HTC HD7 (T-Mobile)
Typical Price: $259.99
CNET Editors' Rating: 4.0 / 5
The good: The HTC HD7 features a large 4.3-inch display and has a solid build quality and integrated kickstand. The Windows Phone 7 device offers full wireless options, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture, and 16GB of internal memory.
The bad: The HD7 is on the bigger side and lacks expandable memory. Speaker is weak. Touch screen isn't quite as sharp or vibrant as the latest devices.
The bottom line: The hardware could use a bit of updating, but the HTC HD7 for T-Mobile combines the power of Windows Phone 7 with a large touch screen and delivers satisfying performance.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
The HTC HD7 is T-Mobile's first Windows Phone 7 device and makes its debut on November 8, along with the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround for AT&T. The HD7, however, holds the distinction of having the largest display of any Windows Phone 7 handset in the U.S., and certainly the extra screen real estate plays well with the platform's multimedia and gaming abilities. That said, it doesn't have the crispness and vibrancy of some of the latest smartphone displays, and in general, we would have liked to see more improvements or upgrades to the HD7 in comparison to its predecessor, the HTC HD2, as the two phones share the same screen, processor, and battery. Still, the HD7 performs well and as we discussed in our review of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's revamped mobile operating system is solid, so if you crave a big display, the HD7 is the way to go. The HTC HD7 will cost $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Of the Windows Phone 7 devices we've reviewed so far--the Samsung Focus and the HTC Surround--the HTC HD7 is certainly the most eye-catching. For one, it's the largest of the group, taking after its predecessor, the HTC HD2. The smartphone measures 4.8 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick and weighs 5.7 ounces. The size won't appeal to everyone, as it is a handful, but to HTC's credit, the company kept the handset pretty thin so you can still manage to slip it into a pants pocket. The build quality of the phone is solid, and the soft-touch finish on the back prevents it from feeling too plasticky and slick.
Of course, the whole reason for the HD7's bigger size is the 4.3-inch touch screen. It's currently the largest display offered on a Windows Phone 7 device here in the U.S. There are several benefits to that. The extra screen real estate makes it great for multimedia, playing games, and Web browsing--features which are well-implemented on Windows Phone 7. When the Amazon Kindle app for Windows Phone 7 is released, you'll also be able to read e-books right on the phone.
Another advantage is that you get a larger keyboard. Windows Phone 7 already offers a pretty great and accurate keyboard, and we had no problems using it on the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround, but we did find we were able to type much faster using the HD7. One thing that doesn't change, however, is the number of tiles and apps that are viewable from the Start screen and apps menu list. They're simply enlarged on the HD7, so you're seeing the same amount that you would on the Focus or Surround.
The touch screen is responsive. Apps and hubs launched as soon as we tapped on the tiles or shortcuts, and we were able to quickly move through the hubs. Scrolling and pinch-to-zoom were also smooth. Overall, the display is bright and clear, showing off 480x800 pixels, but we definitely noticed a difference in quality compared with some of the higher-resolution displays on some of the today's latest smartphones. It just wasn't as sharp or crisp as some of the latest smartphones, and colors looked a bit dull compared with the Super AMOLED screen on the Focus. It's not a deal breaker, and the touch screen works well with Windows Phone 7; we just think the experience could have been that much better with a sharper display.
Below the display, you will find the back, start, and search buttons, which are required by Microsoft. They're of the touch-sensitive variety, but there are also several physical buttons on the device, including a volume rocker and a camera key on the right side, and a power button on top of the phone.
Rounding out things is a Micro-USB port and a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack on the bottom, and the camera and dual-LED flash on back. HTC cleverly incorporated a metal kickstand around the latter. There's a small gap where you can use your finger to pop the kickstand open and lay the phone on a flat surface so you can enjoy videos and music hands-free. The phone's speakers are visible just above and below the touch screen.
The HTC HD7 comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a wired stereo headset, and reference material.
We won't dive into every feature of Windows Phone 7 here; you can read more about the operating system in our in-depth review here. Instead, for this review, we'll focus more on the features that are specific to the HTC HD7.
The phone features are pretty much what you would expect: quad-band world roaming, a speakerphone, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calling, voice dialing, and text and multimedia messaging. The HD7 doesn't support T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, but it is 3G-capable and has Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS. As a limitation of Windows Phone 7, there is no tethering support right now.
