HTC 7 PRO Review
Well, well, HTC brings another phone in the WP7 market – the HTC 7 PRO. This is the first Windows Phone 7-based phone enhanced with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and thus is a true business phone. But throw in some neat designs and good features and this might as well be the next big hit in the consumer market.
The HTC 7 Pro has taken on a lot from the HTC TyTN II’s design and betters it at some places. In the HTC TyTN you had to manually tilt the screen but in the new phone it’s automatic and it’s nice. At first the automatic tilt mechanism felt tight but soon it became quite easy and relaxed.
Announced in October 2010 and launched in January 2011 at a price of £269.99 or £15.32 monthly for 24 months, this HTC baby with clickety keys, a dedicated number row, and our good old WP7 OS seems to be a catch. Let’s get into the details and check out if it’s worth getting one.
Size-wise, the HTC 7 Pro is quite small keeping in mind that it includes a full keyboard. At a weight of 185g it might feel a little heavy at times, but the dimensions of 117.5 x 59 x 15.1mm give it a nice shape, and the general build quality feels good. There’s a metal backplate and solid plastic elsewhere. Also there’s nice chrome edging to the screen. Like in all other Windows Phone 7-based smartphones, on the phone you can find a camera button, a volume rocker, a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headset connector. Under the screen, too, there are three buttons found on all Windows Phone 7 handsets – Start button, Back button and Search button.
The specifications are standard. There’s no microSD card slot to boost internal storage and here it runs to 8GB which is definitely not much compared to the 16GB LG Optimus 7and HTC HD7. There is also a 5MP camera, nothing great. But the better part is the 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi with b, g and n support, GPS and Bing maps, and HSDPA supporting 7.2Mbps download speeds and 2Mbps upload.
The HTC 7 Pro comes with an internal memory of 8GB, 576 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM. The phonebook entries are practically unlimited as well as the call records. Also the photocall option is enhanced. But it is pretty disappointing with the fact that the phone has not provided any card slots for external memory sticks. It is bound to bear criticism from those who are used to transferring data from one device to another through their memory sticks.
The HTC 7 Pro features a 3.6-inch touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixels resolution and ~259 ppi pixel density, so the display looks perfectly fine indoors. But there is a possibility that the screen can go dull under direct sunlight. There is an accelerometer sensor for UI auto rotate and a proximity sensor for auto turn off. There is also a multi-touch auto input method.
The HTC 7 Pro comes with a 5MP auto-focus camera supported by a LED flash for capturing snaps at low-light situations. It provides a maximum resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. The camera software is pre-loaded with face detection, Geo tagging and other photo templates.
You can also get the handset to send shots straight to SkyDrive – you’ll get 25GB online storage area if you register at Windows Live.
The HTC 7 Pro uses a 1500 mAh battery and gives up to 4 hours of talk time in 2G network, 4hours 16min in 3G and up to 275 hours of stand-by time in 2G network and up to 255 hours in 3G.
The improved Internet Explorer you get with Windows Phone 7 is a delight compared to what Microsoft bundled with the previous version of Windows Phone (Windows Mobile 6.5).
To start with, it benefits from the high-resolution, 480 x 800-pixel screen and so is able to show plenty of details. Pages load quickly – it’s also a big plus.
The lack of Flash is disappointing when it’s becoming common on Android and HP webOS. Well, the only plus is – the battery benefits from this.
I guess everybody knows what platform the HTC 7 Pro runs – Windows Phone 7. Let’s try to find out more about it.
The HTC 7 PRO comes with GPRS of up to 114 kbps and EDGE of up to 560 kbps. The 3G is HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 2Mbps. There is Bluetooth version 2.1 with A2DP and EDR, but no infrared port. Also available is micro a USB 2.0 slot.
The HTC 7 Pro user interface is not a modified version of the PC version of Windows – the homescreen here is based on tiles, which are rectangular icons that link you to various apps and glide one to web links.
The rectangular tiles can be treated like icons on any Android or iOS-based smartphones. You can move these tiles around with a long press and drag so that your most used shortcuts are at the top of the list when you flip into this homescreen. Any tiles that are not needed are removed by hitting the small pin icon that appears when you long press.
The HTC Hub on the phone has various apps some of which are free (like YouTube). One can browse for more apps but the bottom line is that installation is very slow and frustrating.
Microsoft has its own app store, too, the Marketplace, and you can find lots of useful apps there.
- Sturdy build and good design
- Long battery life
- Great sound quality
- Automatic uploading of photos to SkyDrive
- Clear, sharp screen
- Launching the camera via the side button even when the HTC 7 Pro is locked.
- Absence of removable microSD card storage
- No Flash
- No desktop Outlook sync
- Forced reliance on Zune over drag and drop
- Keyboard is very sad and awful space bar key.
The HTC 7 Pro is a decent smartphone with a keyboard. The interface is good and also good is the tappable keyboard in the wide screen mode. But the fact that for all data storage has to be done in cloud and all desktop file transfer is through Zune is disturbing. However, if you have to buy the HTC 7 Pro, buy it for the innovative slide-out QWERTY keyboard.