fine1In response to a streak of especially baseless anti-Windows Phone rants my man sm0k3y, a fervent, outspoken WP enthusiast,  offered to lend me a Surround and I said yes please, goes in the mail today.

I told him I’d take the thing for a ride with an open mind. This is not an effort to get my hands on one of these things finally just so I can revert quickly to ripping on WP but even harder saying “Well actually I have tried it and it still sucks! Douchebags!” And if I like it I won’t lie and say I don’t.

A good faith effort to go in with a somewhat open mind and to be relatively truthful about it with you. Hell I’ll even try to tell myself “this is not Microsoft, this is Microsoft’s passionate and talented phone team.” Not to say that I won’t end up ripping on it, but I will give it an opportunity to win me over or at least impress me overall or in certain aspects and, provided that I don’t “like it too much” as sm0k3y warned me (heh, good one), I’ll mail it back to him and of course write about this every step of the way because I know how fascinating I am to you.

if you really want to demo a windows phone i will send you a surround to use for a week, I’ll even pay shipping one way. i trust you wouldn’t fuck me over even though we’ve had our differences?
just let me know if that’s something you want to do.


He also reminded me that I need to try to put XDA down for a moment and just enjoy the thing au naturel. Okay. But keep in mind, sm0k3y and the rest of you, that I’m very deeply in love with my Nexus S and I have a strong allegiance to Google and the Nexus line. It’s nuts, I know. I’m not coming off a Droid with MotoBLUR strapped down with some encrypted bootloader and before something with TouchWiz, rather vanilla bloat-free Android, always the latest nightly, tweaked to my delight. All right so I don’t see how this will lead to me offering sm0k3y money to keep the phone. But, but, I say that without ever having touched a Windows Phone.

cute1I’m sure sm0k3y realizes this and is probably wouldn’t want it any differently but I’m also not going to write more favorably than I would otherwise just because he’s parting with a phone for however long this takes, hoping I don’t screw him, absorbing one direction’s worth of shipping. But I just wanted to let you know about this arrangement, maybe you can come up with a little to do list for me once I get it (or just let me explore on my own, whatever) and one more time I pledge to minimize my bias when opening the box as much as I am able and after I use it and decide it’s time to start writing that I won’t write in a manner just to bait flame but to write with journalistic integrity or whatever. Might even get a Pulitzer out of this.

So thanks sm0k3y. Hit me with that tracking number when you can, kind of excited actually. Or maybe it’s just these chicks…

For what it’s worth, I said yes to him after fifty minutes of trepidatious soul searching. Told him to let me think it over to give me an opportunity to “come up with a rational reason” why I should not do this, I think because I’m afraid that I’m walking into a trap of phone platform goodness that could rattle my allegiance to both Android and Google.

And that scares me.

Doug Simmons


  1. I have no doubt you will like it. You may very well not like it more than your droid (the one thing I do miss from earlier WM, Android and even iPhone days is RDP), but there is no question in my mind that you will, on some level, enjoy the WP UX.

    There is a lot of stuff “missing” from the OS, but what’s there is done very well and with all the features and fixes coming in Mango (most of which are still under wraps – i.e. end-user related features) it will be a very worthy contender.

  2. Just switched from an iphone 4 to samsung focus. I had an Android phone before the iphone. I miss some of the apps from the iphone and droid, but I absolutely love the ui and speed of wp7. I cannot wait to see what mango brings.

  3. “I have no doubt you will like it”

    If he wasn’t a Google sycophant and had an ounce of objectivity, I might agree with you. But such is not the case, and I doubt very seriously that he will find many things to like about WP7, or will find many things to like, but won’t admit it.

  4. 20 minutes at the store was enough for me. Now, more importantly, where are more photos of the photog up there?

  5. “or will find many things to like, but won’t admit it.”

    Joe if I did that in addition to being a crazy asshole sycophant (nice word Joe, +1 on the vocab) I’d also have liar added to my resume (though I suppose I could lie about my lying).

    I have nothing to gain by withholding anything, especially something along those lines. Perhaps out of the trust someone’s giving me to borrow a phone worth hundreds lies some trust I’ve earned not to do something like that.

  6. Chris I’m assembling an array of other attractive photographers. Interestingly there’s no shortage of them.

  7. seriously, these are some A class photos simmons. use your god damn tin eye or something to find more of that chick on the shore… or at least more girls like her in that pose :)

  8. I was an iPhone user for almost 2 years. It was a good phone but in all honesty I missed things about my palm 680 (and the OS) that iPhone just didn’t do well. I got a new WP7 because I was adding my gf to my plan and I got the phone for free and handed her my iPhone.

    I planned to use it to see if it was ok then discard it a few months later when I could upgrade to an Android but within hours I liked it more than I ever liked the iphone in almost 2 years. Sure it is missing some things because it is so young. But it is IMO the most inovative/original platform since palmOS (granted I haven’t used anything before palmOS and my Android use is limited)

  9. @Joe: Slow down, Joe. Let this play out before judging him. You want Simmons to have an open mind, then you should have one as well.

    gaiden2k7, the paparazzi would be the ones chased.

