Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HTC HD7 Freebie for US Residents Only

Get Free HTC HD7

Note:Valid for U.S Residents Only

The camera on the HD7 was a weird one for us to get at grips with. On one side, focusing is pretty snappy and Windows Phone 7 does allow you to jump directly into the camera app from the locked screen (by holding down the shutter button). But our actual outcome was somewhat like guesswork. Sometimes, the HD7's camera would nail the white balance in situations where a DSLR was struggling to guess correctly, but at other times it'd struggle to concentrate relatively unchallenging circumstances. In addition to that, we have to take issue with WP7's wherewithal to remember camera (or camcorder) settings. The HD7 defaults, weirdly enough, to shooting 480p video, that you've to switch up yourself... every time you apply the video app. Maybe we're unenlightened on how to create our settings stick, but sure enough, each time we switched on the camera and wanted to shoot at 720p, we'd to manually turn it on. That was annoying. Regarding the video output itself, it's quite presentable stuff, even though sensor does often search for focus even if we're keeping it steady on an unmoving landscape. Overall, the HD7's camera and video recording seem par for that (somewhat mediocre) smartphone course.

For our full ideas on Windows Phone 7, it is recommended to head on to our exhaustive (but hopefully not exhausting) review or browse the video below -- both of them are awesome. We'll limit ourselves to discussing HTC's Hub additions here briefly. The first thing to note is the fact that HTC adorns the bootup sequence for its Hub with an outrageously extravagant and very quickly annoying animation that pummels you with oncoming cloud and sun symbols to remind you that yes, there is a weather app coming up in there. When you get inside, you're confronted with a regular updater, that climate-monitoring utility we simply mentioned, and some other tidbits like Notes and a Photo Enhancer. HTC promises it'll keep adding more functionality as things complement and we have no reason to doubt that. For the time being, we couldn't care less about stocks or even the weather, so we decided to play with the other two apps.

Notes is a quirky, stylized undertake your usual note-recording app. It provides you with a board that you could "pin" little post-its to, which in turn age in accordance with their, erm, age. We could frankly take it or leave it, there is a character limit on each note and if you're a wordy sort of missive writer, it'll immediately discourage use, while its stylized elements feel somewhat forced and unnecessary. It's cute, and maybe some weird demographic that appreciates animated transitions more than rapid and easy data input will appreciate it more, but it wasn't for us. 

Now the Photo Enhancer, that was another story. This picture post-processing app doesn't actually have pretensions for the high office of actually giving you better photos. Oh, affirmed, it's one preset for auto-correcting and enhancing your pics, but it's real title may be something closer to Photo Fiddler. It comes with a lot of different after-effects you are able to affect generate particular artistic conceits atop your images -- from which makes them seem like monochromatic classic, to intentionally over-exposing them, to giving them warm or cold color casts. Honestly, it had been a lot more fun than we expected so that it is and it is basic but varied functionality seems a perfect fit for the device it's riding on. Top marks.

What can we are saying that people haven't expressed already? The HD7 is really that which you thought it would be. It's that same 4.3-inch blueprint that HTC has exploited to great success using the HD2 and EVO 4G, put on the brand new Windows Phone 7 operating environment. The first question you'll truly need to answer on your own is if you need to be aboard the WP7 gravy train. We remain staunch believers that a smartphone is only of the same quality (or as bad) as its software, so decide on your OS first and your particular handset second. If you're still with us, we'd recommend the HD7 as a solid WP7 device choice, however with several caveats.

The build quality is a step below the best we have seen, landing the HD7 in the "passable" category, while the display may acquire a higher level of brightness, but it would go to waste thanks to its poor contrast and viewing angles. For a device aspiring to woo us using its multimedia features, this, along with middling sound output from its stereo speakers, renders the HD7 failing if measured purely through the offers its promotional materials.

But we judge by our own standards here, and the reason we love to the HD7 is it seems to be nearly the perfect size for us. It trades little when it comes to added bulk to have an awful lot in added real estate and general usability. We know we like to beat the drum about pixels on these pages, but sometimes inches matter just as much. And lets not forget that we're still living in a world where nobody has yet were able to deliver a really impressive 4.3-inch display, never mind the fanciness of Super AMOLED, so HTC deserves commendation for at the minimum trying, and that we reckon we may be happy handling a less Super panel that just gives us much more of what we want. Provided what we should want is Windows Phone 7.


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