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HTC HD7: First look [Yes, it's Windows Phone 7]

by James Whatley on 25th October 2010

Well, it’s here. We’ve had it for a good couple of weeks now and it’s a beauty. Of the six Windows Phone 7 devices released this week, the o2 exclusive HTC HD7 is the biggest and best of the bunch.

When the news broke that these devices – this new OS – was on the horizon, many scoffed. But I think TechCrunch said it best when they said, “Did Microsoft bring a gun to a gunfight?

Someone’s stepped up their game and it shows.

The good stuff

  • The UI is clean & smooth and surprisingly refreshing.
  • Contacts sync is a breeze with Windows Live, Google (both Google Apps and Gmail once sync is enabled) and Facebook all covered off.
  • Xbox Live integration… HURRAH! This, for any Xbox owner (myself included) is a MUST and, although you’ve been able to access your gamer stats from Android via a number of apps, this is the first time that gaming on the move adds experience points to your overall profile – win.
  • Did I mention how smooth it is? For me, it’s an ace business solution. Things get done very quickly and very easily – the new advert at least seems to make sense now.

The not so good stuff

  • Battery life isn’t brilliant. While this could be put down to the excessive play-time I’ve had with it, the battery pack itself is no bigger than the one for the Nexus One and the HD7 is considerably bigger
  • No easy account removal. The only way to un-sync your account or remove any of your details is by performing a complete hard reset (hold power + both volume keys). This isn’t great, especially if someone has used it before you.
  • Hardware scratches easily. It’s a minor gripe, but I’ve had the device for just over two weeks now and it’s already heavily chipped. Not cool.
  • The camera isn’t great and although this is no surprise from HTC, I would’ve thought it would show a small improvement at least from earlier hardware
  • No landscape mode in the main menu; annoying given the super-useful kick-stand included as part of the back casing

This is the sync phone. It syncs everything and it does it well. I don’t know where the ranging begins here, it feels like a business phone and it feels like they’re aiming for the blackberry market.

We’ll see. For now, I’m handing the HD7 over to Ben so that he can give his, more enterprise-focused, perspective of the device.

Got a question about the device? Leave it in the comments and Ben will address them in his write-up.

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