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HTC HD7 – Review [Part 1]

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Microsoft had their regulations and specification for a phone to house the Windows Phone 7 and HTC HD7 is just the right fit. This is HTC’s and Microsoft’s to showcase the Windows Phone 7 to the world. The HTC HD7 is one big phone, but Microsoft don’t mind as to them, the bigger the better. The Windows Phone 7 UI has been designed for bigger and brighter screens. Let us see in detail what the HTC HD7 has to offer in 2 parts.

Part 1:

The Hardware

The HTC HD7 has a bight LCD capacitive touchscreen capable of displaying 6M colors in a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. Its 4.3 inches wide diagonally. Just above the 2 screen are the sensors for screen brightness and proximity. Below and above the display are 2 crevices for speakers. The menu buttons are capacitive. It has 3 call-to-action buttons: back, Home and Search. There is a power/lock combo button at the top. The side holds the camera button and the volume rocker. At the bottom microUSB socket and 3.5 mm audio jack fill the space. The microUSB socket is used both for charging and data transfer. There is no front or secondary camera. At the back the 5 MP camera is assisted by 2 LED flash. The kick-stand is fitted encompassing the camera. Beneath the battery cover is the battery and SIM card slot. There is no microSD card slot.

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The build is quite solid and the plastic doesn’t give a cheap feel. The sides are protected by metal finishing and it’s quite stylish. But what really hits you is the size of it. It’s a huge phone at 4.3 inch. People with small hands will find it a bit uncomfortable. It also might not be easily pocketable. But the curved back and the grippy material used helps to hold the phone. Operating with one hand would still be a tough task to handle. The glass used on the display is a fingerprint magnet and the crevices for the speakers are dust magnets. Maintaining this phone clean and shiny would require some extra effort. But the high resolution makes up for it. It has a decent visibility when on direct sunlight. The touch is very responsive. Display is the unique selling point of this device. With such a large screen managing daily tasks on a smart phone is very intuitive. Also the browsing experience is made seamless. The 4.3 inch is definitely a perfect fit for the Windows Phone 7 user experiences.

Under the Hood

The HTC HD7 is powered by 1 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 200 GPU, Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon chipset with 576MB of RAM. The version we were exploring had 16 GB of internal memory, though there is 8 GB version available in US. HTC HD7 doesn’t support expandable memory, which is a huge limitation. The processor is quite sufficient for the initial install and vanilla usage of Windows Phone 7, but I really doubt its pulling power when the phone is fully loaded with apps and media. The battery at 1230 mAh is not sufficient to power this 4.3 inch monster. It drains out pretty quick in a day of normal usage. It would have been impressive if it had atleast 1400 mAh. The speakers were a total let down. HD7 boast of cinematic experience with Dolby and SRS, but the speakers merely make a crack on the decibel levels. The headsets supplied were not impressive either. It was not comfortable to wear and they had an average quality. But when the mobile was connected to a hi-fidelity sound system, that when you really get the Dolby experience.

Camera

The primary camera is a 5 MP lens with capability to snaps in 2592х1944 resolution. It’s a autofocus camera assisted by dual LED flash. But the camera button is a bit tricky. It’s very think and uncomfortably placed on the slippery edge of the phone. It needs to be pressed really hard. It’s a 2 stage button: first stage to focus and the second stage to click. With such huge phone and slipper thin button, it’s really difficult to capture photos on the go. The image quality is quite decent most of the times. The interface is pretty neat and minimalistic. But it doesn’t remember your settings. Every time you close the camera application, it resets all your settings. To check the last few photos that has been shot, just slide to the right. Sliding to the left bring back the camera view. This is a pretty useful trick. The settings menu offers control over resolution, metering mode and flicker adjustment. The dual LED is pretty useful in darker condition for short distance. Overall the picture quality is pretty decent and it has reduced noise level and better white balance. Switching to video mode is very similar to Android UI. The camera is capable of shooting videos at resolutions upto 720p. The menu is very identical to the camera menu. It has options to calibrate contrast, saturation and sharpness, change the white balance or exposure compensation and also add image effects. Much like the image quality, the video quality is also good.

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Overall this is a hardware that’s made to fit the Windows Phone 7 requirements and it fits the bill like a glove. While Microsoft has done an outstanding job with the Windows Phone 7, HTC has taken the right step to introduce Windows Phone 7 via the HTC HD7. The build quality is excellent, the screen and display are brilliant and the ergonomics are bang-on. This would been a super phone, if they had done some justice in the battery compartment. With a powerful snapdragon processor and a big bright display, the 1230 mAh isn’t just enough for average Joe’s usage.

For a success of a mobile, hardware is just a part of it. The primary factor is the software. Now that we have a right combination of hardware in place with the HTC HD7, do we also have the fitting software?

Stay tuned for more views on the HTC HD7. The Software, applications will be reviewed in Part 2. We will also save our concluding thoughts on HD7 for the final part and look out for our MobiGyaan Scorecard!

Meanwhile you may checkout some more pics of HTC HD7 below :

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