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HTC HD7 Review

Posted: , by Basil K.

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If there's one word we'd use to describe the HTC HD7's OS, Windows Phone 7, it would be 'unified', with the OS visually bringing all its functionality into a Zune inspired system of panels and panning, on the great big HTC HD7 screen, it looks very immersive, clean and controlled. The start menu (home screen) aggregates these panels into tiles aligned in a very simple vertical grid of two columns and multiple rows. Each tile takes up a fair chunk of the screen, with only 8 tiles fitting on the screen at any one time. On first glance, it seems simplistic for a home screen, blurring the lines between home-screen and menu, however, it is also cleverer than it looks, displaying key live information within tiles, encouraging the user "glance and go", as Microsoft put it, and dip in when appropriate.

The start menu of the HTC HD7 - HTC HD7 Review

The start menu of the HTC HD7


Slide the homescreen out of the way (a swipe from right to left will do the job), and Microsoft bestows a simple list of applications on your screen. All these can be pinned to the start menu with a long press, or just opened from the list. It’s worth noting, if you’re left handed that it’s not as usable as if you’re right handed as your thumb will cover the tiles and swiping right to left to get the menu up is un-intuitive.

Now we've covered the two start-up pages (the start menu and application list), we can move on to one standout feature of Windows Phone 7, the visual flourishes. Select anything (and we mean anything), and rather than a simple menu transition, there will be a cascade of current tiles revolving out of the frame, and a stream of new elements either panning, revolving, or emerging into the frame. These would look like overkill on any other OS, however, thanks to the styling of Windows Phone 7 being so very simple, it works to have this one extravagance.

At the heart of this simple styling are the themes. Go into settings, press the themes option and you can "Change your phone's background and accent colour to suit your mood today, this week or all month" as Microsoft puts it. As far as background colour goes, your options are whittled down to black or white, which is a good, minimalistic way to ensure the user doesn't make Microsoft's shiny new phone OS ugly. Accent colours are applied to app tiles and standout text. To compensate for the minimal choice of background, these can be one of 11 colours, green, red, blue, orange, pink, brown, lime, teal, purple and magenta. This simplicity lends itself to an identity Microsoft are clearly trying to attribute to Windows Phone 7, with a sophisticated font, Segoe WP, large, clear tiles and smooth Zune type experience.

The interface is intuitive with very few layers of menu and is very clearly marked out. We found ourselves looking for an Android menu button at times with many applications lacking the extensive functionality their Android counterparts may have (i.e. selecting which Google Calendar to display if you have multiple under one account), however, Microsoft have clearly placed limits on the things doable on a Windows Phone 7 handset in order to keep the experience simple and clean, and they succeed for the most part. It won't be for everyone, but thanks to the ease of use, visual flare and the fact that there really is no lag, there is definitely a place in the market for this OS with nothing else like it available.


Phonebook, Messaging and Organizer:

As a phone, the HTC HD7 works well, with a good dialler sporting big responsive keys. Type a number in and there is a save button underneath the dialler. It's all very easy and intuitive. The phone book falls under the people tile. This offers very tight integration with Facebook, with a right swipe from your contact list taking you to friend's recent updates. The search capacitive button adapts its function depending on which menu you're in, so contacts can either be scrolled through or searched for directly as expected. Long press the Windows capacitive button to activate the voice dialler. We found this worked exceptionally well out of the box.

HTC HD7 Review
The dialer - HTC HD7 Review
HTC HD7 Review
HTC HD7 Review
 

The dialer

  

Messaging is also a pleasure for the most part. The keyboard is a fantastic size on the HTC HD7 both in portrait and landscape thanks to the 4.3 inch screen and the predictive text is very good indeed. We could type full messages with very good speeds with few if any mistakes. There are no long pressing on the keyboard (except to caps lock) and there are two layouts of letters (upper and lower case), and two layouts of symbols. The keyboard looks so clean and simple with no gradients in sight that the minimalist in us can't help but enjoy it. Without copy and paste, functionality is hampered slightly, though Microsoft promises this in the near future.

HTC HD7 Review

Organizer features pre-installed include alarms, calculator, calendar and HTC's unit converter. The calendar is the most finger friendly we've used in a while, looking very clean and feeling really intuitive. Adding appointments is simple, and the whole experience was a pleasure in every aspect other than the aforementioned section regarding multiple Google calendars (you can't choose which calendar under your Google account to use). All other organizer features work predictably well.

Organizer features on the HTC HD7 - HTC HD7 Review
Organizer features on the HTC HD7 - HTC HD7 Review

Organizer features on the HTC HD7



12 Comments
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posted on 14 Nov 2010, 12:54

1. matistight (Posts: 199; Member since: 13 May 2009)


battery life cant be better. like its not possible. if they really wanted a good battery life they would talk to blackberry, but their batteries will continue to suck because they have had plenty of times to upgrade the batteries to be good

posted on 15 Nov 2010, 15:39

2. Serentic (unregistered)


You want a sexy touch screen smart-phone with good, solid hardware, but you're stuck on operating systems. You think iPhones are way too expensive, BlackBerry OS doesn't give you a good enough online experience, Android 's cluttered and Symbian's dated. Up until now, you might have been bashing your head against a brick wall, longing for a clean, elegant solution that delivers an up to date user interface coupled with some smooth web browsing.


