And that's the key - WP8 is a personal experience and the default mode that is used in stores to demo the smartphones barely hints at the flexibility of the handset.
I think that it is only possible to form a real opinion about Windows Phone 8 after you have used a Windows Phone 8 device as your main smartphone for several days with an open mind. After you have put your SIM card in it, transferred media to it, synced up all your online accounts and lived with it for a little bit. While the Windows Phone community remains relatively small, the platform has gained a userbase that tends to be really passionate, and I think that this past week has helped me understand why.
This is a refrain we've heard time and again, but never in such detail. Windows Phone's user interface (you know, the bit once called Metro) is attractive, useful, and creates a very strong bond with the handset owner.
And in conclusion?
When all is said and done, I’ve formed an emotional connection with this Lumia 820 I have in my hands. My Start screen now reflects the people and things that are important to me. The iOS and Android user interface feels cold and impersonal in comparison. Every morning, all it takes is a downward scroll to see the faces of people I care about, and be reminded of them even if I don’t get to see them in person much of the time.
Wong's balanced, but ultimately positive view of Windows Phone 8 is definitely worth reading.