Editors' note: Parts of this review were taken from our evaluation of the unlocked version of the HTC Trophy.
It's been a long time coming, but Verizon finally has its first Windows Phone device in the HTC Trophy. Available now for $149.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate, the Trophy has actually been shipping in international markets for quite some time now. To be honest, we were hoping for something new or a little more exciting for Verizon's first Windows Phone handset, but hey, beggars can't be choosers, right? Still, Big Red has a pretty competitive lineup of handsets, so we have to wonder if there's room for the Trophy on Verizon's smartphone mantle. We set out to find out in this review.
Compared with the HTC Surround with its slide-out speaker and the HTC HD7 with its extra-large display, the HTC Trophy might seem a bit plain, but we don't see that as a bad thing. At 4.67 inches tall by 2.42 inches wide by 0.47 inch thick, and 4.94 ounces, the Trophy is sleek and simple, which is attractive in its own right. The slim profile makes it easy to slip into a pants pocket, and it feels light yet solid in the hand. The aluminum-like bezel and soft-touch finish on back are also nice touches, as is the red interior behind the battery door.
The Trophy's display measures 3.8 inches diagonally and has a WVGA (480x800 pixels) resolution. Images and text looked sharp and bright. That said, the display washes out a bit in direct sunlight, and it's a fingerprint and smudge magnet. The touch screen is responsive, as it registered all our taps, smoothly scrolled through lists, and easily zoomed in on pages using the pinch-to-zoom gesture. The phone also has a proximity sensor and built-in accelerometer, but as we noted in past reviews, Windows Phone 7 currently has limited landscape support.
Microsoft did a really nice job with the onscreen keyboard, though. Despite looking small and cramped, it's easy to use and accurate. It's almost on par with the iPhone's keyboard and certainly better than Android's stock keyboard. When we were switching among the Trophy and other Android devices, we found the latter to be slightly slower and more prone to mispresses.
Below the display are touch-sensitive Back, Start, and Search buttons. On the left are a volume rocker and a Micro-USB port; on the right side, you'll find a dedicated camera key. The top of the device features a power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the back of the device houses the camera, LED flash, and speaker.
Verizon packages the HTC Trophy with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a preinstalled SIM card, a wired stereo headset, and reference material.
As we noted at the beginning, the HTC Trophy is Verizon's first Windows Phone device. We won't dive into every feature of the mobile operating system--you can read more about Windows Phone in our full review here--but some of the highlights of the platform include Zune and Xbox Live integration, excellent Office support, and a user-friendly interface. The Trophy also ships with the latest software available, so you'll get copy and paste out of the box. In the fall, Microsoft is scheduled to release its Mango update, which offers more than 500 new features, including multitasking, Twitter and LinkedIn integration, linked inboxes, and Internet Explorer 9, so there's more functionality on the way.
Now, not only is the HTC Trophy Verizon's first Windows Phone device, but it also marks another addition to the carrier's global phone portfolio. Using dual-mode technology, the Trophy runs on Verizon's CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A network domestically, but once abroad, the phone will automatically detect and switch to a GSM network, so you can continue to use voice and data. You can do so in more than 200 countries, with 3G speeds in more than 125 countries. The handset comes with a SIM card preinstalled, but Verizon has a policy where it will unlock the SIM, provided that you've been a customer for more than 60 days and are in good financial standing. Unlocking the SIM gives you the freedom to swap out the SIM card for, say, a prepaid SIM you purchase from an international carrier.
Aside from world roaming capabilities, the HTC Trophy also features a speakerphone, call waiting, call forwarding, conference calling, voice dialing, and text and multimedia messaging. Stereo Bluetooth support, Wi-Fi, and GPS are also available to you, but those looking for 4G won't find it here. The Trophy is 3G only and doesn't offer mobile hot-spot capabilities.
As far as contact management and e-mail, Windows Phone 7 can handle and merge data from various e-mail accounts, including Exchange, Windows Live, and POP3 and IMAP accounts, but if you have an non-Exchange Outlook account, be aware that you must now sync through the cloud (via Windows Live/Hotmail) in order to get your calendar and contacts synced to the phone. That aside, we had no problems syncing our various accounts to the Trophy and received e-mail the same time they arrived in our inbox on our PC.