The HTC HD7 is basically a tweaked edition of the company’s HD2 handset, except this time it runs Windows Phone 7 rather than the clunky, old Windows Mobile OS. Both handsets look remarkably similar and share much of the same hardware, but can a phone that
uses components that were cutting edge back in 2009, still hold it’s own against more up-to-date models?
When the HD2 launched in late 2009 most people expected it to be upgradeable to Windows Phone 7 when the new OS appeared. Unfortunately that proved not to be the case, as Microsoft rejected it because it didn’t conform to its new hardware spec for Windows Phone
7 handsets. It had more than three buttons on the front and also lacked dedicated search and camera keys – so it didn’t make the cut on the minimum hardware requirements. However, the HD2 had been a popular phone, so HTC decided to re-jig the design to fit
the new spec and re-launched it as the HD7.
Because it packs in a big 4.3inch screen, the HD7 is obviously a large phone. However, the thin bezel around the display and the slimness of the chassis means that although it feels noticeably larger in your hand than the likes of the HTC Mozart it’s not monstrously
so, and is much more comfortable to hold than the thick and chunky Dell Venue Pro even though that handset is slightly narrower.
Along with the usual Windows, search and back buttons at the bottom of the screen, there’s also a dual function power and lock button at the top of the phone and a volume rocker switch and dedicated camera button on the right hand side. One of the things we
love about Windows Phone is the way you can jump straight to the camera, even when the phone is locked, just by holding down the camera button.
The HD7’s camera is a 5 megapixel model with autofocus and dual LED flash. As well as taking stills shots it can also record video at 720p HD resolution. Snaps look crisp and detailed, but colour reproduction isn’t wonderful and it has a tendency to burn
out highlights when taking pictures outdoors when there’s lots of bright sun light. Indoors, the dual LED flash helps the camera to take better than average shots, although as with most LED flashes it tends to cast quite a harsh, cold light on proceedings,
so portraits don’t look very flattering. Video recordings in 720p are pretty average too, as there’s quite a lot of blocking when there’s plenty of movement in the frame
Overall the HTC HD7 is powerful smartphone, packed with a relatively new but highly impressive Windows 7 based Operating system. If your looking to get away from all the hooplah around the iPhone 4, and the latest 4s and also looking to get a cheaper deal
relative to the iPhone this is the phone to go for.