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Last post Author Topic: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone  (Read 14095 times)

Renegade

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Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« on: November 10, 2010, 07:50:08 AM »
Well, I've decided on getting an Android phone. It was tough to come to that conclusion. Here's a bit of my reasoning.

* iOS - My wife has an iPhone, so I can use that for iPhone development. Rules out iOS phones.
* Windows 7 - While Windows 7 looks promising, and I love .NET and know they support it, there's not enough devices for it out there. (I plan to develop for whatever platform I buy.)
* Symbian - Symbian? Huh? No. I do not smoke crack nor am I mentally handicapped.
* bada - The Samsung Wave - a bada phone... Man... I would LOVE to get one. I know the bada platform inside out, and it ROCKS! (I have done a lot of work for Samsung on the platform.) Sigh... I know too much and can't wait for bada 1.2 to come out. But I need a phone now... (The possibilities in bada are phenomenal.)
* Palm - Like Symbian, I was not dropped on my head repeatedly as an infant.
* webOS - What OS?
* Blackberry - I'm not really interested in them. Meh. That's it.
* What else is there?
* Android - This is the only truly viable platform at the moment. bada will be an up and comer, while Windows 7 will make inroads as well.

So the HTC Desire HD is now available in Australia, and is pretty much the slickest phone out there. It's got specs that will last for a while, and that gives me a few years to work with it. The screen still isn't as good as the iPhone 4 screen, but it's better than others.


Now, is anyone else using Android out there? I'd like to hear what things people like or don't like about it.

Having looked at different phones, if I were to pick one simply out of UI and beauty, it would come down to the Samsung Galaxy S or the Samsung Wave or the HTC Desire HD. (I've currently got a severely allergic reaction to iOS.)

I plan on going to pick it up today/tomorrow (depending on your time zone).

Any last words of caution, encouragement or whatever? :)


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phitsc

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 08:52:00 AM »
I've ordered a Desire HD as well. Been waiting for it for over a month now. I hope I should be getting it sometime within the next two weeks.

I have been using (still am, actually) a Windows Mobile 6 phone until now. But the UI is really not up to date any more and I'm not using any of the business features really. I considered Windows Phone 7, but just think it's too new. Maybe for the next phone after the Desire HD.

Why the Desire HD? I've been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S, but it really looks too much like an iPhone 3GS, but all in plastic. That might make it very light, I agree, but it just looks cheap I think. I also like HTC sense and didn't read much good about Samsung's Android 'addendum'.

The Desire HD might be big, maybe almost too big (I've never actually had one in my hands yet). I actually might have preferred the Desire Z, i.e. the one with the slide-out keyboard. But its specs. are disappointing for a new phone.

Deozaan

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 02:51:12 PM »
I really love my Android phone. Unfortunately I was (unwittingly) an early adopter (I have the G1, the first Android phone in the USA) and the hardware inside just wasn't made for all the new Android stuff.

I highly recommended Android to my family and 3 of my family members now own a Droid X. Unfortunately with the X, Verizon did some stupid crap with the UI, integrating Facebook with it. So all your facebook friends show up in your contact list when you try to find someone to call. You can filter them out, but it's not done by default. And strangely, one of the features I most loved about my phone--the fact that any contact you added on your phone would sync with your Gmail contacts, and vice versa--doesn't happen with the Droid X.

Anyway, I still highly recommend that Android, but I'm nervous about it since the phone companies slap their own crappy stuff on top of the OS/UI.

For what it's worth, I'm running a custom firmware that allows me to get Android 2.2 on my phone (running Vanilla it can only handle 1.6) as well as adding many more improvements and I love it. It's called CyanogenMod. But as I said before, the G1 wasn't really built to handle it all, so on my old phone it runs a little slow. I'm sure on a modern phone if you didn't like the slapped on UI crap you could run CyanogenMod very nicely.


