Unlike many others, I quite like Windows Phone 7. Lately, I had gotten bored with Android, and I had a chance to try out a friend’s Windows Phone 7 device. The new tiles based user interface is a refreshing change from the standard icon based fare on both Android and iOS. It may not have hundreds of thousands of apps like the Apple App Store or the Android Market, but it does offer most of the essential ones. Additionally, one of the best things about Windows Phone 7 is that Microsoft enforces a set of minimum hardware requirements, which makes sure that even the mid range Windows Phone 7 devices are fast and responsive. You also don’t have to worry about OS upgrades; every Windows Phone 7 device will get the Mango upgrade.
Until recently, most Windows Phone 7 devices were priced prohibitively high, in the Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 range. In the last month, there have been a series of price cuts, which have brought some great Windows Phone 7 devices in the Rs 15,000 price range.
There are only a few Windows Phone 7 devices available in India. Of the available options, if I had to buy one, it would probably be the
The HTC Mozart was one of the best Windows Phone 7 devices which were released in the initial wave. Despite having a smaller display than the other phones, it received rave reviews.
It comes with a 3.7 inch S-LCD display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It has an 8 MP camera with autofocus and Xenon flash, probably one of the best in the entire spectrum of Windows Phone 7 devices.
It comes with a 1 GHz Scorpion processor and an Adreno 200 GPU with 576 MB RAM. It has 8 GB internal storage and offers all the standard connectivity options – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, 3G HSDPA and is powered by a 1300 mAh battery.
If you still aren’t convinced, here’s the best part. It is now available for just Rs 16,499. This makes it the cheapest Windows Phone 7 device in India. It offers the most bang for your buck from the current crop of WP7 smartphones.
This is another good Windows Phone 7 option available to Indians. It comes with a bigger 4.3 inch LCD display, with the same resolution – 480 x 800 pixels. It is powered by the same processor – 1 GHz Scorpion – and has the same GPU – Adreno 200. It also has the exact same amount of RAM – 576 MB.
However, there is one shortcoming – it comes with a 5 MP camera, which isn’t as good as the HTC Mozart’s 8 MP shooter.
It’s also a bit more expensive than the HTC Mozart, at Rs 17,599.
If I had to choose between the two, I would go with the Mozart.
Dell Venue Pro
The Dell Venue Pro was the phone that caught my attention when it was first unveiled as part of the Windows Phone 7 lineup. It was different from all the other WP7 devices, with a vertical sliding QWERTY keypad.
It has identical hardware under the hood – 1 GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 200 GPU, and slightly less RAM – 512 MB. It comes with a 5 MP camera too.
It has a 4.1 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. While it beats the Mozart in terms of display size and quality, and the presence of a physical keypad, it is much more expensive, at Rs 23,999.
If You Can Wait…
If you aren’t in a hurry, you might want to wait for a couple of months. Microsoft is planning to launch a series of new Windows Phone 7 smartphones by HTC, Samsung, LG and of course, Nokia. They will definitely be much better than the current crop in terms of hardware, and should be priced in the Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 range.
Some of them may also be budget devices priced under Rs 20,000.
You might also want to check out my Android Smartphone Buying Guide for 2011.