This month, I decided to take a look at the new series of Windows 7 Smartphones. In general, I consider most Smartphones to be a waste of money, because even with the high data fees, you still get very limited functionality.
I’m going to focus this review on the operating system, rather than the hardware, as there are multiple models by different brands of the Windows phone.
The one I examined most closely was the Samsung Focus. In terms of menu navigation, the Windows phone isn’t terribly different from other mobile operating systems, though I did like the interactive squares displaying new messages, e-mails, and social networking posts.
In terms of applications, the Windows phones are somewhat lacking at the moment. While there are only around 1,000 Windows phone apps, Android has over 100,000 and the iPhone has around 300,000.
Another missing piece of functionality is the ability to multitask with third party applications. For example, you can’t browse the Internet while listening to a radio
I found the first party Windows apps to be the best. In particular, I thought Microsoft did a great job of transferring Microsoft Office to a mobile interface. While it is severely limited in functionality compared to a computer, the display was readable and the keyboard worked very well. It also has cloud functionality that automatically sends updated documents to your cloud.
I also see a lot of potential in the Xbox LIVE application. This application lets you check on the status of your Xbox LIVE account and also features a game library of its own. Though I didn’t get a chance to try any of the games, Microsoft promises to maintain and improve the platform.
For the end of the year, I’d like to mention some of my favorite games of 2010. For me, the best game of 2010 has to be Mass Effect 2. It took the strong foundation built on the first one and improved the game in almost every way imaginable, removing the repetition, fixing the controls, and making the story even more epic.
Another favorite of mine this year was Super Mario Galaxy 2. Its controls are very smooth, allowing you to seamlessly control Mario. Most of the environments were exciting, and although the game was on the easier side, finding all of the green stars can be a challenge.
I’d also like to mention Battlefield Bad Company 2 as the best war-themed shooter of 2010. It features dedicated servers and balanced game play allowing you to play a part in an epic battle.
Other critically acclaimed games of this year that I haven’t had as much experience playing include Red Dead Redemption, Alan Wake, and Halo Reach. If you’re looking for something to do over vacation, check out one of these titles.