After a long string of clumsy mobile releases, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 strikes us as one of the better designs to pass through our labs. After more than a month of using the latest build on a Nokia Lumia 800, we think WP7 deserves consideration.
The size of the virtual keyboard in WP7 depends on the size of your smartphone's display. However, the layout is identical on every hardware platform, since Microsoft doesn't allow vendors to create customized keyboard profiles. Our only nitpick is that Microsoft leaves some horizontal space empty in landscape mode so that the keys stay rectangular.
The text input engine features character correction and word prediction. If you need to input a diacritic, such as an umlaut, pressing and holding the original letter provides you with an array of options.
Moving text around is the only process we've found to be tedious. Because you only get the option to copy a word, shifting words around involves copying, deleting, and pasting. A simple cut command could have easily simplified that.
Characters from other languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, can be inserted quickly. Hitting the "Eng" key turns the keyboard into a pad on which you can write the character with your finger. The recognition system isn't perfect, though. For example, WP7 sometimes detects the character incorrectly when the spacing between strokes is too wide or too narrow.
- More Than A Month With Windows Phone 7.5
- History And Home Screen
- The Basics: Navigation And Bing Searches
- Bing Services: Local Scout, Music, Vision, Speech
- Page Orientation: Portrait And Lanscape
- Keyboard Layout And Text Input
- Touch Gestures And Multitasking
- Internet Explorer, Email, And Calendar
- Maintaining Contacts, Calling, And Messaging
- Multimedia: Music, Videos, And Pictures
- Document Management In Mobile Office
- Marketplace And Xbox Live
- Syncing: Windows And Mac
- Apps: Room To Grow, But Most Bases Covered
- Windows Phone 7: A Solid Mobile Operating System