Up for review today is HTC’s HD7, Which is running windows phone 7, I wanna say thanks to Emma at the Keogh Partnership for suppling the phone for us to review(Thanks Emma). As always the first thing i want to take a look at is the specs of this phone.
Now as you can see from the specs above, This really is a power house of a phone, It doesn’t hold back with specs, The memory on the other hand could have been bigger, Seeing as this phone is using Microsoft new windows phone 7 OS, You should expect to not only being using it for music and videos but also a lot of apps aswell.
Currently I’m reviewing the 8gb model, To note there is no difference other than capacity with the two models, The review should stand for both.
As you can see from the picture above, The first think you noticed is how beautiful and HUGE the display is, It really stands out, Rightly so with one of the biggest display at 4.3″, Its absolutely amazing to look at and really does windows phone 7 justice with there layout of OS.
Lets take a look and some pics of the phone itself
As you can see from the back of the device, Its got 2 big Led’s for taking very bright photos, On the bottom of the device(Left on photo) You can see the the line where from there to the top of the phone is the back cover, Taken that off reveals the battery, Nothing special about it. Although there something special around the camera area, If you pop the steel part out, It becomes a very nice stand.
As you can see from the picture, The stand pops out from the camera area. Its completely made from medtal, Its seem very strong. It only goes to the one angle which is about 30 degrees give or take. It works very well for watching videos.
The bottom of the phone, Has three touch sensitive buttons, Much like android, There is a back button, Windows and search button. They are straight forward in there design and purpose.
The picture above shows the headphone connection(3.5mm) and the Charger/Data micro usb connection. The microphone is also located on the right.
That brings me to the OS, Which Windows phone 7 is still very new, Its microsoft’s better attempt at the mobile market since iOS and Andriod started dominating it. They are trying to integrate as much as they can into the OS to make it seem more fluid. They have integrated Xbox Live into the OS which makes for a better achievement score in the end, Its pretty much like have Xbox live Arcade games on the go. They also include seamless integration of Windows live(Hotmail) Obviously there is support for any email provider, Facebook is of course in there aswell and is pretty much like any phone on the market, Where you can push photos to Facebook taken on the phone.
This is standby, Its pretty straight forward, Shows date and time and any notifications there may be at the bottom, You simple slide it up to unlock.
Once you unlock the phone, It brings you to the main dashboard, Here you have many widget like items, Which are 100% customizable, The can be moved around, Removed and you can add whatever you like. All the icons and widgets can have an auto-update to pull information, So if you have messaging or an app update, They will be displayed on the widgets themselves.
Modifing the dashboard is pretty straight forward, You just hold and icon and you can then move it around or remove it completely, Extremely straight forward and very useful. Whats also handy is the that they will all change to whatever color scheme you use. making them all look nice and neat. Some are double size and some are singular.
Hitting the top right arrow on the dashboard will bring you to the app list, This is where anything to have installed like apps will end up. Its pretty straight forward with a scroll you can go through the entire list.
Holding an application on the app list menu will allow you to pin it to the start menu, Any application can do this and makes launching anything very quickly. This feature is very welcome and as having just a giant icon list can get very annoying when looking for something specific. Also on the applist here, There is no way to make folders, Which is annoying as they are great for sorting certain apps, But not a deal breaker by any means.
Looking through the camera settings
You can see they are pretty limited, With options for changing Resolution, Effects, Scenes and Metering mode
The option to change scenes, Allows you to basically change what type of picture you will be taken, Best to leave to auto instead of having to change it every time you want to take a picture. Effects gives to different types of effect on the camera, Just to have some fun while taking pictures.
After taking a few pictures with the HD7 you get an idea of what the camera is like, All pictures taken were with default settings and high res.
As you can see there is little to fault with this picture, The color came out very well, It does seem a little bright in areas, But overall the picture quality is very good.
Here we have a picture of a field!! Mostly the camera seem to take a fine picture here, Everything looks crisp, The color quality isn’t the best but nothing to shame the overall quality.
Okay here we start to see some problems, It seems taking a picture with alot of color it can make the picture turn out a little dull, Colors just seem a little washed. This was in a very well lit shop. So i doubt lighting is to be blamed, Unless it was too bright.
Again you see the problem with colors becoming washed, The camera normally takes great pictures and i really didn’t see how some pictures turned out bad.
As you can see yourself in this picture, The quality is fantastic for a 5mp camera phone. While maybe the background is a little grainy in places, The overall quality is very good here.
Here is a quick video showing the camera’s quality. This was the luas(a tram) going by, It was recorded at 720p with everything else left on normal(Default settings).
Now as you can see, The quality is at all great, Not bad seeing as its was an over-cast day and extremely windy out, But its not something i would like to alot.
While the camera can definitely handle itself, There are a few disappointments, It can some very nice looking photos, Sometimes they can turn out washed or even out of focus. Also videos do have a tendency to not look the best. While the frame rate isn’t at all good either. HTC have had a track record of making excellent camera phones, But this isn’t really on par with the rest, While its not bad in any sense, its not nearly as good as some of there other phones, Maybe its down to software and not hardware, Its definitely something HTC would want to look into. The camera is great for out and about but you may want to pick up a digital camera aswell for important events.
After using the HD7 for over a week i can say without a doubt its an extremely good phone, The hardware can easily handle itself and really is a powerhouse of a phone, The capacity being on the shorter end isn’t a deal breaker but definitely something i worry about for the long run. That in mind the main concern is that Microsoft’s Windows phone 7 is still on the new side, Which means its going to have to try extra hard to make in impact high enough to make people want to switch. The main thing for its battle is market place, While it simply works perfectly there aren’t enough mainstream apps available on it yet, Which is sad to see as the OS is very well laid out and just works. There is really nothing to worry about the OS part of the phone shy of a few updates adding the wonderful copy and paste which is badly needed and at least a rudimentary shot at multi-tasking, Not to point finger but apples late entry to it was well applauded and also well needed, On the Windows phone 7 front these aren’t fundamental flaws of any kind and software updates can add this abilities at anytime. At the moment the phone works extremtly well with Windows phone 7 and there are plenty of things to keep you busy and its definitely capable of being a mainstream phone and giving a person an excellent experience. I must say i really did enjoy using the HD7, Its overall speed was astounding and the screens quality and size really stand out from other phones, Coupled along with Microsoft’s windows phone 7 this is definitely GREAT GEEK TECH and deserves 4 stars!! The only reason it missed out on the last start because the memory limit of 16gb and the fact that Windows phone 7 is still a new OS and needs more time to grow. That being said there are so many things about it that i love and i wouldn’t hesitate to recommended this phone to anyone looking for a new phone that sports an onslaught of features.