As regular readers know, I have used nearly every mobile phone operating system over the years and bounce around between devices, operating systems, and carriers faster than most people I know. I have been using Windows Phone 7 since July 2010 and can say without a doubt that Windows Phone 7 has been the most stable and reliable mobile phone operating system I have ever used, even counting the early technical preview and current beta development versions of Mango that I have been running on my phones. People may have preconceived notions about Microsoft’s mobile platform given that Pocket PC and Windows Mobile had issues, but you can throw all of that out the window and if you give Windows Phone 7 an honest chance I think you will find out the same thing.
My first data-enabled phone was the original T-Mobile Sidekick and then a Nokia Series 60 device. I then moved through various Palm Treos, Windows Mobile phones (smartphone and Pocket PC), a couple BlackBerrys, more Symbian
phones, some iPhones, several Android phones, a couple webOS Palm phones, and a few Windows Phone 7 devices. I won’t go back to the “old days” when I had Palm OS phones and Windows Mobile phones since they are not applicable now and were quite unstable compared to today’s phones, but these are my experiences with each of the current modern platforms.
I will say that some platform instability likely comes from 3rd party software and sometimes even defective hardware. I think you will see in my discussions of each platform that there are some issues even if the 3rd party software is well developed.
Out of the six modern smartphone operating systems, Android is clearly the least stable of them all. I have seen numerous low memory issues, force close warnings, random resets, freezes on apps and connections, and more. With so many different manufacturers, different versions of the OS out and available, and thousands of apps that are clearly not built well enough to prevent issues Android is clearly in last in the stability department.
I was blown away by the sheer speed and fluidity of the first iPhone, especially when compared to my Windows Mobile phones. iOS is a very user friendly platform and for the most part is fairly stable. However, I have experienced complete lockups and failure to launch on every iPhone and even on my iPad 2. The iOS experience is funny because something will get goofed up in the OS and then tapping an app to launch it gives you an impression it is starting up and then you are taken right back to the home screen with no indication or explanation at all. You can keep doing this and always get returned to the home screen. I understand they don’t want to confuse the consumer, but some indication of what corrective action needs to be taken would be helpful.
It is also not always clear how to get an iOS device back up and running. There is no battery to remove so you have to generally follow a button press routine and maybe even have to connect to a desktop to restore your device.
There have been some rock solid BlackBerry devices in the past, but over the last couple of years the models I have used have disappointed me at times, in regards to stability. The main issue I have experienced with BlackBerry devices is a lock up/freeze where the device gives you the impression it is doing something in the background, but then that never changes and you have to perform a battery pull to get things started again.