HTC 7 Mozart Review
Of HTC’s 5 Windows Phone 7 (WP7) launch devices the HTC 7 Mozart gets Belle of the Ball. Its stylish aluminium case pleases the eye with both sharp and soft angles, not to mention the great feel of an aluminium case. The back panel is just gorgeous, employing a dual-shading scheme with some tasty rubberised triangles at the top and bottom for extra grip.
It’s difficult to really choose between WP7 devices, seeing as Microsoft is being ludicrously strict on hardware requirements. The Mozart, of course, sports the 5 dedicated buttons required by Microsoft (Start, Search, Back, Camera, Power) and a 1GHz processor. That in itself is impressive, but in no way distinctive from the other WP7 release handsets.
The 3.7 inch screen is a sliver bigger than the iPhone 4’s and comes in with a really crisp resolution of 640 x 960 pixels. The SLCD screen allows for some great colour definition and a pretty wide angle of viewing.
The 8MP, auto-focus camera is definitely beyond the standard 5MP cameras of the other WP7 smartphones. Not only that, but the HTC 7 Mozart has abandoned an LED for a superior xenon flash. The camera takes great photos during the day and holds up pretty well at night, especially with the new flash.
Unfortunately the 720p video loses a lot of its smoothness in areas with less light. It also takes a lot longer for the viideo recorder's auto-focus to kick in at night time, so you’ll probably only be using this function during the day.
It’s impossible to talk about a Windows Phone 7 device without talking about the actual WP7 platform. Unlike with Android, WP7 manufacturers don’t have the luxury of designing their own user interfaces (UIs). As a result WP7 phones have a big issue with ‘cloning’, in that they all seem to handle very similarly, if not identically.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Windows Phone 7 OS may be young, but it’s a great and fresh experience that leaves you just bursting at the seams waiting for Microsoft to finally add a copy & paste function and Flash support as the proverbial cherries on top. Microsoft expects to have these updates out in early 2011.
In summary the HTC 7 Mozart is a solid phone – in both construction and operation. If you’re looking for a WP7 phone and don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between them then you really have three choices. Choices #1 and #2 are a little tricky; do you prefer a good camera or a wider screen? If you’re after a bigger screen you’re best looking elsewhere, as the Mozart’s 3.7 inch display isn’t exactly monstrous. However, if you’re a camera fan then the Mozart is definitely the choice for you.
Choice #3 is simple. Which WP7 handset looks the best? Well the Mozart certainly has our vote in that department. You’ll have a tough time finding a sexier looking phone than this aluminium masterpiece. We know it’s vain and we should really be reviewing this phone on its hardware/software merits. But when it comes to WP7 devices you tend to find appearance being a deciding factor between what are, essentially, almost identical devices and the Mozart has ‘gorgeous’ smeared all over it.