Thought for the Dazed

I've had to give up that Distance Learning course as I was having trouble seeing the teacher.

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Win an LG Optimus 7 Windows Phone

LG Optimus 7

Coming to your pocket soon?

Welcome to the "Rob Miles Optimus Quest". Send me your ideas for Windows Phone Marketplace programs and I’ll give a phone as a prize to the one I like the best. I might even have a go with you at making the program work (if it isn’t that silly – although silly ideas are OK too). The idea could be a game, something useful or something fun. It can even be cheese related (although this is not compulsory).

Try to keep the explanation down to a couple of paragraphs and maybe some drawings. Send your ideas (as many as you like) to

Remember that, like other Windows Phones, the LG Optimus is a powerful, connected, location aware device which is able to run both XNA games and "proper" applications. What I'm really after is something that people will enjoy using on the phone and maybe even find useful. You keep ownership of any ideas that you submit, although I'd like to be able to tell people about your idea if you win.

Closing date for entries is midnight GMT on the 17th December with the winner announced on the 20th, so if you win you could have the phone in your hands in time for Christmas.

The phone is a brand new, boxed, LG-E900 Optimus 7 which is connected to the Vodafone network.  It is not supplied with a SIM or contract, but Vodafone do some quite nice voice and internet pay as you go deals.

So, get your thinking caps on, and start coming up with ideas. Remember, you can't say "Windows Phone" without saying "Win". Or "Phone" (or "doze" for that matter, but that doesn't really help what I'm saying here).


The LG Optimus 7

LG very kindly provided me with an LG Optimus 7 Windows phone which I have been using for a while now and I really like it. Actually, I like all the Windows phone models. They all run the same operating system and so their look and feel is going to be the same. They also have to hit the same platform specification which means that display, camera, performance and battery life are going to be good.

However is interesting how different phone manufacturers have taken the platform and worked at making it their own. LG have done quite a few things to make their phone special. They also seem to have had some luck getting access to parts of the hardware that other phones can’t reach.

The phone itself is pleasingly weighty and is rounded to fit the hand very well. The back has a brushed metal finish that pulls off the trick of being shiny but not showing any nasty fingerprints. The screen is bright and clear and very responsive. Unlike other Windows Phone devices the Optimus actually has physical buttons along the front which add a nice tactile feel to using it.  It also has a lot more internal memory that many Windows Phone devices. Inside the phone you can find 16G of memory, which is very useful if you have a Zune pass and want to store a bunch of music on the device. From a hardware point of view the design is nicely understated and classy.

Each Windows Phone manufacturer has their own application store and this is where the LG phone starts to pull away from the crowd a bit.  For a start there are more than a handful of programs in there and quite a few of them are actually useful and fun. The Panorama shot makes a reasonable job of controlling the camera, letting you stitch together up to 5 pictures to make a panorama. The Voice to text application takes what you say and puts it into a Tweet, Note or email. And it works too. The Scan Search application is very interesting in that it is the only program I’ve ever seen on Windows Phone that actually uses the compass and a video overlay from the camera to provide an augmented reality display that points you at nearby points of interest.  These applications are unique to LG and you can't run them on any other phone.

If you are in the market for a Windows Phone I’d advise you to start with a look at this one.