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HTC Details Windows Phone 7 lineup

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HTC Details Windows Phone 7 lineup

Last week, behind closed doors, HTC gave us the low down on the Windows Phone 7 devices it will have available for the launch of Microsoft's new mobile operating system. Currently it has five devices in development with four ready to release on what Microsoft is calling GA (General Availability) day, the 21st of October. Of these four, three will be available in Europe while the fourth is for America only.

Sadly we weren't allowed to take pictures or shoot video of the devices but we did get plenty of details and a brief hands-on with a couple of the handsets. Here's what to expect.

All feature large glass LCD (rather than OLED) touchscreens with multitouch capacitive touch sensing and a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. As stipulated by Microsoft they also all have the same three touch sensitive Back, Windows, and Search buttons on the front. You also get headphone sockets, microUSB data connection and charging ports, a volume rocker, and no microSD slot - according to Microsoft all storage must be already built into the device. You get a fairly miserly 8GB on all the phones except the Pro, which will also be available with 16GB. All the phones use the highly popular Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8255 1GHz processor as used on the HTC Desire and Sony Ericsson X10, so they should be plenty fast enough.

As Microsoft has also decreed that the interface of Windows Phone 7 can't be customised, the HTC Sense customisations made on previous Windows Mobile and current Android based smartphones won't be seen on these handsets. Instead the company has created a number of custom apps, including its classic weather viewer, stock and shares ticker, photo enhancer, sound manager, and even one simply called Love. Some of these will come preinstalled and some are available for download. Considering how brief a time we had with the handsets we weren't really able to judge how good they were.

To further differentiate its handsets, HTC has teamed up with Dolby to offer Dolby SRS for improved surround sound performance when watching video on your mobile. It also proclaims to have top quality audio hardware for improved overall listening.

Despite using almost identical hardware in all the devices, HTC has chosen to theme each handset. They are as follows.

HTC 7 Mozart - Music with style

Billed as the music phone of the range, the Mozart has an aluminium unibody design. As such the HTC reps called it the Legend of the Windows Phone 7 range but in truth it's nothing like the Legend thanks to an angular design on the back, a black anodised finish to the aluminium and black patches of sot touch plastic on the back also.

It's the smallest of the launch phones with just a 3.7in screen. However, despite its music emphasis (which amounts to precisely nothing in terms of features) it in fact sports the most high-end camera; an 8 megapixel unit with a Xenon flash. Sadly the company hasn't also added an LED lamp, so all your video footage will have to be dark.

When it arrives, this phone will be exclusive to Orange/T-Mobile.

HTC 7 Trophy - Entertainment central

Tipped to be the most aggressively priced of its launch handsets, the Trophy is apparently aimed at gamers, though again there's nothing that actually makes it so. It's screen is a mite larger than the Mozart at 3.8in and it features a soft touch plastic body. The camera is also more conventional unit with just 5 megapixels on offer and an LED flash.

This look like the phone previously thought to be the HTC Spark. It will be exclusive to Vodafone when it arrives.

HTC HD7 - The cinema in your pocket

HD? Cinema? Can you guess what distinguishes this model? Yes, its the one with the largest screen; 4.3in to be precise. It also has a metal pop-out stand for easy video viewing. Like the Trophy, it features a soft touch plastic body and 5 megapixel camera. It will be exclusive to O2.

HTC 7 Surround

Available only in America, the Surround will feature a slideout speaker of all things. We didn't get to see this handset in the flesh so can't vouch for how bizarre or inspired this innovation is but otherwise we gather its much like the other handsets. It also features a stand so could offer a particularly compelling video viewing experience.

HTC 7 Pro

Arriving a little further down the line, the Pro will feature a side-sliding qwerty keyboard and will also be available in a 16GB version. HTC anticipates that this will arrive with no exclusivity contract so hopefully will be available SIM free.

If you're worried about being able to get hold of one of these devices, HTC assured us it will have plenty of stock ready for the launch so we hopefully won't see a repeat of what happened with the hugely popular HTC Desire, which ran low on stock and saw prices sky rocket.

So that's your choice. Are you pleased as punch with what's on offer or are you left wanting for more? Let us know in the comments.

Go to comments

Orinj

October 11, 2010, 6:51 pm

It's a minefield of choice. Too many phones with little to differentiate them in real terms. The fact that some of them are exclusive to different networks just makes things worse.

Runadumb

October 11, 2010, 6:53 pm

I stopped reading at 8GB. Didn't the original Iphone launch with 8GB? How many years has that been now?

Jmac

October 11, 2010, 7:15 pm

What the heck are they doing? Talk about muddying the water with false choices! We're offered a 'music' version of the phone which has the best camera; a 'cinema' phone with a slidey outy speaker (so making it surely more of a music phone for kids on the bus to 'entertain' everyone with N-DUBZ at distortion-inducing volume levels); and an 'HD' phone which not only doesn't have an HD display (480p is the best it can do?!), but also has exactly the same resolution (and a larger dot pitch) than its siblings. Some are network exclusives (but on different networks) and all have the same core hardware, with only screen, camera, price and slide-out paraphernalia to distinguish them. Good work HTC, I'm thoroughly confused. Oh, and 8GB? Really?

Orinj

October 11, 2010, 8:21 pm

@Runadump > There was a 4GB version of the original iPhone but it was discontinued about three month after launch to allow the 8GB one to take precedence. Your point is still valid.

Manni

October 11, 2010, 8:26 pm

@runadumb: that's exactly how I feel. For a while I thought we were back in 2007. No SDHC? 16Gb max? no cut &paste? No Skype? No anything? And we should get excited?


Come on, MS/HTC, either give us the best hardware (ie *rea* HD screen) and the best platform ever, and we MAY wait for the apps to come, but this is ridiculous. How can you sell a "music" phone today with 8Gb memory, knowing that half of it will be taken by pictures, videos and apps? I don't get it.

rav

October 11, 2010, 8:27 pm

I get by far on my Desire with an 8GB card. But at the end of the day I can still upgrade if I want/need to. I'm sure these phones won't be cheap and being locked in is worrying.





What are MS thinking? Push Zune Pass as a benefit and then hobble it by not supporting expandable storage.

mb2251

October 11, 2010, 9:03 pm

No Windows Phone 7 love for 3UK then?

Arctic Fox

October 11, 2010, 10:17 pm

Contract, contract and yet again contract apart from the most expensive, maybe. I have a Wildfire and am reasonably pleased (as a decently priced and equipped entry-level mob). Was thinking about upgrading in the coming half year or so but if this is the kind of treatment "sim-less" customers can expect from this company it won't be HTC next time and if other companies in practice also ignore potential WP7 customers unless they accept a contract, they can forget the OS as well as far as I am concerned. However good it may or may not turn out to be. I will simply wait and see what Nokia can offer with meego. I do not care who _they_ want to get into bed with, _I_ will not be forced to climb in there with them.

Greg17b

October 12, 2010, 12:54 am

It looks to me that HTC aren't quite sure which phone will do well in which market. So they make a few different types that 'specialise', roll it out to all regions, and see which will fly off the shelves in one, and gather dust in the other.





Rinse, re-design, re-release once WP7 is matured early 2011. Simple.

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