The 4.3inch screen really should be the crowning glory of the HTC HD7, but unfortunately it turns out to be less impressive than you’d expect. Obviously its larger size does help to make even zoomed out text on websites more readable than on smaller displays and it also makes the onscreen keyboard that bit easier to type on. The display is also wonderfully responsive to touch.
However, in other ways the screen is a let down. There’s a lot of blurring and tearing on text and images when you scroll horizontally or vertically, something that you need to do a lot of in the slick and fluid Windows Phone 7 menus. Also the colours are quite washed out compared to the displays on some of HTC’s other handsets. For example, back to back with the Mozart, the HD7’s colours looked very muted, especially on reds and greens. Also, the resolution is 480 x 800 pixels, which is the same as on smaller screen devices like the Mozart, so although you’re gaining screen space, you’re not gaining pixel density with the larger display.
Under the bonnet the HD7 uses a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and like most of HTC’s other Windows Phone handsets it has 512 MB ROM and 576 MB RAM. It’s essentially the same hardware that powered the original HD2, but it still feels pretty speedy to use when zipping through Windows Phone 7’s attractive menu and apps also rollick along at an acceptable speed. Even 3D games looks pretty impressive thanks to its integrated 3D graphics processor.
What’s less exciting, though, is the battery life. Despite the fact it’s got a much larger screen than the Mozart, HTC has actually equipped the HD7 with a smaller battery than that model. As a result you’re likely to find yourself topping up the handset’s 1230mAh battery at the end of each day, which isn’t ideal.
The phone has a fairly generous 16GB of internal storage, which is enough to store a healthy number of music tracks and videos. However, as with all of the Windows Phone handsets available in the UK at present, there’s no MicroSD card slot, so you can’t add to the built in storage, as you can on most Android phones.
It’s pretty clear that HTC sees the HD7 as an entertainment device, but we’re not totally convinced on this front. Sure, the screen is large, but video doesn’t look as good on it as many of the other Windows Phone handset we’ve seen recently, the rear mounted speaker sounds pretty tinny and the battery life is a let down.