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HTC HD7 review

 Review: November 2010  
 

Last updated April 2012

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: The HTC HD7 is one of the first wave of phones running Windows Phone 7. The HD7's main selling point is its huge 4.3 inch display, making it perfect for watching videos and running all kinds of apps.

Today's best buy: HTC HD7 / Windows 7 / Sim Fr ... from Amazon (£169.99)



 

Review

The HTC HD7 is one of the first wave of phones running Microsoft's new Windows® Phone 7 operating system. Released a full year after the HTC HD2, we were expecting to see a substantial improvement over the previous model, but apart from the new operating system and an upgrade to HD video recording, the HD7 is almost identical to the HD2.

Like its predecessor, the thing that leaps out and grabs you about the HD7 is the screen. At 4.3 inches and 480 x 800 pixels, this was the biggest screen in town at launch, although now it's commonplace amongst high-end phones. The kickstand at the back enhances the entertainment value of the big screen. It'll be too big for some, but at least the phone is slim, at only 11.2mm thick, although it still weighs in at a hefty 162g. The HD7 is all about the screen really, and for some it'll be absolutely brilliant and for others it'll be simply too big.

The big screen certainly acts as a great showcase for the new Windows Phone 7 operating system. Microsoft were on a mission to simplify their Windows Mobile operating system, and they certainly needed to. Phone 7 seems far more intuitive to use, with a new look home screen, consistent menus across the interface, and a very responsive UI helped by a fast 1GHz processor. We enjoyed swiping and tapping our way around the phone, and we liked the home screen, with its collection of constantly updating feeds and tiles. Phone 7 has a lot going for it, in particular its integration with other Microsoft products, making it very easy to sync the phone with your PC. It also places social media to the fore, letting you import contact data from Facebook, as well as Windows Live, Google and other sources, and you can easily view new Facebook postings, photos, etc through your contacts list. We think that Phone 7 is a solid platform for the future, and there are already plenty of business, communication and productivity-type apps available. Access to the suite of Office products is one of Phone 7's key selling points. Fun apps will no doubt appear in time.

The HD7 is all about media, and the Zune media player is at the heart of this. When viewing images or playing videos, the screen simply rocks, and if you do a lot of this, you'll be glad you chose the HD7. For music too, sound quality is excellent, with support for SRS Surround Sound and Dolby Mobile, and you can listen through the phone's own twin speakers or by headphone using the 3.5mm audio jack. You can also use a Bluetooth stereo headset if you prefer.

The camera is excellent, with 5 megapixels and a bright dual LED flash. The LED flash also operates as a video light when recording video at up to HD (720p) resolution.

A new feature of the HD7 is Xbox Live integration, raising mobile game playing to a new level. The video processor support is more than adequate, making game playing on a big portable screen a better experience even than the iPhone.

Other features you'll find tucked away inside the HD7 include a GPS receiver integrated with Bing Maps, and a good web browser, based on Internet Explorer.

The phone supports fast data access with HSPA offering downloads of up to 7.2 Mbps. Connectivity covers everything you'd expect, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There's plenty of memory packed inside too, with 576MB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

One thing we're not too happy about is the relatively low power of the battery. Battery power always plagued the HD2, and the HD7 looks to have the same problem. Combine a low powered battery with a huge LCD display and lots of toys to play with and you're heading for disappointment.

Just like the HD2 before it, the HD7 excels in some areas and is problematic in others. The outstanding areas are many. The problem areas are the size, weight and battery life. It's expensive too. You have to choose a phone like this with both eyes open, knowing what it will do and what it won't.


HTC HD7 features include:

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HTC HD7 / Windows 7 / Sim Fr ...
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HTC HD7 user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 28 reviews:

Reviewed by Becca from UK on 7th Feb 2012
This phone is terrible. I have had to have it replaced 3 times due to software faults, phone faults and it repeatedly freezing for no reason. The software on the phone is awful and has so many glitches. The repeated number of updates is a bit frustrating and reflects how eager HTC were to bring out a phone before really working out the kinks. I wouldn't recommend this phone.
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Reviewed by mark from UK on 10th Jan 2012
Firstly, Windows mobile is different to iOS or android. Its easy to use, simple and clean. I've had a 3g/3gs/desire so well versed in the operating systems, and I really like the way the new mango update has taken shape. Zune works brilliantly, and the zune pass for only 8.99 a month means free music downloads, I do a lot of train journeys so great for me, and cost the same as 1 album a month, I downloaded 10 last month for 8.99 nothing on the phone doesn't work, bluetooth streaming good, messaging, facebook integration brilliant, signal pick up great. I love the HD7 and would recommend to anyone, only downside is battery is terrible, but i have a spare so who cares.
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Reviewed by joseph from usa on 3rd Jan 2012
i hate mine for 1 reason no skype what a rip off. if it had it id love it
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Reply by p from london on 16th Feb 2012
Skype is coming out in the next 2-3 months or maybe sooner.

