With its slide out keypad and slick design, the HTC 7 Pro is the ultimate Windows Phone for business folk and social networkers
Editor's Review of the 7 Pro
With its slide out QWERTY keypad, email access and instant access to Microsoft Office, this Windows Phone 7 handset is the must-have choice for busy professionals. However, with the rise of dual-core, NFC, and even 3D smartphones, can the HTC 7 Pro still stand out from the crowd 3 months on? We're not so sure.
Design & Build
Although the 7 Pro is often thought of an as "industrial" handset with a "clunky" design, HTC have managed to add a touch of class to this QWERTY-toting smartphone. Its glossy black casing with with silver edging makes the handset look sleek and elegant, finished off nicely with its brushed aluminum back panel.
Alongside the handset's 3.6 inch capacitive touch screen display sits a slide out QWERTY keypad. The keyboard flips out from underneath the screen as you'd expect, but adds a nifty mechanism that tilts the screen up once the keys have been fully extended. Not only is this perfect for writing out emails, it will also come in handy when laying back to watch a film.
While the slide out keypad may not look fantastic with its garish yellow touches, the well spaced keys allows for super-fast messaging, and even the clumsiest of fingers. We were pleased to see a dedicated number row too, which is a rarity on modern day business-focussed smartphones.
As you may have guessed the only downside to the slide out QWERTY keypad is the additional bulk it adds to the handset. However, if you're prepared to give up the luxury of a streamlined handset for the functionality of physical keys, it certainly isn't as big as some on the market.
OS & Interface
When it comes to software, the HTC 7 Pro is largely like all other Windows Phone 7 devices, apart from the addition of HTC Hub and its not-so-interesting weather updates.
Although its screen may not be as large as that found on its HTC siblings, Microsoft's Live Tile interface looks vibrant on the 3.6 inch display of the 7 Pro. If you're not familiar with Windows Phone 7, it offers a much different experience to Android and iOS. You can easily access Facebook, Microsoft Office and Xbox Live gaming, and thanks to the handset's speedy 1GHz processor, the HTC 7 Pro is just as responsive as its older siblings.
The main disadvantage of the interface however, is the platform's lack of customization options. You won't be able to have a custom background, change the visibility of the tiles or add custom widgets onto the screen, which could come as a shock to WP7 newbies. It's not all bad though, as we were more than won over with its fancy transitions.
Multimedia & Storage
Still, the handset arrives sporting a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, which may not have won us over as much as the 8 megapixel snapper of the Mozart, but managed to produce better results that we were expecting. Thanks to its LED flash and autofocus, pictures turned out crisp and clear, even in the poorest of lighting. Its 720p HD video capture proved to be impressive too, and the sturdiness of the handset makes it the perfect alternative to a dedicated camera.
Thanks to Microsoft's "People Hub" photos and video can be zipped off straight to Facebook, too.
Like all of the Windows Phone 7 handsets we've tested, browsing the web on the HTC 7 Pro is one of the smartphone's stand out features. With HSDPA and WiFi connectivity onboard the integrated Internet Explorer browser renders pages extremely quickly, and the display's multi-touch gestures are incredible responsive.
Thanks to Microsoft's minimum requirements, the HTC 7 Pro also arrives packing a hefty 1500mAh battery, which promises up to 420 minutes of talk time. Who talks on the phone for 7 hours anyway? That should at least allow it to stand up to an average day of data usage.
There's no doubting that the HTC 7 Pro is an excellent smartphone, ideal for business folk and networking addicts. However, with the likes of the dual-core powered LG Optimus 2X and Motorola Atrix cropping up, we're not sure this handset, or any other WP7 handsets for that matter, will manage to stand out from the crowd.
HTC 7 Pro News
Google‘s already done it, Apple‘s rumoured to be doing it, and it looks like Windows Phone 7 is next on the cards to get NFC smarts. Well, that’s according to Bloomberg, which claims that Microsoft plans to include NFC tech in upcoming versions of its Windows Phone OS. Citing “two people familiar with the plans”, [...]
It looks like Microsoft is readying to launch its next batch of handsets, as HTC‘s next-gen Windows Phone 7 slider has leaked. The upcoming slider, codenamed the “Prime”, will join the HTC 7 Pro in company’s range of business-focused WP7 smartphones. Rumoured to launch at next week’s CITA, the HTC Prime is expected to pack [...]
Following its launch in October 2010, the QWERTY-wielding HTC 7 Pro has finally started shipping to UK punters. According to online retailer Clove, the HTC 7 Pro has now began shipping SIM free, with contract deals to follow shortly. It may have beat the Dell Venue Pro to it, but the 7 Pro is the [...]
Early adopters of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s latest OS, look set to receive the platform’s first major update in just one weeks time. Microsoft bloggers over at LiveSide.net have tracked a number of reports from France, suggesting that the first Windows Phone 7 update, codenamed “NoDo”, will land on February 7th. With the company’s CEO, [...]
Ahead of its February launch, Vodafone UK has revealed its pricing for the Windows Phone 7-equipped HTC 7 Pro. If you don’t fancy forking out £459.99 for a SIM free handset, subsidized pay monthly deals have also cropped up on Expansys for the HTC 7 Pro.Â Vodafone will be offering the handset for free on a [...]
It looks like the HTC Gratia is still on track for its Q1 UK release, as HTC has confirmed the entry-level smartphone will be available to punters from February 2011. Not only have they announced its release date, HTC has also revealed that the Android smartphone will be available in “Pearl White”, alongside its “Black” [...]
HTC 7 Pro Specifications
117.5mm x 59mm x 15.5mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Size: 3.6 inches
Resolution: 480 x 800
Windows Phone 7
A-GPS with maps
Up to 7.2 Mbps download speed
Up to 2 Mbps upload speed
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and LED Flash
720p Video Recording
Battery Capacity: 1500 mAh
Talk Time: 420 minutes
Standby Time: 420 hours
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, WAV, WMA, eAAC+
Video supported formats
Playback: MP4, WMV, H.264, H.263