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HTC HD7 review

Windows Phone 7 goes gargantuan - movie-watching the Microsoft way

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 6.33 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification

For

  • Large screen is great for movies
  • Stereo speakers
  • Slick interface
  • Kickstand for easy use
  • Sound enhancement genuinely works

Against

  • No Flash on internet browser
  • Windows Phone 7 still lacking some features
  • Some might find the screen too large
  • Lock button is hard to hit
  • HTC Hub doesn't offer a lot

The HTC HD7 is based on a number of principles supplied by Microsoft – namely that the battery life is tailored to the power levels of the OS.

The lack of third party multi-tasking, the 1GHz processor specified by Microsoft and the dedicated GPU all mean battery life is pretty well mandated by the Redmond group – and it's relatively impressive here.

In practice, we managed to get around one and a third days' use out of the phone before it died completely – although we found if you switch things off towards the end of its life, the battery will manage almost half a day more for emergencies.

HTC hd7 review

Plus in airplane mode, or with just Wi-Fi turned on and not mobile data, the battery lasts an incredibly long time – a few days by our reckoning, which is really nice indeed.

The battery is also user-replaceable, which is another plus should the phone freeze and crash – although we never saw any hint of that happening in our tests.

Connectivity

As you can imagine the HTC HD7 is filled to the brim with connectivity options – although not all of them work as well as we would have hoped.

Coverage is good, and enables you to make and receive calls nearly all the time. However, we found the data coverage was a little more suspect at times, with the bars dropping down low. The data rarely dropped, but the speeds weren't as fast as we would have liked.

The HTC HD7 also really struggled with Wi-Fi connections at times too – especially when coming out of sleep mode to re-connect.

There were times when we were waiting many seconds to 'get our Wi-Fi on', and if you were in the middle of downloading something, then it would pause and sometimes fail as the phone would get confused over where to get its data from.

HTC hd7 review

Bluetooth worked fairly well – transferring between Windows Phone 7 devices seemed okay but for some reason our handset didn't want to communicate with Android phones, which makes very little sense.

Bluetooth headsets connected easily and without problem, which you'd expect from a Microsoft-powered phone.

GPS was also an issue for us at times – even when out and about and trying to get a decent map fix, the time to find us from cold wasn't that impressive.

It invariably did manage it eventually, but it's not in the same league as the likes of the iPhone 4 at working out where you are almost as soon as you turn on the application.

The digital compass didn't really come into play that often either, which is likely due to its API not being available for developers to put in their apps – it seems that's something that could really benefit some, although LG has managed to utilise it in the Optimus 7.

We mentioned it before, but the Zune software is both a blessing and a curse for the HTC HD7. It's just great for finding your media, siphoning off photos and videos and just generally messing around with your phone.

HTC hd7 review

One feature we adored was the ability to sync wirelessly – simply turn on your phone and your PC together and you'll find that in a few minutes you'll be looking at all the updated stuff from either device.

However, you do have to use it when the phone is plugged into the wall, which ruins the trick somewhat… when are you going to have a phone plugged in and your laptop on in another room? It seems like more a niche idea than anything else to us.

There's no internet tethering, which means your phone's data is going to be safe, and we've already mentioned how annoying it is that some videos have to be converted.

Audio and the like will sync over easily enough – but why aren't we allowed to drag and drop files for easy management? Syncing over four films on the Samsung Galaxy S takes around 10 minutes or so when simply copied across in known friendly file formats – it takes over an hour on the HTC HD7 and other Windows Phone 7 phones.

Connectivity therefore has to get a 'could do better' despite the wide range of options on offer and the excellent (although a little bulky) implementation of the Zune Media interface otherwise.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time6.33 Hour
Product ModelHD7
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)162 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 7
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Caller ID, Conference Call
Height122 mm
Width68 mm
Depth11.2 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameHD7 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number99HLY008-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing Information

Cinematic experience

The big 4.3" high resolution screen gives an epic cinematic experience. Just flip out the kickstand, kick back and catch all the magic of your favorite movies and videos.

Gaming anytime, anywhere

Put the power of Xbox LIVE in the palm of your hand. The large 4.3" screen makes the fastest action come to life. Play with friends, share scores, and earn recognition for your achievements. There's a huge range of game titles available plus the option to "Try Before You Buy" so anyone can be a major player.

Make your own movies in HD

The HTC HD7 comes with an 720p HD camcorder which allows you to capture film with incredible quality and detail. It's ideal for turning your friends and family into stars.

Package Contents
  • HD7 Smartphone
  • Battery
  • USB Cable
  • 3.5mm Stereo Headset
  • Power Adapter
  • Start Here Guide
  • Quick Guide
  • Safety and Regulatory Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year