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.
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).
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.