Friday, 5 November 2010

HTC HD7 – Everyday User Review

Recently I became the lucky owner of a HTC HD7 Windows 7 phone, here are my comments on the phone, please note that I am a Microsoft & HTC fan boy and I hope to just cover what's good and what’s not for people who use the phone every day.

UI

The UI is great (big surprise), the home screen can be configured very easily but past the home screen is everything else, and I mean everything.  I have only loaded a few apps and I am already having to scroll to find them, however the scrolling with the sweeping action is so cool its actually a joy to do this.  It would have been nice to have some folders to organise my apps, OS feature, settings etc like in a normal OS but maybe in the future.

Hotmail

I use Hotmail, have done for many years, but I did not realise how much the phone integrated with Live services (I suppose I should have thought about that).  Through the Microsoft Live Services I can manage my email, contacts and calendar, which sync up to my phone and I can do the same on the phone and this then syncs up to the cloud.  Using the phone with Live Services has actually opened my eyes to how much I get for free and for web interfaces I find them really easy to use.

Calendar

I have a bad memory so use the calendar in my phone to remind me to do many things during the day, I am used to my old phone (O2 XDA) which would constantly go off until I dismissed the reminder.  However the Windows Phone 7 calendar goes off once and that’s it! There is no way to make it repeat (other than snooze), so as I often do, the phone is in one room I am in another and I often don’t hear it make its singular sound for the reminder.

Phone Volume

Hearing the phone is another issue, your volume for all sounds is run through one control.  So you turn the volume down as you listen to music, this then means once you have finished listening, put the phone down, the ringer on the phone is now super quiet!  HTC has noticed this and a free app is available to solve this which pushes the phone volume up on phone ring.

Radio

The radio is great quality, something which I use every day to listen to Radio 1, and you can pin your favourite frequency to you home screen.  However there is no RDS so all you see is the frequency with no text, there is also no way to give it a name yourself even after its pinned.

WI-FI

The phone comes with WI-FI turned on, something which I left on all the time but as you can guess this kills the battery so I now only turn that on when I need it.  It was easy to set up and works as expected.

Sound Quality

The sound through the HTC headphones is amazing, I use the phone to listen to music to-and-from work and have also watched a movie on it, I am no audio expert but compared with my XDA(another HTC device) it is far superior sound and has amazing bass.

Zune

Zune software is used to manage all your music, movies and photos from your collection or you can purchase through it.  The software has a good UI although runs a little on the slow side sometimes. 

It is not always intuitive when it comes to managing your music collection however I believe I am partly to blame due to some dodge MP3 tag issues.  If you do have some MP3 tags it will find the album art for you, making it easier to drag and drop the album to you phone.

If you are short on your data allowance or have not got one you can use Zune to purchase apps for your phone, which are then transferred to your phone, which is quicker and easier than doing it over 3G.

Conclusion

I hope that Microsoft are aware of these issues especially as alot of Microsofties will be using the phone for themselves (as each gets a free one) and these are the obvious things you see form using the phone for a short while.

Apart from these little issues I have mentioned I would like to congratulate Microsoft on holding fast and concentrating on delivering a phone OS which has the features and functionality they could deliver to a high standard within their time limit.  It is certainly a very nice phone and a very nice OS, I look forward to future updates of the phone and hope my provider does not get in the way of me updating.