30-05-2011 10:04 PM - edited 30-05-2011 10:04 PM
30-05-2011 10:08 PM - edited 30-05-2011 10:09 PM
To put it straight it was a bit of a drawn out process but simple enough.
On first power up it asks for the usual Date & Time, Timezone and also asks for a Windows Live ID. This automatically sets you up for Hotmail, Calendar, Xbox Live(if you already have a gamertag) and links the handset to you Skydrive, Great!
All my contacts are stored in Gmail, thankfully this is easy enough to set up. Heading over to 'settings' --> 'email and accounts' --> 'add account' There are loads to choose from, they have just about every account covered here. So select 'Google' enter email and password and WP7 starts to sync. This only took a couple of minutes over my 3G connection. By default it will only sync Google mail and contacts. I wanted it to sync my calendar as well, again easy to do select my Google account and tick the box that says calendar.
Next step for me was to get some music on the phone so this meant time to hook up to the PC. Once plugged in i was prompted to download the Zune software. After a bit of messing around this was install and the phone connected and recognised so Zune prompted me to 'personalise my phone' that done I was told to This update the phones software, great hit update, then another message telling me i have to update Zune first! Why did microsoft just download the latest version of Zune in the first place? This seemed to take an age but eventually got there after about half an hour. It took another 20 minutes to apply the update to the phone, this included almost a full minute of the phone on a black screen appearing to do nothing, a bit worrying at the time but all ended well.
The Zune software itself is nice enough to use, adding music was simply a case of dragging the tracks onto a phone icon and it was synced onto the phone instantly. Looking through the various settings in Zune it seems like you can control quite a lot about the handset from your computer. There is also a wireless sync function but I'll look at setting this up later as for some reason Zune thinks my live account is not registered in the UK.
WiFi was easy to set up, It's on by default but can be changed with a little slider which i thought was a nice touch. Connecting was simply a case of selecting my network from the discovered list and entering my password.
I have also set the phone up with my Facebook account, this is exactly the same process as setting up the Google account only without the option of a calendar.
Right i think i have covered everything so far, i haven't set anything else up yet but I'll have a play and post back with some first impressions
30-05-2011 10:12 PM - edited 30-05-2011 10:12 PM
So first impressions of the handset itself, Well it's lighter than I was expecting, it's got a very nice sleek design, all the buttons on the side and top of the phone seem to blend in just perfectly. The brushed metal battery cover give the feeling you holding a premium phone. The large screen is very clear (although i'm sure a week of fingerprints will change that)
Unfortunately I have noticed a couple of things that i'm not so sure about. The main buttons at the bottom of the phone feel a bit cheap and the Windows Flag button seems to stick out slightly from the rest of the phone. I think it would have been much nicer to see three capacitive buttons instead of the physical ones. Also the power/unlock button is slightly on the small side for my liking, this is only minor though and i'm sure i can learn to live with it.
First impression of the software can be pretty much summed up with 'WOW'. The tile design Microsoft have gone with keeps the display clean and helps to keep everything flowing extremely well. I like the fact that the tiles are big and easy to see and the fact that they are always up-to-date showing the number of unread emails or texts for example. By default the LG has a red colour scheme(I guess this is something to do with you Vodafone?) that i feel is a bit harsh on the eyes, i much prefer the blue tiles but it's easy to change in the settings menu so not that big a deal.
The applications themselves are consistent with the smooth flow of the home screen, swiping left or right to move through different sections of the app, in Hotmail for example swiping will move between 'all'mail, 'unread' mail and 'urgent' mail. This consistency will hopefully help reduce the learning curve for a new user(like me)
The only negatives do far are the fact that the status icons are hidden at the top of the screen and you have to swipe down to see them.
So that's my first impressions pretty much covered, I'm sure ill find some more love n hates as i dig deeper.
I intend on looking at some specific features in more detail but ill cover these in the next few days so you'll just have to keep an eye on here for those!
30-05-2011 10:16 PM
LG has bundled a few apps in with the Optimus 7, below is a descriptions of them and my opinions of each.
Good little app that produces a panorama by stiching 5 shots together. Using it is a dodle, you take your first shot and the apple tells you where to move the phone for the next shot, a shaded red box on the screen turns green when the shot is ready and you press the camera button to add the shot. You repeat this until you have a series of 5 shots which the application then merges into a pretty good looking panorama.
