The HTC HD7S has promise as long as you're open to Windows Phone 7, but it's not as good as its Android cousins like the Evo 4G.
Windows Phone 7, or WP7, is in no way a bad or unpleasant platform. Even with HTC's customized "Hubs" interface, the operating system is a unique and easy-to-use with especially sensitive touch responsiveness. The only real downfall is AT&T decision to include some uninstallable bloatware, but that's not the fault of the OS itself.
WP7 is up to par with most versions of Android, and it's better than some of the Google versions customized with Samsung's TouchWiz interface. But it just doesn't have the app selection as Android or iOS, so you need to recognize that limitation before you buy the phone, otherwise you'll be disappointed.
The HD7S comes with a 4.3-inch touch screen that's great for browsing the Web. It enlarges the text enough so you don't have to constantly zoom in. As far as pixel quality, it's nothing special, and it doesn't have outstanding color saturation. It's one of the easiest phones to wade through websites with, since you can flick your finger to scroll. So that's not all bad.
But the screen is prone to smudges, and it's hard to see when it's angled, so if you're watching videos, you'll need to look at the display straight-on. The screen size is large, so watching videos are comfortable, but the mono external speaker sounds tinny. So you'll either need to pop on headphones or you'll be extremely annoyed. You won't want to watch YouTube clips with friends, for instance, which takes a lot of the fun away from having a device like this.
And while you're looking at a website or streaming a movie, there's a kickstand in the back to keep the HD7S upright. The curved back and sides are handsome and easy to hold, but the plastic material looks rickety. Gold accenting around the camera make it a little bit sexier.
The camera has a dual LED flash, which means it's good for snapping photos in dim areas -- as long as you don't care that you're using a 5-megapixel shooter. The 720p video recorder does a nice job auto0focusing, but it does a mediocre job at just about everything else. The default recording resolution -- 640-by-480 pixels -- is annoying because you'll have to manually set it to 720p to take HD video every time.
The phone comes with 16-gigabytes of internal storage, so you'll be able to store a fair number of photos -- but you can't add extra memory, so what you start with is what you end with. Other internal elements are nearly identical to the HTC HD2, including a now-outdated Qualcomm chip and a 1-gigahertz Scorpion processor, so it's rather slow.
If you're jumping ship from T-Mobile to AT&T, and you happened to love your HD7, this is pretty much the same exact phone. But if you have your pick of AT&T's portfolio, paying $200 with a contract for this phone is a bad deal. Even if you're a Windows fan, there are better options out there like the Evo 4G. ♦
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