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Review: T-Mobile HTC HD7 Full Review

3.0By Frank Dominik December 08, 2010 03:28 PM

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Review: T-Mobile HTC HD7 Full Review


I recently picked up a T-Mobile HD7, the uber popular new Windows Phone 7 phone.  It's a great new phone that has a lot to share so in this review I will be covering the Hardware, Software, Camera, Phone, Pros, Cons, and a Wrap Up.  This phone already has quite the reputation for being both good and bad. I'll let you decide.



 Hardware:


The Hardware of the phone is simply brilliant!  The entire phone is very clean, simple, and classy looking.  Although it is mostly composed of plastic and does not have an aluminum back as the HD2 does. However, it still feels sturdy in your hand and seems it would have a long life span.  The HD7 is powered by a 1ghz snapdragon cpu, 576MB of RAM, 512MB ROM, 16GB of built in Storage, 4.3inch LCD Display, 5mp Camera and Dual LED flash. 

 The right side of the phone has a volume rocker and dedicated camera button.  The bottom of the phone has a micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack.  The top of the phone has a power/lock button and the left side has nothing.  The HD7 has the familiar 3 touch button configuration that is on all Windows Phone which consists of Back, Home, and Search. The camera, dual LED flash and speaker are on the back of the phone.  There is also a nice aluminum kick stand on the back of the device.  The battery cover is very easily removed from the phone and goes on smoothly.  The package contents has a micro USB cable, HTC wall charger, and headphones which this time are quite nice sporting volume control.

Software:

Windows Phone 7 out of the box tends to be almost identical from phone to phone.  This is in part largely due to Microsoft putting restrictions in place to the manufactures baring them from modifying the home screen.  However, The HD7 comes with a few extras.  The first is T-Mobile TV which basically is a revamped Mobi TV app that came on the HD2.  It's a lag free application that allows you to watch live TV on your mobile device.  You receive a 30 day trail that than you will be charged 10 dollars a month after that to use the service.  Another application is TeleNav which also came on the HD2 and seems to be closely linked to T-Mobile.  It is a decent navigation/turn by turn application that works fairly well but costs ten dollars a month.  Other Software includes, Slacker Radio, Netflix and the of course the HTC hub which come on all HTC Windows Phone Devices.

 I know this phone has been widely criticized as having almost identical hardware to the HD2 but you know what?  It doesn't need to be faster, Windows Phone is so fast and smooth that the hardware of this phone match it perfectly.  The HD7 has no home screen lag and jumps from app to app almost instantly.  I have already improved my work ability and day to day by just using this phone over Android or Windows Mobile 6.5.  The phone it's self boots up and is online in about 30 seconds which is about twice as fast as the HD2.  Overall a wonderful software experience for Microsoft's first attempt at the new OS.

Camera:

The Camera has a love hate relationship with you, meaning, some shots will turn out amazing and others will look like a 1990's cell phone took them.  With essentially the same camera that was on the HD2 there isn't much improvement.  In fact, in some cases it's worse, but in others it is better. I think outdoor or very well lit shots are better, but darker shots do not turn out well.  I think it's more of an OS tweaking issue as opposed to the actual camera.  

The Camcorder on the other hand out performs the HD2 by a long shot.  The HD7 has a 720p camcorder which outside looks absolutely amazing.  Inside? Well it could be better. It tends to have too much noise and a white balance that is not good.  Then again, this is just a cell phone and it doesn't claim to be a camera.  So if you look at it that way, it's pretty darn good.

Phone:

The Phone software, I think, is fantastic!  The simplicity really goes a long way and the Call quality is superb (at least where I live).  I have no issue with the "Death Grip" which is now commonly associated with many smart phone.  I have only been able to get the phone to drop 2-3 bars by completely covering the antenna.  This is not the same problem the Iphone 4 had.  The screen it's self is a 4.3 inch screen similar in size to the HD2, however I like it better.  The colors, at least to my eye, are spot on and natural looking and the brightness of the screen is second to none.  

When you tap on the Phone it takes you straight to a simple screen with your Call History and at the bottom you have a Voice Mail button, Number Pad button, and Phone Book button.  The phone book does take a little getting used to if you come from Windows Mobile 6.5 as it's not straight forward.  When you hit that button it actually takes you straight to the People application.  This has multiple sections including your phone book and Facebook updates.  I find the best way to search your phone book is just hit the Search softkey and enter who you are looking for.  However if you do choose to browse the scrolling is quite fast and easy to use.



Pros:


Great Quality Feel
Sleek Design
Awesome, HUGE screen
Great Keyboard
Amazing new UI


Cons:


less than stealer camera
UI needs a few updates
No Multi Tasking (yet)
No copy/paste (yet)


Wrap-Up:


Overall this phone is a very good phone.  If you bought an HD2 earlier in the year and love Windows Mobile you might consider switching to the HD7 as it has the functionality of Windows Mobile and the neat fun factor of Android all combined into one.  The wow factor is there from the moment you take it out of the box!  It's sleek design, amazing performance and the awesome new UI from Microsoft shows a lot of promise.  Although there are some bugs here and there with the OS the actual phone is near perfect aside from the camera.  I've been mainly an Android guy from day one with the release of the G1 and I have to say, HTC/Microsoft is converting me over with this new phone.  So go give it a try, most of you won't be disappointed.

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