HTC HD7 vs HTC Surround vs Samsung Focus
In all honestly, we're enamored by how consistent the Windows Phone 7 experience is with each handset – which is probably due to the snappy 1GHz Snapdragon processors running within their shells. Needless to say that Microsoft's mobile platform undeniably steals the show as it exhibits a fresh new look over the competition, but there's nothing minutely different between the three smartphones. Buttery smooth scrolling, dynamic live tiles, glitzy transition effects, and tight Facebook integration are all the items we experience with the trio of smartphones. So no matter which handset you might consider purchasing, there's always going to be one thing that's not going to change – the responsive Metro UI performance of the platform.
As we mentioned already, Windows Phone 7 sports a tight integration with Facebook for those who are keen on keeping tabs with their closest mix of friends. When running the People Hub, it'll not only display the typical contacts information like phone numbers and email addresses, but a couple of swipes to another panel will allow you to see the latest happenings going on with your friends – like status updates and recent photos. And to enable quick access to the latest happenings with your closest friends, you can pin them to your homescreen so it'll continue to display status updates and their photos within their live tile. Aside from that, you can always download the official Facebook and Twitter apps for Windows Phone 7 to get additional features.
Thanks to the overall lightning quick responsive theme we see throughout the platform, the messaging experience is going to ultimately follow in a similar fashion. However, the HD7's vastly larger real estate will make anyone compose a message very easily thanks to the roomy space it's able to establish. It's not to say that there isn't room with either the Focus or Surround, but people with larger fingers will surely appreciate the slightly larger buttons displayed on the screen. Thankfully, we didn't find any issues using the on-screen keyboards with the Focus or Surround as we made little to no mistakes in sending messages. Meanwhile, switching to landscape will remedy the problem of space as all three handsets are more than capable of speed texting without any pause. Plus, it helps that auto-correct and predictive options are all at your disposal.
When it comes down to the experience of other native core apps with Windows Phone 7, there isn't particularly anything different between the smartphones. Things like the calendar, email, and Bing Maps all work like they should, so it shouldn't sway in the decision of what handset to pick up over the others. Naturally, the beauty of having consistent hardware specifications enables Microsoft's platform to work so intelligently on any device without the worry of finding one more capable than the others.
When you look at platforms like Android, manufacturers have the ability to provide specific customizations to the interface to make it very unique over others. Although Windows Phone 7 caters to a consistent theme between handsets, handset makers can still offer their unique twist with their specialized preloaded hubs and apps. As a matter of fact, both the HTC Surround and HD7 come loaded with the “HTC Hub” which strikingly borrows heavily from their Sense UI for Android. You can distinctly see it when you initially run the application as it displays the all too noticeable clock which also manages to tell the weather condition and temperature. Not only can you go further and experience some weather animations, it also offers some quick access to additional HTC apps like Stocks, Sound Enhancer, Photo Enhancer, and Converter. Oppositely, the Samsung Focus includes the Daily Briefing Hub that accomplishes the same tasks – such as viewing weather and stocks. However, it goes slightly further with the inclusion of a news feed which you can assign a specific category. Honestly though, they both function and accomplish the same things with neither one really offering more than the other. Still, it's at the early stages and we'd imagine that it'll be fine tuned to offer a richer experience outside of the box – like taking advantage of employing dynamic updates in their respective home tiles.
1. Swayam Narain (unregistered) posted on 18 Feb 2011, 09:18 1 0
Yea it looks like focus has an edge over HD 7 and surround, but i think I'll wait for Nokia!
3. sled (unregistered) posted on 25 Mar 2011, 15:07 1 0
I was already leaning towards the focus but I think you just sealed the deal for me.
Thanks for a great review! It really helped give perspective. :)