HTC 7 Pro and HTC Gratia sneak into the UK in February

The HTC 7 Pro and HTC Gratia are set to arrive in Britain next month, but we may not see the Qwerty Windows Phone 7 phone or the tiny Android phone on the high street.

If you fancy the cut-price curves of the HTC Gratia or the Qwerty qualities of the HTC 7 Pro , you may have to do some skulking around on the Internet to find them. HTC has announced that the phones are coming to the UK next month, but only to its distributors, the coincidentally named Brightpoint and Brightstar.

The means it's likely we'll be able to buy the phones SIM-free and unlocked through online stores such as Clove, but we may not see them in high-street shops like Carphone Warehouse or the networks' own outlets.

We're waiting for HTC to confirm the networks have passed on these phones -- but if so, we're left wondering why.

The HTC 7 Pro will be the first Windows Phone 7 handset with a keyboard to come to the UK. The Dell Venue Pro is out in the US, but so far Dell has no official plans to bring it here.

HTC has told us it thinks people's interest in phones with keyboards is waning. Windows Phone 7 hasn't set the world on fire so far either, so the 7 Pro is left languishing with a form factor and an operating system no one wants.

Nevertheless, the 7 Pro has some tempting treats on board. it's got a 3.6-inch tilting screen, a 1GHz processor and booming sound thanks to Dolby and SRS WOW techno-wizardry. And although it's struggling to make itself heard above the Android versus iPhone battle, we think Windows Phone 7 is fun, easy to use and innovative.

The Gratia is a bigger mystery, since it's a cheap, good-looking smart phone running Android 2.2 Froyo , and who doesn't want a piece of that? After all, HTC's other attractive, budget Android phone, the Wildfire, is selling like Fairy liquid at an oil spill. 

It's very wee, with a 3.2-inch screen and it's only 104mm tall. It's case is white with cheeky yellow inside, and its rubberised back has four groovy visible screws, which makes it look like an Android version of the tasty HTC HD Mini .

But perhaps its jazzy case has raised the Gratia's price too high in a world of Orange San Franciscos , where you can score Android for a mere £99 on pay as you go.

Do you fancy picking up the Gratia or the 7 Pro? Let us know in the comments if you'd fight for your right to buy them on the high street. 

 

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