There's no such thing as a small WP 7 phone. However, 4.3 inches of screen estate are really something else. The best case scenario: the HTC HD7 is the phone you've been waiting for. The worst case scenario: it's too big to fail.
The HTC HD7 was inevitable. Was it not the first Windows Phone 7 ever rumored? And rightly so. There's no phone too big or too powerful for Windows Phone 7. In fact, if you ask Microsoft they'd say the bigger the better. HTC – on their part – didn't have to think too hard. They simply skipped right to number seven.
Come to think of it, it may as well have been exactly with the HTC HD2 in mind that Microsoft laid down the law about the Windows Phone 7 required hardware. Effectively, HTC had a Windows Phone 7 flagship on standby for nearly a year – waiting for as much as a nod from Microsoft to let it off the leash. Anyway, as we've seen on a number of occasions, this whole thing is about getting things done on the biggest mobile screen possible. And the HTC HD7's best course of action is to ensure no surprises.
4.3" 16M-color capacitive LCD touchscreen of WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels)
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
Dual-band 3G with HSDPA (7.2 Mbps) and HSUPA (2Mbps)
Windows Phone 7 operating system
1GHz Snapdragon CPU, 576MB RAM, 512MB ROM
5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash, geotagging
720p video recording @ 25fps
8GB of built-in storage
Standard 3.5mm audio jack
Standard microUSB port (charging)
Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
Accelerometer for screen auto rotation
Office document editor
Facebook integration and cloud services
Built-in A-GPS receiver
Stereo FM Radio with RDS
Comes with HTC Hub and exclusive HTC apps
Kickstand with trademark yellow accents
Great audio quality
High screen response time causes visible ghosting
No lens protection
Quite heavy at 162 g (not that we mind)
Somewhat susceptible to the "antenna death grip" (signal drops by at least two bars)
No system-wide file manager
No Bluetooth file transfers
No USB mass storage mode
Limited third-party apps availability
No Flash (nor Silverlight) support in the browser
Too dependent on Zune software for file management and syncing
No video calls
New ringtones available only through the Marketplace
Music player lacks equalizer presets
No DivX/XviD video support (automatic transcoding provided by Zune software)
No sign of free Bing maps Navigation so far
No internet tethering support
No handwriting recognition support
Alright, one thing we can be sure of – the HTC HD7 is playing strictly by the Microsoft book in terms of hardware. On the other hand, it does look like a simple copy/paste job. You know, WP7 phones have a hard time demonstrating a personality. The HD7 has the extra task of identifying itself as something different from the HD2.
The brand new OS is the right place to start. In terms of hardware, the kickstand is certainly an eye-catcher – not to mention it tells you're dealing with a phone that will keep you entertained. Next on the list is the HTC Hub and the exclusive apps it offers.
It still seems the HTC HD7 offers little in the way of creativity. It will be up to the other WP7 phones in the HTC portfolio to do that. The HD7 might just be supposed to be a mere display of power – the one that completes their grand slam of massive screens.