HTC 7 Pro review: HTC 7 Pro

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Shrunken screen

With a 3.6-inch capacitive touchscreen, the Pro feels like a step down from its older brother, the 4.3-inch HD7. It's more akin to the Android-based, 3.7-inch HTC Desire Z, which also offers a physical keyboard.

The camera is another area in which compromises have been made. With a 5-megapixel resolution, it's a class below the 8-megapixel variant seen on the Mozart, although the presence of 720p video recording will please prospective movie directors.

HTC's Hub skin is similar to the company's Sense interface, which can be seen on its Android phones. The weather animations and shortcuts to exclusive apps feel familiar.

The Pro's photographic skills are augmented by the inclusion of Microsoft's SkyDrive feature, which automatically uploads your images to a cloud-based storage service. This capability is even more welcome when you consider that, like many other Windows Phone 7 devices, the Pro is limited to 8GB of internal storage. As is the case with all handsets using Microsoft's mobile operating system, there's no microSD card slot, either.

Stability at the price of creativity

Windows Phone 7 isn't hugely customisable, and we're not entirely sure this suits HTC's way of thinking. If you've used HTC's excellent Sense user interface on devices such as the Desire HD, then you'll already be aware of how it accentuates the Android experience. With the Pro, HTC has been denied the opportunity to cover the menus in real-time widgets and glossy animations.


The Pro's unique tilting screen is made possible by this nifty hinge system.

The Pro's battery life is decent. You can make a single charge last for over a day if you're careful, an achievement that is no doubt aided by the lack of Flash support in the phone's browser and absence of multitasking capability in Windows Phone 7.

Conclusion

The HTC 7 Pro offers a great keyboard, and may appeal to those who haven't used a smart phone before. But we can't see Android or iPhone users jumping ship to Windows Phone 7 on the strength of this handset.

Edited by Charles Kloet 

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