back to article HTC 7 Pro WinPho 7 smartphone

Any Windows Phone 7 device will give you a virtual Qwerty keyboard on its touch screen, but the HTC 7 Pro is one of the very few to offer a proper, slide-out hard key version, and the Dell Venue Pro’s vertical slider pales in comparison to this one. HTC 7 Pro Touch or type: HTC's 7 Pro It’s not an outsize handset like HTC’ …

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  1. NoneSuch
    FAIL

    Emoticons?

    So including emoticons makes this business ready????

    I don't think so. Not in my business at least.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Had this been any other mobile

    without copy and paste, multitasking, or the ability to customise it, it wouldn't be getting a 85%. I'm guessing that half a billion dollars of advertising bribes for WinMo7 has some kinda smallprint. about minimum review scores.

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/26/microsoft-half-billion-dollars-windows-phone-7/

    1. Jim Coleman
      Flame

      Evidence?

      You have, of course, evidence to back up your claim that Microsoft is bribing El Reg and requiring minimum scores? If not, STFU.

      1. gjw
        Jobs Horns

        Bribe what's bribe?

        But then again. 85% for this PoC? The only thing that makes stand out from the rest of the WP7 crowd (such as it is) is the querty keyboard, which, like the rest of this device is mediocre at best. Either was an exchange of money, or there should have been one.

      2. Pinky

        @Jim Coleman

        The fact that this story has been front-page for 3 days now would indicate something is a little on the odourous side!

        1. bluesxman

          RE: @Jim Coleman

          So has this:

          http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/21/review_pmp_cowon_d3_plenue/

          What's your point, caller?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There IS one other

      I can think of one particular phone that didn't have copy and paste, multitasking, or customisation that actually managed to score higher.

      http://www.reghardware.com/2007/06/30/first_apple_iphone_review/

      The iPhone, of course.

      Later, the 3GS received an 85%, still lacking these things.

      http://www.reghardware.com/2009/06/22/review_phone_apple_iphone_3g_s/

      Interestingly, the iPhone 4, which HAS all of those things, only got 75%

      http://www.reghardware.com/2010/07/02/review_smartphone_apple_iphone_4/

      But I suspect this wasn't the point you were trying to make is it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        3GS yes

        Actually the 3GS had copy and paste, on the rest you're correct :)

        1. RussellMcIver

          Actually

          3GS didn't get copy and paste until the iPhone OS 3.0 update in June 2009, approximately a year after its release.

          1. fishman
            FAIL

            iphone 3GS

            The iphone 3gs was introduced in June 2009.

      2. aThingOrTwo

        iPhone 4 might have got 75%, might have got 85%

        Or the iPhone 4 85%, depending on which page you read:

        http://www.reghardware.com/2010/07/02/review_smartphone_apple_iphone_4/

        http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/03/top_smartphones/

        I did email querying this and was told by the Reviews Editor:

        “Things change. New products come out, comparative evaluations will reflect that.”

        Which doesn't clear up anything.

    3. bluesxman
      FAIL

      Ironic

      "Had this been any other mobile without copy and paste, multitasking, or the ability to customise it, it wouldn't be getting a 85%"

      You're actually right.

      http://www.reghardware.com/2007/06/30/first_apple_iphone_review/

      Just not in the way you think.

  3. spegru
    FAIL

    Desire Z?

    I'd have thought a comparison with the Android equivalent was a bit of an obvious thing to do.

    Not only the OS etc but also the keyboard itself.

    1. Clive Galway
      Stop

      @ Desire Z

      There is no Android equivalent AFAIK. Once I see a decently specced 5 row keyboard android phone, I will buy it.

  4. Magnus_Pym

    Well exactly.

    "you won’t find much else here to recommend it over HTC’s other Windows phones "

    You find much to recommend any Windows phone over another. Microsoft have locked it down so that, to the consumer at least, it looks like the OS is the product: Windows phones compete with Apple phones. The only difference is the size of the screen and the price. (a bit like with laptops). I can't see the upside for the manufactures to be in a race-to-the-bottom market like that. I find it most a bewildering choice for Nokia as it is a race they cannot win.

    1. Mark Rendle
      Troll

      Reductio ad... no, wait

      I was going to rubbish your post by pointing out that the same things could be said about laptops, but then I read the rest of it and saw that you made that point yourself.

