This article highlights my experience of using a Windows
Phone as my primary phone for over one year.
See high-resolution photos of the HTC
Radar in our media gallery.
I got an HTC Radar on 11/11/11, and yes, it was a coincidence. I
was using the HTC Desire before I got this phone in a giveaway by
HTC. I was somewhat satisfied with Android. Honestly speaking, if
it weren't for the giveaway, I'd have never thought of using or
purchasing a Windows Phone. My HTC Desire was just 5 months old
when I got the Radar. I was fed up of the low memory errors and had
installed a custom ROM on the Desire. Still, it wasn't very smooth
and my experience was marred by random FC errors and occasional
reboots. It was the Gingerbread era; the lag in the UX was evident
on almost all Android phones, except for a few high-end ones. I had
planned to use the Radar as a secondary phone, but started using it
as a primary phone because I wanted to run away from the hassles of
the custom ROM.
I'll talk about the phone first before moving on to the OS. As
mentioned in my
review, the phone's build quality is top notch and feels quite
sturdy in the hand. In spite of being careful, I've dropped the
phone a few times from varying heights. It became clear that the
metal and plastic parts are prone to scratches, but the internal
components and the screen survived the falls. The phone's internal
memory is 8 GB, but the actual usable memory comes down to only 6
GB, which fills up pretty quickly. I always felt the need for an
expandable memory card slot. The quality of the images and videos
captured from the primary camera is decent, but there were a few
instances where a pink blotch would show up in
Speaking about the OS, Windows Phone felt like a fresh gust of
wind to me. The concept of tiles instead of icons was very fresh
and new to me. The whole experience was fast and smooth. I missed
the notification bar and the widgets badly, but loved the Live
Tiles and the Metro UI. The social integration is simply
outstanding, and the fact that I could capture a moment, tag my
friends and upload it, all in a matter of seconds, was awesome. My
phone currently has over 100 apps and 15 games but still feels very
There were some times when I felt proud about Windows Phone, but
at the same time, a few incidents made me feel embarrassed. As I
continued using the Radar, I found out many things about Windows
Phone (7.5) that disappointed me. Once, I went out with my friends,
we took a few photos and when my friends asked me to share via
Bluetooth, I found out that the function was absent. The situation
was a little embarrassing.
That's not all, here I've listed a few other things that irked
- Contacts can't be imported from or exported to a .csv
- Documents can't be attached to an email.
- No custom ringtones.
- Images and videos can't be renamed.
- No multiple selection of images/videos.
- Once the music player is launched, it can't be closed. The
controls will stay on the lock screen until the phone is
- Apps can't be grouped or categorized. They are listed
alphabetically. If you have installed many apps and don't remember
the names then it's a pain to browse.
- No true multitasking. Apps remain suspended when the screen is
- Wi-Fi connection is dropped as soon as the screen is
- Wireless sync feature of Zune software requires the phone to be
plugged into a wall charger.
- Can't handle USSD codes.
I thought that the OS was just a year old and that the next
major update would solve most of the issues, but sometime later,
Microsoft announced that none of the Mango phones will be getting
the Apollo (WP 8) update. I hadn't spent a single dime on this
phone, but felt sad for those folks who had spent their hard-earned
money. The Mango phones will be updated to WP 7.8, but apart from
the cosmetic changes, other details about the update are not out
The Marketplace (now the Windows Phone Store) was like barren
land back then. There were relatively very few apps and only a
handful of quality ones. Things got better slowly and many official
apps started to appear in the Store. But even today, you'll miss
some apps and games if you have migrated from iOS or Android.
Google recently announced that they have no plans to develop
apps for Windows Phone. Like Google, many other app developers are
not ready to invest into Windows Phone citing lack of users. On the
other hand, users are not ready to migrate to WP due to the absence
of their favorite apps.
8 looks impressive, but I still feel that Windows Phone is a
very young platform and has a long way to go. If Microsoft listens
to its users and does a good job of fixing the existing problems,
Windows Phone can easily stand up against its competition.
Today, one year, one month and one day later, I've sold my
Android, and the phone I use day in and day out is still my HTC