I have been an early user of Windows Mobile (as it was called earlier) with BenQ P50 (disaster when it came to Battery life), HTC S710 (a versatile phone I liked and used for a long time), but over the years I have moved to Nokia 9300 and finally settling with iPhone for last few years. Though Windows Mobile had lot of technical capabilities, they lacked on user experience and ease of use – it had lot of Desktop Windows legacy carried forward unnecessarily.
From the time of early previews of Windows Phone, I was impressed with the new User Interface of Tiles and Microsoft focus on standardizing and simplifying things. I was not ready to switch yet from my iPhone, but still wanted to check out WP7. At my firm, Vishwak Solutions we are developing a WP7 News App that presents data from any Media Portal powered by VPF. Though the emulator is very capable, we needed a WP7 physical device to check the touch and flow experience. I wanted a basic WP7 device, so I ruled out Samsung Omnia 7 and HTC HD7 – both of which I rate as high-end/costly devices. This narrowed the list to HTC Mozart 7 and LG Optimus7. WP7 is not yet launched in India, so I was planning to buy either one of them when I visited Singapore last week. But before the trip I saw in one of the tweets that you now get HTC Mozart in National Market, Bangalore. I checked out for the same in EBAY India and ordered it from a seller from Indore for Rs.29,190 (incl. of shipping). I had my fingers crossed expecting more of a brick delivered to me, but was feeling a little safe with PaisaPay guarantee the site offered.
Within two days I got the phone delivered. It was a brand new HTC Mozart 7 device from T-Mobile Germany – it was obvious the box was opened, but was new nevertheless. I didn’t want to risk having any rootkits, so immediately I factory-reset the device. It came back to live in German language, I selected few screens clicking on the word that didn’t start with N aiming to get “YES” correctly selected. Then English UI appeared, everything worked fine. I assume the importer had opened the box to do precisely this. The device feels quite sturdy and well build. Microsoft has a good chance with WP7 if they are able to quickly release more features, get momentum on Apps development and gain overall market traction.
When I checked for the same device during my trip in Singapore last week, I was hearing prices of SG$800-850, which makes it Rs.30,000 plus taxes. I think I have got a good deal once in my life!