TDS Recon(ruggedized for vertical
and military use)
Windows Phone Reviews and Information
What is a Windows 7 Phone? What models are
Windows Phone 7 is a brand new platform from Microsoft that was introduced in early November, 2010. It's a fresh start from Microsoft and it looks and acts nothing like the older Windows Mobile OS. That's a great thing if you want an attractive, easy to use and consumer oriented OS that's looking to compete with the iPhone. It's not so great if you're a power user or geeky type who loves to hack and customize their smartphone-- Android is the platform of choice for heavy customizers and tinkering types.
Windows Phones use the Metro UI based on a Live Tile home screen that's bright and colorful. Each tile belongs to an app and can provide info about new email counts, calendar appointments and latest photos. You can add and remove tiles, and can have a maxiumum of 256 tiles (more than you'll want to use!).
Windows Phone 7 is a safe and sandboxed OS where only Microsoft apps can multitask. This works much like the iPhone in its first few years, and has its good points (speed and superb stabilty) and bad points (3rd party apps like Twitter can't run in the background and notify you of new tweets). The devices runs quickly and smoothly in part thanks to Microsoft's high minimum hardware requirements that include a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, at least 8 gigs of storage, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera. They also must have a large 800 x 480 capacitive multi-touch display.
In the US, the initial launch devices are the Samsung Focus, HTC Surround, HTC HD7, LG Quantum and Dell Venue Pro. These are GSM phones on AT&T and T-Mobile. CDMA phones on Verizon and Sprint launched late spring with the HTC Arrive on Sprint and the HTC Trophy on Verizon.
The older stuff: Windows Mobile
A Windows Mobile Pro smartphone runs the Windows Mobile
operating system (built on Windows CE and .NET), which is a slimmed-down
counterpart to Windows. It has much the same look and feel, but
not all of the features of Windows XP (hey, how much can you get into
these tiny units?). You'll see the familiar Start Menu, taskbar,
Control Panels (called Settings) and so forth. Navigation is pen-based,
or you can use your finger if you don't mind smudges on the screen.
The screen is a fixed portrait oriented 240 x 320 pixels (specified
by Microsoft) in all OS versions prior to Windows Mobile 2003 Second
Edition which offers both landscape and portrait orientations and
support for VGA resolution. The latest OS, Windows Mobile 6, supports even more resolutions, including 320 x 320. Most Windows Mobile products offer transflective
16 bit, 65,000 color screens. All have one or more expansion slots
(Compact Flash and SD on older models, miniSD or microSD on newer phone edition models) which allow you to add more memory (all), modem
and network cards (those with CF, SD or miniSD slots). All Windows Mobile 6 Classic (the new name for Pocket PC) and Windows Mobile 6 Professional (the new name for PPC Phone Edition) devices are compatible
only with PCs running Windows.
They have a USB sync connector, so reallly old versions of Windows like Windows 95 won't work since they don't support USB. Windows Mobile devices come with no Mac support, though there
are 3rd party syncing apps (MissingSync for Windows Mobile and PocketMac
Pro) for the Mac that can do the trick.
You'll get the following applications with Pocket PCs:
Pocket Outlook for mail, calendaring, contact and task management,
a Notes Application, Pocket Internet Explorer, Pocket Word, Excel and a PowerPoint viewer. Input is done using the stylus and the on-screen keyboard,
or via handwriting recognition programs included with the units.
These recognition programs work remarkably well! There are models with thumb keyboards, and these are phone editions.
Windows Mobile 6 Professional and older Phone Edition Pocket PC models
incorporate a cellular phone into the Pocket PC, and are available
on CDMA networks (Sprint and Verizon) as well as GSM networks (T-Mobile and AT&T). Non-Phone Edition models, now called Windows Mobile Classic, do not have built-in
Windows Mobile 6 devices hit the market in 2007, and it offers minor UI and some behind the scenes improvements over Windows Mobile 5 including support for more screen resolutions and HTML email. In addition to the Professional and Classic versions, there's Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition, which is the new name for MS Smartphone. Standard Edition smartphones don't have touch screens and look more like traditional mobile phones.
Windows Mobile 5.0 was released in the early
summer of 2005, and the first devices running that new operating
system began to appear in the early Fall of 2005. It boasts quite
a few improvements, including persistent memory, which you can learn about in our Introduction
to Windows Mobile 5.0.
Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition was announced
in the Summer of 2004. It varies little
from Windows Mobile 2003, hence the "Second Edition" title.
The most significant feature of Second Edition is the ability to
support larger displays such as VGA (Pocket PCs have always had
QVGA 240 x 320 displays) and both portrait and landscape display
orientations. In the US there are two VGA Pocket PCs: the HP
iPAQ hx4705 and the ASUS A730, both of which were released in the Fall
A Little History
Windows Mobile 5 devices began hitting the market
in September 2005. They offer all of the features of Windows Mobile
2003 SE, and add improved mobile versions of Internet Explorer,
Word, Excel and Outlook. WM 5 adds PowerPoint Mobile, which can
read and display PowerPoint presentations, basic GPS driver support
(3rd party drivers are no longer required for GPS devices) and
more. The user interface was improved somewhat to make one-handed
operating possible (still a ways to go here), and to make the device
more intuitive overall.
Windows Mobile 2003 (sometimes called Pocket
PC 2003) was introduced in June 2003.
It bears many similarities to the original Pocket PC 2002 operating
system, but it has numerous bug fixes, a more capable version of
Pocket Internet Explorer that supports many current browser standards,
improved networking capabilities and support has been added for
XScale optimized 3rd party applications. It's built in the Windows
CE 4.2 core, while older versions are built on Windows CE 3.0.
You can read our Pocket PC 2003 Comparison here.
Pocket PC 2002 was introduced in the Fall of
2001. It's fairly similar to the original Pocket PC operating system,
but the user interface and networking capabilities were significantly
Generally, Pocket PC 2002 units physically differ
from their Pocket PC forbearers in 2 ways: they have more built-in
memory for storage, and faster processors. Pocket PC 2002 models
were replaced by Pocket PC 2003 models in the summer of 2003.
The original Pocket PC OS and models were introduced
by Microsoft on April 19, 2000, is the oldest iteration of WinCE
for the PPC. These models are discontinued and were replaced by
Pocket PC 2002 in the Fall of 2001.