HTC 7 Mozart review

Full review: HTC's Windows Phone 7 handset with a 8MP cameraphone and Xenon flash

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HTC 7 Mozart main
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HTC 7 Mozart back

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?

HTC isn't able to do too much with the interface on its Windows Phone 7, thanks to Microsoft wanting to lock down the experience to make it consistent across all devices.

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