If you want to know my frank and honest opinion, of all the mobile OS smartphone platforms, Windows Mobile is the most troubled one.
General clunky end user experience
high battery consumption
not being touch friendly
too PC like
tendency to be sluggish and unresponsive
poor memory management means the occasional crash and reboot
nonexistent OS updates
and inability for most devices to do a major version upgrade.
I offered my daughter an HTC Touch Diamond as a reward for passing her realtor exams. The immediate impression with the word Windows is:
So off she went with a BB Storm instead.
The brand name "Windows" isn't proving to not to be an asset after all, but a liability.
My general impression with Windows devices are superior hardware struggling with inferior software. Most WM devices have faster processors and more memory than lets say Symbian devices, but guess who feels a lot smoother and more responsive. The catch with having all the hardware to make WM run properly---powerful CPUs, more DRAM, larger touch screens---is all that takes a toll in battery life.
The pluses for Windows Mobile is
Lots of software over the years with some nice ones like Opera 9.5 browser
Some very nice hardware, especially from HTC
A highly accessible file system
Well featured, like threaded messaging
The literal feeling of having a PC in your pocket
You don't need a special data rate plan to use it
I've been following Twitter and forums and when you have a situation when people are deciding between BB this and that vs. a Windows Mobile device, after some hands on, the BB device tends to win. The BB is not only more responsive, but generally has a better user experience due to a more logical UI arrangement, even though it does have a learning curve on its own.
But the allure of a Windows Mobile device is always there, because the total user experience also includes the hardware, and there are very sexy and powerful devices from HTC and Samsung.
Now against Nokia and Symbian devices, its a different matter, and a tougher choice. You got a lot of sexy hardware too, and the software, this time around is fast, responsive, easy to use, got great battery life, and well supported. Not only that, they're very multimedia friendly. Aside from Apple, Symbian devices are the only ones that support 16.7 million colors for example and now they can support sensitive capacitative screens. They got the camera business cornered with having more 5 and 8 megapixel cameras with lenses from Mr. Carl and Mr. Schneider, and so if you like taking pictures, there is no other choice. Many phones are unlocked, so you only need to change a SIM from one to anothe when traveling, and you don't need a special data plan. I would say, the Nokia E series pose the best competition right now to any Blackberry, especially the E71. The E series phones don't have the clunky brick Nokia N series tends to have; they're so thin and sleek they can make an iPhone look chubby.
The point for BB over Symbian is narrow and I'm more willing to say, a toss up. Generally with the newer OS, the BB offers a much more arresting visual experience from its UI and the trackball feels more precise over the Tracknav Nokia uses, which still quite responsive. On the Nokia side, the E series feels sleeker and thinner, and you only need a generic data rate.
I have my own special reasons. In many places, there are just way too many Nokias. When you got a BB, its like wow, what is that and you get stares from onlookers.