by Alexei Rivera | April 4, 2011 12:26 am
At the HTC Windows Phone 7 Workshop last month, we were introduced to a sleek-looking WP7 device – it was the HTC 7 Mozart. We remarked that the unique aluminum unibody design, thin profile, sleek curves and all-glass front gave it a very seductive quality that doesn’t usually come in very many smartphones these days – and it happens to be the 7 Mozart’s calling card. Luckily, a few weeks later, we were given the privilege to put the phone through our rigorous review process. Here then, is our First Impressions on the HTC 7 Mozart and the Windows Phone 7 OS it carries. Plus, as a bonus, there will be details on a contest (not affiliated with HTC/Microsoft) to win some very cool HTC/Windows Phone swag. Read on to find out!
HTC 7 Mozart Quick Specs:
We’ve already been pretty busy with the HTC 7 Mozart when it came to our offices recently. We gave you an unboxing video, a user interface video, and a confident quick comparison against the HTC Desire and the Nokia N8. What it might not be able to tell you is that the device itself is an unusual thing of beauty. The aluminum design provides for a thinner and lighter device, yet it feels solid everywhere. The middle of the back is covered with the sturdy metal, and offers great structural integrity to the device. The small plastic triangles on the top and bottom are recessed so it’s protected from scratches and unnecessary pressure. Its curves are uninterrupted all around the device and is near impossible to snag or feel uncomfortable in your hands, while the front’s all-glass design is minimalistic and is dominated by the gorgeous 3.7” display and an impressive sized chrome speaker grille.
Turning the phone on, you are greeted with the familiar HTC logo and a Windows Phone bootup screen. However it barely takes a few seconds there and you’re already in the Windows Phone 7 main Live Tiles menu. With nary a thing to load, the phone becomes fully operational immediately. While other phones would still spend some time loading background apps, the Windows Phone 7 OS just starts, and gives you 100% of the processor to do whatever you want.
You’ll immediately notice the fancy Metro UI. Based loosely on the UI for Zune players, it’s a gorgeous interface designed for high resolution devices. All the smallest pixels are used for UI elements and involved are some of the most imaginative transition effects than you’ll ever see in a mobile phone. Text flies into the screen, flies off, zooms out, zooms in, you name it. And all this is animated at zero dropped frames and at seemingly unheard of frame rates. It’s so impressive that we think the user interface video we took didn’t do it too much justice.
Transferring contacts into the Windows Phone 7 device wasn’t terribly hard – though it did need some imaginative thinking. We merely cleaned up our Google Contacts from our GMail account and set up our Google account on the phone. We just let it sync those contacts into the phone and we were good to go. What’s more, we added our Facebook account into the device and it automatically matched our friends with their Google contacts and pictures were immediately matched together.
We jumped into the HTC Hub real quick to find some apps. HTC exclusively provides a slew of very pretty applications – including Notes, Lists, Photo Enhancer, Stocks, Sound Enhancer, and a cute little flower petal game called Love. But the one thing we could never do without is HTC’s Attentive Phone app. It basically gives us the famous features of HTC Sense with flip-to-silent, flip-to-speakerphone, quiet-on-pickup, and pocket mode enhancements. With that all set, we headed out to try the camera.
Click to see full image
Full size crop
Well, looking at these images, the zoomed out image seems completely passable and even looks pretty good. Although digging into the crop, it does seem a little like oil-on-canvas. We expect these kinds of results in most phones, but it did come as a surprise for the 8MP camera on the Mozart to perform this way. It’s not a big deal, but kind of disappointing. We do have higher hopes for its performance in low light with the Xenon flash – and interested about the continuous auto-focus 720p video recording as well. Those we’ll be checking out in detail later in the full review.
So far, we’re really taken by the HTC 7 Mozart and the Windows Phone 7’s Metro UI. It is slick, it is fast, the Live Tiles are a nice touch, and the Mozart hardware is one of the sleekest phones we’ve ever had the privilege of having in our pockets. We hit a snag with the camera, but its very rare for these kinds of phones to be heavily relied on for image quality anyway. Our final verdict should be able to settle things once-and-for-all when we put it all together, so watch out for that.
Now, if you’re wondering about that little contest, then here are the details:
We’re giving away two bags of HTC goodies for you. Yes, that’s a total of two winners. One bag will have a very cool XXL Windows Phone 7 jacket/hoodie that we – were it not for the fact that it doesn’t fit the author – would very much prefer to keep for ourselves. And the other bag will have a sleek all-metal 4GB USB HTC-branded key that looks as classy as the 7 Mozart itself – and it comes with a case that only amplifies its executive styling. Both bags will come with HTC colored pens/highlighters which are some of the cutest little pens we’ve seen, and is neatly kept in a transparent little case. The bags themselves are also HTC branded and would be a great little bag to take along your travels.
The mechanics for the contest will be fully revealed when the HTC 7 Mozart review comes up, but it will mostly entail liking our FB page, reading the review (important), liking the post on Facebook, and giving us your best reaction to the review. Tell us what you really think and the best two comments or compliments will get these prizes. Simple, right? Costs you nothing, yet wins you some awesome swag. Well, that only leaves you to wait for the review, which is coming very soon. Keep visiting the blog or FB page so you won’t miss it!
DISCLAIMER: As a disclaimer, we wish to say that we are not affiliated with HTC/Microsoft and they do not pay us to write about these products nor do they reward us for promoting it. (In fact, we’re probably misrepresenting them if we don’t add these disclaimers.) That said, we just wanted to give away the related promotional materials and thought that it would work best if the product related to the prizes was involved. Contest is open to residents of the Philippines only. (Sorry, foreign guys. Maybe next time!)
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