Though customization is limited on Windows Phone 7, OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and carrier partners can still put their own spin on the devices, and T-Mobile and HTC have done so. On the HTC side, the company has added its own HTC Hub (also available as a live tile) where you will find some old HTC favorites like its animated clock and weather widget, as well as HTC apps.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile has preloaded the smartphone with a number of extras, including Slacker, Netflix, TeleNav GPS Navigator, and T-Mobile TV. The latter lets you stream live and on-demand content from channels such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, ESPN, and VH1. You get a 30-day complimentary trial of the service, but afterward you will need to pay a $9.99-per-month subscription fee. The HD7 is also the first device to come with T-Mobile's Family Room app. Here you can share calendar events, notes, and photos with a user-defined group of family members.
Of course, you can download more apps from the Windows Phone Marketplace. At launch, Microsoft estimates that there will be 1,000 apps in the store, with several hundred apps planned for release each week until the end of the year. You can check out some of the available titles in our hands-on gallery of Windows Phone 7 apps.
Be aware that the HTC HD7 has 16GB of internal memory but no expansion slot. This should be enough for most people, but if you've got a huge multimedia library or like to load up your phone with apps and games, keep an eye on your available memory. One tip for freeing up storage while still being able to enjoy tunes is to stream music from services, such as Zune Pass, Slacker, and I Heart Radio, or use the Zune's built-in radio.
The minimum camera requirement for Windows Phone 7 is 5 megapixels, and that's exactly what you get with the HTC HD7. The camera has various settings, including six different resolutions, effects, scenes, and flicker adjustment. HTC also offers a free Photo Enhancer app--available as a free download from the HTC Hub or Windows Phone Marketplace--that allows you to touch up photos and add effects.
It certainly came in handy; the picture quality on our standard camera phone shot didn't turn out all that great. With the autoflash setting, images came out pinkish and soft, but when we turned the flash on, it was too harsh. That's when we turned to the "Auto enhance" option in Photo Enhancer app. Though it didn't improve the sharpness all that much, it did do away with some of the pinkish hue and brightened up the photo overall. The camera did much better with outdoor shots, producing clear shots with more accurate colors. It's also capable of HD video capture. Video quality was decent but also could have a slightly hazy effect to it.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) HTC HD7 in New York using T-Mobile service, and call quality was good. On our end of the conversation, the audio was rich without any type of voice distortion. We detected some slight background hissing but nothing that interrupted or distracted us from the conversation. Meanwhile, friends had mostly positive things to say, though one caller did mention that our voice occasionally sounded muffled, but again, not enough to disrupt the call.
HTC HD7 call quality sample Listen now:
Unfortunately, speakerphone quality wasn't all that great. Even with the volume cranked up to the highest level, we had a hard time hearing our callers in a room with an open window, and voices sounded tinny. Our callers also reported that we sounded far away. On the bright side, we had no problems pairing the smartphone with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset or the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones.
As we mentioned earlier, the HTC HD7 doesn't support T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, but we still had good data speeds over its regular 3G network. CNET's full site loaded in 16 seconds, while CNN and ESPN's mobile sites loaded in 8 seconds and 5 seconds, respectively. YouTube videos took a few seconds to load but played back without interruption and with synchronized audio and video. T-Mobile TV episodes also took several seconds to load, but looked great on the HD7's large screen. As you would expect, video quality was better over a strong Wi-Fi network than over a 3G connection.
The HTC HD7 is equipped with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB ROM/576MB RAM. The processor isn't the next-gen Snapdragon processor found in the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G; in fact, it's the same processor found in the HD2. It would have been nice if there had been more hardware upgrades, including the processor and display, but the smartphone was generally responsive during our review period. Applications launched almost immediately, and we didn't experience any major delays or crashes. However, as on the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround, it took a little while for Xbox Live games to load, but once going, the gameplay was smooth and fun.
The HTC HD7 ships with a 1,230mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 6.5 hours and up to 14.5 days of standby time. It's a smaller battery for a device of its stature, so that's a bit disappointing. We certainly noticed an effect on battery life when we played games and watched video. However, the smartphone did meet its rated talk time in our battery drain tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the HD7 has a digital SAR rating of 1.15 watts per kilogram.
|Cellular technology||WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM|
|Band / mode||WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900|
|Short Messaging Service (SMS)||Yes|
|Combined with||With digital camera|
|OS provided||Microsoft Windows Phone 7|
|Included accessories||Power adapter|
Average User Rating: 4.0 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 36
4 Star: 16
3 Star: 4
2 Star: 6
1 Star: 6
Exceeded My High Expectations!
