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January 27, 2011

HTC 7 Mozart Review

HTC seems to be the only handset manufacturer that’s got a WP7 in the local market and the HTC 7 Mozart is the second Windows Phone 7 we’ve reviewed here (see HD7). Check out our verdict after the jump.

Our first encounter with a Windows Phone 7 is with the HTC 7 Trophy (and eventually the HTC HD7) so having to try its sibling, the Mozart, much later on also adjusted our expectations.

If the HD7 is the handset equivalent of the Desire HD, then we’re tempted to say that the HTC 7 Mozart is the WP7 equivalent of the HTC Desire on Android. HTC’s dark-brown signature in most of its handset is very evident with the Mozart; so is the solid combination of metal and polymer body which is a bout rounded in the corners.

The power button is placed at the top end, volume rocker is on the left side of the unit while the dedicated camera button is on the right. Like the other HTC Windows 7 Phones, the Mozart doesn’t have an expansion slot for a microSD and solely relies on the 8GB internal storage.

Up front is the thick sheet of glass covering the display, surrounded by a thick bezel and the customary WP7 buttons — Back, Home & Search. The back panel of the handset has some artsy touch to it with the battery compartment and the SIM card slot tucked beneath the bottom triangular cover. The 8MP camera and Xenon Flash is positioned at the top left corner while the speakers are on the right side.

We’ll no longer discuss Windows Phone 7 as a mobile operating system here as I’ve already shared my thoughts about the UI and the OS in an earlier review here. What I’d like to add is that setting up the new handset is a breeze since all of the contacts are automatically synced after I’ve logged in my Windows Live account (and that doesn’t even include the Facebook integration).

Hook up the device to my PC with MS Zune installed and all of my multimedia files (videos, music, podcasts, photos) are also transferred (these are the ones I also synced to my HD7).

Unlike the HD7 though, the Mozart is just right for one hand grip — navigating and texting with one hand is much more comfortable. The virtual keyboard is responsive and works like a charm. There might be some problem if you have large fingers though since the individual keys are a bit skinny.

Here’s some thoughts in WP7 I’d like to stress though:

Apps are very essential to the usefulness of any smartphone and thankfully, the Zune Marketplace on the HD7 has plenty of them. It’s not as extensive as the ones found on the iTunes App Store or the Android Market but it’s got some decent numbers. The more common social apps were actually developed by Microsoft itself (Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare) so you will notice the tight design integration of these apps into WP7.

The Windows Live account also has some features to ring, lock or erase the phone remotely. The phone updates itself by sending GPS location on a regular basis. You can login to Live and locate your phone on the Bing map with matching date and time it last recorded its location.

So if you’re used to the hundreds of thousands of apps on iOS and Android, the Zune Marketplace might disappoint at the moment. In due time, the number of apps will grow (especially the really useful ones).


HTC 7 Mozart and HTC HD7

Then again, Windows Phone 7 is still very new and the tons of OS limitations might also turn off a lot of smartphone users — no cut & paste (yet), no Bluetooth file transfer, multi-tasking and Adobe Flash support.

Among the HTC WP7 phones, only the Mozart boasts of an 8-megapixel camera coupled with a Xenon flash. While I’d say the Xenon flash does its job (albeit a little on the weak side), I could not say the same with the camera. The additional pixel count did not really help and photo quality did not really improved compared to the other HTC handsets we’ve tried before (i.e Desire, Desire HD, HD7).


[See more samples here, here, here, here and here.]

And to think that the camera+ flash combo is what separates the Mozart from its other WP7 siblings, the performance of the handset in this department is nothing short of a disappointment. Video recording at 720p (25fps) looks pretty good though.

Display is great with the 480×800 pixel resolution; screen is bright and crisp while movie playback is smooth. Audio quality is good and volume is pretty loud despite the fact that it’s positioned at the back panel.


HTC Desire and HTC 7 Mozart

The rest of the specs of the Mozart is almost identical to that of the Trophy and HD7 siblings, thanks to Microsoft’s recommended specifications for WP7 handsets. Thus my experience using the Mozart is almost as identical as with the HD7, both in usability and performance.

