By November 1, 2010

HTC 7 Mozart and Windows Phone 7 Review

HTC 7 Mozart and Windows Phone 7 ReviewThe HTC 7 Mozart is the smallest of HTCs Windows Phone 7 offerings here in the UK. It isn’t that small though – the 3.7 inch SLCD screen is more than capable of taking on most other devices in a stand off. Combined with its 1GHz processor, 8MP camera with Xenon flash and the brand new OS from Microsoft I think I am going to enjoy this review.

Exclusive to Orange the 7 Mozart is in stores now and awaiting your purchase. I hope the review will help you make your mind up whether to give Windows Phone 7 a try.

 

 

What’s in the box:

  • Device
  • Battery
  • Wall Plug
  • Sync charge cable
  • Headphones
  • Manual/Starter guides

You can see the HTC 7 Mozart unboxing video here.

 

The ten second review:

Device: HTC 7 Mozart

Price: From free with a contract

Summary: An all round great smartphone with superb specs in a beautiful shell.

Best of: Friendly user interface, great browser, people hub, Zune integration.

Worst of: No MicroSD card slot, Lack of copy/paste, lack of proper multitasking.

Buy it now from: Orange

 

HTC 7 Mozart Specifications :

  • Processor 1 GHz
  • Operating System – Windows® Phone OS 7
  • Memory  – ROM: 512 MB RAM: 576 MB Internal storage: 8 GB
  • Dimensions – Size 119 X 60.2 X 11.9 mm (4.69 X 2.37 X 0.47 inches)
  • Weight – 130 grams (4.59 ounces) with battery
  • Display – 3.7 inch touch screen with 480 X 800 resolution
  • Network – HSPA/WCDMA (900/2100 MHz) Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth® 2.1 with A2DP for wireless stereo headsets Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 3.5 mm stereo audio jack Standard micro-USB (5-pin micro-USB 2.0)
  • Camera  – 8.0 megapixel colour camera with auto focus and Xenon flash 720p HD video recording
  • Removable and Rechargeable Lithium ion or Lithium-polymer battery, 1300 mAh AC adaptor AC input: 100 ~ 240V AC, 50/60 Hz
  • Sensors – Motion G-sensor Proximity Sensor Ambient Light Sensor
  • Additional features – Dolby® Mobile and SRS surround sound

 

 

General:

On the right hand side of the Mozart we find the up/down volume control as well as the microUSB port.

HTC 7 Mozart-left

 

On the left is just the dedicated camera button all on its own.

Mozart-right

 

On top is the power button alongside the 3.5mm headset jack.

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At the bottom we have the microphone and also a lanyard hole.

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Over on the back we have the camera lens and flash and also a small speaker grill.

Mozart-back

 

Above the screen on the Mozart we find the speaker grill and sensors. Below the screen are the three touch sensitive keys – back, home and search.

Mozart-front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights:

  • Fresh new user interface
  • Great Camera
  • Fantastic Web Browser

 

 

Lowlights:

  • No MicroSD Card
  • Lack of proper multi tasking
  • No copy/paste

 

 

Review:

 

With the HTC 7 Mozart being the first Windows Phone 7 device to arrive with us for review, to say I was a little excited was an understatement. After I had unboxed it and calmed down I sat down to give it a good going over and see what’s what with the new device.

Holding the device in one hand feels superb. Its curved corners really make it feel comfortable. As normal with HTC products the build quality is amazing. Its 130g weight helps it feel robust.

It looks good too. From the front its dark colour makes it look sleek with a wee touch of sparkle at the top where the speaker grill is.

The Mozart has a bit of a crazy design going on over on its back. The upper and middle parts have a very slight rubbery feeling whereas the middle section matches the feel of the rest of the phone. Like the HTC Legend, the Mozart has a unibody design so taking out the battery is a bit odd. The bottom section on the back slides off to review a flap that releases the battery. This also serves as the phones antenna. There is no MicroSD card slot here. Instead you must just rely on the 8GB of internal storage. This is a bit of a shame.

 

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Under the 3.7 inch SLCD screen are three touch sensitive keys. These are back, home and search. Having these three keys is a requirement of all Windows Phone 7 handsets.

 

Mozart-angled-right

So lets have a look inside the OS and see what’s occurring.

With no way to screen capture with WP7 yet I’m afraid we are relying on the good old digital camera.