  10. @Doug Simmons:
    Surprised, I am not about this. Well, maybe at the timing. I figured that you would try this when Mango comes out. Maybe you’ll revisit this?

    As I have just converted/brainwashed two people to the WP7 way of life from Android and have heard their common complaint many times, I offer this little nugget of info that I sent to them:


    Organization of the tiles. Coming from the Android side of the world, I can see where this is going to be an issue. Some people don’t have much of a rhyme or reason as to why they have what they have on their home screens. It’s just there as opposed to having a screen dedicated to social matters, another screen for searching, etc. Here’s what I’m doing… I use Double-wide tiles as Delimiters for groups of apps/live tiles. Let me explain. To my knowledge, there are only 2 double wide system tiles, Calendar and Pictures. You’ll have to create the rest.

    What I did was put the calendar up as the first tile, then under it four tiles that deal with weather and location (Maps, Silver Navigator, WeatherBug *for weather at home*, The Weather Channel *for weather where I travel to*).

    Next, goto to Music+Videos, tap Music, tap and hold an artist name (for me, It’s A Tribe Called Quest), pin to start. Then I added my social networking tiles (People Hub, Me Tile, 4th & Mayor, Seesmic).

    Rise & Repeat for however many categories you wish (the next one for me is Communications *Phone, Messaging, Outlook, GoVoice*, Then Music, Videos, News, Sports, Games, Settings/Tools).

    You don’t have to use 4 tiles, I just think 4 should be the minimum.

    Mark you, if you don’t have any music on the phone yet, this would be pretty pointless. It’s still just a thought. (Note: If you tap the artist’s tile, it will play all of their music. Here’s a good time to use that Zune Pass subscription *yes, you can use it on the computer and on the 360*)


    We all look forward to your report, Simmons.

  11. Way to step up Simmons! For a while there, I thought you were about to fall off in to the deep end (personal problems?) with your caitiff declaims.

    Looking forward to hear what you have to say!

    FYI – Depending on how long you keep the Surround, you may be able to give us your take on the update process. Freaking ATT!

  12. With the Surround you will have a third double wide, HTC Hub. Also depending on your background (black or white) you can pin tiles of solid colors (or photos of your choice) from IE as breaks between groups of tiles. I also use groups for four for most of my tiles; news, maps, sports, tasks-todo’s, mail-messaging, etc.

    Oh, and I believe Zune Pass has a 14 day trial so sign up and knock yourself out. Well worth the nag emails you will get later assuming you don’t subscribe.

  13. Da-a-a-mn, what an ass that chick’s got…..oh, WP7? It’s great man, really. You’ll like it. You may not love it, but it’ll grow on ya.

  14. @jimski:

    Good call about the HTC hub, being that I’m on the DVP side of the house, I completely didn’t think about that.

    I remember someone on WMPU talking about using IE pins to make black bars but I didn’t want to launch IE accidentally (far easier to just hit pause).

  15. Oh and while I’m thinking about it, If you do decide to get a Zune Pass. To download music as opposed to using your credits, tap and hold the album art in the Marketplace, then hit download. You can also ‘add to now playing’ if you just want to stream it.

  16. @The Fight: Actually really easy. Use any any Image Search app and enter “black” for example and you will get a bunch of sites. Open one, zoom in as needed and pin. Then repeat if you want a matching pair. Only tapped the black tiles twice since January and a quick tap Back got me out of IE.

  17. @Chris Leiter: Chris we’ve said time and time again that a store experience sucks balls when testing a Windows Phone. It has to be loaded with your stuff to see the true beauty behind it.

    I respect Simmons because he’s not wishy washy when it comes to his phone preference. He’s made it clear he doesn’t like his phone to be skinned and thats why he loves his Nexus S. I suppose “it just works” might apply here and so i’m interested to see if he realizes “it just works” & its intuitive applies here also.

    I’m not looking for a convert with this version of the OS just a healthy gain in appreciation for the OS.

  18. I’m interested in the outcome as well. I was a huge winmo fanboy for years until I got the nexus one last august. I sort of expected to return to winmo after a hardware cycle or two. But I, like many others, felt burned by microsoft and going to android for a bit was my method of backing away for awhile. I kinda figured msft would get it right, but i refused to be their early adopter test dummy.

    The N1 is by FAR the best phone i have ever owned, but as i get older and become aware of how much time i spend modding it, I know i need to be looking at something less “tinker-friendly”. The new winmo, err winpho os has always looked nice to me but i I’d like to see some more cutting-edge hardware. Hopefully this holiday season Nokia will have something in the works, if not maybe the other manufacturers will have stepped it up.

    For now, my trusty N1 will do, I’m almost certain my next device will bring me back to Windows.

  19. […] to lock him in as a solid WP convert. It’s good.Cracked open my new Surround yesterday morning (backstory) to serve as my phone my phone for the day, retiring my Google phone (except to tether the WP). For […]

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