Hands on with Windows Phone 7

by Sarah Griffiths on 12 October 2010, 12:55

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Handsets heads-up

In terms of the actual handsets on offer, I had a gander at the six offerings set to hit the high street on 21 October: HTC's Mozart, Trophy and HD7, LG's Optimus, Samsung's Omnia 7 and Dell's Venue pro.

The HTC Mozart handset is exclusive to Orange and boasts a 3.7 inch screen, 8MP camera with xenon flash and 720p video recording but is distinctive because of its super-smooth and seamless aluminium shell, which wraps around the phone and is really comfortable to hold. The one I saw also had Orange tiles on the home page for Orange Wednesday and the like.

The HTC Trophy is exclusive to Vodafone and includes a 5MP camera, 3.8 inch screen, Dolby mobile sound and perhaps bears some resemblance to the HTC legend- and is believed to be similarly priced. It also has an ‘HTC hub' on its home screen, which looks pretty similar to the home screen of the present Desire or Wildfire, but the widgets are much more animated- think elaborate weather effects!

The Vodafone bloke manning the stand told me the handset will come free with a £25 a month 2 year contract and I could get 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500Mb of data for the price.

Finally, O2 will be the only network to sell HTC's HD7, with a massive 4.3 inch 800 x 480 pixel screen (the biggest screen to grace a WP7 handset at present and same size as the Desire HD) as well as a 5MP camera and slightly plastic-y kickstand for watching movies, which could nonetheless prove handy.

Although the screen was beautiful and the UI nice and speedy (like all the handsets) I did found it quite tricky to hold but maybe that's due to my mini girl hands. Unsurprisingly the phone will be one of the pricier WP7 handsets and will cost around £40 a month for 900 minutes, unlimited texts and 750Mb of data, according to O2's man.

Samsung let the cat of the bag early, revealing the spec of its Omnia 7 phone ahead of the event but it was announced that the handset will be offered from Orange, Three and T-Mobile. It's a neat, boxy option and Orange said it will cost about £40 per month on a two year contract, while Three and T-Mobile have both plumped for a £35 per month price tag. I found the panoramic photo function on the handset fun to use.

Similarly, LG couldn't help unveiling its Optimus 7 handset ahead of the big event. Although the handset is not one of the prettiest offerings, I liked the straightforward physical search and ‘back' buttons below the screen which were pleasantly squishy. It comes with Scan Search and can play to DLNA, which although I couldn't see in action, means that a user can apparently simply ‘swipe' a video or film from their handset to their TV in one action without any hassle, which sounds cool. The handset is set to start at £30 a month for two years making it one of the cheaper offerings.

Unfortunately, Dell's venue Pro was the only handset unveiled that I didn't get to play with but its main competitor is probably the BlackBerry Torch. It's targeted at business users and has a sliding Qwerty keyboard and 4.1 inch touch screen. As well as a 5MP camera it is said to be ‘ruggedized' with scratch-resistant glass and should be out in time for Christmas.

Editor's comment: I had a quick look at the Dell handset. It was indeed nice and rugged and the vertical sliding QWERTY is a novel alternative to having to switch to landscape - and two hands - if you want to use the hard keyboard. It was only shown at a special WP7-for-business presentation, which gives you an idea of how Dell will be positioning it, and is expected to launch in November.


HTC Mozart


HTC Trophy



Samsung Omnia 7


LG Optimus 7


HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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great, so far so good for Microsoft then! Although im not liking this network special products nonsense! I want the HD7 or what ever else is similar but out july next year, left vodafone cause they were overpriced and ended up with a HD2 at virgin mobile as it was much cheaper than competition (about £10+ less p/m) so if this stays it means I will end up paying a huge amount more for the HD7 :(.

I have to admit though, the specs on that HD7 albeit not a big jump is many areas the screen is amongs the most important. IIRC the HD2 only has a TFT/LCD screen, this is AMOLED which is lovely and I cant wait to try!.

Now to pray WP7 isnt to cripled like the iphone….
You sure the HD7 is AMOLED? I've heard its just a TFT?
(This is important as I'm due a new phone and quite torn between the sammy and the hd7)
I hope hexus is correct because thats all it really offers over the HD2… bar the kickstand which you can get if you purchase the extended battery haha.
Has anyone else noticed the recent trend towards silly names for phones, it's like they just opened the “Dictionary of Stupid Motivational Bollocks” and stabbed it with a pencil to pick the name…
Sorry for the confusion - I had AMOLED in my notes but I've double-checked and the HTC HD7 does infact have an LCD screen with resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. :o

For comparison purposes, the Samsung Omnia sports a super AMOLED screen of the same resolution as the HD7 but it's slightly smaller- it's 4 inches instead of the HD7's 4.3 inch screen.

Thanks for pointing it out, Sarah :)