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HTC HD7 Review

HTC HD7

Posted: , posted by Basil K.

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Internet and Connectivity:

Connected pretty much every which way, the HTC HD7 is a quad-band GSM, tri-band 3G phone and comes loaded with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS on board. Connections include a 3.5mm headphone jack and a a microUSB port. Despite lacking expandable memory, it does have 16GB on board, the most out of any Windows Phone 7 launch device. The only things we might have liked to see are DLNA functionality and a mini HDMI port.

“Internet Explorer Mobile”

Once upon a time, these words sent shivers down mobile users’ spines, with Opera saving WinMo users from web browsing peril. So has Microsoft fixed the stigma of years of bad browsing it has created? You bet your bottom dollar they have.

Completely in line with the latest and greatest achievements in the area, the new Internet Explorer delivers fast loading times and silky smooth scrolling. The same goes for zooming, which you can do by either double-tapping or using pinch-to-zoom. Both options work flawlessly, with double-tap being very accurate, more so than on Android, and about equal to what you get on the iPhone.

The new Internet Explorer - HTC HD7 Review

The user interface is also an important part of a mobile internet browser though. There are good and bad things we can say about the one of the new Internet Explorer. First off, we don't like that there is no full-screen option in portrait mode. Fortunately, you can view web pages in full-screen when in landscape mode, but then another issue arises. There is no address bar at the top, meaning that you have to return to portrait mode to enter a new web address. This isn't a big deal, since switching orientations is very snappy, but still we cannot see a clear reason why they didn't put a simple address bar at the top of the page. However, Safari isn't without its issues either, lacking full-screen mode whatsoever.

Internet Explorer interface - HTC HD7 Review
Internet Explorer interface - HTC HD7 Review
Internet Explorer interface - HTC HD7 Review

Internet Explorer lacks Flash or Silverlight support, which is on one hand unpleasant, but on the other, it guarantees flawless operation, so we can live without it. Android has the advantage here, but we shouldn't forget the fact that scrolling when a Flash element is present is far from smooth in Google's OS.

The email client works great. As soon as you've entered your account details, your emails start to populate the app. Everything works super smooth. Unfortunately, you do not get a universal inbox like in bada or iOS, so your different inboxes are displayed as separate tiles. However, this isn't much of an inconvenience high-speed of the HTC HD7. Emails are displayed in HTML and look fantastic.

The email client on the HTC HD7 - HTC HD7 Review
The email client on the HTC HD7 - HTC HD7 Review

Google has Google Maps, Nokia has Ovi Maps, Microsoft has Bing maps and it's the latter that'll get you from A to B on a Windows Phone 7 device. Panning the map around in the app is very smooth, same as pinch zooming. The available options are pretty standard – you can search for a specific location, go to you position, and get directions from A to B. Unfortunately, there is no support for voice-guided directions so far.

Searching for POIs on the HTC  HD7 is very intuitive, of course, and once you open a POI in order to see more details, you are presented with the exact address, an option to get directions and a phone number. You can also pin a certain POI to the home screen, as well as share it via text or email.

The GPS managed to get our location fixed very quickly after a cold start, however, for some reason, the map took a pretty long time to load on our unit, even over Wi-Fi which was the only real let down.


Software:

We were a bit underwhelmed by what we found in the Office Hub of the HTC HD7. While the panoramic user interface is great for the purpose, we found Word Mobile's options to be quite limited. Stuff like word correction and find is present, plus there's even the option to place comments, but when it comes to formatting, available options are should just be enough if you just want to add some finishing touches to a document, or write something basic, little more.

You can also create, view and edit Excel files (with a range of available functions to choose from), as well as view and edit PowerPoint presentations. However, editing here comes down to just editing text. You can also take notes using the included OneNote software, or collaborate through SharePoint.

HTC HD7 Review

Thankfully, you can find some of the functionality that you find missing in the new Marketplace Hub. Right now, the selection of apps there should include about 2000 titles, which is a good start, but of course we expect that number to rise quickly. We are positive towards Windows Phone 7's gaming capabilities as we tried a few of the available offerings, and have to admit that they looked really good. The Xbox Live integration in WP7 lets you do stuff like personalize your avatar, track various achievements and scores, as well as see requests, providing a nice mix of playfulness and function.

HTC HD7 Review
HTC HD7 Review
HTC HD7 Review


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HTC HD7

HTC HD7

OS: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz, Scorpion processor
0.6 GB 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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