 

The first thing you are likely to find on the Mozart is its lock screen. At the top you will be shown signal strength, if you are connected to Wi-Fi and battery life.

Under that in much bigger writing you get to see the time, day and date – much as you would expect with lock screens on most platforms. And finally under the date is where you see your notifications. This is great as it allows you to check and see if you have any emails etc without unlocking the phone. This is something sadly missing from the iPhone so nice one Microsoft.

 

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Next up we have the home screen and this is made up of live tiles. The screen scrolls vertically to allow you to view all the tiles. The tiles can be moved around and more added so you can sort of customise it to make it how you need it. The colours can be changed too. The background colour can be either black of white but the tiles can be one of eleven colours. Being an Orange device the live tiles were Orange by default. I thought they looked real good against the black background so they stayed. The SLCD screen on the Mozart looks fantastic and reacts well. Scrolling is beautifully smooth.

In the months leading up to the launch of Windows Phone 7 I have kept saying that I really didn’t like the design of the home screen but you know what? After using it it really does grow on you. I think the HTC 7 Mozart helped due to its size and the fact that it feels so natural in the hand and allows you to scroll using your thumb. It just feels right.

 

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At the top right hand side of the home screen is a small white arrow. Press this and you enter the main menu. Again, the menu icons are listed vertically and this time in alphabetical order so finding the one you want is simple, as long as you know your alphabet!

 

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The 8Mp camera on the Mozart may well be one of its selling points but as we have all learnt megapixels don’t mean better quality. What they will allow you to do is print bigger pictures. After testing the camera on the Mozart I was reasonably impressed although not blown away. At least in lowlight conditions you have the super xenon flash to help you out. As you can see below it does an excellent job. The photo of the leaf was taken in total darkness. For the flash to be effective you really need to be near to the subject. Anything more than a couple of meters or so and the pictures are not great.

Mozart 1C-7A395B2BA3F1

   Mozart 2 9-5431-91AB-251C-798EBCAE687F Mozart  3 -B533-26585890496A

The camera interface is a joy to use. Things are kept simple on screen but there are a selection of scenes and effects within the settings and switching to these only takes a couple of seconds. Also, switching between the camera and video camera is a piece of cake. You have an onscreen icon that you can press to toggle between the two .

Having 720P HD video recording is always a bonus and the Mozart does it pretty well. One thing I did notice though is that when you are moving the camera around on subjects that are close it can sometimes take a second for the auto focus to adjust. You will see below that video initially looks nice and crisp. Once I viewed it full screen it lost a lot of that crispness. My iPhone 4 certainly does a better job I’m afraid to say.

HTC 7 Mozart Sample Video

The first application/feature I want to mention is bing which we all know as Microsoft’s search engine. To start using bing all you need to do with a WP7 device is press the search key under the screen. This will launch bing instantly and present you with a search box at the top of the screen. This box will be on top of a full screen picture that will give you facts. If you look at the picture below you will notice two small square on the screen. click these and a fact it yours. Give the fact a press and bing will show you a load of websites relating to that fact. Not much use to me but makes a change!

So, whatever you need to search for can be typed into the search box.

 

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Once done your results will be displayed as below. First of all you will have web results. Swipe to the right and you have local results. Here you can click on the one you want or click on the map that will display all the items the search found for you locally. Another swipe to the right will show you cany news stories that relate to the word you searched from.

This was my first time using bing properly and I can tell you I really really like it. I don’t think there is an easier way to search for things locally and have so may options at your fingertips. Nice work Microsoft.

 

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Next up is the social networking apps. Not the most important when it comes to a phone review but as so many of us these days rely on Facebook and Twitter we need an OS that gives us a decent platform to feed our addictions!

I am pleased to say that the both the Facebook and official Twitter app for WP7 are pretty good. They allow you to perform the same tasks as on other OS’s and the UI is very much the same as on the rest of the WP7 with big headers at the top of the pages that scroll left and right.

 

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I do have one major issue with applications on Windows phone 7 and that is where the lack of true multitasking comes in. For example: If you use Twitter a lot you will more than likely become very frustrated using it on a WP7 device. Each time you leave the app to do something else and then come back the app needs to reload and on Twitter this means reloading your timeline. To most people this probably will not be an issue but for people like myself who are used to jumping in and out of apps constantly and them continuing to run in the background, switching to WP7 is frankly a bit frustrating. I do hope Microsoft sort this is future updates of the OS as at the moment it sucks.

