- 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, attractive unibody aluminium design, relatively compact for a phone with a 3.7in screen
- Only 8GB of internal memory (and no card slot), touch-sensitive keys aren't backlit, volume keys poorly positioned
The HTC 7 Mozart smartphone may have limited internal memory, but its unibody design and the slick user interface of Microsoft Windows Phone 7 make it an attractive proposition -- even if its display lacks the wow factor of the competing Samsung Omnia 7.
HTC's 7 Mozart is one of five new smartphones launched in Australia that run Microsoft's new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7. The 7 Mozart is the only Windows Phone 7 device on the market to feature a Xenon flash, and it also boasts an 8-megapixel camera and a unibody aluminium design. It only includes 8GB of internal memory, however, which is disappointing.
For a full verdict on the Windows Phone 7 platform, read our in-depth Windows Phone 7 review.
Check out our guide to the Best Windows Phone 7 mobiles.
Unlike previous Windows Mobile devices, all new Windows Phone 7 smartphones are forced to meet strict hardware requirements. These include a capacitive, multitouch display with a minimum 800x480 resolution, a 1GHz or better processor, at least 256MB of RAM, a minimum of 8GB of internal storage, and a GPS receiver. All Windows Phone 7 devices must also have an accelerometer and digital compass, an ambient light sensor, a 5-megapixel camera or better, an FM radio and seven physical buttons (back, Start, search, camera, power/lock, volume up/down).
These requirements make all Windows Phone 7 devices eerily similar to use and means that physical design is the main differentiator between models. The HTC 7 Mozart attempts to sets itself apart from competitors with a design that is carved from a single block of brushed aluminium; this is similar to the unibody designs of the HTC Legend and the HTC Desire HD Android smartphones. The result is a well-constructed phone that is relatively light; overall it's an excellent piece of industrial design.
HTC impressed us with some other nice design touches, including the super-responsive, touch-sensitive back, home and search keys, the removable, triangle battery cover on the bottom left corner and the triangular pattern etched into the rear of the device. However, we were less impressed with the fact that the touch-sensitive buttons don't have a backlight, the camera lens protrudes slightly (and doesn't have a cover), and the volume keys are poorly positioned towards the back of the handset, making them slightly awkward to press.
The HTC 7 Mozart has a 3.7in SLCD capacitive touchscreen, so it's slightly larger than the iPhone 4 but smaller than the Samsung Galaxy S. The screen has excellent viewing angles, good colour and displays crisp text with minimal aberrations, but it lacks the true vibrancy of the Samsung Omnia 7's 4in Super AMOLED display.
Apart from physical design and display size, the other main difference between Windows Phone 7 handsets is the quality of the camera and any extra software that is included. The HTC 7 Mozart comes with "HTC Hub", providing basic weather information along with a range of HTC apps. The weather hub is complete with overly elaborate screen transitions and is location-based, so it will automatically update as you move. The HTC-developed apps are relatively basic — stocks, converter, sound and photo enhancers, connection setup, "attentive phone" and the utterly useless love app round out the list. Attentive phone is the most useful; this handy app allows you to activate settings that are standard on many of HTC's Android smartphones including reducing the ring volume when you pick up the phone, increasing the ring volume while the phone is in your pocket or bag, flipping over the phone to activate the loudspeaker during a call or flipping over the phone to mute the ringer during an incoming call.
The HTC 7 Mozart has an 8-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, and like all Windows Phone 7 devices it can record 720p HD video. The camera produces photos with good colour reproduction and detail for a mobile phone camera, but the settings menu is limited; it only offers scenes, effects, resolution, metering mode, and flicker adjustment.
The HTC 7 Mozart includes a disappointing 8GB of internal memory, and there is no microSD card slot for extra storage. We expected at least 16GB of storage on a device without a memory card slot. Battery life is about what we have come to expect from a smartphone — the HTC 7 Mozart will quickly run out of juice if you use it frequently but should last a full day. For better battery life, we recommend turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use, keeping the screen brightness down and setting push e-mail and account updates (Facebook, Google, Windows Live, Outlook) to manual.
The HTC 7 Mozart is available exclusively through Telstra in Australia.
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