As you know I had the chance to spend a few weeks back in July with the Technical Preview of Windows Phone 7 and created my Definitive Guide that covered all aspects of this new Microsoft mobile operating system. I have spent an intensive month diving into all the details of Windows Phone 7 as I was writing my book and am intimately familiar with it, probably even more so than with any other mobile operation system I use daily. Thus, when I was told of the news about the upcoming T-Mobile HTC HD7 running Windows Phone 7 my heart started racing and I cannot wait until it is released in November and plan to be the first one in line to pick it up. I had the chance to spend a few minutes with the HD7 and it is a fantastic device that is sure to do well on T-Mobile. T-Mobile also announced they will be offering the Dell Venue Pro running Windows Phone 7.
T-Mobile HTC HD7
Similar to the HTC HD2, the HTC HD7 has a 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen display and will be the largest Windows Phone 7 device in the U.S. While the HD2 was a great piece of hardware, the Windows Mobile 6.5 OS had issues that ruined the experience. Windows Phone 7 has been rock solid and I have not seen any of these performance issues, even with the Technical Preview so I look forward to trying it out on the HD7.
Specifications and features of the HTC HD7 include the following:
4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen display
Qualcomm 1 GHz Snapdragon processor
802.11 b/g/n WiFi
Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
16GB internal Flash memory
Integrated A-GPS receiver
5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
Integrated kickstand around the camera module
Dimensions of 4.8 x 2.7 x 0.44 inches and 5.71 ounces
The rumors were heard previously indicated the device would only have 8GB of internal memory so it is nice to see that rumor was false. I still don't understand how Nokia can now churn out penta-band 3G devices while others stick with dual and tri-band 3G radios. We also see Bluetooth 2.1 in this device rather than Bluetooth 3.0. Even though T-Mobile is rolling out their HSPA+ network, the new HD7 does not support these super fast data speeds like the T-Mobile G2.
There is limited manufacturer and carrier customizations, thank you Apple, so on the HD7 we see Netflix, T-Mobile TV (rebranded MobiTV subscription service), TeleNav GPS Navigator, and Slacker Radio preloaded on the HD7. One new feature I read about that sound quite interesting is T-Mobile Family Room, a new application exclusively from T-Mobile that helps families keep in touch and manage their busy lives. Customers can write a note on a virtual chalkboard and add shared calendar events for their Family Room group to coordinate get-togethers. Sharing pictures and interacting is easy, with real-time notifications alerting users when any family member posts something for everyone to see.
Overall, it looks like the hardware of the HD7 is a bit less than the highest end devices available today, but it is more than adequate to run Windows Phone 7 and if T-Mobile launches it in mid-November for the typical $199 smartphone price then it should do well.
Dell Venue Pro
T-Mobile also revealed they will be launching a Dell Windows Phone 7 device before the holidays, called the Dell Venue Pro. The device features a QWERTY portrait slider keyboard, 4.1 inch AMOLED display made of Gorilla Glass, 5 megapixel camera, and 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. There are very few details on the device, but it may be the Dell Lightning that was revealed way back in April. Hmm, this device actually looks pretty compelling too and I may just have to try it before I decide between it and the HD7.