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HTC 7 Trophy

Upholding its tradition of strong support for Windows branded mobile phone software, HTC announced five devices at the launch of Windows Phone 7, three of which are already available. The HTC 7 Trophy is marginally the cheapest of the three due to slightly more modest hardware but thanks to some neat design it's still well worth checking out.

You can pick the phone up SIM free for around £430 but if you want a contract it's exclusively available through Vodafone where it's free on 24 month contracts above £25pm. A £20pm contract will require £199 up front.

What appeals so much about the 7 Trophy is simply that it's so well designed. The button-less glass front and black plastic body, delineated by a silver bevelled edge, gives it a wonderfully simple yet elegant style. In contrast, prize the battery cover off and there's a gloriously vibrant yellow interior that, just as with the HTC HD Mini, is utterly pointless but at least for the first few moments you play with it brings a smile to your face.

Despite using less premium materials – i.e. plastic rather than metal – for construction of most of its body, this phone also feels reassuringly solid, something that's given away by its weight of 140g. While the soft-touch plastic used on the back does tend to rub away to a shine over (a long) time, it makes the phone comfortable and secure to hold while it's still in tip top condition.

The three touch sensitive buttons incorporated into the glass of the front look superb and are nice and responsive. In fact, just as with the Samsung Omnia 7, they're almost too sensitive, making it relatively easy to accidentally press them.

Not suffering from the same problem are the volume and power buttons, which are a tad mushy, though not to any particularly worrying degree. The position of the power button on the top edge combined with the lack of any physical buttons also means you always have to reach up to the top of the phone to unlock the screen – somewhat inconvenient when you've only got one hand free. It's a common mistake made nowadays but it's no less mildly annoying.

Round the sides are the usual selection ports and buttons with a headphone jack joining the power button on the top edge, the volume rocker and a microUSB socket on the left edge and a camera button on the right. We hate to keep banging on about it but it really can't be said enough how useful a button for the camera is – well done Microsoft for making this standard. Meanwhile on the back is the five megapixel camera with its LED flash.

Slightly less well thought out is the fact the power button, if held down, can still turn the phone off even when the screen is locked (there's no confirmation screen). It's unlikely, but not the most practical design decision from Microsoft (again, this is a standard thing with Windows phone 7).

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