HTC HD7 : Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 alternative to the Androids and iPhones

Posted on November 17, 2010

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“With Windows Phone 7, we focused on two key things: ‘always delightful’ and ‘wonderfully mine,” said Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer, while on stage in New York City last month to officially unveil the first-generation Windows Phone 7 devices. “We wanted it to be delightful across a range of different devices, and across a range of applications and experiences, whether you’re looking for a place to eat, reading mail, catching up with friends or making a phone call.”
“And we want you to make it yours – it’s all about your photos, your e-mail, your friends,” adds Ballmer.

MAXIS will be the first telco in Malaysia to release the first Windows Phone 7  device in the form of HTC’s  HD7 , estimate retail price of RM 2399 without contract. Expected availability is end November 2010.
Chief operating officer Jean-Pascal van Overbeke said the offering is aimed at boosting user experience from its combination of device and system design in tandem with Maxis’ high-speed mobile data network and integrated services platform.
“Our partnership puts Maxis customers first when it comes to enjoyment of the widest variety of advanced devices, together with the latest advancements in operating systems,”.

Official links:

http://www.htc.com/www/product/hd7/overview.html
http://www.htc.com/www/product/hd7/specification.html

Local Malaysian LowYat forum discussion : http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1545860

HTC HD7 specs highlights

  • 1 GHz CPU processing speed
  • Windows Phone OS 7
  • 5 Megapixel, auto focus, dual LED flash camera with HD video recording capability.
  • 576MB RAM and 16GB internal storage
  • 4.3 inch touch screen with 800×480 pixels resolution
  • Battery capacity: 1230 mAh
  • Internal GPS antenna and Bing Maps

Main disadvantages:

  • No system-wide file manager
  • No videocalling
  • Limited third-party apps availability
  • No Bluetooth file transfers
  • No USB mass storage mode
  • No multitasking
  • No copy/paste
  • Too dependent on Zune software for computer file management and syncing
  • No music player equalisers
  • No Flash or Silverlight support in the web browser
  • No sign of free Bing maps Navigation so far
  • No DivX/XviD video support
  • No internet tethering support
  • New ringtones available only through the Marketplace
  • Swapping memory card requires hard reset; cards not readable by computer

I understand even when launched in Malaysia, the Marketplace and XBox Live  will not be available here. What a disappointment as Microsoft has yet to approve Malaysia for it. The lack of apps in the marketplace will deter potential users ; it is a chicken and egg situation here. Apps market will only grow with users showing confidence and buying the phone. I feel the Androids and Blackberry will be Microsoft greatest threat. It is unlikely iPhone users will switch to WP7  due to the gigantic apps store for the iPhone. My personal assessment , Microsoft might be be able to capture a substantial share from Blackberry users, a small share from Androiders and a negligible share from iPhone users. It will be a tough task ahead for Microsoft to even make any major gains in its first year . A lot of it will depends on their Marketplace apps and the resolution of its several weakness listed below.

For gamers, Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7 is one of its biggest draws, as the feature allows Xbox 360 console users with Xbox Live accounts to log in on Windows Phone 7 to customise their Xbox Avatars and even add to their achievement points for mobile games played on the smartphone.
The missing Windows Phone Marketplace, Microsoft’s application store for the smartphone, may turn off some users.
According to Ananth Lazarus, managing director of Microsoft Malaysia, the missing features are “to be rolled out in the future,” although no specific time-frame was given .

However, Xbox Live and Windows Phone Marketplace have not been removed from the operating system altogether – the applications are still in the phone, but when registering for these services, Malaysia will not be in one of the sixteen countries listed in the registration page.

The  external storage SD card in the HD7 officially cannot be removed , but the UNWIRED magazine had managed to replace it while dodging the dreaded “There’s a storage error” screen.

HTC however had warned that warranty is void if this is done :  According to a senior company rep:

While this is not technically impossible, one thing that is important to know is that the process of removing the cover to access these components is actually very tricky – and in many cases, will result in the antenna section being irreparably detached from the circuit board (rendering the phone unusable). Additionally, to actually replace the card, a few reasonably important parts have to be forcibly removed. So, just a good warning to anyone thinking of attempting this maneuver is that the possibility of bricking is extremely high, and will, of course, void the product warranty.

Engadget.com has one of the best  live-blog report  launch of WP7 by Steve Ballmer on Oct 11 :

http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/11/live-fr…7-launch-event/

Live Keynote Video:

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presski…/liveEvent.aspx

Recommended links and reviews :

http://www.slashgear.com/htc-hd7-review-29111117/

http://www.slashgear.com/a-week-with-the-htc-hd7-software-16114534/?utm_campaign=MobileWin+-+Google+News&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_source=SNS.analytics

http://pocketnow.com/windows-phone/windows-phone-7-review

http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/20/htc-hd7-review/

http://www.engadget.com/2010/10/20/windows-phone-7-review/

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/htc-hd7-900358/review

http://www.gsmarena.com/windows_phone_7-review-521.php

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3982/windows-phone-7-review/1

VIDEOS :

Phonescoop:

Mobileburn :

Pocketnow.com :

DETAILED Specifications :

General : 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
Size Dimensions :122 x 68 x 11.2 mm
Weight : 162 g
Display Type :S-LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches
– Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
– Proximity sensor for auto turn-off Sound Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones, Speakerphone
– 3.5 mm audio jack
– Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement
Internal memory : 16GB, 512 MB ROM, 576 MB RAM
Card slot : No
Data :GPRS Class 32, EDGE Class 32, 3G HSDPA 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA 2 Mbps
WLAN : 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth : v2.1 with A2DP
USB :microUSB v2.0
Camera : Primary 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED flash
Features : Geo-tagging
Video : 720p recording
Secondary No
CPU :Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor
Messaging :SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
Browser : WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
Radio : yes
Colors :Black
GPS : with A-GPS support; Bing Maps
Java :Yes, MIDP 2.0
– Digital compass
– MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
– MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
– Facebook and Twitter integration
– YouTube client
– Pocket Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, PDF viewer)
– Voice memo
– T9
Battery : Standard battery, Li-Ion 1230 mAh
Stand-by Up to 310 h (2G) / Up to 320 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 5 h 20 min (3G)