As in previous versions of the Windows Phone OS, WP8 houses all of its contact info within the People app, which appears on the Start screen in an attractive animated tile that randomly shows photos that flip and fill the frame.
People is more than just a contacts app, though, as you'll find your latest social networking update, a "What's New" feed that includes recent tweets and Facebook updates from pals, and a list of profiles you're recently accessed, plus customizable rooms that let you share private content with selected contacts.
On the contacts end, though, Windows Phone 8 does a great job of pulling together and automatically merging info from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Outlook so that you're not typically staring at lists of duplicate profiles for various friends. And, of course, you can add your own contacts from the handset.
Windows Phone 8 keeps things very simple with the calling app, delivering a stark white or black (depending on theme) backdrop with a large keypad that takes up more than half of the screen. Aside from the "T-Mobile" floating near the upper left, it looks much the same as the calling app on other carriers' WP8 handsets.
Call quality was curiously inconsistent on T-Mobile's network in Chicago. Many calls sounded quite clear, yet we'd encounter random bursts of static during some conversations that would briefly drown out the incoming sound. It happened on multiple occasions, both indoors and outdoors, so it's difficult to pin down the cause.
We suspect that it's more likely a network problem than a specific issue with the handset, and your results may vary based on location, but it was an unpleasant and recurring issue during our testing.