Rating: 5 / 5
on March 2, 2011
22 out of 25 users found this review helpful
Pros: + Clean, uncluttered interface
+ Very responsive
+ Extremely stable
+ 16gb of onboard memory
+ Multiple MS Exchange server accounts allowed
+ Call quality (clarity) is decent
+ Screen colors are natural though a bit washed out
Cons: - Non-removable memory
- Battery life is bad (OK, I am pushing 3 email accounts)
- Picture quality is less than expected
Summary: I've had the HD7 for about 10 days, now, and am extremely pleased. My previous smartphone was a Blackberry Curve, which was a great phone when I bought it, but it had gotten pretty out-of-date. But my university has a contract with ATT, and my RIM was with T-Mobile, and we never got the Blackberry to sync with the Exchange server. So I decided that my next phone would be a Windows phone, but held out for WP7.
I'm thrilled with the easy integration with the Exchange server. All I had to do was enter my network ID and password, and the Exchange server name, and it immediately synchronized. You do this by choosing manual configuration. The phone also keeps track of my Hotmail and Gmail accounts, but allows me to keep them separate, which is good. My Outlook calendar has its own hub on the start page, and when I come out of stand-by the phone automatically displays my next appointment on Outlook. You don't have to sync with Exchange on you desktop or laptop, the phone syncs automatically over the phone network.
I really like the People Hub. It synchronizes my contacts across Facebook, Twitter and my Outlook address book. I've pinned my wife's icon to the start page, and with one click I can choose between calls to her cell, to home, text to the cell, email, or checking her last Facebook posting. Same for my kids.
There are great Facebook and Twitter apps available that do everything I want very easily. Also very satisfied with the weather, news, and tech news apps I've downloded. I've also added a really cool flashlight app that has my friends with iPhones jealous.
I was surprised to find an Office hub. It has mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I can open all the attachments I receive by email, and can even edit them and email them. There is an Adobe reader, as well, for PDF. The PowerPoint slides are very clear, and you can zoom them, as well. Haven't tried to connect to an external display, but the output port is micro USB, so it should be easy.
The Pictures hub is really interesting. Not only can I use the Zune software interface on my PC to move pictures from my PC to the phone, but the hub also consolidates pictures from Facebook and I can browse my friends Facebook pictures from it, as well.
The phone comes with IE as the browser, but I have no complaints. It's quite fast, though it doesn't support flash, yet. Click on the hardware search button and if I'm on the start screen I go to Bing, but if I'm on the web it goes to Google. I've also added a Google search app that I've pinned to the start page.
The maps are beautiful and well integrated with the GPS, so it's easy to locate yourself on a map of where ever your are, with good search options for local search. Much superior to the map/search integration on my old Blackberry Curve.
I'm not a gamer, but had no trouble finding Tetris, Solitare and Blockbreaker apps.
Overall, I give the phone 5 stars. It was worth the wait. It does everything I had hoped and has even exceeded by highest expectations. I'm looking forward to the first upgrades, as I do miss the cut-and-paste and Flash. But I'm quite happy with the phone and will gladly wait.
*** If you will buy this Smartphone I suggest at: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0046RERVQ?ie=UTF8&tag=***************&********=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&************=B0046RERVQ
Worthy Sucessor of the HTC HD2.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on November 6, 2010
8 out of 9 users found this review helpful
Pros: The size doesn't overwhelm, impresive stats,amazing amount of internal memory, plus almost all of its hardware on par with other phones, unforunately it doesn't break any new ground as its suggested it will do.
Cons: the screen looks dull because of the area the pixels are spread over, while the size is always a pro, it's also always a con, and theres no exandable memory i dont undertsand why HTC would do that, especailly when its facing competition on launch.
Summary: While the screen may look dull the extra screen real estate more than makes up when viewing webpages or watching video, Then one major problem that HTC built for itself is no expandable memory slot, and i seriously dont understand why they would do that, especially when they are facing so much competition from other maufactures on launch day no less. Then we get to bittersweet part, the size while it may be too big for some people, no one out there can say that they would enjoy watching watching video's on a 3.5 or 3.8 or even a 4.0 inche screen then they would on this screen, plus the big size compliments some of Microsoft's built in features like the office suite on the go will be easier to view and edit on the screen, while downlaoding games from Xbox live it wil be easier to play games on this bigger screen.While it may not bre ak barriers as people may have expected, the HD7 is more than a solid smartphone in all affairs work or play. Most of the con's aren't unsolvable, and it all adds up to a satisfying smartphone experience.