      So, well done. You highlighted the flaw in your reasoning, clicked post anyway, made yourself look asinine and saved me the time. Except I still couldn't resist drawing attention to it. I suck at internet.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        perhaps It's not clear enough

        I was trying to ask the question 'why, as a manufacturer, would you deliberately tie yourself into a a market differentiated solely on price?'

        The point about laptops is that (if you are foolish enough to go into a highstreet vendor' you will see shelves of almost identical products all proudly showing windows 7 on one of two sizes of screen. Microsoft have worked very hard to make this happen. They want the consumer to think that Windows is a computer and a computer is windows. Alternatives are just for geeks, wierdos or the terminally aspirational.

        The PC/laptop manufacturers work on very slim margins because they cannot differentiate their product (notice Apple have high margins because they can). To me, this appears similar to the gestating WinPhone market. The kind of market that Microsoft likes. Like an arms dealer supplying weapons to both sides Microsoft cannot loose. So, what's in it for Nokia? they just become one of the herd. How can they win on price against the Chinese who are already there? How can they win on design when Microsoft lock down the options? How can they win on additional features when there is an open 'apps market'? If Microsoft give them special privileges the other manufactures will revolt. If they don't Nokia will die.

        With Android they can use their own UI. With Symbian they can point to efficiency. With Windows they can only do the same as everyone else. I just don't get it.

    2. whiteafrican

      @Magnus_Pym

      Sure, as long as you only read comments on internet forums and never ever actually look at the phones themselves, then that opinion will remain valid... on the other hand, WP7 phones have:

      - large screens (HTC 7) or smaller ones (Trophy)

      - choice of memory capacity (it's just a standard MicroSDHC card, but unfortunately if you buy the phone from an operator they will make that choice for you, although you can always upgrade it yourself... if you own a Torx T6 screwdriver...)

      - Standard cameras (Optimus 7) or 8mp + Xenon flash (Mozart - which also has Dolby speakers)

      - Metal bodies (Mozart) or plastic ones (Trophy)

      - landscape keyboards (HTC 7 Pro) or portrait keyboards (Venue Pro)

      Admittedly that's not as broad a range as you'd get on Android at present, but compare it to the first generation of any other phone OS:

      - Android had just one option (G1).

      - WebOS had two (I think?)

      - iOS... just kidding. There has only ever been one option there.

      - Blackberry... OK, I'll be honest, I don't think I even remember the first generation of Blackberries... anyone?

      The point you appear to have missed (and lots of people have missed it, so you're not alone) is that MS didn't "lock down" the hardware, as you put it. They simply wrote a *MINIMUM* spec level - to stop OEMs using crappy parts (which most people would see as a good thing). But MS only wrote one set of hardware drivers, and none of the OEMs bothered to write their own (which is understandble, given the unproven nature of the OS, but also explains why WP7s all use the same processor). The reason your conclusion about Nokia is erroneous is that if Nokia can be bothered to write its own drivers, it can use any hardware it likes. Thus, the "race-to-the-bottom" scenario, while dangerous, is easily avoidable if Nokia make an effort. If they don't, then they deserve to fail.

      1. Magnus_Pym

        And this is...

        ... makes it different from the price driven consumer laptop market because... ?

        1. whiteafrican

          @Magnus_Pym

          My post was mostly aimed at your answer to your own question "what's in it for Nokia?" (and the suggestion that there is no customization in WP7).

          I pretty much agree that there are similarities between the WP7 market and the laptop market... just like there are similarities between Android and the laptop market.

  5. David Lucke

    Memory?

    "8GB of memory, which you can’t expand"

    Yeah.

    Next!

    Hang on a minute, though - "So far, there’s really very little difference between WP7 handsets – they’ve all got broadly similar functionality and features"

    I haven't really been paying much attention to the WinMo7 phones (whacking great blue or orange squares everywhere, god that inteface is ugly), does this mean they all have fuck all storage and no expansion? And they're really expected to go head to head with iPhone and Android? Not going to happen, not at the high end.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Expansion cards

      I can understand why MS have fobbed off this issue. If you let phones have expansion cards you have to deal with users inserting / removing them at inopportune times which means mounting / unmounting them, firing system events, making your apps cope with weird edge cases. By simply not supporting expansion cards you save yourself a major QA headache.

      On top of that is the issue of what do you allow users to put on the cards. Do you let them install apps to the cards? Or DRM'd content? What happens if an app / song is installed onto the card, running and the user removes it etc.? Android 2.2 eventually allowed apps to install their resources on an external card by storing the files inside encrypted loopback devices but it can still get clobbered by users removing cards.