Palm. WebOS.

Affordable, fantastic online experience, neat (try no apps on the home screen, thank you), and updated. There's a new phone coming out in the coming weeks of 2010. Elegance embodied. :P

posted on 30 Nov 2010, 16:34

3. Garbage (unregistered)


HOURS AND HOURS spent with T Mobile and Microsort.
Phone will not sync unless you put your personal info on
Microsift Servers.

Hours wasted trying to sync contacts, calandars.

Junk!

posted on 03 Dec 2010, 12:27

4. Microsoft Lover (unregistered)


I have used Windows phones since 2002. I still recall the Samsung windows phone that I had purchased at $600 with a 1GB card that were both stolen within a month. Much improvements were made and I was really excited about purchasing the new HD 7 phone to match with my home OS and upgrade from my Touch Pro 2.

Alas, what a disappointment! It is the first phone ever that I have returned. HTC and Microsoft alliance did a poor job on this one. I was sold on the big screen, the ease of moving from one screen to the other, and just the coolness of having windows 7 phone, but little did I know that I was heading to various issues:

1. As mentioned by another individual, it took me hours to try to sync my contacts. I thought that MS would be smart enough to let people sync their info from Windows 6.5 to Windows 7, but hey, sounds like the smart guys disregarded this option. Getting this phone is like starting from scratch. After hours of research, I saw that some people found a work around with Outlook, and it's no easy stuff, given that I am actually a tech guy...

2. Applications, I spent hours trying to install some goodies that I have downloaded over the years, but then again I received messages saying that you can't install CAB files. What a disappointment that was... You have to use Zune software and/or the market place where there's a restricted amount of applications, number that will grow they say...

3. I have many small applications in my flash card, but then again I did not realize that this phone does not have cards' slots, and of course does not take cab files...

It seems like MS is trying hard to follow iPhones and Androids, but if there were behind, now they have just stopped running. It will take me some time before getting another MS phone. I am settling with my Touch Pro2 for now.

posted on 26 Dec 2010, 06:23

5. JB (unregistered)


HTC HD7 - If you live in HK or China definitely don't buy this phone. Windows is not prepared to download applications to your PC or Phone at this time. I have been trying to solve this problem for more then one month with no success.

posted on 17 Feb 2011, 23:55

6. Bharat Bhushan (unregistered)


I has been experienced by many users that HTC HD7 is useless mobile reason being the user cannot change its ringtone of its own choice, user cannot install third party applications. User cannot download applicaitons other than available at Market Place.
So then what is the use of mobile? Hopeless

posted on 18 Feb 2011, 00:01

7. Ahmed Khan (unregistered)


HTC should withdraw HTC HD7 from Indian Market. It just a box. In this fact technology I cannot keep my Ringtone as MP3. I cannot instal software available at Net. I cannot instal call recorder, I cannot instal any software which are needed. I cannot share office documents with PC. Very disappointing Mobile as compare low level window mobiles

posted on 22 Sep 2011, 08:31

8. Rody (unregistered)


I had a problem with my HTC HD7 that get wet, nothing is working wrong but the camera glass cover is blurred, how can I clean it, I have some special tools but I need to know how could I do it.
Thanks for your help

posted on 28 Sep 2011, 13:19

9. Michaelen (unregistered)


I thought the Zune software on PC was supposed to act as a sort of converter during sync... How come it can't even add .dat files in my PC to its library? I've been trying to transfer some video files to my HTC-HD7, and so far, no progress! I can't believe I've been sitting here for more than 2 hours...

posted on 28 Sep 2011, 13:20

10. Michaelen (unregistered)


I thought the Zune software on PC was supposed to act as a sort of converter during sync... How come it can't even add .dat files in my PC to its library? I've been trying to transfer some video files to my HTC-HD7, and so far, no progress! I can't believe I've been sitting here for more than 2 hours...

posted on 26 Dec 2011, 05:20

11. k.shehab (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Dec 2011)


It's the worst phone human beings ever seen ........ many problems and issues with zune many accounts no application don't take credit cards other than the us germany france and some other country so it suck it's literally the worst mistake I ever made in my life :@

posted on 28 Jun 2012, 04:51

12. Adomako (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


I have the HTC HD7 9292 which I bought in December. After working for a while it now restarts so often I am unable to use it to anything that takes more than 5 minutes. Why is it so? Any solution? Nana.

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HTC HD7

HTC HD7

OS: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 QSD8250, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
576 MB RAM
Size4.80 x 2.68 x 0.44 inches
(122 x 68 x 11.2 mm)
5.71 oz  (162 g)
Battery1230 mAh, 6.33 hours talk time

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