This is idea in priciple and most of the time does produce a good panorama however it can be quite hit and miss when stitching the images together, you ocasionally have the scenery jumping up and down across the image and it also seems to make a bit of a mess of any attempt at an indoor image.
I would like to see some of the camera cusomisations available within this app, all you can really do with it at preset is zoom, which in all honesty is horrible and may as well have been left out. Also the ability to shoot a full 360 degree image would be nice to see.
Overall though it's a nice little app, let down only the inability to work well indoors.
This is a very useful AR app that gives the direct and distance of various services(hotels, retaurants, pubs, clubs, buses, train etc) in the local larea by plotting them as points on your phones screen.
With the phone held out in front of you the handset plots points on the screen showing the direction of places and distance of places in front of you.
Holding the phone flat gives you a radar style view of the area and plots the points in their location relative to you.
In either view tapping on the points gives the full address, phone number and distace from your location. By default it uses Google to provide the data so there doesn't seem to be any shortage of points available to plot. You can also select Bing however it didn't return as many results as Google.
You can filter what is displayed based on the following twelve categories:
- Coffee & Tea
- Bars & ######tail Lounges
- Hotels and Accommodations
- Public Transport
- Hospitals & Medical Centers
- Government & Community
Some of the categories didn't give me any results but then it is only going to be as accurate as the data that has been entered on Google.
Finally holding the phone up to the sky shows the weather at your location for now(not sure why you would need this, you would be looking at it) and the next four days. This is a nice gimmick but I can't see it being used very often, it's not obvious from anywhere within the application that this feature exists and to be fair I only found it by accident.
My only niggle is that on occasions the application can be a little sluggish in getting results, this would be down to your internet connection speed so isn't really something that can be helped.
So overall a very useful application for anyone to use but more so if you don't know an area.
This was an application that I was really excited about and is currently unique to the LG.
PlayTo will allow you to play music from your phone to a Windows 7 PC, xbox or other supported device.
The PlayTo feature utilises DLNA's DMR (Digital Media Renderer) system. Almost all new LG, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba smart TV's support this however they are still fairly new on the market and in some cases quite expensive.
I've been trying to get this working with my PC for a few days but have so far had no luck, however I still have the phone for a couple more days so I will continue trying to get it working so I can give a proper opinion on here if I can.
30-05-2011 10:24 PM
http://windowsphone.live.com offers some handy tools to help find your Windows Phone 7 device should it be lost or stolen.
The first of these tools is 'Map It'. Similar to the find my iphone service offered by apple it will find the current location of the phone and display on bing map. The downside to this is that it uses a specially formed SMS message to activate the location tracking on the phone. This is fine in you have just misplaced your phone or want to show off to your mates, however if your phone was stolen there is a high chance that the SIM card will have been swapped out thus rendering this tool pretty useless as the SMS would never be received.
There is an option on the device itself('find my phone') that once enabled it will periodically send your location to Microsoft without the need for using SMS, this gets round the issue I mentioned above but does mean that in theory your location could be tracked my Microsoft.
The second tool available through the windowsphone site is called 'Ring It'. This allows you to remotely activate a ringer on the handset.
The ringer will always sound regardless of whether the phone is in silent mode which is quite useful as it's a fairly common occurrence that you put your phone down somewhere in silent mode and forget where you put it. The ringer is turned off by pressing the lock button, I know a few similar services force you to turn off your device to shut it up. Very useful tool and would probably come in handy for a lot of people.
Another useful tool is 'Lock It'. Its locks the handset with a 4 digit pin number which you set when you send the lock command. You can also specify a message to be displayed on the phones screen.
If the device has been stolen doing this renders it pretty useless as you cannot access the device to perform a reset (I couldn't find any alternative to resetting using the settings menu on the phone).
Connecting the phone to Zune is also impossible without the pin number so there is no way of wiping the phone there either.
Swiping upwards on the screen reveals a number pad that cna be used to enter the pin number.
Finally there is the option to 'Erase It'. Pretty much does what it says on the tin, wipes all your data form the handset and restores the device.
