I mentioned in my previous posting that an option for when your Zune stops working is to get a Windows Phone 7 smartphone and use it as your phone AND Zune device. From what I can tell, the WP7 has excellent integration with the Zune Software and you can easily sync music, podcasts, and videos to the phone. Since these new phones have large hi-res screens, it would be very similar to using a Zune HD device. From what I can tell battery life for a WP7 is about the same as for a Zune HD.
Now, the WP7 smartphones were just recently released so there’s only a few models available on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Also, they only come with 8GB of storage space (normally) so that isn’t much space for storing your music and videos on your phone. The Samsung Focus WP7 device does have a micro SD card slot where you can increase the storage from 8GB to 32GB, so that would be acceptable in my opinion.
Personally, I would strongly investigate switching to a WP7 device and use it as a replacement for my cell phone and Zune device. So long as I had sufficient storage space and Zune syncing capability, it would be nice to carry around just one single device.
The only bad thing, is that the WP7 devices are only available in the US on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. So if you’re using Sprint, Verizon, or one of the other major cellular carriers you’re out of luck for now. However, Microsoft did say that the WP7 devices will be coming to Sprint and Verizon in early 2011 so it may not be too much longer before that option is available to more people.
Once Sprint releases some WP7 phones, I’ll definitely check them out and see how well they work as a phone and media player. And the good thing, is that Microsoft released an application that allows Apple Macs to sync music and videos with a WP7 device, so that won’t be a problem for me! 🙂