Published on November 8th, 2011 | by Ramon Trotman0
Microsoft Windows Phone release event
Armed with a truck load of cash, to the tune of $75 million to be exact, Microsoft decided it was time give Windows Phone the advertising push it deserved. The time was perfect, as the second generation Windows Phone devices were on the brink of release. Events were scheduled all across the globe; naturally I was only concerned with those held in NYC.
Microsoft actually had two events, the first right in the middle of NYC at Herald Square. They had a big gimmick in store for New Yorkers, and when I say big I mean big. In fact, it was a big ass Windows Phone. The live tiles were actual live video feeds of people and the bottom tile was the stage. Stage for who? The Far East Movement! I wasn’t able to attend that event, but from what I hear, they rocked the place for a good while.
The event I was invited to took place a few hours later downtown at The Atman Building. Microsoft had clearly not run out of tricks, the first of many was something for the Four Square crowd; the first 50 check-ins received a free shirt with a windows phone on the front. Upon registration, we all received NFC enabled wrist bands to interact with the many props and display stations throughout the venue. They then gave us six tokens. Three where food, two for beer and one for liquor, which meant food and drinks were provided for free as promised.
The place was littered with display phones, it was amazing to see. Even where there were seats, there were phones right in front for people to use. Microsoft went out of the way to make sure you couldn’t go a few seconds without remembering why you were in attendance.
There were four phones on display, the Samsung Focus S and Flash, the HTC Radar and lastly the HTC Titan. Unfortunately, no Nokia devices made it to the show, but we understood, as these devices had not been adapted by US carriers as yet. The Samsung devices had a strong showing, they seem to attract most of the attention with their beautiful screens; rightfully so. The Flash had a strikingly handsome design, a bit different from the norm, while the Focus S favored itself my boring the hell out of me. Although I feel as if the Focus S’ poor design, cheap feel and suspect camera should be avoided, the screen on that thing will win over many.
The Radar was a big surprise for me. I was unable to get my hands on one before the event and had already dismissed it bases on specs and images I saw online. In person, that little device holds its own. The design was solid and performance was on par with the rest of the devices on display. The hands down best in show was the HTC Titan. The Titan was AMAZING! I was floored by the feel of the device in my hand. I’ve never held a phone that felt so right in my hand, even with its huge 4.7” display. I had low expectations for the display quality based on what I have read in a few reviews, but after seeing it in person I am sold. It surly isn’t as breath taking as the Focus S, but it was very much still a beautiful display. In fact, a side by side comparison to my HD7 proved the Titan’s screen to be worthy. The Camera on the Titan was also another experience to be had. The low lit venue was the perfect place to test the camera, with the flash off and on, the Titan’s camera produced beautiful images. So much so, it was visibly better than the camera on the Focus S. I even saw a few people doing side by side picture comparison with their iPhone 4S, and the Titan did indeed have the better image.
Phone porn side, Microsoft was not done as yet. The DJ was rocking and so was the crowd, and then it happened! FREE PHONES! Tons of phones were given away via twitter, random picks and participation with the NFC bracelets. Most were Radar’s and one lucky guy got the Titan. And still, Microsoft was not done yet. The performance for the night was Matt and Kim. They made a grand entrance and was received with love. They rocked the house like I’ve never seen before, so much so that I had to pull up a few albums of theirs on zune as soon as I reached home.
However, madness party and phone glee was not the high point for me. The first came from a brief chat with Windows Phone superstar Joe Belfiore. I managed to ask him some very tough questions, and to my surprise he gave me some really good answers. He single handedly managed to put me at ease with the future of the platform. The second and most meaningful moment was when one of our readers came over and introduced himself. I was awed to see a fan at the event, and even more so, the fact that he recognized me. Shout out to Michael Sanchez, we thank you very much for the support and love you showed us. In fact, Michael is actually a developer and has a few apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace; look out for highlights on his apps soon!
The night was a huge success for the big M. The vibe was positive, the devices were loved, the food and drinks were on point and fun times were had. They are well on the way to making sure the world knows what Windows Phone have to offer. Well done guys, well done!