      I expect MS will figure it out, but it's another sign that the platform is immature. Of course they might disallow external storage forever and go down the same path of control freakery that Apple is famous for, preventing users from copying any files to or from the phone without using Microsoft's sync software as the conduit and arbiter of what is allowed and what isn't.

      1. The Original Steve
        Stop

        Wrong

        Microsoft do not ban or not support expandable storage - just removable.

        http://windowsphonesecrets.com/2010/10/12/windows-phone-7-and-removable-storage/

        E.g. you can insert a 32Gb card if you wish. Just don't expect to be able to take it out of the handset and read it from a PC on a whim.

        1. Ilgaz

          why?

          so why can symbian users take out memory card, plug to pc and see its contents or even disk check it? No horror stories either.

          Such comments makes you see what kind of a horrifying mistake nokia did.

          1. whiteafrican

            @Ilgaz

            "so why can symbian users take out memory card, plug to pc and see its contents or even disk check it?"

            For the same reason that you can do that with a windows mobile (i.e. pre-WP7 phone) - namely, the OS manufacturer let you do it. BUT that presents a huge problem in a modern phone OS (particularly one that stores apps on a memory card), because if there is one thing developers hate, it's people sharing their apps for free. If WP7 let you swap out cards as you saw fit, then it would be difficult to stop people from doing this. So, in order to assure developers that this would not be a problem with WP7, MS decided to utilise the "secure" part of the "secure digital" name. You can insert any MicroSDHC card into a WP7, and it will format it and secure it, after which it will work fine with that phone, but you won't be able to use the card in any other machine.

            From a consumer's point of view, it's not ideal, but it's difficult to see how else to keep developers happy. Unhappy developers would leave, leading to unhappy consumers in the long run. Consequently, Nokia's (and MS's) choice looks like the right one for the long haul.

            1. Ilgaz

              huh?

              There is no such luxury of installing everything, especially payware, large games to C: drive which is very unique in eyes of platform security. E.g. you aren't installing trolltech qt framework to memory card because it will be simply ignored.

              I better give another example. Ovi store defaults to memory card for apps installed. That is how much precious the C: is.

              So how come there aren't any horror stories? Basically fail safe development with physical security. not caching writes, forcing user to remove battery if you don't have hot swap code for that model (some s40s) , ensure platform core level things aren't installed to mem card, make the entire os in a way that everything can be quit.

              There is a reason why we say nokia idiots wasted an os which was designed for mobile from first line of boot code. Another great unique British OS wasted and foreigners feel more pity.

  6. Lottie

    Torn...

    I'm really torn on WinPho mobiles. The hardware is fairly neat (with the exception of the camera!) and it looks like a really nice user experience, but I really dislike the idea of having to use Zune for syncing and whatnot. It's the same with Apple. I don't want to use iTunes to transfer data.

    It's a shame, because I think that one issue alone rather leaves what could be a nice piece of kit a little hamstrung.

    1. Jim Coleman
      Pint

      Relax...

      Zune is infinitely better than iTunes, you needn't fear using it. It actually makes syncing media to your phone really, really easy. Pictures, video, music, podcasts, zune channels, the lot. It also performs phone backups and Wifi syncing, as well as pulling photos and videos off your phone into your libraries.

      It's a lot more functional than direct USB mass storage.

      For instance, if I drag an artist onto my phone icon, it doesn't just copy all the music by that artist onto the device. It also creates a sync object for the artist, which means if I buy new music by that artist, it will automatically get put onto the phone. That is the kind of grooviness Zune provides that mass storage does not.

  7. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    Yuck

    Windows 7? No thanks, I have long passed the days of regedit..

    1. Jim Coleman
      FAIL

      Correction

      Windows 7 <> Windows Phone 7.

      Please attempt accuracy, it saves you looking like an idiot

      1. Ilgaz

        no regedit but no registry?

        sure ms found how to deal with preferences like unix or os x? E.g. tiny xml fies? Would you be surprised if these not windows phone things have ntuser.dat files?

  8. Christian Briddon
    Thumb Up

    WinPho7 Rocks!

    I've had an HD7 for a few months now and love it. The interface is brilliant and while not perfect which phone OS is?

    I'm looking forward to the update as I miss copy and paste from my iphone but that is the only thing I miss.

