back to article HTC HD7

Once the anonymous creator of white-label handsets for the networks, HTC has moved firmly centre stage with its own-brand Android and Windows Mobile handsets. The HD7 is the first of a plethora - seven of them actually, hmm, coincidence? - of new Windows Phone 7 handsets, part of a major push to relaunch the not-much-loved OS …

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  1. Geoff Campbell
    Linux

    No memory cards?

    No sale. Sorry, that's a deal-breaker for me.

    Still, that aside, it looks like a good effort, and if Microsoft had released the OS 12-18 months ago, it would have kept them in the game. As it is, they seem destined to play tail-end Charlie, constantly trying to catch up, for the foreseeable future.

    GJC

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Complain to Microsoft

      It's MS who have ruled out external memory.

      Looks like they've decided to remove every feature not found on an iPhone so they've ended up with something that's like an iPhone but not as good.

      1. The Original Steve
        Stop

        Your wrong

        SD Cards are fine. Microsoft haven't ruled this out at all - they just stated all phones MUST have 8Gb storage. There are no restrictions on removable media like you say.

        http://www.neowin.net/news/do-windows-phone-7-devices-have-expandable-memory-after-all

        Research it first.

    2. whiteafrican
      Gates Halo

      True, for some, memory cards are an issue but...

      ..pretending MS have come to the market too late seems a bit premature. When has a technology market ever been closed to a new player prepared to bring innovation? Windows Phone 7 is certainly lacking a few things, and probably won't appeal to all, but it also has huge strengths. In my view, the two biggest innovations they have brought to the table are:

      - ZunePass. WP7 now has the best music service by miles. This morning, I bought an HTC Mozart. I already have a Zune pass, and technically I haven't paid a penny for it yet (when the 14-day trial expires I'll buy the £90 annual pass). On my Mozart, there are now a dozen albums that I wanted to listen to, but wasn't sure I wanted to buy, and the iTunes 30-second clips left me none the wiser, but with Zune Pass, I can have the whole of anything I want to listen to, and then discard it if it's no good. For me, that alone justifies the purchase.

      - Xbox Live is undoubtedly the future of small-scale Gaming development, because the XNA/Silverlight APIs means you can use almost all of the same code for a game on WP7, Xbox and PC with minimal effort. So a developer can make games to be released on three platforms, rather than coding separately. Even if (like me) you don't have an Xbox, you stand to benefit from Microsoft's huge investment in this area.

      As for large-scale developers, we've already seen them flock to the Xbox, so my bet is that most will want to extend their reach onto WP7.

      I agree that I would have liked to be able to use the 16Gb SD card I got for my last HTC phone, but given that MS are throwing cloud storage at this thing as well, I probably don't really need the SD card for anything anyway...

    3. Tom Kamkari

      battery life

      They need to work on battery life on these sets IMO.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a re-cycled HD2

    Apart from the increased memory and new wizzy weather app, it could have been a review of the HD2. It seems to have the same specification as the HD2, at least in screen resolution, CPU and screen size. Even the housing is similar, but the new touch buttons look nice. The HD2 has a microSD slot, but the HD7 seems to have gone the iPhone route in that memory is fixed by the manufacturer.

    The HD2 just got a major software upgrade which improved many things including the camera and the speed of the UI, but still runs WinMob 6.5. It is probably now on a par with the HD7, (or better as it has cut and paste) but whereas the HD7 will get future upgrades, this is probably as far as the HD2 will go.

    I have a bit to go on my contract, so will watch Win7 development with interest and may go for a HTC windows phone again.

  3. DaveTheRave
    FAIL

    No memory upgrades!

    If only I could use a WTF and a FAIL

  4. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    80% ??

    For a 2007 featureset?

    No memory cards

    No multi-tasking

    No Copy and paste

    No user ringtones

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Coat

      And people complain about Symbian

      That is all.

      1. Lee Chong Yew
        Thumb Up

        Agreed

        Even Symbian has cut and paste, multitasking, memory cards, and user ringtones.

        Even WinMo 6 has cut and paste, multitasking, memory cards and user ringtones.

        They might as well make it support only QVGA 256-color or 16bit-color res screens.

        WinMo 7: A Throw back to the PalmOS 5.2 days.

  5. Him over there

    Is this a review or a sales pitch?

    "I could list a number of WinPho failings, but don't forget that this is version 1.0 and it's a platform that will evolve and grow"

    It doesn't matter if it's version 1.0 or not, I wanted to read a review of the phone as it stands now and whether it's worthy of my money right here and now. So, as a reviewer, you should be listing all of it's failings, whether MS have claimed they will patch them or not. MS are late to the game and will expect the OS to be compared to IOS and Android. If it's not up to scratch, tell us. That's why I read multiple reviews before I buy most things.

  6. Little Poppet
    Thumb Up

    HD7 or Mozart?

