This is a phone that, like the HTC Legend, is created from one single piece of aluminium. It makes the device sturdy, solid and cool to hold. The HTC 7 Mozart has hi-fi audio, with SRS WOW HD sound for an improved audio experience. The Zune music interface is enhanced with a Music and Videos hub plus an in-built FM radio.
Windows Phone 7 is the OS – that’s an all-new OS that we have already written a great deal about so we won’t be looking too much at the OS in this review. Click on to this article to get all the Windows Phone 7 information.
If you’re after a quick-fix we have our usual overview videos..
So, what marks this particular Windows Phone 7 out from the crowd? That 8 megapixel camera with xenon flash and HD video recording is one, the cool styling and sold one-piece build quality is another. Specs also include a 3.7″ 480×800 WVGA screen, 1GHz CPU, 1300 mAh battery, GPS, 8GB of internal storage, 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB charging / Zune connectivity, G-Sensor, digital compass, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. You get on the web via 3G or WiFi and you can use Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP for wireless stereo headsets.
Up top there’s the earpiece with LED’s behind for indicating charging and network activity. This actually takes up just over half the width of the handset.
Above this is the 3.5mm audio port which is nicely sliced into the top of the device and the power button you’ll need to tap to wake the device.
Down the right side is the camera button. This has some extra functions – you can tap it and focus, press and hold to take the snap. The flash will trigger when needed.
Down bottom is the back button, which … well, you know. The Windows key, which will click you back to the main home screen, and finally the search button. This will do slightly different types of searches depending on what application you’re using. These are all touch-sensitive buttons on a smooth polished surface.
Down bottom is the microphone and lanyard loop, whilst on the left is the microUSB port for connecting to the charger or your computer. Above that are the volume controls.
Around back that single piece of aluminium slices out two triangular-shaped sections. The upper part houses the 8 megapixel camera and xenon flash. At the bottom, behind the Orange and Windows Phone logo, you can drop down the lower section to reveal the battery and SIM card slot.
The rear plate, once removed, has two connectors – these, we assume, are for the antenna.
Inside HTC have added the HTC Hub for downloadable apps and games. A Sound Enhancer application gives a better listening experience, a gorgeous weather feature with floating clouds, rain and sun and more. The Windows Phone 7 OS is pretty identical on each device, so we again invite you to check out full OS review. The OS is, however, peppered with Orange applications. Network-provided applications can be a marmite (love it or hate it) affair. Here Orange have done well, with many useful apps like Orange Wednesdays (an offer providing two cinema tickets for the price of one on Wednesdays), Orange Maps, Orange Daily and Your Orange for managing your mobile account, Magic Numbers, help features and so on.
The Zune software is also a leap forward for Microsoft. Sync, buy and transfer your music, videos and pictures easily to and from the phone. The SRS WOW audio gave the sound output a fresh and rounded.
8 Megapixels. Gotta be good, right? Well yes. This thing will focus as you film and records great 720p HD videos, however we found that normal shots and parts of the videos would have some sort of weird light-balance issue which I just couldn’t pin-point. I’m not saying it’s bad, and the xenon flash certainly helped a great deal in low light, I’m just saying that some shots came out a little differently than I would’ve expected.
Some example shots can be found below. As usual these are direct from the device – click on to see each one in the original format or try the slideshow. Don’t forget that you can fire up the camera by just pressing and holding the camera button. Sometimes, in low light especially, the camera can fail to focus – but this is something we’ve seen on other phones when they can’t actually “see” anything to focus on.
The Windows Phone 7 OS review is available here. All of the screenshots in that review show the Orange-branded HTC 7 Mozart on the left. Apart from the Orange apps it’s not overly customized, but that’s also because (in this version) you’re not able to customize it a great deal.
The HTC 7 Mozart is the ideal size and shape for me. It looks good, it feels solid and is the sort of handset I’d be looking at. However, on a wider point I’d perhaps prefer this phone if it ran Android. I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s perhaps the hardware I’d like to see more of on the Android platform. This, however, is the all-new OS from Microsoft and it works well.
The battery life what I’d expect from a bells-and-whistles smartphone. GPS, WiFi, 3G connectivity and Bluetooth plus a full colour screen will stress any battery. The GPS lock is fast, the OS is quick and it boots up briskly.
Sure, I’d like a little more storage or at least the ability to add some. Sure, I’d like a few more apps to choose from too, perhaps the ability to add my own ringtones (which Windows Phone 7 can’t do as yet), even a little copy and paste action – but let’s not forget that Microsoft can roll out updates without too many barriers.
This is still a very decent phone and a very decent spec. HTC, as usual, have done a stunning job with the build and their small chance to show off (within the HTC Hub) is just brilliant. The Orange integration, which they too can only do through the tiles, is great and Microsoft have ensured that each app works the same to give everything a familiar feel, although we’d prefer a little more customization. As we write this (November 2010) you can’t even add your own ringtones, but hopefully Microsoft will correct this in a future update.
Overall then, a very capable, well put-together device.
Link – HTC 7 Mozart (Orange Shop)