 

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On to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Prior to launch I think that Microsoft stated that WP7 would launch with 2000 apps in the Marketplace. I think that a day after launch it actually had just under 800. That still is not bad if you ask me and I can see this growing rapidly. The Marketplace, like most things on WP7 is dead easy to navigate. Applications can be viewed in various categories

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With Microsoft so proud with their xbox integration you will find an xbox live section within the games menu in the marketplace. I am not an xbox user so rather than be waffle on about a load of stuff I know nothing about I will leave the xbox gubbins to an expert. I don’t know who that expert is but it certainly isn’t me!

Once you find a app you are interested in the Marketplace gives you plenty of information about it. As well as a star rating you will also see small reviews from other users as well as a range of screenshots. At the bottom of the screen you will also be given a list of related apps that may also be of interest.

Downloading an app is as easy as pressing the install button. You can also share the app by sending an email to a friend who you think may want to check it out.

Some apps will allow you to try before you buy which is a huge bonus. Nothing worse than buying an app that turns out is rubbish.

 

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So overall I am more than happy with the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. It is user friendly and for a brand new OS it has a lot to offer.

 

The people hub on WP7 is one of my favorite sections as it has excellent integration with some other apps. If you missed my HTC 7 Mozart demo video  you will be interested to know that once you have submitted your Facebook and Windows Live ID all those contacts will be imported into the people hub.

 

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From the people hub you not only see your contacts but also their status updates on Facebook and Windows Live. You can even comment on their Facebook status without even leaving the people hub. Clever.

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One of the features that is of most importance to smartphone users is the web browser and luckily the HTC 7 Mozart doesn’t let us down. The browser is beautifully smooth and renders pages extremely well and fast. It works just as well in both landscape and portrait, and zooming is achieved by pinch to zoom. I normally compare web browsers to my iPhone4 and I have to say that this is just as good (in my opinion) which I don’t think I have said with any other phone!

 

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At the base of the screen are three icons. The one on the left will allow you to save a bookmark. The one in the middle will allow you to view your bookmarks and the final one on the right will show you any open pages in multi tab browsing. As you can see below, once in your bookmarks you can swipe to the right to see a list of your recent history. Jolly handy for jumping back to a recently viewed page. I freaking love this browser!

Another nice feature is that you can pin a web page to your home screen. I like that.

It is not perfect though. Flash is not supported and watching YouTube videos on a web page is a no no. In fact watching YouTube all together was a no no. When clicking on a video which is on web page the Mozart told me I needed to download the YouTube app in order to watch it. The only problem was it would not download. Since completing the review I understand that the YouTube app now works in the Marketplace.

 

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We mustn’t forget that the HTC 7 Mozart also makes phone calls. The numbers on the dialer are huge and this really makes it easy to dial . Call quality was as good as you would expect. Once in a call the proximity sensor kicks in when placed to your cheek and it worked perfectly. If you take the phone away from your face you are given some on screen options such as speaker, hold, mute and end call. Works just like a phone is meant too.

 

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Messaging is another important feature on a smartphone and the Mozart seemed to handle it is just fine. The messaging live tile will show you all sms and mms as seen below. Nice to see threaded messaging here and the home screen colours are present here too. Looks pretty good doesn’t it.

This would be a good point to mention the keyboard on the Mozart and this will be on all WP7 devices. To sum it up it is excellent. As a BlackBerry user primarily I don’t enjoy typing on touch screen keyboards. I have an iPhone4 too which I can type on if I need to and I am quite quick. I actually find the WP7 keyboard just as good if not better. Why, I’m not totally sure. I like the noise it makes! Maybe that’s it? But seriously, in both portrait and landscape typing just feels easy. The phone will also predict the next word which is jolly handy if you are not particularly good at spelling. Overall an excellent job Microsoft. Well done.

 

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Email is generally more important to people on a smartphone and there are various options available. Within the settings menu is the set up accounts option. Here you can set up your Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Google or any other email accounts. The process is quick and once done you will get a live tile on your home screen.

Slightly deeper within the email settings you can tweak the settings and here is where you set your refresh times to receive email. With outlook you obviously have the option for mail to be pushed instantly but with the others the quickest sync I could find was every 15 minutes which I thought sucked a bit.

 

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We had a few people ask us recently how easy it was to synchronize with Outlook. The answer is – easy. Check out the video below:

HTC 7 Mozart Outlook Demo

 

There is a Maps application within the main menu and this is part of bing like we saw earlier. Like with Google maps you can search for things around you and get driving directions etc.

