Camera—Standard Snapdragon Fare

The HD7 has the same 5MP camera/dual LED flash arrangement as the HD2, but adds 720p video recording. Again though, this is a previous generation device, so it doesn’t have the same image quality advancements that the newer HTC models have, as Brian detailed in his Thunderbolt review.

But overall, it works alright. Decent for web publishing and Facebook albums, as long as you have enough light. Low light is still basically terrible, and the flash is not very useful. As far as options go, HTC allows you to set the scene mode, after effects, metering mode, and flicker adjustment, in addition to resolution and flash modes.

I don’t get a whole lot of smartphones through here, so I don’t have a standardized test location for pictures like Brian, but I tend to take pictures of various Audis (I live next to the dealership). Also, I’d like to thank the guy that parked his Continental GT right outside my apartment building. Cue Janis Joplin—“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? My neighbors drive Bentleys, I must make amends...”

Most of the pictures turned out okay, but the ones that didn’t usually ended up not being okay either because the camera didn’t focus quickly enough, or because the picture ended up being blurry. So I shall resume my old complaint with WP7—they really need to add a software camera button. I’ve gotten more used to using the camera button in the HD7 than the one in the Venue Pro (or maybe the camera button just doesn’t suck as much), but I still end up taking 2-3 pictures at a time, because invariably, at least 35% of my pictures end up blurry.

As mentioned previously, the HD7 shoots 720p video. Unfortunately, I got the same really weird underwater-microphone effect that Brian saw with the Surround. It’s unexplainable, it almost sounds as though there’s some kind of heavy wind blowing into the mic, even on a clear day. It basically makes the video recording feature completely unusable, I don't understand how HTC hasn't fixed this yet. Also, it annoys me to no end that the camera application doesn’t default to the highest quality video recording option, you need to manually set it to 720p recording, every time.


Meet the HD7 The Trusty Old 4.3” WVGA
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  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I don't want a super resolution phone with S-lcd or two processors...

    What I DO WANT is a much, much larger battery. I'm sick and tired of charging the thing nearly every single day. Sure, I've lived with the situation since the Qtek days but the HD7 (and HD2) that's in front of me does take the biscuit.

    Also, HTC, stop designing the back of your phones so the people in China can't make a suitable cover for their extended batteries. Either do it yourself or design well.

  • Crono - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    As a Dell Venue Pro owner/user, I have to agree with all the points in this article about Windows Phone 7.

    In one sense, Microsoft stepped forward with their new phone platform to come close to what Apple has done with iOS, even (dare I say) surpassing Apple with some features and elements of the GUI.

    But they have done so by limiting the options available. It's as if Microsoft gave up the "Windows" aspect and really just went the Apple route, albeit in their own way. Microsoft has always been apt to learn from/copy the innovations of other companies, but it seems like they gave up a bit much in recreating a Windows branded platform over the ashes of the old Windows Mobile. I find it odd that Google's Android OS is more akin to Windows than WP7 is. I miss the "power" options that the Windows Mobile/CE phones and PDAs had, like the ability to close and switch between apps and the ability to overclock/underclock with an application, among other things.
  • Trefugl - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I don't find it odd that Android is "more akin to Windows than WP7" assuming that you are referring to the openness/scalability and "power user" aspects. Google comes from a Linux mindset, and Linux has always been that way... what is amazing is that Google has managed to polish Android to the point that the average user finds it accessible (much like they do Windows).

    I always hoped that Microsoft could find a balance between Google and Apple's approaches, but they are still just too far behind. At this rate, Google will manage to provide an appropriately structured environment for their userbase before WP7 is relevant in terms of market share and features. (This comes from a guy who had high hopes for WP7)
  • Flunk - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I have an HTC HD7 and I can see your point. Windows Phone 7 is more of an offshoot of Xbox and Zune than a successor to Windows Mobile. It's not designed to be the most flexible pocket computer it can be but instead focuses on doing common tasks well and quickly.

    I used to use Windows Mobile and I think this is the way to go for a phone. Sure I can't use it to code Java programs, but it's much better at things I normally use my phone for.
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    For the Black level, isn't lower better? This graph seems to the opposite of the ones we normally see.
  • Spivonious - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I just wanted to point out that "NoDo" was done in January. It was carrier testing that has delayed it.

    For other readers, watch the videos from this year's MiX to see what Mango contains. If MS really puts some marketing muscle behind it, it really has a good chance of knocking the iPhone out of second place.
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    You are aware that the iPhone is in first place right? Well, unless you compare all Android devices against the single iPhone device (rather than iOS devices).

    But even if you do measure it incorrectly like that, WP7 would need to have the single largest sales increase of any device in history to even get close to Android or iOS.
  • duffman55 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    It's trivial to compare the number of users of an individual smartphone model, unless you're going to be holding some sort of smartphone popularity contest.

    What's important is the number of users of the OS. Developers are more likely to develop for a platform with more users.

    You're right, WP7 does have a ways to go to compete with the likes of Apple and Google. It's going to be a while, but I think they'll get there eventually.

    Vivek, I noticed "it's" was used where it should have been "its" a few times in the article. I don't mean to nitpick, just letting you know :)
  • VivekGowri - Friday, May 13, 2011 - link

    Really? I'm usually better about that. Damn English grammar, lol.
  • earle36 - Thursday, May 12, 2011 - link

    I really have to disagree with part of the conclusion here... I have been using a Samsung Focus for several months and love the OS. I don't need custom ring tones - sure its 2011 and they don't offer custom ring tones - big deal. I'd rather they focus on ACTUAL core OS improvements rather than extras like custom ring tones. And mango will offer several improvements to the OS. Within one year they will have added copy paste, improved app loading, new browser, multitasking, messenger integration, and so on. That is huge. I understand that they are just playing catch up - but that's what happens when you release a completely new mobile OS. Several months ago Anandtech published reviews of the WP7 devices and and the WP7 OS - knowing full well what it did and didn't offer, and what the next year was to offer. The reviews were very positive when looking at the big picture. Fast forward to today, MS has delivered exactly what they said they would and (as of now) are on track to deliver some MAJOR improvements to the OS, and now its not enough? What changed?

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