HTC 7 Mozart specs:
Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1GHz processor
3.7″ Super LCD @ 480×800 pixels
8GB internal storage
512MB ROM, 576MB RAM
HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 2Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP
8MP autofocus camera with Xenon Flash
720p video recording
FM Radio with RDS
GPS w/ aGPS support
Li-Ion battery 1300mAh

Battery life maxes out at around 2 days on light use but might not last the whole day if you’re heavy on media playback and 3G connection — typical of most smartphones in HTC’s line-up so we’re not surprised.

There’s one other possible deal-breaker — the HTC 7 Mozart is currently locked to Smart (not sure until when) so that means you’ll need to get a postpaid plan to get this unit (not sure if prepaid kit is available). It’s free at Plan 4000 for new subs (see complete subscription plans here) but it looks like it’s even more expensive than the iPhone 4 (free on Plan 3799 + SuperSurf). Considering that the HTC HD7 is going for Php29,900 in some stores, the HTC 7 Mozart might not appeal to prepaid subscribers. However, if you’re on a retention plan, this unit might be of interest in Smart’s line-up.

HTC 7 Surround, Mozart & Trophy up next!
HTC 7 Mozart Price, Plans on Smart Exclusive

24 Responses to “HTC 7 Mozart Review”

  1. Benchmark33 says:

    I like the back side…its not typical plain back case. Hehehe Somewhat cool ang dating! :-)

  2. jp
    Twitter: jpcaparas
    says:

    locked? I just went over to cmk cellphones and i found an openline unit selling for 24k. Or am i mistaken? Anyway, of the three wp7 phones, the htc trophy hasn’t ‘officially’ landed on the philippines yet, i believe. The hd7 is selling for 29k but i got mine for 22k, hehe

  3. rommel
    Twitter: zoul1380
    says:

    nice phone i should have one!

  4. Yomi says:

    Nice paid review =)

  5. yuga says:

    @jp – HTC and Smart has a lock-up agreement so any other Mozart units selling around not locked to Smart might not have gone thru the proper channels.

  6. csseyah
    Twitter: goodfilipino
    says:

    smooth ng video capture ah para kang naka-videocam nice nice…

  7. Robin says:

    HTC Mozarts are being sold by Authorized HTC Retailers at Php25,500 with an Official HTC Warranty.

  8. Robin says:

    I guess the other thing which gives the iPhone 4 the advantage is that Super Surf appears to be a true unlimited plan, while Smarts Mobile Internet is apparently still subject to other charges for data use according to the comments from users posting in this blog.

  9. JP
    Twitter: jpcaparas
    says:

    @yuga — thanks for clearing that up. CMK Cellphones attested that the phones they were selling were also inclusive of the HTC Philippines warranty.

  10. NemOry
    Twitter: NemOry
    says:

    @Sir Abe kaw ba nag edit ng vid???yung intro na???ganda kasi..gusto ko din matutu ganung style

  11. Robin says:

    @JP The units also have NTC registration stickers so everything appears to be above board.

  12. john says:

    @jp

    when 22k? saan mo naman nakuha yun? share naman!

  13. yuga says:

    @robin & @ jp – I guess the lock-up agreement has recently expired. That was quite quick.

    @nemory – iMovie on the Mac. It’s just the theme so pretty easy to use.

  14. techatli says:

    I like latest feature of the new WP7, I have an old XDA that runs on Windows mobile OS, the good thing of Windows Mobile OS is that if you know how to code an application you can make your own customized application to run on this phone.

  15. NemOry
    Twitter: NemOry
    says:

    Wow bale templates na po siya?or preset?ang ganda kasi e. Sa mac lang ngalang ang iMovie. ,mahilig ka din pala graphics sir. .nice one

  16. marco says:

    I like the design. The back side looks cool. I want an android version + a better camera. I’m counting on MWC.

  17. Kimberly says:

    Hello. Im selling my Htc mozart 7 for only 18k. anyone interested just email me. thanks!

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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