Eóin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 03:11:34 PM »
I recently installed Android on my HTC HD2, which was a WinMob 6.5 phone, but the excellent hackers over at xda-developers have managed a near feature complete port. I've been so impressed with Android that I use it as my daily OS. Certainly when I get my next phone it'll be native Android from the start. The build I'm running is based on CyanogenMod like Deozaan.

You'll be getting yourself a Desire HD at the right time too, it's just be permrooted so you can now install custom firmware.

tsaint

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 03:46:11 PM »
Got a desire hd last weekend and it replaced a samsung galaxy i55503 which I gave to a friend. She really liked the galaxy until she saw and played with the hd.
Now she keeps grabbing for the hd :(
  Anyway, so far the only thing I wasn't happy with was the lack of inbuilt proxy settings which i need for work. (I thought I'd read that that had changed from 2.1->2.2 but I was mistaken)
I did find a proxy app eventually, so now I have absolutely no complaints. It's GREAT!

phitsc

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 03:51:48 PM »
tsaint, I really had to laugh when I read your biography ;D

xtabber

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 06:36:48 PM »
HTC Droid Incredible, after more than a decade with Palm devices. No mobile phone offers a PIM that matches Palm's but a smartphone today is so much more than a PIM. I like it a lot. I also like the HTC Sense UI.

Android phones are really tightly integrated with Google and Google's services, which is good if you use them,  but some may not appreciate as much.  Apple has many more apps now, but I expect Android to catch up, at least for anything I'm interested in. It also allows some things that iOS can't at this time. My initial though was that animated wallpaper was a ridiculous concept, until I found that I could have my up-to-date local weather radar running as wallpaper. That's really useful where I live.

Eóin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2010, 06:51:22 PM »
Android phones are really tightly integrated with Google and Google's services, which is good if you use them,  but some may not appreciate as much.

I'm not a fan of Google's big-brother world, so I don't really like it. It is damn handy though :-[

Renegade

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2010, 07:16:58 PM »
Writing some software to fix some data my wife needs for her thesis. After that, I think I'm off to go get my new phone~! :D

To be honest, I'm a bit nervous as I've been horribly underwhelmed by most of the phones I've had in the past, and I always buy at the high-end of the market, so the comments here are encouraging.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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Renegade

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2010, 05:21:46 PM »
Well, got the phone. Paperwork when you're a foreigner is always painful, but anyways...

So far:

* Android Market is infinitely superior to the iTunes App Store -- Still could use improvement though
* Some things are slightly easier on the iPhone - minor
* Android developers could take some lessons from the iPhone for UX (e.g. dismissing a dialog onscreen vs. being forced to use the back softkey)
* Doesn't come with Swype installed -- big minus -- Can't find it in the Android market either, double-minus
* Screen and device are just gorgeous -- double-plus - very nice feel to the phone
* Imported Facebook contact info in a snap - nice
* "Back" is always the back softkey - sometimes annoying as it is harder to reach than a button onscreen at the top of the phone
* 3 "News" program icons by default? Kind of poor planning there - minor issue
* Could not unlock it immediately - carrier issue (Vodaphone)
* Carrier (Vodaphone) program icon goes to their website -- not a mobile site - designed for desktop/laptop computers - simply stupid - again, carrier issue (did anyone expect competence from a carrier?)
* Good selection of software already on phone - some trial software on there too though - not all free & ready to use (e.g. SoundHound)
* Games program icon goes to Vodaphone website - I'm detecting a pattern here... I think this is an "uncle-daddy" issue.
* Hardware & OS is far more capable than an iPhone (literally - I'm not being anti-Apple here) - proof: I've got a metal detector program on the phone that really works. You cannot do that on an iPhone.
* Korean keyboard (Google) didn't work - uninstalled it
* Softkey backlight turns off sometimes, making them hard to see.
* Lots of Korean software available in Android marketplace - quickly found Samsung Securities & installed it (not tried it yet)
* Default browser page is http://live.vodaphone.com/ which goes to a non-mobile viewable regular web page - completely moronic & again, an uncle-daddy carrier issue - msn.com or google.com would make more sense as they are useful.
* Included ringtones are ok, but nothing spectacular - lots of midi still, but they are both midi and wav
* Included themes and wallpapers are attractive
* "Smart Dial" is very cool.

