Now that we got the Windows Phone 7 software covered, what about the hardware? Don’t worry, we’ve got you fully covered here too, as Microsoft and AT&T teamed up to show off their three launch devices– the Samsung Focus, HTC Surround and LG Quantum. After spending a few minutes today with each them, I gotta say, they look great.
We’ve got the full breakdown of what you’re gonna want to know about each of them after the break.
We’re gonna start this off with the Samsung Focus, the first phone to run Windows Phone 7 in the US when it launches November 8th for $199.99 with a new 2 year contract and data plan.
The Focus is kind of like a Windows Phone 7 version of the Galaxy S series—large 4 inch Super AMOLED screen, 1 GHZ Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with video recording and flash, and 8 GB of built-in memory. Out of the three AT&T launch phones, this one was my favorite. The screen is just amazing—definitely up there with the Galaxy S line and iPhone 4, it’s insanely thin and light but not too light (though the thinness does make me a drop concerned that one drop would completely shatter the phone), and speed—well like all three Windows Phones this guy flies. Switching between apps, loading pages on the web, zooming in and out of pix, typing messages or viewing videos—everything was slick and smooth, just like it should be.
As far as launch phones go, the Focus is really as good as they come. Look for it to be out when Windows Phone 7 launches on AT&T on November 8th.
This is a pretty unique slider phone. Usually slider phones slide to reveal full QWERTY keyboards. Not here. The “surround” in the HTC Surround stands for surround sound, like Dolby surround sound. And boy does this make some noise (pun fully intended). The area where we saw the Surround was a very loud area with loads of noise—and we still heard the music playing off the Zune app loud and clear. If you are someone into having a literal jukebox in your pocket, this may be the phone for you.
Other features on the phone include a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with HD video recording and flash, kickstand (yes, a kickstand like the EVO), 3.8 inch screen, and 16 GB of built-in storage (for storing media we presume). And of course all the other Windows Phone 7 features like the Xbox Live and Zune hubs, and even a special HTC hub (only for HTC phones), which is like kinda like HTC’s Sense in an app, and is a really nice weather app (seen above).
The Surround will cost $199.99 when it launches a few weeks after the Focus.
This is the “normal” slider of the bunch with a full slide out QWERTY keyboard. In my brief time with it I found the phone to be nice, but not the best of the bunch. Build wise it didn’t seem as solidly built as the other phones, and while the keyboard was very good, the Start screen on Windows Phone 7 doesn’t yet automatically rotate horizontally. Sure that’s not a huge deal breaker (particularly if you want a good messaging phone with a full physical keyboard and are locked to AT&T), but it still is pretty annoying.
The Quantum also has a full Windows Phone 7 experience with all the new software goodies plus the usual 1 GHZ Snapdragon processor, 5 megapixel camera with HD video, 3.5 inch screen, 16 GB of built-in storage etc.
The Quantum, like the Surround, will be available a few weeks after the November 8th launch date of the Focus, and will also cost $199.99 on a new 2 year contract with data plan.
So there you have it, the full lowdown on all the new AT&T Windows Phone 7 phones. Overall, I really like what Microsoft has done with the new OS together with their work with partners and am excited to see what the future holds for the platform. There is a lot of potential here and only time will tell how developers will take advantage of it.
If you’re an AT&T user looking for a new phone, no matter what you do the most with your phone– text, check scores, take photos and videos, play games or update your Facebook 24/7– Windows Phone 7 looks to do all those and more in some really nice hardware to boot.
We’ll have more on Windows Phone 7 as we near closer to the launch date, but in the meantime, what do you think of what Microsoft’s done here? Are you going to go with this over an iPhone, BlackBerry or Samsung Captivate? Let us know in the comments.