Awesome phone with TONS of cool features.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on December 2, 2010
5 out of 5 users found this review helpful
Pros: Operating system, stylish, awesome screen, very roomy keyboard, bright camera flash, extremely fast and smooth processor, windows phone applications are great, very customizable, Zune interface is absolutely tremendous, EXCELLENT call quality.
Cons: Minor glitches, camera could be better, cannot save text messages to drafts.
Summary: So I've been dying to get my hands on this phone for a little while now, and today I used my 2-yr contract extension upgrade ON TOP of a $100 credit, and got the phone for roughly $150 ($100 counting mail-in rebate). I have to say, after using the phone for around 10 hours now, I have explored just about the entire phone.
The operating system is beautiful and smooth, transition effects are great, and notifications are very clear and easy to navigate. You have options to synchronize facebook, email, and other applications' contacts with your phone's contact book, which is very handy. Also, the in-house Windows-branded applications use the same interface as say the Zune, with the whole "Carousel" menu thingy. Facebook application is great and fast, Netflix is easy to navigate, and Xbox Live as well.
When you first set up the phone, you put in your Windows Live ID which immediately logs you into your applications.
There are essentially three different types of app-markets, the Windows Market, the HTC market, and the Xbox Live market. There are tons of great apps, and are of much higher quality than Android's. (Not nearly as many, but as the saying goes, "Quality, not Quantity").
The camera takes decent but not stellar pictures, and the flash is VERY, VERY bright (Understatement!!! - this thing could light up an entire city). The biggest problem with the HTC HD7 I found was the interface for the camera, unfortunately. This phone is capable of 5MP still images and 720p HD video recording, however, when you record a video, the default setting is VGA 540x480, and when you want to record in HD, you simply press the settings button and change the quality. However, the proble, is, this changes back EVERY time you close the camera. So next time you open the camera app, the settings restore to default. There is even a setting for "Restore default settings", so this is obviously an early-OS glitch that will most likely be fixed. Not a big deal really, just a small annoyance.
The claim to fame on the Windows Phone 7 would have to be the User Interface. Everything is very pretty, very easy to navigate, simplistic, not overdone, and extremely customizable.
Heavy texters will love this phone as well, believe it or not. Typically touch-only phones aren't the text-fiend's best friend, but as someone who sent and received over 12,000 text messages last month, I have to say, transitioning from a full QWERTY keyboard to THIS phone was very easy. In fact, I feel as if I text even faster now. Unfortunately, there is no Swype, YET, but the auto-correction and massive screen are a piece of cake to use to send your 400 texts a minute.
Another thing I absolutely have to mention is that the call quality is FANTASTIC. The speaker on the phone is very loud (the back speaker is great too for speakerphone and music), and the microphone picks up crystal clear and cancels out external noise for the caller at the other end. I was talking to my mom and the first thing she says is "Nice and loud, I can hear you perfectly". It's very landline-quality.
Overall, I say this is *THE* best phone in T-Mobile's lineup. You can decide for yourself whether or not you want Windows Mobile 7 or Android platform, but for a multimedia-hungry consumer, this is a very luxurious phone, both hardware and software wise. The phone's housing is incredibly durable feeling, well-weighted, easy to hold, feels great in the hand, and the metal casing is just beautiful.
Get this phone and I promise you won't regret it.
Android phones are great as well, although in my opinion have terrible battery life.
(This phone does very well in that department because of the simplistic design)
Buy this phone :)
Honestly the Best OS out there
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on November 30, 2010
4 out of 4 users found this review helpful
Pros: Windows Phone 7 OS is Amazing
Apps are great
In love with Zune
Cons: Camera-It has an "Alright" Camera...I guess i have been spoiled by 8 megapixel Cameras on Android but i am not a fan of the Camera
Lack of Cut and paste-annoying not a dealbreaker
Lack of custom ringtones-I like having mp3s but im used to vibrate
Summary: I am going to keep this pretty short and simple...
I never have seen an OS like this..It is better than both Apple and Android
in my opinion...because it takes what they both do and merges them together into something better
If your a tmobile customer, i recommend this over most Android phones because it is easy to use, it's fresh, and it just is an all around amazing phone.
I had a mytouch 4g and while it is fast and has some features that the HD7 does not...The only thing that would make me go back to it is the fact of the camera...and maybe the wi-fi calling.
I just love the phone...it's fast, no lag like on Android phones when you open multiple apps
Not bogged down with bloatware and what bloatware it does have...you can delete?
Now it does not have an SD card slot to expand memory but 16GB is big enough for me and what i plan to do with it
I have yet to try out Microsoft office but i have a project due for class on thursday and friday and plan to figure out they work with the microsoft office
Live tiles are amazing(no longer do i have to worry about pulling down the android notification tab that is bogged down with too many notifications)
It is just a great phone...its using last years hardware but combined with next year software, it really does feel like it could compete with many phones out there today!