    I also love Zune. I have a Zune pass and I can download or stream all the music I want. I also don't have to use iTunes any more which is a blessing. iTunes is possibly the worst piece of software ever written.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Shades
      Thumb Up

      Good spot...

      ... eagle eyes! ;)

    2. Jim Coleman
      FAIL

      OMG

      Tell me you're joking, no-one could possibly be that.....oh dear gods.

    3. fandom Silver badge

      QWERTZ

      The photo is likely to be of a telephone made for Germany.

  10. Mahou Saru

    Nice KB

    WP7 aside, HTC have made a nice looking bit of kit there. Love the KB and it has numbers!!!

  11. present_arms

    yep

    Y and Z are reversed, maybe a euro keyboard layout (just surmising) :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's german

    QWERTZ is the German key layout. They use Z a lot in German and Y not a lot, kind of the reverse to English, hence the switcharoo.

    I worked in Germany for a year and it took me ages to unlearn that layout.

  13. Morris Maynard
    Happy

    re: it's german

    dann wo is der ümlaut?

    And what is that funny "e" looking symbol on the "E" key? Is it supposed to be some kind of substutute for the missing "$" sign?

    1. Atonnis
      Thumb Up

      Maybe...

      ...they decided that piddly little unimportant currencies could get shoved into a secondary window... ;-D

    2. eek the geek

      That would be the Euro symbol

      You know, the money they spend in... Europe!

      And it can hardly be a substitute for the $ that is still clearly visible on the number 4 key now, can it?

    3. Jaruzel

      Seriously?

      It's the Euro symbol: €

      Over here in the place where the history comes from, we have no need for your funny monopoly money.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Does it brick when you update ?

    Be interesting to see.

    1. Atonnis

      Bricked? Nope...

      The reports of 'bricking' have been grossly overexaggerated...mostly by the Apple+Android fanmedia.

      Bricking means a phone is rendered useless. MS have already given a workaround on how to sort out the problem, IF it occurs. Personally I updated my Omnia 7 using my Win7 x64 setup without the slightest hitch.

      In truth, I'm more of the belief that the phones that had update problems were likely due to the devices having modified builds by the vendors. I updated my Omnia 7's firmware from that stupidly locked-down T-Mobile firmware (that blocked you from updating the firmware if you didn't have the correct jig) and onto the proper Samsung firmware for the device and haven't experienced a single problem.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I wonder how many

    Uninformed people will buy this because they think of HTC being Android, and then find out to their dismay they have been landed with a unwanted lame-horse of a WinMo7 phone?

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Jim Coleman
      Flame

      Gordon F Bennett, esq

      Where to begin?

      3 years behind state of the art? Actually most people agree WP7 is the NEXT generation, the social media integration, fluidity, live tiles and hubs being way beyond Android and iOS.

      Cut & paste is arriving in 2 weeks

      It is NOT "Win CE6.5" you have no idea what you're talking about. It's not "backwards compatible" because it's a new OS. Cut and Paste hasn't "been removed" it just hasn't been added yet.

      The update bricked a very small percentage of phones with particular firmware from one manufacturer, try not to exaggerate.

      85% is a perfectly reasonable score for this phone.

      You really need to drop the hatred and go try out WP7, or else get yourself a blow job, you seem to be in more dire need of one than anyone I've ever come across.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        WTF?

        Are you

        George Michael?

      2. Magnus_Pym

        Er

        "Actually most people agree WP7 is the NEXT generation,"

        Got any figures on that?

        1. dogged
          Boffin

          I doubt it

          (For the record, I do not (currently) own any smartphone and would be shot if I took one to work anyway. My employers have men with guns and a very unforgiving attitude).

          However, I suspect people who bought one like it, much the the same way people who bought Android phones and iPhones seem to like them. They like them enough to pour hatred on any phone that isn't what they bought on Internet forums, for example.

          I hope all smartphone platforms continue to do well and compete as it's good for customers although maybe not Apple because they're bad for developers. Go WebOS! Get some dev tools out there!

  17. Magnus Ramage

    Reminiscent...

    That fold-out and swing-up keyboard reminds me a lot of the Psion 5 and Revo. It was a really great design, very useful. Except the internal screen ribbon cable frayed on both of mine, making for a very wonky screen display...

    Now that Nokia have divested themselves of the last legacy of Psion (with the switch-off of Symbian), are HTC picking up the baton?

    (Where is the old-codger, been around too long, icon?)

