5 Best Windows Phone 7 Devices: A Recap

With Microsoft set to release Windows Phone 8 in just a few weeks, RCP takes a look back at the top five devices of the Windows Phone 7 era.

As Windows Phone 8 approaches, it's a time to reflect on Windows Phone 7 devices. None of them set the world on fire in terms of sales, although they did create some smoke, if only due to Microsoft's market-awareness campaign, "Smoked by Windows Phone."

Still, Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 era devices did make a mark. They generated intense loyalty from their small base of users, and earned generally positive notice from technology reviewers.

Now that the Windows Phone app development model is moving on, few more of the Windows Phone 7.x devices will probably sell, leaving Microsoft and its device-making partners to fasten their hopes entirely on Windows Phone 8.

Here is a roundup of the five best handsets of the Windows Phone 7 era. Alas, we barely knew ye...

5. Samsung Focus

Samsung Focus

The Samsung Focus was the first handset to inspire loyalty among Windows Phone users. At the beginning of the Windows Phone 7 era, the Samsung Focus was reportedly the hottest seller. One of the best features of this solid performer was the Super AMOLED screen -- it was the only first-generation Windows Phone to have one. Samsung followed up this phone with the Focus S, the Focus Flash and the Focus 2.

4. Fujitsu IS12T

Fujitsu IS12T

It came in pink! And it was waterproof! One of the first phones to ship with the Mango software update, the Fujitsu IS12T was a regular on the Microsoft demo circuit due to its timing and bright colors. At one of those events, the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, former Microsoft OEM chief Steve Guggenheimer said, "I think this Fujitsu brings a little bit of lightheartedness and life."

3. HTC Titan

HTC Titan

The size of the screen on the HTC Titan was a revelation. At 4.7 inches, it was far bigger than anything else in the Windows Phone ecosystem and bigger than most smartphones on any platform. This device was a star of the first generation of Mango/Windows Phone 7.5 devices.

2. HTC Titan II

HTC Titan II

The second Titan merits its own entry on this list because it was titanic in a different way. While it shared the 4.7-inch screen size with its predecessor, this one came with a stunningly high-resolution camera. At 16 megapixels, it had twice the capacity of the earlier Titan.

1. Nokia Lumia 900

Lumia 900

In many ways, the story of Windows Phone has become the story of the Microsoft-Nokia partnership. They are two companies each trying to use their substantial strengths in mobile to overcome their gargantuan and largely self-imposed problems in the smartphone market. While Nokia released several Lumia phones (610, 710 and 800) for Windows Phone, it's the Nokia Lumia 900 that generated the most buzz.

The device has had its problems. For one, it only became available in April, two short months before Microsoft revealed that Windows 7.x-era devices wouldn't support most of the important improvements in Windows Phone 8. Nokia also struggled with faulty software at the initial release that prompted the software maker to give early adopters a $100 rebate -- essentially eliminating the upfront cost for buying the phone on AT&T for most of April. After Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 announcements, Nokia also dropped the upfront price of the phone to $49.99 from $99.99.

Despite the setbacks, the Nokia Lumia 900 is inarguably the flagship Nokia product and the most important device of the Windows Phone 7/7.5 era.


About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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