Definitely a positive experience right off the bat. Minor issues are mostly carrier-related, and seem generally about them being self-centered and greedy with no real consideration for their customers other than as moneybags.

The iPhone does have a bit better UX design though. I suppose maybe I'm used to it, but the "back" softkey seems a bit backwards after having all of those on the screen.

The interface takes a bit of getting used to if you're coming from an iPhone. It is still much better than Windows CE though, which isn't hard.

The UI is clean and easy to use.

I've not actually used the phone yet, so I can't comment on the audio quality. I'm hoping that it's a bit better than I've seen in the past.

For the speakers, they're better than on an iPhone, but still so-so. This is an area where I'm picky though. I do write audio software, play an instrument, and have some high expectations for sound.

I remember an LG phone in 2003 that was simply MIND-BLOWING! While the speakers were still small, the sounds was better than anything I've ever heard on a mobile device. Real, true 3D sound. Not the fake stuff you normally get. I'd like to see the device manufacturers focus a bit more on audio quality like that.

Anyways, I'm happy with the phone so far. I don't anticipate that changing.

And I'll be running out to get MonoDroid very soon! :D Yay~!



Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Deozaan

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 05:33:59 PM »
* Doesn't come with Swype installed -- big minus -- Can't find it in the Android market either, double-minus

If Swype isn't included, then it might not be available for that phone. Swype isn't available on the market for ANYBODY because their entire business is based off of bundling it, kind of like OEM software.

Most phones that have it don't have it enabled by default. You have to go into your input settings and enable it first.


Renegade

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 05:46:19 PM »
After checking, it looks like Swype is in beta now. Oh well.
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tsaint

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 05:48:03 PM »
tsaint, I really had to laugh when I read your biography ;D
It was meant to induce a depressed mood, not one of levity!

Renegade,
re swype... you could try SlideIt as a temp replacement and see how you like it
http://www.androidtapp.com/slideit-keyboard/

Deozaan

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2010, 06:14:56 PM »
After checking, it looks like Swype is in beta now. Oh well.

Are you sure about that? There was a beta available on the Marketplace a long time ago, but since they've "released" the full version they've decided their business model is akin to OEM, as I explained before.

I'll never be able to get Swype for my G1 because of this.


Renegade

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2010, 06:42:28 PM »
It's too bad that Swype isn't available. Oh well.

Thanks for the SlideIt link. I've downloaded the demo and will give that a spin.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

TucknDar

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2010, 01:38:36 PM »
Not much to add to this thread, except praising Android further. I own a "regular" Desire (my second as the first one was stolen...), and it's quite an amazing phone. Plenty of useful (and useless) apps out there. Good luck with your Desire HD, Renegade.

Eóin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2010, 02:19:48 PM »
There was a beta available on the Marketplace a long time ago, but since they've "released" the full version they've decided their business model is akin to OEM

Swype is still is closed beta, it's not finished last I checked. I hope when it is finished it'll be available to buy and install it. Of course if not there'll always be a hacked version for download, and in spite of other my dislike of pirating software, I for one wouldn't feel guilty if no other source were available.

Deozaan

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2010, 02:38:59 PM »
There was a beta available on the Marketplace a long time ago, but since they've "released" the full version they've decided their business model is akin to OEM

Swype is still is closed beta, it's not finished last I checked. I hope when it is finished it'll be available to buy and install it. Of course if not there'll always be a hacked version for download, and in spite of other my dislike of pirating software, I for one wouldn't feel guilty if no other source were available.