    Not bad for V1.0. Have to commend MS for coming up with a unique and innovative platform. The HD7 looks great - I prefer the Mozart though: 8mp Xenon flash camera!

    Looks fresh - and i'm happy MS have confirmed regular updates - or in their speak: 'Delighters' - i'm guessing these will be little tweaks or/and added functionality.

  7. eJ2095

    HD2

    Also i have been running android on my hd2 for a while now thanks to the guys over at xda.

    Just a matter of time for some one to port this to the hd2 as well....

  8. Dan Price

    Maybe...

    I've been looking forward to WinMo 7 for quite some time - I love the UI on my Zune HD and it'd be really interesting to see how they've integrated it into a phone, but it looks like I'll be jumping ship to Android from my old WM6-powered HTC Diamond. Why?

    Apps.

    Put simply, there's more software out there for Android (and loads more for iOS, natch). Expecting developers to start creating stuff for WP7 is a little optimistic if you ask me - the tools are there, and they're good, but I just get the feeling that there won't be that much coming out for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      think again

      You seem to be trying to convince yourself that you're taking the right decision.

      iOS has a lot more apps than Android and they are, due to draconian control, better quality than those for Android. The reason you're getting an Android can't be the apps, otherwise you'd get an iPhone.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Troll

      Wait a sec

      So you're the guy who bought a Zune?

    3. whiteafrican
      Thumb Up

      @Dan Price

      In my now (almost) 10 hours as a WP7 user, I have learned one thing - the currently available WP7 apps are LOADED with quality and polish. Before you go buy an Android, go down to a phone store and see if you can, for example, play a demo of the Harvest on any phone store (Orange let me do it on the Mozart this morning). It beats the living cr*p out of anything I've seen on my wife's iPhone or my friends' Androids. Even if games aren't your thing, the ridiculously smooth and detailed 3D is hugely impressive.

      Facebook integration is, as expected, excellent. So is email (and both were oh-so-simple to set up). Also, I would (again) stress the miracle of ZunePass, but since you already have a Zune perhaps that's less of a selling point for you.

      The biggest downside of owning a WP7 so far is that it takes a while to learn how to use it, but it's pretty intuitive and in less than a day, I feel like I know where everything is (right down to all the settings and stuff).

  9. JDX Gold badge

    Of course there will be apps

    If companies like HTC are willing to put time & money into creating the hardware, it stands to reason people will create apps too. To start with, you don't have much competition so could release something and make a nice chunk of cash... and all the multi-OS titles will get a WP7 port in short order.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Yeah

      I'm getting fed up of reading about all of those millionaire Kin developers...

      TBH, I'm more interested in how OS upgrades are delivered, are they more the Android/iOS flavour where you can get your shiny new OS from the manufacturer or are they the sucky "wait for carrier/hardware manufacturer to port it" variety of WM/Symbian?

      HTC don't have a particularly shining track record on the latter type, so you even if V2 of WM7 is kicked out the door by MS next April, you'll almost certainly wait until next October before you can install it - assuming they even bother.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Choice

    Great times for smartphone buyers. Come January I now have a choice of an HTC HD 7 or Mozart, or Desire Z or Desire HD or iPhone4. Shame Sony E. and Nokia don't make anything truly competitive though.

    Memory expansion I can live without - been "meaning" to buy a card larger than 4GB for my Hero for over a year, but still haven't. Cut'n'paste ditto.

    Will probably stick with Android just because it tethers to my Ubuntu netbook so easily so I'm leaning towards the Desire Z as the HD is rather a big old hector.

  11. Little Poppet
    Thumb Up

    Interesting Apps

    Regarding apps - Just browsing today, it's interesting to see various companies releasing apps:

    Reading the Telegraph newspaper, I noticed they put out an article showing off there new Telegraph Fashion app, which I found rather... random.

    There's also the Jobsite app - live updates of vacancies and searches etc,

    Network providers will of course have apps - Orange have a number of them, including they're cinema ticket offer with reviews and cinema bookings.

    The official All Blacks app - bizarre!

    Off there are the usual apps like Twitter, Netflix, Facebook, Seesmic, FourSquare.

    The comment about Apple having more apps, well DUH! Really? lol. This is a new platform, did you expect MS to come up with 300,000 apps on launch? lol. That comment will be discounted and ignored. Silly Billy you!

  12. Julian 3
    FAIL

    1 step forward & 2 steps back

    Windows Phone 7 is 1 step forward and 2 steps back. Its a bit like Vista they spent ages developing and managed to do a half assed job. Maybe they will get it right for Windows Phone 8?!

    1. whiteafrican
      Thumb Down

      @ Julian 3

      umm... yeah - have you actually tried using one and compared it to WinMo 6.5.x? It's more like 20 steps forward, 2 steps back. The two back are the (mostly pretty minor) bits of functionality that have been lost. The 20 steps forward would be the massive steps forward in useability and service integration.

      1. Lee Chong Yew
        Gates Horns

        Mostly minor?

