EDIT: I heard from someone in the industry that Windows Phone 7 devices issued in Asia are not SIM locked. So I tested it. It’s true: a telco issued WP7 device is “open line” and not locked to a provider (i.e. you can stick a SUN Cellular SIM into the SMART-issued WP7 device and it will run just fine). This is actually very interesting news.
It’s been almost a week with the HTC Mozart, the very first Windows Phone 7 in the country. Unlike others who have appropriated their WP7 devices outside the telcos, this is actually the very first official release in the country. If you open the battery, there’s a SMART Communications sticker pasted onto the circuit board. I purchased the phone under my retention plan with SMART under my regular plan 2500 but had to shell out a bit of cash (with a discount). Apparently I am the first customer in the country who has availed of this via retention. Total cash out: PHP 5750.00 not bad considering the unit costs about PHP 30,000.00. Well, that’s the price you pay for being an “early adopter.” I’m sure in the coming months we will see much cheaper handsets in the same way Android phones are releasing units at a 10k price point.
So here’s what I did. And when you do get a similar WP7 device, you can use this step by step guide to get started.
It’s actually pretty self explanatory (figured it out mostly by myself) but since this is a new platform, you may need a hand to hold:
After removing the plastic that separates the battery from the contact points (yep, got fooled here — you need to open the unit even if you think the battery is inside) I inserted my SIM and charged the device via USb cable.
Turn off data (Settings -> System -> Cellular -> Data Connection ON/OFF). Unless you have a previous plan that uses unlimited data, i highly suggest you turn it off lest you succumb to data overcharging (like what a lot of iPhone users experience under Globe).
* If you’re on SMART postpaid, you can simply text UNLI 1200 to 211 if you’re on a higher postpaid plan to avail of one month Internet. If you have an open line device, Globe has a similar thing.
Your “address book” which is known as “People” will most likely be based on the following items:
a. GMail Contacts
b. Outlook Contacts
c. Yahoo / Hotmail Contacts
If you’re using a Nokia, you can simply sync your phone to your computer and export the contacts via vCard to your PC. Then import to your Address Book.
If you own a Mac, it’s the same thing: export your Address Book contacts to vCard (do not use Archive export. Instead, “select all” then export to a target directory).
* There is an awesome native Mac client from Microsoft. Download here. It’s cool because it merely acts as a conduit for syncing iTunes and iPhoto so there’s no need to reconfigure anything!
Attach your Facebook account. (Settings -> System -> Email and Accounts)
WHAT!? You don’t have Facebook?! Well that’s awkward… WP7 makes use of Facebook A LOT. So if you aren’t on Facebook, this phone probably isn’t for you!
Windows Phone 7 uses Facebook as your priority “people” directory for contacts. The phone will work without Facebook as you can sync your other address books but believe me you can do so much more with a Facebook sync.
It will take several minutes to sync so leave your phone alone and i dunno …. read the damn manual!
Link your other accounts. In my case I use 2 other GMail accounts, my Live ID (Hotmail) and Yahoo! email.
Create a Windows Live ID. If you have an XBOX Live ID, this will do. If you have a Games for Windows ID, this will do as well. If you have Hotmail, this will do. If none, go to http://passsport.net or http://live.com to get a login.
Change your country of origin to USA / UK. This is one of the bummers of Windows Phone 7 if you’re in the Philippines. You will not be able to download apps if you aren’t on a Marketplace supported country. No worries, it’s easy to do. (From the phone go to Settings -> Region and Language -> System Locale -> United States). I kept Region Format to PH.
Battery life is a bit of a let down. I got a maximum of 7 hours with regular use. Most of the time I got 6. So the workaround is that you really need to keep this thing plugged when you’re at your desk OR buy a portable charging solution. I opted for the latter: I bought a Porta Power charger that packs 3000mAh. Got it from Digital Walker for PHP2,500.00 (excluding discount).
Make sure you also buy a screen protector. I was worried that there would be none available but yay to Digital Walker for having one for less than PHP300.00. They have both for the HD7 and Mozart. No carrying case for the latter though.
If you have questions about Windows Phone 7, I’d be glad to answer based on my experience.
Disclosure: I am not an employee of Microsoft, but I do help them with various community projects.