Reviewed by Pete S from England on 11th Dec 2011
had an upgrade from the O2 Guide and was not disappointed the phone has a screen to die for and is simple in it's use and functions. It is a large phone but this simply makes the screen more readable and everything is crystal clear. HTC Hub and available Apps are getting very close to Apples and the availability of Office Mobile apps is great, the downside however is it appears you need Office 2010 on your PC to allow editing of Documents etc on the phone. The built in GPS is also a plus but until one of the leading players comes up with a true App (e.g. Tomtom, Co-Pilot.) it is at present limited in direct use I would however recommend this phone to anyone who wants speed, clarity and a larger display
Rating:

Reviewed by Donald Smith from UK on 8th Dec 2011
It seems to to work effortlessly with Windows live. Those having trouble with Outlook might consider migrating to it. Plug-and-play/drag-and-drop would have been preferred, over an over reliance on the Zune software, a step back from the HD2. Which executive thought of that? Regular updates to Mango could see the phones come into its own, but lets hope Microsoft don't abandon there projects concerning the phone. Potential is one thing, but they need to be realised. The OS is great to use quite smooth and responsive. I would like to see a better way of organising apps, like grouping similar apps together their own screen. Flash and a re-flow function would be nice.
Rating:

Reviewed by the master from uk on 1st Nov 2011
great screen,excellent running system,love the set-up,music great,internet fast,camera great for 5 megas but you must upload the 7.5 mango o.s.changes the fone for the better.
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Reviewed by Maria from Greece on 16th Oct 2011
I bought this phone a few weeks ago.I must say it really sucks, worst ever phone owned. I looks prety cool but can't really do anything with it. bluetooth not working to connect or share files with others,Zune software sucks too ,you need to be a rocket scientist to upload anything here, I thought that a windows phone would do prety much everything, does not support popular formats of files...I would trade it for a iphone and pay the difference in a eyeblink...stay away. Good camera and and screen ,that is all i found good about it.
Rating:

Reviewed by Will from USA on 19th Aug 2011
I have this phone and the htc HD2 and personally like the HD2, the HD7 is much smother and easy to use. But it doesn't have nearly as much media than the HD2. HD2 comes with Swype, streaming media, it can read virtually any movie, doc files, and much more. I also find it pain using Zune, You cant just put pics, music, videos on HD7 like on a hard drive. Its like stupid Itunes with iphone, and its very annoying. HD2 and HD7 are basically same phones. power, screen resolution, cameras, memory.. Its funny how they limited the HD7 even though it came 2 years after the htc HD2.
Rating:

Reviewed by Dinu from UK on 14th Jul 2011
Great phone waaaay smoother and fasster than my old Android phone and battery lasts longer too! Love the crisp clean user interface in comparison to the messy and confusing Andriod UI Up coming mango update will make it even better
Rating:

Reviewed by Andy from England on 28th Jun 2011
My freind had this phone and found it dire, i had a play with it a found it truly awful. i personaly have a desire which is awsome, dont get this phone, get the desire hds i think the prob was 1 He was on orange, 2, microsoft got hold of it, couldnt even dowload Angry birds, i ask you you have to have that game lol. Dont get me wrong the Internet was fast.
Rating:

