My One Hour with a Lumia 610, Some Questions and Frustrations

Hi MicroSoft Tribe. This is my first time writing here. I'm an Android enthusiast, though from time to time, I like exploring other mobile OS's. This time, I tried a hands-on time with the Lumia 610. I'm doing a Purchase-to-order unit evaluation for my company and Nokia, along with other mobile phone makers have given me demo units to play with. I have a full week with this demo unit until next week when I hand out my recommendations to our committee.

As I am coming from Android (and iOS), I have noticed a few things that didn't work for me with WP7 and I hope the Tribe could elucidate me on where I made a mistakes after an hour of use, as you see, after an hour, I don't think I could really recommend the Lumia 610. Don't get me wrong, I think WP7 is beautiful--the look is unique and beautiful, and that Nokia hardware is top-notch (I love that Lumia has more than 2 color options), it's just that in a usability standpoint WP7(.5) kind of lags behind the competition.

I know this would've been better have I just Googled it (or Bing'd it) but I believe you guys know better.

Here are some spotty areas I've encountered:

1. Keyboard is problematic
Unlike in Android where I am certain that there is a plethora of available replacement keyboard (my favorite is SwiftKey), I am not sure one can replace the keyboard in WP7. My problem with the lack of tactile feedback is augmented by the screen size and together with the eeny meeny keys, the 610 is prone to misspelling often. I also had trouble navigating from one letter to another in case I want to make corrections, which is extremely frustrating--again because of the screen size, perhaps, or is that just how Windows behaves. This will be particularly problematic as we're not native English speakers--we do speak a lot of English in my company, but we also converse freely in our native language in emails and text messages. As I could also not find how to turn off the spelling correction, I ended up making so many errors in the one hour I tried relaying communications with my staff with my SIM on the Lumia 610.

2. Where have all the icons gone?
I think it's the fact that I've been used to so much icons on my PC, on my phones, on the commute, everywhere, that when I've been treated to WP7's mostly text UI, I've started taking longer jumping from one action to next as I probably needed to read everything to get somewhere. Not that this is a tedious task, but it's not the same as what my users are used to given that they've used icon-based UIs more often than not. Plus, I think, as you scroll, it's easier to miss text than icons.

3. Marketplace is uncooperative
I am not sure why I was having trouble connecting to the Marketplace, when the other Androids on test did not have trouble connecting to Play Store. Also, outside the Marketplace, the 610 was able to browse sites. But the Marketplace is more commonly taking long or would just die and not give me search results or hangs from downloading an app. Is this an isolated issue or does the Marketplace slow down at times? I've tried at other times after my first hour when I gave up on the 610, and found that my access to the Marketplace is still troublesome.

4. Screenshot, where art thou?
I'm not sure if I should complain about this because I know it doesn't come until WP8, but what could I use if I want to take screenshots of my phone? Our users would sometimes need this functionality to report phone issues to our Helpdesk and phone screenshots help isolate the problem.

If there are some more tips and tricks you can teach me, I'd really appreciate your help.

P.S. Don't say we should get The Lumia 800 or 900 instead because this is what Nokia offered to my company. I really like the look and feel of WP7 plus Nokia's hardware, but, sadly, I can't help but feel against recommending it. Thanks for your help, MS Tribe. :D