Of all these tools personally I think 'Lock It' is the most useful. Having the ability to completely disable your phone whilst still keeping your data is a great idea and could prove to be very useful if your phone goes missing.
30-05-2011 10:30 PM
The device itself seems very well made. It's very nice to hold however some may find it slightly on the large side, you get use to this though. Its slightly on the heavy side for a phone these day this will obviously be down to having a solid metal battery cover. The battery cover does give the phone a premium feel which makes you feel like your holding something much more expensive.
The screen is fantastic quality, high resolution (480x800) for it's size, good sensitivity to touch,both help to give a good user experience. The screen also works well in bright sunlight so outdoor use is not a problem.
The 5MP camera on the phone gives great quality images and the 720p recording of the video camera is a nice addition. Recording a lot of HD video would soon fill up the 16Gb of internal memory and with an SD card this could become a bit of a pain. The LED flash didn't seem to be great, the light didn't travel very far so only lit a very small area in from of the phone.
Unfortunately it's not all good news. There are a couple of issues I have with the physical design of the handset. The rubber cover for the USB connection is too flimsy and would most likely break off after a few months of continuous use. I also thought the physical buttons felt cheap and really let the phone down. I think they were maybe designed as an after though to the rest of the device as their design doesn't really fit in. It would have been nice to have some capacitive touch buttons, like those found on the HTC or Samsung.
My only other little complaint is the power/lock button. It's slightly on the small side for my liking and I have quite often missed it when trying to unlock the phone
30-05-2011 10:31 PM
Although still very much in it's infancy and missing quite a few of it's competitors features the Windows Phone 7 OS is still a fantastic system. It's been very well developed to provide a great level of integration with both Facebook and Windows Live Services.
The 'Hubs' that Microsoft use to bring all your information together are easy to use and understand, considering the wealth of information available in some sections there is no lag in the display at all. In fact the operating system as a whole performs incredibly well on the LG, screen transitions are very smooth and some of the transition effects just add to the well polished feel the phone has.
The setup of the Windows Phone Operating System it'self was incresibly simple and has obviously been done with beginners in mind. All the main settings are available in one place so making changes to the handset are easy, no need ot hunt around to the exact setting you want.
Bing maps - quite limited in the information they provide and in my opinion just don't look as good as Google's.
Internet Explorer - struggles slightly when loading full web pages however it manages mobile pages fine, in couple of cases faster than my Nexus One. Unfortunately in some cases it just refused to load any pages at all.
I was suprised by the lack of a Windows Live Messenger application included within the OS. There are a few apps available to download that cover this though.
One last thing that really bugged me was the lack of a cursor in text fields. Being and Android user If I want to correct a mistake in a word I can easily place a the cursor where I need to change. In Windows Phone I found myself deleting a lot of words so I could correct spelling or other silly mistake. This one has really frustrated me however I guess if you have never had the option before it's not something you would miss.
Overall the OS needs some improvements but this is to be expected since it's still less than a year old. With the giant that is Nokia on board i think we will see some exciting stuff coming from WP7 in the future.
30-05-2011 10:33 PM
This was one of the features I was keen to try out and well all I can really say is it's a real disappointment.
Initially I was trying to stream music to a Windows 7 laptop. The phone completely refused to find any devices on my wireless network. This was even after all security software and firewalls were disabled. I also tried with an xbox 360 and had exactly the same issue.
I did eventually manage to get this working but only after cleanly installing Windows 7 on a brand new PC, with no security software running.
After spending so much time on this it has been a bit of a let down. Devices support seems limited to Windows 7 PC's, apparently Xbox 360's and a few DLNA TV's. You would also need to have a huge amount of media on your handset to make it any use and with only 16Gb the LG would soon be filled. Maybe if you had a memory card slot it would be fine.
01-06-2011 11:42 AM
Thanks so much for the content you've created here. I found the windowsphone.live.com section most interesting, I think those kinds of services will be commonplace in the future.
Thanks again for participating and I hope we're able to loan you another device in the near future
01-06-2011 12:34 PM
In all honest i just kinda stumbled accross the site, it wasn't the best advertised service but it seems soo useful there was no way i could have missed this out.
Had a good time playing with the LG, looking forward to playing with the next device
PS - Just to double check did you receive the handset back yesterday?