The HTC 7 Pro is a little delayed for some tastes - while it's still the first in the UK to offer Windows Phone 7 with a full QWERTY keyboard, it's still months behind the HTC HD7 and Samsung Omnia 7. However, the 7 Pro comes with some cheeky little extras over the standard Windows Phone 7 offering, taking Microsoft's mobile OS to the next level.
The HTC 7 Pro's design is quite chunky in the hand thanks to having a full landscape keyboard stuck underneath. Sliding this out is a relatively smooth experience, although it can take some time to get your head round doing it one handed, especially as it ends with a cheeky little screen tilt to 45 degrees at the end.
Windows Phone 7 is a simple experience - the OS is basically one screen with constantly updating tiles of your favourite applications, and the other a list of everything you've got on the phone. The touchscreen is superbly slick under the touch, with no hint of judder, although the 3.6-inch size can get a little cramped.
HTC 7 Pro: Keyboard
The slide out keyboard is something that's going to entice a lot of users, as despite their popularity, touchscreens aren't enough for some people. The QWERTY feels OK on first inspection, but after a few seconds it's clear this isn't HTC's finest. We couldn't get anything like a decent speed up typing, and the space bar has no travel in it, meaning trying to type accurately is nigh-on impossible. We actually found ourselves switching to the on-screen keyboard to quickly knock out a text, and given the extra heft the keyboard adds, this is completely counter intuitive.
However, there is a cheeky little surprise on offer with the HTC 7 Pro, in that copy and paste is finally enabled. This means you can long press certain words or drag little cursors to highlight text and have them move to the clipboard for use in another application. Selecting text isn't the easiest, but it's certainly better than previous Windows Phone 7 iterations.
HTC 7 Pro: Internet and media
The internet browser on the 7 Pro is still a bit laggy in our opinion, losing out every time in speed races against Android and iOS devices, and the lack of flash is a real downer.
Media-wise, we're not that impressed either: the fact you can't drag and drop content across and have to use the Zune software means it all takes much longer than it should. However, wireless syncing between PC and phone helps make up for that somewhat.
HTC 7 Pro: Verdict
Overall, we're not sure we can recommend the HTC 7 Pro over other QWERTY devices out there simply because the keyboard is so ill-thought out. even if you're a noted touchscreen hater but are desperate for Windows Phone 7, we suggest you check out the HTC HD7 or wait for the forthcoming Dell Venue Pro.
The HTC 7 Pro isn't an awful phone, but it doesn't really maximise its USP and only offers the same Windows Phone 7 experience along with extra heft to lug around in your pocket