Lol i guess this wasnt as short as i planned
Awesome phone! Would recommend to anybody!
Rating: 5 / 5
on March 21, 2011
2 out of 2 users found this review helpful
Pros: - Awesome interface
- Very sturdy
- Beautiful screen
- Super sensitive touch screen
- MAC compatible +++
- Sleek design
- Great for texting
- Battery is amazing
Cons: - Speaker phone not loud at all
- Kickstand seems like it will going to break easily
- Camera button has to be pushed very hard to take a picture
- Not very customizable
Summary: Ok, this is my first phone review and I thought the HTC HD7 was so special that I would use my sacred first review on this particular phone. I have had A LOT of phones throughout the years and this is by far one of the most techie I have ever had. I recently changed carriers from ATT to T-Mobile and had a choice of any of the phones that I wanted due to the cheaper initial phone purchase with a two year contract. I chose this phone because I wanted to see what the Windows Phone could do. As of now I am far from disappointed. The pros above are things I like about the phone, but lets talk about the cons really quick.
- Item #1: The speaker phone, isn't loud at all but I haven't had any problems with it because I have been in a nice quite house. However I'm not sure how it would be in a moving car or any other place with excess noise.
- Item #2: The kickstand/support, I actually do enjoy the kickstand because I use the phone for when I play the guitar and it makes it very easy to prop the phone up and read/play tabs from the internet to learn new songs. However it has a very flimsy feel to it and I am afraid that any freak accident whether it be that it get caught on your pocket or something I think it would rip right off.
- Item #3: The Camera Button, the camera button is extremely difficult to push/take a picture. The phone does have an auto focus which will happen if you press the button half way down, but once you push it all the way down, with the amount of pressure I put behind it tends to make me jerk the phone causing a blurry picture.
- Item #4: Customization, I have had many phones that were very customizable but as of yet I haven't done much to my HD7. With my Iphone, I had jail-broken it and was able to do whatever I wanted with it. In the sense of customizing, the HD7 is seriously lacking in that department.
Now for the Pros:
- Item #1: The Interface/W7OS, I absolutely love the tile system and all that is the W7 OS. It's really smooth and very easy to navigate. Until the HD7, I noticed that a lot of phones had super stiff touch-screens and weren't smooth in the least. The only exception to this was the iphone, I really did enjoy how smooth everything was got rid of it because I am a man and I need the newest, coolest thing.
- Item #2: Sturdiness, the HTC HD7 is super sturdy. I really enjoy the weight of the phone in my hand and it doesn't have that creaky feel to. I was surprised that it doesn't make any noise at all when pushing super hard on the camera button.
- Item #3: Clarity, as far as the visual aspect of the screen itself. Anything you do with be in super high quality. I had watched a Netflix movie on it recently (kickstand out and ready to go) and it was as if I was watching the movie on my television.
- Item #4: Touch-Screen, the touch screen is super sensitive. It can be troublesome at times depending on if your a hoverer or not. Hoverer: Somebody who likes to hover their fingers just above the screen, like me. Other than that the touch-screen is top notch!
- Item #5: Meet My MAC: I have a MAC computer and was genuinely afraid that the two wouldn't be compatible. I had looked online for an answer but I don't think I looked up the right thing. In any case it will sync with your Itunes and Iphoto. All you have to do is download the Windows Phone 7 Connector and plug in your phone and you'll be good to go.
- Item #6: Design, I love the design of the phone. It's sleep it's happening, its the newest, coolest gadget around (according to me).
- Item #7: Texting, I am a texting fanatic. I have the lowest minute plan on the market for just that reason, I don't call anybody! Ever! Well, sometimes I do, but only for two minutes at a time. Any who, the phone supports portrait and landscape keyboard styles but I have found that with such a big screen, it's a little harder for somebody with smaller hands like me to type in landscape style. Big buttons and autocorrect! Nuff said.
- Item #8: Last but not least, the battery. I have been using the phone religiously for last week or so, and I have ONLY charged it in the evenings when I go to sleep. Any other phone would have been charged at least 2 times a day with the amount that I was using it.
All in all I think the HTC HD7 is an amazing phone. Very fun and works perfectly for whatever you want to use it for. I really hope my first review helped somebody out in their process for getting a new phone.
*NOTE* I don't know if it's me or not, but I don't think the phone supports push notifications for facebook. *NOTE*