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Test Driving the Windows Phone

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Earlier this summer, I posted a video from the “Windows Phone Presents the Me series.” This particular video featured SuChin Pak, one of the people behind the Hester Street Fair, and talked about her inspirations for founding the fair along with a convenient plug on how her Windows Phone assisted her in organizing the fair. If you happen to be in the New York metro area on a Saturday, I’d definitely recommend briefly checking out the Hester Street Fair in the Lower East Side. Although it’s a small space, there’s a nice variety of art/crafts/jewelry/vintage vendors and food, of course. It’s a nice quick spot for a snack or lunch, especially on a warm, sunny day. The vendors may differ week to week, so you never know what you might find.

Following my series of Hester Street Fair related posts, the Windows Phone people reached out to me and offered me a Windows phone for trial. They asked if I would be interested in playing around with a Windows Phone, testing out its features, and sharing feedback on my experience. I’m always interested in new gadgets and so, I happily agreed. Weeks later, I received a ready-to-be-used Samsung Focus smartphone in the mail.

I have been using my Windows phone for almost a week now. In addition to the usual phone operations, I have been using the phone to update Twitter, log into Facebook, check into Foursquare, and browse the Internet while in transit. I have also been snapping pictures with the built-in camera and posting them on Twitter along with the occasional @windowsphone mention or #windowsphone hashtag. Another neat thing is that Microsoft Office software comes pre-installed. It is definitely handy to be able to edit short documents on the go. Although it took a little time to adjust and figure out particular functions of the operating system, I am enjoying the phone so far. The Live Tiles on the start screen is pretty neat. It provides a quick glance with instant updates on things that’s happening – from email to weather to Facebook to whatever you’d like to see.

The Windows Phone also has a Marketplace of its own where you can download and/or purchase Apps and Games. So far, I’ve only downloaded the Twitter and Foursquare apps. The interfaces are very much different from the iPhone versions and offer an alternate experience in terms of aesthetics and usability.

I’ve always discovered a cool hack on the Windows Phone that allows you to access Diagnosis mode, which I found to be a useful way to access detailed phone battery information, specifically the percentage remaining. [To enable diagnosis mode: Dial ##634#. Then the command for battery info: *#2*#]

I’m off to Chicago this week and I’ll be bringing the Windows Phone with me to share my whereabouts and capture my adventures. Meanwhile, let me amuse you with some pictures taken on the Windows Phone!

Disclosure: The post was written by LookyTasty and all opinions expressed are solely mine. I was provided a Windows phone with 1 month of free service and asked to share my feedback and my experience with the phone at the end of the trial period. No other compensation was received for this post.

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