The interface is much slicker and more beautiful than any of the videos I’d watched led me to believe. Samsung’s beautiful Amoled screen certainly helps. It seems a little less sharp than the iPhone’s retina display, but the colours are incredibly vivid. Having grown up under the yoke of Microsoft’s trademark interface design ethos (that is, difficult, fiddly, clumsy and flat), I was expecting Mango to be more of the same. It’s not. Intuitive, fluid, immersive and reactive — this is a great user experience. It’s quite different from the iPhone, but for once “different” doesn’t just mean “we changed it so we wouldn’t get sued” or, even worse, “crap and poorly thought out”.
Microsoft needs to get more of these handsets in the hands of the users. And that is why even if it comes off as desperate, moves like Brandon Watson’s $1000 challenge is what Microsoft needs.