HTC 7 Pro WinPho 7 smartphone
Qwerty contender ready for business
Review Any Windows Phone 7 device will give you a virtual Qwerty keyboard on its touch screen, but the HTC 7 Pro is one of the very few to offer a proper, slide-out hard key version, and the Dell Venue Pro’s vertical slider pales in comparison to this one.
Touch or type: HTC's 7 Pro
It’s not an outsize handset like HTC’s HD 7, but it is chunkier than the norm at 118 x 59 x 16mm and 185g, with a metal casing topped and tailed with rubberised plastic. The 3.6in multi-touch capacitive screen sits above touch sensitive versions of the three WP7 buttons and on the sides are a volume rocker, micro USB power/sync slot, and camera button, with 3.5mm headphone jack and power/sleep button on top.
To get to the keyboard you’ll need to slide the screen to the right, which is a bit stiff, but as it emerges there’s a surprise in store. Just as the keyboard becomes fully exposed, the screen tips smartly upwards, giving you an good viewing angle while you’re typing. It will also balance on its own in this position, if you want to set it down while you watch a video.
HTC has had plenty of experience in delivering a quality keyboard experience, and it shows. The 51 keys (count ’em) spread over five lines are made of nicely tactile rubberised plastic and well spaced for easy access. They’re not all the same size – return and space are larger, which is ideal.
Responsive, but the varying key sizes require a little more care for some tasks
The four cursor keys are very small indeed, but still perfectly easy to use, though you’ll need to use the tips of your thumbs. The keys have got just the right amount of travel and they’re backlit too with shift controls highlighted in ‘HTC green’. You could argue about some of the key choices – there’s a dedicated smiley key that brings up a large (44) range of emoticons, but you need to hit the shift key to get an @ symbol, for instance – but it’s an excellent experience overall.
Next page: Landscape architecture
There IS one other
I can think of one particular phone that didn't have copy and paste, multitasking, or customisation that actually managed to score higher.
The iPhone, of course.
Later, the 3GS received an 85%, still lacking these things.
Interestingly, the iPhone 4, which HAS all of those things, only got 75%
But I suspect this wasn't the point you were trying to make is it?
The WP7 operating system is 3 years behind state of the art. Cut and Paste missing for starters. It's a backwards step from win CE 6.5, which is exactly what it is, with an ugly paint job and features like cut and paste and backwards compatibility removed.
Latest news - The recent WP update has bricked WP phones! And it was only supposed to update
the updater, or that was the story.
Did you get paid for the review by any chance? El Reg has zero credibility. 85% for an ugly and incompetent smart phone clone??? Good grief!
perhaps It's not clear enough
I was trying to ask the question 'why, as a manufacturer, would you deliberately tie yourself into a a market differentiated solely on price?'
The point about laptops is that (if you are foolish enough to go into a highstreet vendor' you will see shelves of almost identical products all proudly showing windows 7 on one of two sizes of screen. Microsoft have worked very hard to make this happen. They want the consumer to think that Windows is a computer and a computer is windows. Alternatives are just for geeks, wierdos or the terminally aspirational.
The PC/laptop manufacturers work on very slim margins because they cannot differentiate their product (notice Apple have high margins because they can). To me, this appears similar to the gestating WinPhone market. The kind of market that Microsoft likes. Like an arms dealer supplying weapons to both sides Microsoft cannot loose. So, what's in it for Nokia? they just become one of the herd. How can they win on price against the Chinese who are already there? How can they win on design when Microsoft lock down the options? How can they win on additional features when there is an open 'apps market'? If Microsoft give them special privileges the other manufactures will revolt. If they don't Nokia will die.
With Android they can use their own UI. With Symbian they can point to efficiency. With Windows they can only do the same as everyone else. I just don't get it.
"8GB of memory, which you can’t expand"
Hang on a minute, though - "So far, there’s really very little difference between WP7 handsets – they’ve all got broadly similar functionality and features"
I haven't really been paying much attention to the WinMo7 phones (whacking great blue or orange squares everywhere, god that inteface is ugly), does this mean they all have fuck all storage and no expansion? And they're really expected to go head to head with iPhone and Android? Not going to happen, not at the high end.
"Actually most people agree WP7 is the NEXT generation,"
Got any figures on that?