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The week after it became available on the AT&T network, my wife and I abandoned our iPhones (she had a 3GS, I had a 3G) and got the new Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 devices. After seven months of use & two OS updates later, I thought it may help others to share some thoughts on the device from a consumer POV. Most of my views are shared with my wife who's not a developer/techie like myself, but she is savy.

Windows Phone 7

I love the OS & overall experience. There are so many things that are innovative & fresh. The way text messages come and don't lock up your UI like on the iOS is nice. The little "downloading" animation is slick too. Love the home screen too with the pinnable tiles. The concept of hubs and how things can integrate in it are quite slick.

I love how all my contacts in Exchange & Facebook have been integrated together. If someone has their mobile number on their FB profile, they show up in callerID when they call, regardless if they have an entry in my Exchange mailbox. That's slick! Also nice how you can link multiple contacts together so when I look up my wife, I see all her info as entered in Facebook & Exchange in one place.

The update process got off to a bad start for WP7 as MSFT was caught unaware some carriers had tweaked their phones before selling them. Once that was ironed out, the update process went well. I was able to update my phone with the FEB 2011 & March 2011 updates in less than 40 minutes. I'm looking forward to the big Mango update this fall that adds a ton of stuff to bring the phone up to the same level as the leading competition (threaded email, turn by turn directions, tasks from Exchange, etc). The concept of "groups" of contacts you can text at once & how you can have one threaded conversation with one person between Facebook, Windows Live, Live Messenger & text message is pretty cool... looking forward to those coming in Mango!

Apps

Much has been made how big Apple's App Store is compared to Microsoft's. To me this is a moot point. As long as I can find what I'm looking for I'm happy. For me my favorite apps are Facebook, Seesmic (for Twitter), ESPN, USA Today which I use on a daily basis. One written by a friend, My Trips, connects to TripIt.com for those of us who keep our travel details there. It's by far my favorite app... works great, fast and intuitive! If you travel you need to checkout My Trips!

Samsun Focus

First of all, I absolutely love this phone and the OS. Both the phone & OS are the best I've ever had. This goes back to being on the iOS platform for multiple years, using a Palm Treo (both the Palm & Windows versions), Windows Mobile 6, etc.

This phone is fast, thin and the screen is AMAZING. Love it!

The Focus comes with 8GB or memory. While the supported stance is questionable, I recently went ahead and added another 32GB to the phone. Trick is you can't be sure if the card will work correctly with the phone. I got one recommended by a friend, the SanDisk 32GB Class 2 card. Three weeks later it works great! The only negative to it is that you have to hard reset your phone for it to be recognized. No worries there, took me about an hour to get my phone back to the way it was.

Personally I am very happy with my WP7 and Samsung Focus & would highly recommend it. People rag on the AT&T network. What my wife and I found was that we had significantly fewer dropped calls and better call quality/service when we switched. So was that the iPhone or the network? You figure it out, for us I know what it was but proof is in your own the experience.

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