The HTC HD7 has the specs of a high-end phone: it boasts a 4.3-inch display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera and runs the brand new Windows Phone 7. But unlike the recent crop of top-of-the-line smartphones, the HD7 does not have a front-facing video camera or 4G network support. The HD7 is a great device for watching movies or browsing the web, but it is odd that these features which are becoming the norm for high-end phones were omitted.
If you were enamored by the HTC HD2's gorgeous hardware, but turned off by the fact that it ran Windows 6.5, you will be pleased with the HD7. It is almost identical in design to the HD2, but it has capacitive touch buttons rather than hardware buttons running along the bottom of the display. The hardware buttons on the side are smoother too, giving it an overall sleeker appearance.
Like the HTC EVO 4G, the HD7 has a kickstand for tabletop video-watching. The kickstand pulls out from the camera's lens.
Measuring 4.8-by-2.7-by-0.4-inches thick and weighing 5.7 ounces, the HD2 is kind of a beast. If you've got large jeans pockets, you should be fine. Ladies, forget about carrying this thing in your pocket. The phone is quite attractive though and is sure to turn heads out in the wild.
Because of its resemblance to the EVO 4G, I was fully expecting the HD7 to have a front-facing video camera. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, this isn't the case.
By now, you probably know that Microsoft has created Windows Phone 7 from scratch. Now is the time to forget any preconceived notions you may have about Microsoft's mobile products. Windows Phone 7 is light, fast and user-friendly.
It isn't perfect, however. Missing features like copy/paste and true multitasking are big oversights (Microsoft says copy/paste will come in an update in January). I also don't find the OS all that aesthetically pleasing or visually consistent, and navigating requires a lot of scrolling.
Microsoft allows carrier and manufacturer partners to customise up to six tiles on the homescreen. On the HD7, you'll find the HTC Hub, which gives you a taste of HTC Sense. HTC Sense is the overlay you'd normally get on an HTC-manufactured Android phone like the EVO 4G. The HTC Hub has the lovely Sense weather app, which gives you a 3D-like visualisation of your local weather. There are also a few HTC-selected apps within the Hub.
The HD7 is being marketed as the ultimate entertainment smartphone and T-Mobile has thrown in a few apps to help you get started. The Netflix streaming app is definitely the most impressive and nicely showcases the HD7's generous display. The 1980s classic "Teen Wolf" ran smoothly with very little pixelation or distortion in our quick demo. The HD7 also comes loaded with the Slacker Radio app, T-Mobile TV along with the XBox Live and Zune apps in WP7. The HD7 also ships with 16GB of onboard memory so you'll have plenty of space to fill up with movies and photos.