It’s been 15 days today that I’ve bought my first Windows Phone – Samsung Omnia W with Mango OS. Well, my experiences with it are both good and bad. Good, because of it’s smoking hot looks, feather smooth touch, fairly good battery life and overall working experience. Bad, with very few free apps, no bluetooth FTP or File Manager, and without my own personal favourite: PC Suite Messages syncing.
I googled and googled the first week, searching for the ways to install paid apps externally from file. (Like you can do with Android phones. You get all paid apps freely in the net as we all know.) But the Windows Phone doesn’t allow you install anything from a file. To do that, you need to developer unlock the phone paying Microsoft $99 a year, or install a custom ROM (If available for your phone) voiding your warranty. To me, both the options were aliens. There were so many hacks like Chevron WP7 and so on, which used to work before, but they dont anymore. (Mainly because Omnia W is a 2nd generation Windows Phone and those holes are fixed apparently.) So, I had to look for other options. Finally what I had to settle with was to get a free student developer account, saying that I’m a US student, giving a fake SSN and all that (link here). That gave me chances to install 3 apps at a time from file (.xap) and it satisfied me to an extent at least for now. So now I have Angry Birds, NFS Undercover and The Sims (All not free) along with other free apps from marketplace. So many great .xap apps like SMS Backup wont work with my phone, again as Omnia W is a 2nd generation phone.
Camera is awesome, so is the gaming experience (thanks to 1.4 GHz processor). If Microsoft provides more free apps (It eventually will, because Angry Birds 15 days ago costed freaking 160 bucks, now costs 55 bucks at the marketplace) or we get a way to unlock the phone fully (jailbreak) to install as many 3rd party apps from .xap files as we want, or ideally get a custom ROM at the earliest (that would mean you have everything you need in place: jailbroken, all apps for free and what not. Custom ROMs for HTC are already out and they appear to be great), I would rate my phone no lesser than any phone with the specs my phone has. For now, we wait. 😉