Swype is definitely finished. I've used it on other phones that come with it. Some of the folks at XDA Developers were porting it to other phones when they got a message from the Swype team (emphasis added):

We see you have re-packaged our software and are distributing it. We are glad to hear that you guys like Swype, but we are obligated to state that we don't condone such activity nor support the result. Naturally those of you asking for new languages and features should wait until we launch a device in your market. Obviously, we won't support unlicensed versions of our software. One might ask why we don't just release the .cab file ourselves and save everyone the hassle. The reason is that we have spent seven years building Swype and we want to try to make a living selling our software. That means someone needs to pay for it. Thus far, our business model is OEM licensing. We do plan to get to direct-to-consumer distribution but it is a different sort of business and thus it is hard to say when. In the meantime, enjoy using Swype and please look out for a better, more integrated, and legal version coming soon to a phone near you.

Regards,
The Swype Team

PS. Our lawyer has asked us to remind everyone about copyright infringement and to inform you that Swype reserves all of its rights.

Also, note the date. That was a year ago. If it doesn't come as OEM software on your phone, it's probably not coming.


Eóin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2010, 03:30:01 PM »
But that was the Windows mobile version Deozaan, which indeed has been available OEM on a number of HTC phones. For example, it was on the US HD2 phone, but not my EU version :(

It's the Android version which is still in beta.

Deozaan

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2010, 03:57:52 PM »
It's the Android version which is still in beta.

I have personally used Swype on the Droid X and have seen it in use on other Android phones which it comes as OEM, so I guess it being in beta is like Google products which are in beta for years even though they're being used by (nearly) everyone.

From Swype's FAQ:

How can I buy Swype? / When will Swype be on the Android market?

We have considered a direct-download sales model, but there are two challenges to that approach:

  • Customer Support. Providing Swype users with the level of professional support they deserve is a priority for us. We're still a small (but quickly growing!) company, and we don't have the resources necessary to support a full end-user sales model. It is much more efficent for us to focus on improving Swype and to partner with large organizations like Samsung and T-Mobile who already have customer support structures in place.
  • Device integration. Swype isn't just an app; it's a keyboard - the most widely used piece of software on a device. It interacts with nearly every single application on the phone. As such, it's more like a system component than an application. For each device release we do a tremendous amount of testing and we *always* find issues due to the varying components - the OS version, the device hardware, the OEM UI implementation, etc. In addition, some features can't be implemented without an OEM's engineering assistance. We end up doing a large amount of work on each device to be sure that you have a great experience entering text using Swype.

So, we appreciate your enthusiasm, but we are not ready to do direct-downloads at this time.

You can actually get the installer by pointing your Android phone's browser here but you need to login with a beta account to install it. So I guess what I'm saying is that unless you can get into the closed beta I think it's more likely that by the time it's available on the Market you'll have upgraded your phone to a newer model that comes with Swype.


Darwin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2010, 03:59:46 PM »
* Windows 7 - While Windows 7 looks promising, and I love .NET and know they support it, there's not enough devices for it out there. (I plan to develop for whatever platform I buy.)

I just bought an HTC 7 Surround and love it. Love it. L-O-V-E it  :-*

I've never had a smartphone before, so there is no cross-platform learning curve, which I suspect helps. I was actually a breath away from choosing either an iPhone 4 or an HTC Desire when I thought to ask if the store had any Windows 7 phones (they weren't in any evidence anywhere) and the sales rep pulled this out and handed it to me. Love at first swipe.

FWIW, I spent a lot of time playing with the other two phones and liked them both. The iPhone was definitely the easier to navigate and use, but I can see the attraction of Android. My only major quibble with the Windows Phone 7 OS is that there is no syncing with Outlook?! C'mon! Apple does this really well with the iPod/iPhone. I suspect/fervently hope that this is coming in an update soon...

EDIT: correct a few typos/missing words for clarit... Don't even have the excuse of having typed the above on my new phone, cuz I didn't...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 04:01:31 PM by Darwin »

Darwin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2010, 08:22:42 AM »
 :-[ Neglected to mention above that the irony of my endless ranting against HAVING to use iTunes with an iPhone/iPod Touch and the fact that I've bought a phone with pretty much the same limitation (I MUST use Zune software with the Windows Phone 7 device) isn't lost on me...

