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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the HTC HD7

Microsoft’s tectonic shift in OS from Windows Professional 6.5 to Windows 7 has resulted in tornadic developments manufacturing giants like HTC HD7 and its contemporaries. A large display amounting to 4.3” and an OS that refuses to tone down its capacity. Yes! that’s what HTC HD7 is all about, Microsoft’s biggest cut from its quarry with specifications stretching out 800 x 480 res, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, 576MB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel auto focus camera with a 720p HD video recording. The latter discoveries will provide an input to the lows and highs of the phone, but as of now the large screen for nimbly fingers and a relaxing kickstand for movie buffs and avid gamers forms the chassis of the HTC HD7.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

The HTC HD7 is a leviathan amongst the circling satellites of smartphones, deserved by ones daring to push the limits. The large touch screen occupies most of the front part accompanied by a small rectangular strip for touch sensitive buttons. It’s an OLED screen compared to the AMOLED of the Samsung Omnia 7 that rolls it back a little leaving more room for comparison.

The side of the phone has dual speakers just in case you find the 3.5mm headphone jack monotonous. Located at the bottom of the phone, the jack occupies a nice place since most other brands have it on the top of their handsets. Along with the jack at the bottom is the micro USB port and the mouthpiece whereas the top get its hand only on the power/lock key. The right hand side hosts the volume rocker and dedicated camera key abandoning the left hand side blank.

Roll over to view the 5-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash that can be used as a video light whilst recording HD videos. The back reclines with the kickstand, a neat hardware piece specially when watching movies or multimedia hands-free.

Features (/10)

Interface: The main disadvantage of operating a Windows 7 phone is the software part that looks and feels the same as its contemporaries. The pre-installed apps do make a difference but that’s when we dig the phone.

The interface of the Windows 7 phones is highly appreciable since the large tiled icons provide an enjoyable experience of playing around with the home screen. Constantly updating with pictures, music tracks or unread emails you have the choice of customizing by moving the tiles or deleting unwanted icons, depending on requirements. Swipe the home screen and there an endless list of downloaded apps waving at the door. Overall, the highlight of the Windows 7 interface is its simplicity and responsiveness where one doesn’t get boggled down of how, when and where to use the applications.

Unfortunately, despite of all the above mentioned positives, Windows 7 fails due to lack of multitasking. One has to use the Start key to return to the home screen or use the Back key to exit the current app and return to the last app used. Since, the OS was supposed to be a notch over its predecessors and counterparts, it sadly lacks in such an important department.

Media: HTC HD7 uses the Zune interface to interact with the media and that’s the only way to deal with it, whether it on the phone or synching it with external devices. However, no complaints at all, since the software works like a dream being one of the best inclusions by Microsoft in recent times. Other supporting audio affects like SRS Surround Music and Dolby Mobile worked fine as well, but save the Dolby for video to enjoy the adventure of a booming theatrical experience.

Watching videos on the HTC HD7 imply a relaxing time, with popcorn bag in hand. The 4.3” touch screen works to its advantage offering a fairly spacious platform for videos. Furthermore, one has a kickstand to watch those hands free in landscape mode (only). While the experience is great, it would have been much better to locate the Stereo Speakers in the front rather than on the sides. Zune Marketplace is open for downloading and renting videos.

Camera & Video: The HTC HD7 comes with a 5MP camera with a bright dual LED flash. Camera function can be easily accessed from the home screen and the phone enables you to change a lot of options such as focus mode, ISO levels, flash, etc; a welcome change indeed. However, same cannot be said about the video, since its not even at all times despite favourable conditions.

HTC Hub & Xbox Live: The Xbox Live integration is one of the major attractions for any Windows 7 phone, true for HTC HD7 as well. There are lot of fun things to do with the Xbox Live such as play exciting games, set up an account, chat up with friends and challenge them to a game.

HTC Hub gives you a sense of Déjà vu of HTC Sense UI, but that’s momentary. Each animation takes seconds to get over with a fleeting happiness of fun but then disable the options when you find the same fun taking time much of your time.

Connectivity (/10)

HTC HD7 has too much of everything and that sometimes this tramples the essential features. The phone works on quad band GPRS connectivity and dual band 3G with HSPA providing 7.2Mbps downlink and 2Mbps uplink speed. Wi-Fi is also covered along with Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP but with lack of file transfer support.

Coverage was acceptable, however Wi-Fi didn’t fare as expected as there was a need to re-connect after the phone came out of sleep mode. Synching files with the computer is possible only through Zune software which performs substantially well. Since Windows 7 doesn’t support external storage, this is the only path to be followed. Furthermore, Zune also supports syncing over USB and Wi-Fi as well. Likewise one could go for SkyDrive service provided by Microsoft that gives you 25GB of cloud storage wherein it’s able to upload and store multimedia files automatically.

Performance (/10)

The battery life is pretty impressive as it is customized to the power levels of the OS. The battery worked for around one and half days and if you switch the phone off at the end of its life, it will manage the remaining day in its quota. Moreover, while travelling when the phone is in flight mode, the battery of course lasts an incredibly long time, more than few days, which is quite good.

Value for Money (/10)

Having the latest OS, the biggest screen on your product always works as an advantage for any mobile brand. The HTC HD7 is one of original showstoppers for the Windows 7 launch and it doesn’t disappoint. Also, the HTC HD7 scores an extra one for its screen with Windows 7 powered Dell Venue Pro coming a close second. While this may be true, it has its flaws like not-so-perfect camera, single loudspeaker, lack of multitasking & card slot.  Regarding features, Samsung Omnia 7 could give it a tough competition with a Super AMOLED 4” WVGA screen.

Pros

  • Windows 7 phone

 

  • Large and responsive screen

 

  • Screen is ideal for playing games, movies. The kickstand works perfect during such occasions

 

  • Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement provided the right effect

 

  • Dual-LED flash supported the absence of Xenon

 

  • Cloud services

 

  • Multiple connectivity options

 

  • HTC Hub for exclusive HTC apps

 

Cons

  • No card slot

 

  • No lens protection

 

  • No Bluetooth file transfers

 

  • No video calls

 

  • No multitasking

 

  • Limited availability of third party apps

 

  • No flash or silverlight support

 

Price

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Rating

Style: 8.2
163
Technology: 8.4
167
Efficiency: 8.5
169

Total votes: 273 | Hits: 10041

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