I have a Samsung Omnia 7 with Windows Phone 7 (now 7.5) since November 2010. After 16 months of trying to like this phone, here is my top 7 list of annoyances.
1) No true silent mode. If you enable the Vibrate feature, your phone is never really silent. There is a shortcut to quickly change the sound setting (hit the volume button, then tap the ring icon at the right of the dropdown bar) but this commands cycles between ring and ring+vibrate when the vibrate function is turned on. As a result, you phone is never silent, it always ring+vibrate, or Vibrate and this is pretty stupid. Immensely and unbelievably stupid. Tapping the bell icon must cycle between silent, vibrate, and ring+vibrate when the Vibrate function is enabled. As is is now you must go to the deeply buried ringtones+sound settings to turn the Vibrate function off every evening, then back on every morning. If you forget to do either one, you’ll get awakened in the middle of the night, or miss calls the next day, both of which are enough of show-stoppers to ditch the phone entirely.
2) No global “disable that damn auto-rotation thing” switch. If you ever tried to use a Windows Phone device in bed you know what I mean: auto-rotation is the most annoying feature ever. App-level rotation settings is not enough (and few apps have it anyway), I’m talking about a global switch in the phone’s preferences that turns the feature completely off so it NEVER auto-rotates in any app whatsoever. Apps designed for landscape mode-only (like for example the YouYube app) will of course continue to be displayed in landscape, I’m just talking about disabling the accelerometer-based automatic screen orientation feature.
3) No grouping of phone numbers or contacts in the History list: If I call someone a hundred times, I don’t want hundred separate entries in the call history. Something like Contact Name (#calls), where #calls would be the total incoming+outgoing calls to that contact, would be a lot smarter, use less space, and not pollute the history. If I need details then I can always dig-in and see the breakdown between incoming and outgoing etc on the contact’s profile.
4) Too tiny button to bring up the dialling keyboard. The Metro-style UI is all about space and ease of use right? Yet, to make a call to some number, after tapping that generous “phone” tile on the main screen you have to locate a very tiny button on the appbar, quite difficult to reach if you hold the phone in one hand while doing something else (like walking on a busy sidewalk or some other thing). The Dial and Contacts buttons should be promoted to Tile size. On the dial keyboard itself, the Call and Save buttons also needs to be promoted to accent colored, Tile sized large buttons. As a general remark, make sure the phone can be used well using one hand and with the head up, i.e. without the need to look at (and aim at) tiny little things to reach the major functions of the device.
5) No T9 SMS entry. Add T9 predictive text entry as alternative SMS text input mechanism. For those used to it T9 is far quicker (let me repeat: FAR QUICKER) than typewriter-style keyboard entry for SMS text composition (where you don’t write Shakespeare anyway). I can understand that “texting” is something kind-of new for most of you in the US, but the rest of the world has been using T9-assisted SMS text entry for decades (since the ’90, really) on hundreds of millions of GSM phones. People fluent with T9 can type a message with 2 thumbs without looking at the screen at all, and compose messages far quicker (think 400% quicker?) than the quickest single-finger QWERTY typists. Current smart phones, all of them, are a big step back in that area.
6) Get rid of the Save button on the Alarms app. When I change the alarm time and click the OK checkmark on the time selector page that should be enough. Why require to Save the alarm itself? Get rid of the Save button entirely and just save everything by default: hit (+), change the settings as needed, hit Back (or get out of the Alarms app by pressing the Windows key). That’s it. If you do that now you just lose your settings without warning and the alarm is NOT set. How user-friendly is that?
7) The tiny upper-right corned clock should also be displayed on the locked screen. The large time and date on the lock screen is nice but many times when I just want to check the time I look straight at the upper-right corner and sometimes the screen is locked, the clock is not there and I have to pull the phone entirely to see what time it is. There is nothing worse that things that change place in a user interface depending on some mode. The clock is no exception.