FWIW, the Zune software is pretty slick. I haven't explored it fully - if it will play my DVD's properly I'll probably rip WMP off my system - but it seems good, so far. In fairness to Apple, this is what I had planned to do if I decided to go the iPhone route. Note, however, that I am surprised that Zune was deemed necessary with WMP installed by default on all Windows machines. I suppose it must have to do with the Apps store. BTW, the apps store keeps growing everytime I visit. There's even a fair amount of free stuff that looks OK.

Now, the important stuff:

I just rebooted my computer and note that there are three Zune services installed but that none of them are running and that there is one Zune exe running (Zunelauncher.exe) and that it is using 2 MB of Private Set memory (7MB Working Set). I didn't check what was running at system start with iTunes installed last time I had it (about a month ago).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Renegade

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2010, 08:38:53 AM »
I had 2 things against being forced to used iTunes.

1) It's simply miserable, horrible to use.
2) It's nothing more than a store front masquerading as software.
3) Goto 1.

How's the Zune software compared to iTunes?

I've not done anything more than recharge my phone yet.

What I really wish is that the hardware companies would create SDKs for their products and put out a basic version that gives you most everything you need to sync your phone and back it up and load some files into it, then let 3rd parties work with the SDK to create rich sets of functionality and specialized versions for business and the like. It would take effort to put out an SDK like that, but it's not that hard.

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Darwin

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2010, 09:57:42 AM »
Zune is completely different - GUI-wise - from iTunes or WMP. It shares some GUI elements with WMC (which I also tore out of Windows 7, mostly because I never used it) but has two GUI modes. On the one hand, there is the screen that appears when you launch the program from its icon (ie without plugging the phone/Zune player in):

Zune Start GUI-medium.pngGetting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone

This is the "Quickplay" screen and it function as the media player. Clicking on any of the links in the upper left takes you to a different GUI. Here's the Collections tab:

Zune Collection-medium.pngGetting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone

I scrolled down to show two things - what the software does with unknown album/absent album artwork files and what happens to some, but not all, unicode file names (note Johann Pachebel... the rest of the name was in hangul EDIT: with the smaller pic sizes, you'll need to zoom into the image to see it) and yet it handles other unicode, for example the Chinese below. In this regard, it functions no differently than WMC/WMP/iTunes. I suspect it has to do with the tagging, but playing around with files in the past, I've discovered neither rhyme nor reason behind WHY this happens.

Zune Unicode-medium.pngGetting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone

Selecting a file to play gives the player:

Zune Player-medium.pngGetting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone

One the other hand, interacting with the phone looks like this:

Zune Phone GUI-medium.pngGetting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone

All of the same tabs are available BUT they now refer to what is located on the phone. This is REALLY obvious because the name of the phone stays to the left of the screen and at the bottom is the graphic of a pc. If you click on that you go back to the collection stored on the PC.

I just tried to play a DVD using Zune but it looks like a no-go. DVD's files are not listed in the file types handled by Zune, so it looks like I'm going to be keeping WMP around  :(

Zune file types-medium.pngGetting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone

Sorry, my attempt to show the GUI is ham-fisted at best (I'm not good at this!) and my intention to show the two GUI modes discretely  is an epic fail, but I hope you get the idea.

In sum, I haven't really used the software enough to form a definite opinion about it. It's no worse than iTunes; whether it is any better remains to be seen.

EDIT: uploaded more reasonably sized screenshots and clarified a couple of points...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 10:33:56 AM by Darwin »

phitsc

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Re: Getting an HTC Desire HD -- Android Phone
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2010, 11:30:06 AM »
:-[ Neglected to mention above that the irony of my endless ranting against HAVING to use iTunes with an iPhone/iPod Touch and the fact that I've bought a phone with pretty much the same limitation (I MUST use Zune software with the Windows Phone 7 device) isn't lost on me...

Besides price, this is the main reason why I didn't go for an iPhone 4.