Reviewed by Eric from Finland on 16th May 2011
It is alright, but I wait for Nokia win7 phone will be a lot better
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Reviewed by C.Morgan from England on 11th Apr 2011
Thought I'd wait a month or so before posting a review: Camera - great pictures but the people have to be still, easy to upload to facebook and the like. Video - good in decent light, but can't upload to facebook and the like. Easy to put your own films on it. Touch Screen - really responsive and a great screen, but not quite iphone colours. Typing on the virtual keyboard is really good. Calls and texting - (02) great, no problems at all. Music - Zune is okay, but I was really getting into spotify and unfortunately it isn't supported. Emails - everything but Outlook (Web Access version) has been a doddle and really good. Still can't get OWA to work yet. MS Office mobile - a nice touch, but not as great as I thought. Apps - a little disappointed in comparison to iPhone Battery Life - with any smart phone with a screen this size, I have to charge every night, but no real problems. Overview: All in all a good phone; I've never been disappointed with it - but I have always had the niggling feeling should I have gone for a iphone? Might have to have a look at then when the iPhone5 comes out.
Rating:

Reviewed by raj from england on 7th Apr 2011
i luv this phone! so responsive and really good for gaming. it also gets your basic calling and texting is easy. i swapped from my lg pop, looking for a more classy phone and this is absolutely great! onlny concern is that it is astoundingly big, and hard to fit in most pockets. it makes it harder to lose though =P but otherwise, definetely a great phone. camera isnt of the best quality either, but it still takes pictures at a somewhat average quality. other than that, this phones a beast. definitely buy it. bye!
Rating:

Reviewed by kenny from england on 3rd Apr 2011
this phone is great,the windows software is a breeze to use ,vune is good,but the down side for me is the battery is rubbish and the phone gets far too hot which might be good on a really cold day.
Rating:

Reviewed by tinvia from england on 12th Mar 2011
it is the worst phone i've ever had. can even perform a simple function. for example you cant even set your own music as ringtone, come on we are in 2011 not 1911. easy crash, i have to take it back to o2 and exchange it after 2 days.
Rating:

Reviewed by Daniel Gil de Lamadrid from PR on 8th Mar 2011
I like it, but have a "crash" problem with marketplace hub.. so for that I give the phone 3 stars
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Reviewed by Mr Eoin Campbell from UK on 8th Feb 2011
Very dissatisfied with this phone! I'm on an O2 business contract and switched from my iPhone 3GS in December. I've found that the phone uses up ridiculous amounts of data even when I'm not using the phone! It logs on at midnight to upload data and within the first 20 days of using the phone my 750mb allowance was gone. In the previous year on the iPhone the most I used in any one month was 180mb! I use the phone far less and after January's scare, I even decided to switch off data & 3G before midnight but now I've just received the dreaded "youn have used 80% of your data allowance!" warning! :-S I'm going to call O2 again and complain that the phone is unsuitable and not fit for purpose! I'M VERY DISSATISFIED!!!
Rating:

Reviewed by Michael from UK on 26th Jan 2011
Just a quick response to people who have not managed to synchronise their phone with Outlook. I had problems synchronising with Outlook but luckily took it into the work technicians and hey presto! It works with Outlook. I can access all my Outlook folders and I can also download attachments, change them and then resend them again. So it can be done. I am not sure I would have been able to do it by myself though.
Rating:

Reviewed by Robert Jones from England on 29th Dec 2010
Hi guys, I'd just like to start by saying what a wonderful phone this is! The screen is beautiful and a great size with vivid colours! The new windows operating system is amazing. Everything is very, very responsive and fluid. Loading apps or changing from screen to screen is done super quick. While mentoning apps, there is lots of great apps out at the moment. Obviously it has no where near the amount that the iPhone has but for the amount of time the store has been open it has a wide and good selection:! The phone itself is full of features, live tiles is brilliant and the maps is second to none. Bing is nicely intergrated into maps making it a perfect Sat nav replacement. The phone also has possibly the best virtual keyboard I have seen, intact I'm typing this whole review using it! Please don't be put off by harsh reviews like the one below me, really, one star because it doesn't intergrate with outlook perfectly?! I'd also like to point out that the phone is currently a first version, so doesn't have things like copy and paste or multitasking but the first update has been said to include this which is expected around February '11.
Rating:

Reviewed by Jon Taylor from UK on 13th Dec 2010
Excellent hardware with superb screen and very responsive. With the WiFi and Bluetooth switched off when not needed, battery life is reasonable. HOWEVER for me, the Windows operating system really is the pits. My whole reason for choosing this over Android is what I believed would be good compatibily with Outlook. Quite the opposite in fact - it won't synchronise with Outlook at any level. Everything has to be sent to your Hotmail account and done from there. Fine if you have one but not everyone wants to be forced to do that - I certainly don't. Luckily I have this on trial so it will be going back next week. If your reason for choosing this phone is compatibility with Outlook - forget it.
Rating:

