Windows Phone Mango still didn’t convince me

I have been using the LG Optimus 7 (LG-E900) smartphone updated with Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) for about a month now. The Mango update brought many improvements, but I still have to say I’m not happy with its reliability and performance.

A few years ago I used to say Symbian devices are reliable phones and unreliable computers. Microsoft PocketPC and later Windows Mobile devices had same kind of problems, but vice versa; they worked as handheld computers, but the phone UI and connectivity were not trustworthy.

I’ve been surprised to notice at least this LG device still has equivalent problems. Phone calls get disconnected, the device reboots itself almost once a day, and when I return to it, I notice it’s asking for my PIN code and nobody has been able to reach me for a long time. The touch UI also lags occasionally, et cetera.

Multi-tasking, as limited it is, is also not what I expected. When I keave an app or game in the background and switch back to it later, it often starts from scratch without remembering where I left it.

A few days ago Microsoft shipped an LG specific update which was supposed to fix these bugs. That didn’t happen. Calls still get disconnected and random rebooting continues. I have been asking around, and I’m not the only one with these kind of problems. According to one Microsoft source, this LG device could have hardware related problems.

Of course, this is just one device. I’ve heard more positive hands-on impressions of HTC and Samsung smartphones running WP 7.5. But I’m an engineer personality; I need to get the device on my hands to believe it works.

I have the highest expectations for Nokia Lumia 800, but I still haven’t got a chance to try it. Nokia’s communications in Finland say they don’t have those here yet. Microsoft has some kind of demo units in Finland, but they wouldn’t show them yet. I read very positive previews online, but none of them convinced me yet as real hands-on tests. I can believe the unibody polycarbonate chassis (with many colour options) is impressive, but that is not enough; the software needs to be fast, smooth and reliable.

I’m also not yet satisified with applications available for WP Mango. I want for example, Lync (business IM), Skype, Spotify, Sports Tracker and a good screen capture tool. I know they’re coming, but when? And will they be any good?

Helsinki-based Sports Tracking Technologies Ltd just recently announced Sports Tracker for Nokia N9 (MeeGo Harmattan), and they’are developing a Windows Phone version too. But, Microsoft still doesn’t support Bluetooth heart-rate belts on their Bluetooth interface. Sports Tracker developers are working on this with Microsoft and Nokia, but there’s not a date for this update.

As a Finland specific note, lots of companies have released apps and services for Android, iOS, Symbian and MeeGo, but when I go to Windows Phone Marketplace in Finland, I can’t find pretty much anything local. Fortunately at least the largest newspaper in Finland (Helsingin Sanomat) is working on a Windows Phone app, so maybe things are finally starting to happen. This is a bit surprising, because Microsoft has usually been good in tempting developers to support their platforms. I have set Finland as my location, but it’s possible there still are some issues with local content.

As an annoying detail, WP Mango does not support firmware over the air (FOTA) updates. Instead you need to use the OS X or Windows client.
As an annoying detail, WP Mango does not support firmware over the air (FOTA) updates. Instead you need to use the OS X or Windows client.

2 thoughts on “Windows Phone Mango still didn’t convince me

  1. That is interesting…I have a work issued HTC Trophy with Mango and this phone has NEVER crashed nor have I had to reboot it for system problems…ever! It has been rock solid…just been debating if I want to get one for me personally (currently with an Samsung Infuse Android phone.)

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