HTC 7 Pro Review
Powered by a 1GHz processing chip, running Window Phone 7 as its operating platform and equipped with a slide-out physical keyboard the HTC 7 Pro is a smartphone aimed at the business market but do its credentials stack up?
In terms of size the HTC 7 Pro is not overly large (117.5 x 59mm) but the addition of the slide out keyboard means it is not the most slim-line phone with a profile of 15.1mm. It is also no featherweight, weighing a hefty 185g.
In general the design and build of the handset is good. There is a clever mechanism to pull the keyboard out which slightly elevates the screen and automatically sets the screen at an angle to create a comfortable typing position. It has to be said that this hinge system is a little difficult to manipulate and you do need to apply a good degree of force to open and close it. The keyboard itself is well spaced and HTC have added a row of numbers above the letters. Some of the keys double up as symbols if you hold them down and there is also a dedicated smilies key.
The 3.6inch capacitive touchscreen is very responsive and has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and a pixel density of 259ppi.
The HTC 7 Pro runs Windows Phone 7 OS which gives a completely different experience to an Android smartphone. The Homescreen in Windows Phone 7 is arranged with large square tiles to access information, apps or the Internet. Unfortunately Windows Phone 7 does not have the multiple Homescreens we are used to with Android. Indeed, if you are used to an Android phone and the flexibility that affords it will be quickly obvious to you that the Windows 7 platform does not allow that kind of customisation.
Windows Phone 7 does not allow a manufacturer to add their own User Interface as a skin over the operating system, although manufacturers can add their own touches such as additional apps. In the case of the HTC 7 Pro this comes in the form of the HTC hub which offers a few extra features such as apps and YouTube but you have to load them manually and in some cases at a cost.
With Windows Phone 7 Internet Explorer has been improved and pages were quick to load on the HTC 7 Pro. A handy feature is the ability to pin a webpage on to the Homescreen so that you can revisit it without bookmarking it. You can also view several pages at the same time and switch between them by hitting the icon at the bottom of the screen. However it is a little disappointing that this browser does not support FLASH.
The HTC 7 Pro maps app is Bing Maps, which works well enough and has the added feature of switching from map view to satellite view if you zoom in far enough.
Like many other Windows 7 phones the HTC 7 Pro can only support up to 8GB internal memory, which is pretty disappointing given that the HTC 7 Pro has no microSD card slot.
The HTC 7 Pro is fitted with a removable 1500mAh battery, which with average use, including web browsing, should last a day before needing to be recharged.
The HTC 7 Pro has a rear-mounted 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and flash which can also record 720p video. Overall the quality of the still shots was acceptable for sharing on social networks although the camera seemed to have difficulty with light and shade, but the video quality was disappointing. Images were blurred and there was a good degree of juddering.
There are some features of the Microsoft OS that enhance the use of the phone’s camera. The HTC 7 Pro has a dedicated camera key, as do all Windows Phone 7 devices, which enables you to quickly activate the camera to take impromptu shots, even when the phone is in standby mode.
By virtue of Microsoft’s SkyDrive the HTC 7 Pro automatically transfers all your images to cloud storage which is a particularly useful feature given the lack of internal storage of the HTC 7 Pro.
HTC 7 Pro Price
If you were looking to recycle your mobile and pick up an HTC 7 Pro you would need to spend in the region of £430 for a SIM free handset, or you could take out a contract with monthly charges starting at about £30.