HTC 7 Pro review: U.S. Cellular's first Windows Phone

U.S. Cellular's first foray into Windows Phone territory brings a rebranding of a handset we liked the first time around; just don't expect to discover the zenith of smartphone excellence.

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Even glancing at U.S. Cellular's smartphone lineup, one thing stands out. With the exception of a couple of BlackBerrys, Android completely dominates. Or it did, until the HTC 7 Pro muscled its way in, a rebranding of Sprint's HTC Arrive.

As staunch supporters of mobile platform diversity and consumer choice, this is a very good thing. The handset, while heavy, has some interesting design elements, including a screen that tilts up when you slide open the QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard itself has rubbery buttons that are easy to press, and the HD video capture and playback are perks.

Although it's a fine phone, the HTC 7 Pro isn't at the top of the Windows Phone game. The screen isn't as vibrant as all its peers', and the camera software could perform better for indoor shots. The experience as a whole suffers a bit from the first-generation Windows Phone 7 software, although there is copy and paste, and it will be upgradable to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango after that update launches this fall, an addition that will automatically give the HTC 7 Pro a boost.

Overall, we're happy with the phone as a midrange device, though it isn't the high-end stunner Microsoft needs to compete against Android.

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HTC 7 Pro: U.S. Cellular Windows Phone

U.S. Cellular gets some welcome smartphone variety with a tilting QWERTY keyboard and the fresh-faced Windows Phone 7 OS.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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