I recently opted to trial a Nokia Lumia 710 windows phone after some shenanigans with my wife’s iPhone and signal dropping repeatedly on it, had the phone in the house and thought, “lets try it” and see how it goes for a few days, while our network provider EE/Orange finished messing about in the locality, admittedly its one of the cheaper, older standards of windows phone, first thing I did was update the software as high as I possibly could, it would not do windows phone 8, the highest update available being the 7.8 alternative for the older windows phones.
Got it all installed and ready to go with minimal fuss and I managed to get it setup easily, its fairly intuitive in terms of its setup and operates like any other smartphones really, asking about how you want to track the phone, join it to wifi and so on, then drops you onto the homepage, the tiles from the dreaded metro actually suit the telephone much better I thought, it seems to be their natural home, its fairly limited though in its customisation of the look with pretty much uniformity and simplicity being the order of the day, you have a fairly limited colour palette to choose from and its worth mentioning that with 7.8 you can finally resize the tiles to suit your own needs, the device plugs in via usb for charging/data and doesnt fuss about hiding things from you like your mp3s as other telephones do, expandable memory would be nice, but its omitted from this cheaper handset.
Windows store for apps is definitely lacking, reminiscent of the early days of the apple store, its been trumpeted about for a long time about improvements coming from Microsoft and now still its only the most major of apps that I used at the time were available from large companies, twitter, facebook, email and my blizzard authenticator were there and worked fine, choice is quite limited still.
It comes bundled with a lot of Nokia stuff also, one of which is their own map system and its attached nokia drive app for navigation, the feature that impressed me about this was the ability to get the program to download the mapping data to the device for the entire country(a little over 200mb of maps data), saving you the worry of having to have data signal to keep you up to date, when your travelling and turning it into a decent proper fully functioning GPS,
The camera on the device takes decent enough pictures, lacking in massive quality comparable to the newer telephones out these days, video is “ok” and I use the term lightly, its not readily brilliant but does fulfil its purpose well enough at the cheap end of the market quality is toned down.
After a few days I found myself oddly wanting to get off windows phone as soon as possible, mostly because it doesnt contain a lot to keep me interested at this level, I found myself not liking the tiles after a few days, it seems the basic colouring of it all and flat look to the tiles just were not for me and I actually found I wanted to get back to my own iPhone and iOS, not that I use masses of apps, just I think now I have actually grown to like the apple platform finally, especially since iOS7 went live, its improved the experience for me enough to really enjoy apple on both phone and ipad mini.