So, Windows Phone 7. You might have heard about it and you might have seen adverts for it on the covers of todays free papers. What’s it all about then?
Windows Phone 7 is the new phone operating system from Microsoft. It’ll allow you to do many of the things you do on your PC or Xbox 360 on your phone.
A number of new mobile phones running on Windows Phone 7 are available to order today, including the HTC HD7 and the Samsung Omnia 7. We’ll be taking you through some of the basic features available on all the Windows Phone 7 devices, how much they’re going to cost and where you can get them from.
What can I do on a Windows Phone 7 phone?
Windows Phone 7 phones allow you to easily keep in touch with everyone; when you get started you can easily add contacts from existing email accounts and add your friends from Facebook. All of your contacts are presented in a synchronised stream located under the ‘People’ menu that’s situated at the top right of the homescreen.
You can download apps and games from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace such as the Facebook app and Star Wars: Battle for Hoth.
If you’ve got an Xbox Live account, you can access this remotely from your Windows Phone 7 device. From here you can play games downloaded from the Marketplace and Xbox Live Arcade as well as edit the appearance of your Xbox Live avatar.
Those with a Zune account will also be able to sync playlists and MP3s downloaded from Zune directly to their Windows Phone 7 phone.
What features do Windows Phone 7 phones have?
All Windows Phone 7 phones vary slightly in terms of design, screen size and specification. However, the basic specifications for a windows Phone 7 device include:
5-megapixel camera with an LED flash, GPS for sat-nav functionality, 8GB of internal memory for storing pictures, music and apps and a 1GHz processor for fast multitasking.
These are the current minimum requirements for a Windows Phone 7 device, meaning that each phone will have a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of storage at the very least.
All Windows Phone 7 phones will feature three main buttons on the front - Back, Home and Search.
Back is self-explanatory, is helps you skip backwards through menus and web pages. The Home key (the middle one with the Windows logo) takes you back to the main homescreen, like the Start button on the Windows taskbar, and the Search button (the magnifying glass) allows you to search the web with Bing.
Is Windows Phone 7 competing with the iPhone?
With Windows Phone 7 Microsoft is competing with Apple’s iPhone in the mobile market, and phones running on Google’s Android software as well. As with Windows 7 desktop PCs and laptops, Windows Phone 7 phones will be made by a range of different manufacturers instead of Microsoft itself.
Who makes Windows Phone 7 phones?
So far, HTC, Samsung, LG and Dell have announced Windows Phone 7 handsets for the UK market.
From HTC there’s the HTC 7 Mozart, HTC HD7, HTC 7 Trophy and the HTC 7 Pro. There’s also the Samsung Omnia 7 and the LG Optimus 7 as well as the Dell Venue Pro. As of the 21st of October 2010 the HTC HD7 and the Samsung Omnia 7 are available to order now.
The HTC 7 Mozart, HTC 7 Trophy and the LG Optimus 7 will be available to order later this year, with the HTC 7 Pro and the Dell Venue Pro due to arrive in 2011.
Where can I get these phones from?
All of the UK networks will be selling Windows Phone 7 devices. Not every network will have the same phone; check our price comparison table here to find out who is selling what and for how much.