Web Browsing and Text Input
Web browsing on the Nokia Lumia 710 is admittedly very awkward. As someone who primarily uses Chrome and Firefox on their desktop and smartphones, having to switch back to IE isn’t necessarily a welcome transition. We are fully aware that Android offers their own proprietary browser, as does iOS, but the Android browser doesn’t have a proprietary feel to it. You don’t have to modify your browsing habits to accommodate it. In addition to that, the scrolling in the browser feels pretty smooth for the most part, but admittedly isn’t as smooth as on iOS, yet. This may be a strength for Windows Phone, though, when you considering that many users switching to Windows Phone may already be IE users on desktops.
In addition to using IE, Microsoft and Nokia also force you to use Bing as the default search engine much like Google does with Android. Normally, we would consider this to be a fair trade, except that we still have reservations about Bing’s effectiveness as a search engine. In some cases, we found that Bing did not give us accurate results for local searches and found ourselves having to navigate to Google.com in order to obtain the correct information. We are admittedly much more akin to using Google, but in more than one instance we found ourselves frustrated with Bing and having to make the switch. If Microsoft gave Windows Phone users the option to choose between search engines (Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) that would be the best option.
One of our major gripes about Windows Phone Mango (7.5) is that the operating system’s keyboard is absolutely horrendous and we’re not entirely sure if its the keyboard or the touchscreen, but it needs work. The layout of the keyboard is simply too cramped and results in a lot of repeated mistypes. The auto correct itself is very good and makes up for this for the most part, but a more accurate keyboard would be more than welcome, and perhaps even an opportunity to use Swype would be nice as well. After all, most Nokia Symbian and Android devices in the world can run it.
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