Microsoft's mobile Windows systems have long the domain of business users, and though Microsoft is definitely trying to shrug off this stuffy consumer perception with its glossy, magazine-style user interface, HTC's Trophy reminds us of who this system is still most likely to appeal to. The Trophy looks like a phone wearing a tuxedo, wrapped in two-tone, soft-touch black plastic and accented with a shimmering silver strip around the screen. On the back, the camera lens is housed under a stylish protrusion, with a speaker grille dressing down the look a little and giving it a touch of industrial flair.
This phone feels really nice to hold, its standby power switch is easy to find without contorting one's hands too much and the camera button and volume rockers are readily accessible. The phone's main input is performed through the 3.8-inch capacitive touchscreeen, though the Trophy also sports the obligatory navigation buttons below the display, and, as we found with the HTC Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7, these buttons work fine. We do wish they were physical buttons instead of the touch activated pad, though.
Daring to be different?
The rigidity of Microsoft's hardware specifications for Windows Phone 7 is a double-edged sword for consumers. One the one hand, you can expect a uniform experience between the different phones developed by the various manufacturers (something that couldn't be said for Windows Mobile 6 devices), but it also makes it extremely difficult to make an informed choice. The Trophy is decidedly middle-of-the-road; its screen is neither largest or smallest, its camera and internal memory meet the minimum required specification of 5-megapixles and 8GBs, and it sports a 1 GHz processor like the rest of the launch WP7 devices.
HTC's approach to WP7-specific software is present but is a little lacklustre compared with the breadth of unique apps offered by LG. The HTC Hub offers local weather forecasts and links to other HTC apps including Photo Enhancer, Sound Enhancer, Stocks and a tool box complete with a spirit level and unit converter, among other handy tools.
Like the Mozart and Desire HD, the Trophy incorporates HTC's new Dolby Mobile audio software for creating a surround sound-like effect for stereo headphones.