 

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The calendar on the Mozart is pretty sweet. Like all things on Windows Phone 7 it looks good and is easy to use. You can view the calendar by day, agenda and month. This was one of the things I covered in my demo video. Go take a look if you have not already.

 

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The pictures hub is fantastic on the Mozart. As well as any camera shots you take, the phone will also import your Facebook photos which is great if you ask me. Within the app you will also see any photos that your Facebook friends upload. You can comment on them from here. No need to exit and go to the Facebook app. Nice.

The pictures look great on the Mozart’s screen and you can zoom in and out using pinch to zoom.

 

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Hopefully you have seen my HTC 7 Mozart demo video where I showed you the Zune application in action. In addition I will just say that since I recorded that video I have used Zune a bit more and I really do think it is a worthy contender to iTunes.

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For those of you (and that is more than likely most) that have not seen the Zune PC software and how easy it is to get media from the PC to the Windows Phone let me demonstrate by the ancient art of video recording!

HTC 7 Mozart Zune Demo

Most of us rely on our phones to wake us up in the morning and the HTC 7 Mozart is more than capable of doing that. Setting the alarm time is almost fun as you have to flick the hours and minutes up and down to get the time you need. With the application supporting multiple alarms you can do some serious snoozing if you like.

 

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One of the things that make the HTC phones unique when compared with the others is the HTC Hub. This is where you can will find a few extra small apps such as stocks, the weather, photo enhancer and sound enhancer. Lets hope in time we see a few more features here.

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A feature that Microsoft has always has been leading edge with when it comes to smart phones is Microsoft Office. I have used it for years on the Windows Mobile platform and now it has a nice refresh in Windows Phone 7.

 

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Creating documents is a piece of cake and with the option to change the text colour it really gives you a miniature office in your pocket. I was surprised how good the playback quality was with OneNote. I recorded myself, and playing it back it sounded almost as if I was here in the room talking to myself. Very impressive.

There is one thing lacking from WP7 and it will be sorely missed in the office application and that is copy/paste. Microsoft have stated that it will come in a future update next year but why they left it out baffles me. Oh well.

Overall, the Office features really may be one of the things that sway business people into getting a Windows Phone 7 device. It may be a big ‘if’ at the moment as it’s early days but you never no. I would certainly find that Office would come in handy with my day job.

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Orange daily is one of the pre loaded apps that will only feature on the Windows Phones carried by the network. Its main purpose is really a news hub and it will give you up to date headlines. There are also a big range of categories to view which include film trailers and football headlines.

With a few add ons for good measure the app integrates Weather, Twitter and Wikipedia which may well come in handy.

 

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Orange Maps also comes on the HTC 7 Mozart although it was not up and running when I used the device. There were however some screenshots to look at.

I have actually used Orange Maps on previous devices. It may not be the cheapest form of sat nav but at the moment with Windows Phone 7 we are not spoilt for choice with the likes of TomTom and Copilot. Hopefully we will get other options soon but then the lack of multi tasking may come into play. I wonder what would happen if a phone call came in while running the app. Would the sat nav stop and have to be re launched? Would the route still be there? I’m intrigued to see what lies ahead with WP7.

 

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I did discover some issue with the Mozart though. A number of times when bringing the device out of standby and unlocking the screen it would display a jumble of the last page that it displayed before sleeping. This can be cleared by cycling the power but the bug is fairly repeatable – I’ve seen it about 4-5 times since I first noticed it. Not the end of the world but does perhaps indicate some stability issues.

 

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Conclusion:

Overall the HTC 7 Mozart is a great smart phone. It’s specs are clearly impressive and I have really enjoyed using it for the last week.

Windows Phone 7 in general is a huge improvement over Windows Mobile and Microsoft must be congratulated for their work. Although at first I was not impressed with the UI I have come to like it a lot more now. It is clean, crisp and extremely user friendly which really helps with a new OS. Sure, it is not perfect but for a first release it’s very impressive. I really hope that Windows Phone 7 is here to stay.

Now I just hope that Orange don’t ask for the review device back soon. I want to keep on using it!

 

Posted by: James

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
Tags: , ,

About the Author:

Five year veteran of the site. BlackBerry specialist, but experienced in most operating systems. Enjoys flower arranging and cross stitch.
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