    1. Jaruzel
      Thumb Up

      HTC have many...

      I currently use a HTC TouchPro2 and before that a HTC TyTN II - both of which have slide out and fold up keyboards. Unfortunately they are also WinMobile 6.5 so completely lacking in useful apps and large finger friendly icons...

      Thankfully, HTC seem committed to keeping usable (unlike some of the android models I've seen) keyboards on their high end phones, so much so that I *may* be tempted to go the WinPhone7 route after all...

  18. h4rm0ny
    Thumb Down

    Business use?

    Unlike some here, I'm not going to make unsupported and billious attacks on the MS phones. WP7 is clean and modern and fine. But what it isn't, is a business phone. Nothing can be a business phone whilst I have to manage everything on it via some proprietary, install-required software (Zune) and whilst it has Facebook integration built in. If I can't manage the phone myself (i.e. not using Zune) and I can't remove all the Facebook crap, then it ain't a business phone to me.

    1. Jim Coleman
      Thumb Up

      OK....

      You don't have to enable the facebook support if you don't want to, it's not obligatory by any means. Also, Zune is used primarily for media sync to your phone, so if you're using it for Business, you won't need Zune at all, except for doing OS updates, and let's face it, OS updates have to be handled by some piece of software or other, and it may as well be Zune, which is a well liked app.

      For putting office files on your phone, there's sharepoint support, and coming soon is full Skydrive support too.

      So put down your axe, switch off the grinder, and enjoy.

  19. Wang N Staines

    What a pile

    of human waste... 85%? more like 25%...

    1. Jim Coleman
      Joke

      Hang on a minute...

      Why are yo utalking about Android reviews here?

      1. Paul M 1

        title

        Hang on Jim, I thought the whole point of astroturfing is that you are supposed to look like a normal punter...

  20. Levente Szileszky
    FAIL

    As of today WP7 is missing HALF THE FEATURE of any other smartphone OS...

    ...as Wikipedia pretty well shows it:

    Features removed from Windows Mobile

    Windows Phone 7 lacks some features that were found in earlier versions of Windows Mobile. Among the features that have been confirmed to arrive in the near-future include cut, copy, and paste,[74] full multitasking for 3rd party apps,[75] and Adobe Flash.[76] Windows Phone 7 supports upgradable storage via an SD Card; however SD card memory is merged with the phone's internal storage, and changing the SD card causes the phone to reset to factory settings.[77][78] Windows Phone 7 does not support connecting to Wi-Fi (wireless) access points which are hidden[79] or have a static IP address,[80] tethering to a computer[81] (although it can be done via a hack on the Samsung Focus[82]), videocalling,[83] VoIP calling,[84] USB mass-storage,[85] universal email inbox,[85] universal search,[85] a system-wide file manager,[83] Bluetooth file transfers,[83] USSD messages,[86] or custom ringtones.[87]

    Windows Phone 7 devices only support syncing with Exchange ActiveSync[88] over the network. There is no support for syncing with Exchange ActiveSync using a cable or cradle.

    In the enterprise, Windows Phone 7 does not support Office documents with security permissions,[89] IPsec security,[90] on-device encryption,[91] strong passwords,[80] or internet sockets.[84] While the older Windows Mobile phones supported the full range of Microsoft Exchange Server policies, Windows Phone 7 only supports a small subset of Exchange features.[92] The Calendar app no longer has a 'Weekly' view.[80] The list of past phone calls is now a single list, and cannot be separated into inbound, outbound or missed calls.[80]

    There you go, your 85% and all the paid astroturfers of Microsoft like Jim etc.

    FAIL as in M-I-C-R-O-S-O-F-T.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    not android

    Got the mrs a Samsung Galaxy S and have had nothing but problems. Known issue corrupts a file and stops it picking up wireless. Rooting it requires third party software which doesn't work (and many users report it bricks phone, so maybe I was lucky). Fixing the wireless issue (well, clearing it until next time) requires command-line stuff. Android app store says 'no devices' on the account, even though there are... hundreds of complaints on same thread in Google's help site for past few weeks, no response from Google.

    Android just is not ready to run phones for normal consumers. And it's free, so no support. Apple has nailed a consumer-friendly phone OS, but its expensive.

    I didn't fancy MS's chances much, but the general crapness of Android and the requirement to be a unix-bod to fix many problems means MS might just have a chance if they can produce something as friendly as iOS on devices that are much cheaper.

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