Reviewed by adam from uk on 9th Dec 2010
Except of many shiny gadgets hd7 can't do simple things like adjusting text size when reading anything on the net. Big flaw.
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Reviewed by Chris from UK on 2nd Dec 2010
HD7 is great - the screen is very responsive and I like the build quality. Unfortunately I had to return the phone for a refund as the OS does not allow proper pc-phone sync with MS Outlook. This is a major oversight by Microsoft - not everyone wants to sync using a windows live account, particularly with confidential business information. Phone is excellent but OS sadly lacking in this first version. The OS looks great but the interface is too simple and allows very little customisation. Gone to Desire HD instead.
Rating:

Reviewed by MINANTRA from UK on 20th Nov 2010
Reporting back....OK, sad to say that I have returned two HD7's back to O2 for a full refund. The phone is just not ready for 'prime time', with the main problem being battery life. It was truly awful and I never managed more than 12 hours before charging again which is unacceptable! Who's idea was it to put a 1230 mAh battery in a phone with a monster 4.3inch screen?! As I said before the speaker was so quiet and tinny I could never hear the phone ring/text when it was in my pocket, and it went from warm to hot after using it for an hour. The software on the other hand is very slick, ultra fast and refreshingly different, so I applaud MS for that, however, for me, I think I will let it mature over the next 12 months before I decide to buy another Windows Phone 7. Back to my iPhone 3gs I go. 2 stars for the HTC HD7 and 4 stars for the OS.
Rating:

Reviewed by Martin from UK on 18th Nov 2010
I have been trialing this phone for a couple of days and like the interface and screen size. However for business use there are a number of big BUTs that applies to all W7 phones for BUSINESS USE: The exchange client does not syncronise tasks - in this regard the Outlook client is inferior to the S6 and Symbian3 Exchange Offerings and misses a critical business element (I had expected MS to deliver best Exchange/Outlook client; Linkedin aplication does not integrate with contacts hub and forces web access for full access - inferior to iPhone and Blackberry clients; Lack of Skype app is a killer against Nokia, Android and iPhone; Acrobat reader will not handle secured pdf files - again a major oversight compared to others. Lack of Tube Map app is a pain for getting around London quickly. Battery needs more beef - 8 hours business use kills the battery All that said as a consumer device I would give it 5 stars - but for business it is just not grown up enough yet - maybe another year and some serious thought about business users. I'll check out the Nokia E7 when it comes out as the N8 has impressed
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Reviewed by Mike from UK on 17th Nov 2010
Had this phone for a few says now and was bought to repace me desire,it is excellent,yes excellent!.. In terms of smartphones the iphone is the daddy (I dont own one,buts lots of friends do) the Windows 7 mobile is pretty damn close and is really slick,makes the android look a bit disjointed.. Use is slick,impressive and the mail,windows office,excellent.. Market place is getting better and the battery life get better,all smart phones are current hungry,you aint going to get nokia 6300 battery life...Learn to use it well and you wont be dissapointed
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Reviewed by Andrew Roberts from UK on 10th Nov 2010
Had this phone only 2 days, it is not very good and I am changing it for a HTC Desire, the screen is good and some of the applications but here is a lot missing, no individual ringtones, no usb storage function, unable to connect to coprotae network the list goes on.
Rating:

Reviewed by steve anderson from uk on 7th Nov 2010
had this phone 2 days all i can says is amazing ive had htc desire iphone 4 samsung galaxy s this year and i got to say wow what a phone this phone beats them all yes copy and paste misssing full multi tasking and a couple fixes needed this year like apple an update will be due then it will be truly amazing phone
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Reviewed by MINANTRA from UK on 3rd Nov 2010
Had this phone 12 days now and on the whole i am very impressed impressed with the software, however the hardware is not so good. The screen is fantastic, the build quality is good, the camera is great especially in day light / good lighting. The battery life sucks, 15 hours if im lucky, 12 if i'm not, its also gets hot after 30mins of constant use! The speaker is rubbish, too quiet and very tinny, my camera button got loose and started to click, and lastly, the phone keeps hanging and crashing. I am getting a brand new replacement tomorrow, and hopefully it wont have the problems mentioned above. I will report back.
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