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18

Charlie Kindel takes a look at the Samsung Galaxy SII with Android--not impressed

What does Kindel think?

Former General Manager of the Windows Phone Developer Ecosystem, Charlie Kindel, who recently left Microsoft,  won an Android-based Samsung Galaxy SII--arguably one of the best Android phones out on the market right now in terms of features and availability. In turn, he decided to post his thoughts on the device and perhaps more importantly, the OS itself.

Now lets be clear: Kindel is not pretending to be unbiased here. Working for Microsoft for 21 years and being key to the development of Windows Phone does not leave one impartial. Having said that, the man is no longer with Microsoft, has no vested interest in the success of Windows Phone and can say what he wants. (And anyone familiar with ex-Microsofties know, they often say some unabashedly awful things about the company, rarely pulling punches).  Knowing all of that though, Kindel's assessment is still at least interesting--he does know design, usability and certainly technology.

So what did he think? Well, he tends to really rip Android a lot in terms of UI, stability and battery life aka the usual reasons people get tired of Android. Even if you don't agree with his review, it's a fun read for a Sunday. To tease the piece, we'll just post his summary:

"A typical non-geek consumer would be absolutely-fraking-crazy to pick an Android phone over a Windows Phone. Windows Phone is vastly more refined, cohesive, and easy to use. Period."

"People who enjoy “managing” their phone might enjoy “managing” their Android smartphone. Those folks will probably forget how much fun “managing” a smartphone was after they’ve used Windows Phone for a while. Instead they’ll see how much fun it is to “use” a smartphone."

Read the whole post on his blog here.

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Reader comments

Charlie Kindel takes a look at the Samsung Galaxy SII with Android--not impressed

18 Comments

"Those folks will probably forget how much fun “managing” a smartphone was after they’ve used Windows Phone for a while. Instead they’ll see how much fun it is to “use” a smartphone."
I wish only the same amount of enthusiasm and confidence could be said for the Windows OS regarding having to "manage" something instead of enjoying the benifits of "using" it without worry. Let's all hope Windows 8 will make this so.

Either he's biased or unbiased. And honestly, it would be nice to hear criticism about a phone/OS from someone truly unbiased and not from those way too close to the situation or from crazed techies with a twisted sense of loyalty to a phone.

Honestly, it's the fallacy that there is someone unbiased that troubles me most. No one fits that category, it's impossible. At least here Kindel is being honest about his thoughts.

Arguing that one of the things that make Android a great OS is its wealth of customization runs counter to the argument that "A typical non-geek consumer would be absolutely-fraking-crazy to pick an Android phone over a Windows Phone." If you are an Android fan, you either have to agree with Charlie's statement or surrender the argument that wealth of customization is a selling point because the average non tech consumer doesn't want or need complicated customizations and is in most cases frustrated by it.

I could not agree more with his quotes. I have always thought that - I can't stand Android! To each his own, but here's my opinion.. I'm extremely technologically-oriented, but I still hate Android. I want a smartphone that WORKS instantly when I pull it out of my pocket - I don't want to sit and waste time killing apps and fumbling through 20 homescreens and lengthy complex settings menus to get things done. Sure you can do more complex things with an Android phone, but I do those things on my laptop.
I'm on my third Windows Phone and I still giggle with excitement every day I get to use it :)

As an avid WP user I have to be honest: I wouldn't mind a bit more customization options. For example, I would like to be able to assign a custom tone to my texts and other alerts, not just my phone calls. This is a basic feature that even my old "dumb" phone had. Apart from that, I love that I don't have to manage my smartphone, and instead get to use it!

Those reasons are exactly why I moved from Android to WP7! I used Android for almost 2 years and at first I loved it. Then as time went on I noticed that it took longer and longer to wake up after sitting idle for awhile. Apps force closed on me all the time and the battery SUCKED! I thought this was all normal and it seemed to be the price of productivity. When WP7 released, I had all the negative feelings most people did and refused to give it a try. Then i won one in a sales contest and figured I'd give it a go. It. Was. AWESOME SAUCE! I've been a true believer and convert ever since.

Funny story: I wad telling a friend why I moved from Android (sucky battery, apps crashing, etc.) and he just recently got the HTC Vivid LTE phone. He loves it (shocker.) he kept saying that the newer Android phones don't do that because of dual core processors and 1gb ram blah blah blah. So I'm a little curious and ask to see his phone. The FIRST app I open (Team CoCo app) force closes on me. I had the phone about 4 seconds! He of course is like "that's the first time its done that... Maybe the app isn't ready for Gingerbread yet.

Excuses, excuses. I'll stick with my WP7, thank you very much. Now if only Conan O'Brian will make a Team CoCo app for WP7...

"Windows Phone doesn’t even HAVE a setting for turning off GPS. It takes care of it for you."
Either Charlie is completely clueless or he has something entirely diffent in mind but WP7 does NOT "take care of it [GPS] for you".  My GPS is always turned off and only is activated when needed. This is entirely a manual process. 
What is he talking about?

I can ask you the same question - what are you talking about?
If you are referring to the setting for location services - it does not turn on/off GPS on the phone, it only forbids apps from using it - GPS is still managed automatically (and obviously it is not turned on all the time the "location services" setting is on).

Nice.
So does the Bing Maps app pull location only when the app open? Is there any battery saving advantage to turning this location setting off?

Well he is for sure 100% true about Android problems. I for one been using windows phone since ipaq pocket pc and never set my mind on iphone or android. I always believe microsoft was not gonna give up on smartphone wars. Now that they have developed a awesome smartphone like windows phone 7.5 it really do not make you bored at all.
I can't wait when they have windows phone 8 next year. 

Wouldn't mind a bit more "managing" with WP also. As opposed to the iron curtain that is in place right now. I am always insulted by this sort of reasoning, where people applaud the trading of liberty for (perceived) security. It is in every way a political statement and applicable to real world conditions. Hey ya'll, dictatorship is fun, didn't you know? It's so much more refined and cohesive.

Former Treo Pro, Pre & Pixi user...currently an Android user...(Motorola Photon)...I would concur with his general sentiment that its overly complicated, way too many settings, and not 'regular' user friendly.
 
The only reason (and I want to be) I'm not a WP7 was that I couldn't get my Lotus Notes work e-mail's to sync (Lotus Traveler) to a WP7 device.  Funny...but my old Treo Pro would sync.  Its pretty vital that my work emails sync...so I really didn't have a solid option.  Plus...I need Sprint to show some more solid support for WP7 than 1 device.
 
There are guys on the Android forums who absolutely accept that they need to battery pull & reboot their phone daily...I find that a ridiculous acceptance of unstable software.
 
Now...my Photon has been extremely stable, and I have zero complaints...but Android was not my first choice.