no?

In the review they talk about the new improved grouping system. Oddly missing a way to group your contacts the first time around (like in Symbian) but this time, a whole different experience given that social network integration. Within your groups, you can check recent statuses, pictures and activities from that group (and you can check individual users for new photos too).

Eldar says that this facebook integration to groups isn’t present in Android. You’d think that might be a positive for Windows Phone but of course not. “In my opinion, to say that is correct one or another approach, one can not both have the right to life.”

Twitter integration is also expected. We don’t even know what MS will be doing in terms of their now owned Skype.

I’m skimming through the rest as I have to get house documents signed (and other todos):

  • It is convenient that all of your conversation is displayed as a conversation, regardless of what the client sent the message. – Chat
  • Mail – Better
  • Haven’t got this far yet but Eldar also covers:
  • Live tiles
  • Calendar
  • Gallery
  • Bing Search. Voice, vision, sound – although there is nothing built in to Android like Bing Audio and Bing Vision, this is another negative for WP as Android has apps to do this. Of course, apps. Why are we not just comparing core OSes? This is about first and foremost giving a first class, easy user experience. What the hell is the point of doing an OS review and doing comparison if at every point  you say, oh this isn’t there but an app can do it. We didn’t get this treatment when Symbian^3 was bashed. That out of the box experience without necessary tweaking (and options can and will come later.) That out of the box experience that is IDENTICAL for all Windows Phones. No ‘one phone does this, but that other one doesn’t inconsistency.
  • Voice dialling, sms
  • Xbox – nothing equivelant for Android, but Eldar says Google are bringing something out.
  • Office
  • I.E.9 – “The browser is really fast.” Here, Eldar does accept this part of Windows Phone is in beta (He might have mentioned something about the whole of mango as ‘beta’ at the top but it’s not there when i put it through translation. “the state of the browser is that it is on beta stage, and, besides, earlier, to make any conclusions impossible.”
  • Saving battery
  • Video/Music Hub
  • Go read the rest:

via WMPoweruser


Category: Windows Phone

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