        How can you call Cut & Paste and Multitasking "minor"?

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Go

          How can you call Cut & Paste and Multitasking "minor"?

          by looking at the iPhone sale figures? (I know it does cut and paste now but it didn't on launch and still flew off the shelves).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    No card, no direct access to storage = no sale

    Copying Apple in restricting access to storage only via bloatware (iTunes or Zune in this case) is a showstopper for me.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Welcome

    i for one...

    welcome the first winmo7 review at the reg.

  15. dogged
    Badgers

    Something overlooked in many comments

    Tony Smith reviews the iPhone4 for reghardware - 75% SIM-free: £499 (16GB), £599 (32GB).

    And this phone, which can apparently make calls without wearing a condom, gets 80% and costs £370 sim free.

    For version 1.0, that ain't bad.

  16. Fintan
    Gates Halo

    No Apps eh, lets all make a fart app!

    yea, the iphone has 300,000 apps, but two points:

    1. How many apps did iphone have at launch.

    2. how many iphone apps are the stupid fart, lightsaber, gun sounds, lighter screen for concerts etc etc ( insert pointless app here). How many apps would it have if you got rid of the junk?

    Im loving all this bull about what the phone is missing. remember though, the jesus phone had no background process for devs until june/july of this year. it also went many years without copy/paste, and even withough MMS, despite it being on every phone, down to the lowest nokia!

    Fanbois, i know its difficult, but forget this is microsoft for a sec, and look at it as a phone.

    Its version 1.0 and it has a ton of features the first jesus phone didnt have. If this was anyone else people would say "yea, nice, missing a few features but a nice 1.0 version".

    Seems its main failing is Mr Jobs didnt rub each on personally against his arse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      Yes, I know

      But when you think about it, those features were in 6.5 and were added in over the past 20 years. And suddenly MS decides to roll the OS back 15+ years back to when WinCE first came out.

      Btw, this isn't 1.0, it's 7.0.

      1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Yes, I know

        According to Microsoft, WinPho 7 is a ground-up rebuild. That makes it 1.0 whatever the number they use for marketing purposes.

  17. Robert Forsyth

    From a hardware point-of-view

    probably fairly easy to put Android on these phones, if they don't sell - just change the touch screen and re-flash.

  18. Domus
    Gates Halo

    I'm fickle... I got one...

    I was intrigued yesterday so popped into the local town centre to see what was on offer on launch day. Turns out, the only company (that I tried, so not t-mobile or three then) with any stock was O2. I had a play with the phone, thought it was good on the surface and at the very least didn't annoy me, so went for it. On the whole, I agree with the review. I've had it 18 hours now and it's not crashed, so doing better than my old WM6.1 device. A couple of niggles though - the Xbox Live Extras app doesn't work, Zune wasn't the cleanest of install experiences, and it doesn't sync with outlook. What I should have done was sycn Outlook contacts to Windows Live and it would have gotten them from there. I guess I'm in for a venture into the cloud world a bit earlier than I was anticipating!

    To summarise - good effort, shouldn't be written off yet, but the novice IT user could perhaps have had trouble getting it all set up on the computer.

  19. Bugs R Us
    Gates Halo

    Prefer Desire HD

    No, not becuase the Desire HD is Android, but because it's the same form factor but with better hardware (CPU, Camera) and has micro SD slot plus a HDMI port. Though I wish HTC had included the kick stand on the Desire HD also, incredible to think they missed that trick.

  20. D. M
    FAIL

    No extended memory card

    It has no chance.

    iPhone can get away from it (iPhone can do way without the ability to make phone call), but not everyone else.

    What were they thinking (or rather, what were they smoking)?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Too little, too late.

    I made the decision to say stuff Windows Phone 7 two days ago, when I recieved my HTC Desire HD. I'd been holding out as late as I could, as it was a toss up between the HD7 and the Desire HD - and in the end, O2 helped tip my hand by making the HD7 exclusive. The Xbox intergration tempted me, but there's so many unknowns, and so many little holes that it's a platform I could not jump at, especially for a period of 18 months / 2 years and not being told MS's upgrade plans beyond January.

    After playing with the Droid for 2 days, I've got to say I'm in love - it's got all the openess of old Windows Mobile, so I can install whatever I want on it, but with a UI and under-the-hood that's, simply, stunning. As my last few phones were Mobile 6.x, I know it doesn't take a lot to impress me, but there's just so much to the HTC Desire HD, and Froyo.

    So far, glad I made my decision - and talking of which, where's the Desire HD review, chaps?

    Final note - 'no external storage' is NOT a Microsoft mandated thing, each manufacuter can include SD cards if they wish. They simply can not be swapped during use! Second time I've linked to this article from a reg comment, gah. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/basics/sd-cards-and-my-phone.aspx

  22. ilmaestro7

    HTC Desire HD

    Any idea when you will write a review for the Desire HD?

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