HTC's Windows 7 cameraphone entry
The HTC 7 Mozart is one of five phones announced for the UK at the launch of Windows Phone 7, and thanks to a slightly different chassis and additional tech it stands out from the pack.
The headline feature is an 8MP camera with Xenon flash, which none of the other 4 WP7 handsets can offer. But does the superior snapper hit the right notes on the Mozart?
The good news is this isn't a bad thing: the slick feel under the finger and simple to use tiles on the home screen are a joy to use, and will offer an attractive experience to many, including new smartphone users.
Read more about the Windows Phone 7 interface in our LG Optimus 7 review
HTC 7 Mozart: Screen and build
The 3.7-inch screen is a fraction small to our eyes - it's taller than the Apple iPhone 4, but oddly thinner. However, the chassis fits nicely in the hand, something which can't be said about the HTC HD7 and its 4.3-inch screen, for instance.
We're not sure we're fans of the aluminium unibody design here from HTC on the 7 Mozart: on the HTC Legend it felt premium and slick, but here, with a multitude of lumps and bumps, it’s not as impressive.
The other little customisations HTC has been allowed to put on by Microsoft include a Hub, where more apps can be downloaded, a stock ticker and a sound enhancer too.
The latter is the most useful - you can choose from Dolby Mobile, SRS virtual surround sound or an equaliser, and all make a difference to movies and music.
But sadly, thanks to Microsoft's lack of third party customisation on its phones, these aren't in the media player; you have to drop out and fire up a separate app... not so bad for music, as it stays running in the background, but terrible for movies
HTC 7 Mozart: Camera
Apart from the single metallic chassis, the other USP of the HTC 7 Mozart is the camera, packing an 8MP snapper with Xenon flash and HD video recording
The camera is oddly disappointing; if you need to use the flash (which is set to automatic by default) then the camera shutter will sound, the flash will go off; then again in about half a second before the pic is saved. We lost count of the times that we moved the camera after taking the picture - it should be much faster.
The camera boots up quickly, even in lock mode, and the snapping without the flash is fast and accurate, although you're forced to use a central auto focus, which can lead to oddly-metered pics.
The quality isn't up to much, as the amount of noise (especially when zoomed in) is quite high - the only good photos we got were when we snapped in bright light outside.
Video is acceptable for HD, although despite the 30fps spec; the choppiness of the video is really annoying at times, and in low light is gets pretty blurry.
HTC 7 Mozart: Verdict
The HTC 7 Mozart will attract a lot of people trying to work out which Windows Phone 7 device is for them, as it's easy to look at the megapixel count in such decisions. It's certainly a lot more pocketable than the HTC HD7, and it feels more premium than the LG Optimus 7 and HTC 7 Trophy.
But if you're locked to Orange, we suggest you look at the Samsung Omnia 7, with a much nicer screen (but a poorer camera) or if you're not fussed by Windows Phone 7, one of the Android lot - it might take a year or so for Microsoft to get things like copy and paste and Flash video working on its platform anyway.
HTC 7 Mozart launch date: Now
Exclusive to Orange
HTC 7 Mozart Specifications:
- OS: Windows Phone 7
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor
- Storage: 8GB int
- Screen: 3.7-inch 480x800
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1, HSDPA 7.2Mbps, 3.5mm jack, N WiFi
- Camera: 8MP with Xenon flash
- Video: 720p, 30fps
- Talk time: 5 hours 50 mins3G
- Dimensions: 119x60x12mm
- Weight: 130g