iOS developer reviews WP7, we summarize

Justin Williams, owner and developer at Second Gear LLC, is an experienced OS X and iOS developer who has ventured over to Android for a week to see how he rated day-to-day usage in comparison to the iPhone. Justin has now had a good look at Windows Phone 7, and has made his opinions known to the world.

Although reviewing the software, the Samsung Focus was also a main point when creating the opinionated review and wasn’t positive when covering the hardware.

“The rest of the hardware? It’s pretty cheap. Apple hit a home run in the ‘feel’ aspect of the iPhone 4. When you hold it in your hand, it feels hefty (but not too hefty), solid and substantial. The Focus, on the other hand, feels light, cheap and full of air.”

He later moves onto inserting the SIM card and mentioning how he found the plastic build to be slightly offsetting when – presumably - compared to the build of the iPhone 4. I feel as though I should agree with the negativity in using plastic compared to materials Apple use to manufacture their smart phone, but to say that a Samsung phone may make you believe you could damage it easily due to being plastic I find hard to comprehend. Especially when I have handled both an iPhone and my own Samsung Omnia 7, and the iPhone 4 have had numerous reports of hardware related issues.

“In fact, my first experience with the phone was a bit offsetting because of the build quality. Since the entire phone is plastic, I have to snap the back off to insert the battery and SIM card. I felt like I was going to break the phone each time I ripped it off.”

On a more positive vibe, moving onto Facebook integration being second to none is absolutely dead on the ball. There’s no denying that Windows Phone 7 makes your social giant life much more complete when away from your computer.

“If you are a Facebook junkie, Windows Phone 7 is awesome. While the official Facebook app developed by Microsoft isn’t great, the integration in the OS itself, is fantastic.”

Lastly, I would like to include how he found the Metro UI, being an iOS developer, ensuring the app looks good is a huge factor in the marketing, increasing sales, and keeping users content with their experience. Justin seemed relatively impressed with the UI, like all of us who moved over (whether it be from other platforms or WM) we were drawn by the new look that was unlike any other smart phone OS.

“The entire UI paradigm for Windows Phone 7 is referred to as ‘Metro’ and takes its inspiration from signage at train stations. It looks really good as a whole. My favorite aspect of it is the concept of Pivot or Panorama views.”

Overall I’d say we have almost converted another (as if we are all Smith off the Matrix and are duplicating one another) and his view seems positive when taking into account that the negativity given off from his post were/are expressed by many Windows Phone 7 users.

Source: Carpeaqua; via: WP Secrets (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • The Focus feels great if you ask me. My iPhone 4 had heft to it, but it also felt as if it would shatter into a million pieces if I were ever to drop it (mine did crack after a dropped, but Apple did replace it for free). All in all, I like the feel of the phone. But to each their own.
  • All I know is I have dropped the Focus numerous times on very hard ground and it's in perfect shape (go Gorilla Glass). Even the HD7 feels too delicate in comparison...
  • I don't know--I sort of agree that the Samsung feels a little insubstantial. The Dell Venue Pro, on the other hand, has as good or better build quality than the iPhone does IMO. I wonder what he would say to that one? Probably that it's too heavy....
  • Sorry, but I just cannot agree with your assessment of the Dell Venue Pro. It is haevy, and doesn't feel right in the hand. Being that I own the Samsung Focus, I am a bit biased when I say it's the better WP7 device ont he market. I would have preferred the Galaxy S shell and hardware, but I'm not complaining.
  • I disagree that the Focus feels "cheap" in any way, however I can attest to the fragility of the screen. My focus was dropped by a friend from about 3 feet and landed face down on asphalt, where it shattered in a spectacular fashion. Just the screen, mind you, the rest of the phone is flawless. Gorilla glass is, actually, far more prone to breaking than is regular glass. It's extremely hard, which makes it resistant to *scratches*, but along with hardness comes brittleness--so it breaks more easily than would softer, more scratch-prone glass. Frankly, I don't think it's worth the tradeoff. I'd swap gorilla glass for regular glass and a screen protector in a heartbeat.
  • Different experience here - I've dropped my Focus 3 times; each time on hard pavement surfaces. The screen is still flawless, although there are a few scratches around the bezel. So in my instance at least, it seems resistant to scratches *and* breaking... Couldn't be more pleased with the durability so far.
  • Can't forget his final verdict. "The Verdict
    My sister got a Samsung Focus for her birthday. She’s 18, uses a Mac and lives on Facebook. She loves it. I don’t think Microsoft is targeting the hardcore geeks and power users with Windows Phone 7. I think they’re targeting the Blackberry users and first time smartphone customers who want a constant connection.
    With a healthier app catalog and better support for third-party calendaring services, I’d have no problem jumping to a Windows Phone in place of an iPhone. In fact, I’d say that I like Windows Phone 1.0 far more than Android 2.2. It just feels like a fresh approach and one that works. Microsoft is rumored to have several updates to the platform in the pipeline. I can only hope that they will keep the updates frequent so they can fully catch up to the iPhone and Android in terms of features. I’d love to see this thing succeed."
  • That's about as close to saying "I like it" as you can get.
  • Gotta love competition... us consumers are the real winners here -- 3 smartphone superpowers all trying to outdo each other ;)
  • I have no problem with the way the Focus feels. The shape and lightness just feels great in the hand and pocket. I think he was just used to the iPhone feel too much.
  • Maybe I am just old fashioned but my phone has to have some heft to it along with a bit of metal trim, so I could never own a Focus. Not saying that it's not a great phone, and it's probably the perfect phone for many, just not for me. Glad we all have choices.
  • I have to say I agree with him on feel and build of the Focus, which is a big reason why I returned it and went with the Surround.
  • My Dell Venue Pro's build quality absolutely blows the doors off of anything on the market (including iPhone 4). Both my wife and I have had zero issues with it either. WP can be made to any measure of quality, too bad this reviewer didn't account for that much.
  • Coming from the iPhone 4, I can see how he'd say the Focus feels cheap. The use of glass and metal on a phone along with that bit of heft the iPhone 4 has makes it feel very solid. On the other hand that glass and overall more expensive feel to the iPhone 4 made me constantly worried I'd drop it.
    I'm glad I'm satisfied with the build quality of the Focus as it's proven to be the most robust WP7 phone in terms of hidden features.
  • Typical fanboy attempting to drag down a product that is, ahem, better....if you want light, it can't be a brick like an iphone and that's it... yeah the Focus is plastic, but it's also the lightest and doesn't get all jacked up when you drop it.... all I know is that every time I talk to an IP4 user, the call dies at some point....
  • Why does the opinion of one iphone developer matter so much? Does their validation carry so much weight? Sounds like iphone envy to me, might as well just buy one and be done with it.
  • It doesn't. Just icing on the cake.
  • Actually, I read the entire article last week. The developer's overall feeling about WP7 was pretty enthusiastic. He even pointed some things out that he liked more than IOS. He also acknowledged that most of the features that were missing are probably coming soon with updates. I got the impression that he might even consider switching in the near future. Richard didn't incude all of the positive things that he said in this article, especially the developer's conclusion. I suggest reading the actual article in order to get a more accurate tone of what the guy said. He did think the focus felt cheap because of the plastic, but that's because he was use to all of the glass and weight of the iphone4. But he also praised the screen and a coupe of other things that the focus offered. Its really kind of interesting. WP7 is really starting to impress people. Even some iphone fanboys who don't have their heads completely in the sand. By no means was he bashing the phone. There was a hell of a lot of praise and respect in his article towards microsoft, and he even said that he felt WP7 is ahead in it's first version of where iphone and android were in their first version. This is good stuff!