First take reviews of the Mango release

This week, first take reviews from around the Web started pouring in on the Windows Phone Mango update. A small group of people got a chance to test drive Mango on a Samsung Focus. Granted this was still a pre-release version of the operating system, so there is still some work to do, but by the looks of the reviews, people are pleased!

Here is a snapshot:

Matt Miller of ZDNet:

“Another slick communications feature I have been enjoying is Threads. Microsoft now combines text messaging, Windows Live Messenger, and Facebook chat all in the Messaging application so you can stay in touch with people seamlessly through different communications services without ever having to leave the Messaging application. It is cool how you can start chatting with someone via text messaging via your text messaging plan and then move to Facebook chat through a data connection, and then even into Live Messenger in such a seamless manner. You can see if a contact is online or offline (on Facebook chat and Live Messenger) and then switch to text messaging for communications if they are offline.”

Daniel Rubino of WPCentral:

“What makes “Mango” so interesting is nothing feels tacked on. It’s not like Microsoft saw what the competition was doing and decided “we can do that too!”, resulting in an OS that has features haphazardly slapped together, but nothing to unify them. The changes in Windows Phone 7.5, on the other hand, feel like an extension of a vision, of a philosophy of how our mobile phones should work.”

Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo:

“It feels alive. Everything bounces. Everything swoops. Everything flips. Every single action is lushly animated. It just doesn’t sweat the details—blood was spilled. The lock screen isn’t a simple shade. It has a sense of weight and gravity; the further up you drag it before you let go, the faster it slams back down (if you don’t completely unlock it). It’s almost like the phone is happy to be alive. Which kind of makes you feel happy to use it. No other phone is like that.”

Katherine Boehret of The Wall Street Journal:

“The operating system is a mix of elegance and whimsy that’s a treat to use. Mango is sprinkled with delightful animations on nearly every screen. These include icons that swing out like tiny doors when selected, and little dots that race across the top of the screen when something is loading onto the phone. The result is a playful yet functional interface.”