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HTC 7 Mozart review

HTC 7 Mozart review

One of a string of HTC phones to cram in the new Windows Phone 7 platform, the Mozart is looking to go toe-to-toe with Android stablemates like the Desire, as well as beating down competition from the best-selling, but antenna-challenged iPhone 4. But how does this Microsoft vs HTC match-up pan out? Read our review and we’ll tell all.

First impressions

The hardware here is first-class. But let’s not pretend that the key focus with the HTC 7 Mozart is anything but the operating system, Windows Phone 7.

Hyped beyond belief, it’s been built from the ground up and leaves behind the legacy of awkward, poorly designed Windows Mobile. Instead, you get beautifully rendered animations, a live UI which automatically updates information from social networks and apps, as well as one of the breeziest and easily-to-learn interfaces we’ve ever seen on a mobile phone.

9/10

Design

htc 7 mozart

HTC has clearly drawn heavily from its experiences building the Google Nexus One and the Desire. The Mozart rocks the same deep grey finish, although the rear utilises a diagonal battery cover which can be slid off to expose the SIM slot, as well as a door to release the battery. As with all Windows Phone 7 devices, there’s a prescribed set of buttons, with back, Windows and Bing keys stretching across the bottom of the device. There’s a dedicated camera button on the side, the same as on other WP7 handsets, which allows users to utilise the ace ‘pocket to picture’ function (of which more later).

While the Mozart doesn’t measure up to the brushed aluminium beauty of the HTC Legend, or the smart design flourishes of the iPhone, it feels sturdy and never and slim. It’s everything a modern smartphone should be.

6/10

Features

xbox live wp7

Where to begin? The 8 megapixel camera is well-specced, utilising the 800x480 3.7-inch screen to full effect. You can easily tweak scene modes, resolution and metering by tapping the settings key in the bottom left hand corner. The Xenon flash and autofocus also mean the Mozart isn’t a dud as soon as the light fails, a common complaint when it comes to cameras on even some of the best smartphones available. 720p video is also a cinch to handle, with a huge timer to tell you just how long you’re filming for. It all makes for a package which is every bit as well thought as anything on Android and really gives the iPhone a run for its money too.

The ‘pocket to picture’ function, found on all WP7 phones, is also ace. Rather than unlocking your phone every time you want to reel off some pics, you can simply hold down the camera button for two seconds, unlocking the camera app so you can take pics and slide across with your finger to view older images. Best of all, this doesn’t unlock the rest of the device, so you can slip it away once you’re done shooting. Xbox Live is also amazing and gives the Mozart a gaming edge against its key rival in this area, the iPhone 4.

The integration with standard Xbox Live accounts is ace, and means you can pull in Achievements and avatars by simply logging into your account. We found the entire process took around ten minutes to get through. Once done, we were able to game easily across platform with pals. The games have a distinctly more hardcore feel than on the iPhone and that makes this a much more serious proposition for those who want Xbox quality gaming on the move. The function is smart and feels as if it’s been the subject of some serious joined up thinking at the Big M.

9/10

Software

HTC 7 Mozart

Software is the main factor with the Mozart. Windows Phone 7 isn’t without its issues. There’s no copy and paste as yet, a real miss for an OS centred on productivity. That said, the general feel of the device is spectacular. The Live Tiles on the Start screen pull in real time info from apps and social networks, which until now has really only been done well by HTC Sense on Android.

The iPhone’s simplistic style feels very outdated by comparison. This is seen also in the ace People hub, which aggregates contacts from across email, Facebook and Windows Live to offer real time updates within the hub, as well as the chance to see status changes when you click onto a contact.

The dedicated Bing button makes search an absolute doddle, especially thanks to Local results coming replete with maps that can be pinned to the Start screen. In truth, local results can be a bit temperamental and not offer the closest place you’re looking for. Restaurant searches in central London seemed to focus solely on pricey Michelin-starred affairs rather than more affordable joints.

9/10

Ease of use

The HTC Mozart is one of the easiest phones out there to get to grips with. This is in no small part to Windows Phone 7, which feels so much more advanced than older version of the OS, it seems a marvel that it’s been made by the same people. The Start screen couldn’t be more straightforward, the Marketplace is a breeze to scooch around, and tinkering with settings is so simple. If Android doesn’t do it for you and the iPhone feels like yesterday’s news, then the Mozart is where it’s at.

9/10

Specifications

  • Windows Phone 7
  • 3.7 inch, 400 x 840 capacitive touchscreen
  • 8 megapixel camera, 720p HD video recording
  • 3.5mm jack
  • Wi-Fi, HSDPA,
  • 8GB storage
  • Capacitive touchscreen

Overall Mark 9/10

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