Text messaging on the HTC 7 Trophy is very similar in principle to the iPhone. Enter the Messaging tile and you're presented with a list of Conversations, arranged by the name of the contact.
Any new messages are presented in your choice of theme colour, rather than the usual light grey. No icons necessary: just a bold statement in your preferred hue.
Conversations are threaded, which is par for the course these days. The speech bubbles are presented in your theme colour again, save for the light grey 'Type a message' bubble for writing a new text.
Pressing it brings up the keyboard, shifting the most recent text and writing area to the top. Again, iPhone users will find the whole thing eerily familiar.
The keyboard is very usable, and is a good size on the 3.8-inch screen. Much has been made of the fact that Microsoft says the software makes it easier to hit letters likely to come after what you've just typed, so we played around a bit.
It seems to us that the effect is there, but it's pretty subtle. Certainly we found that we could hit further into an adjacent letter and still get the one we wanted sometimes, but it seems like there's a time limit to it.
Any mis-types you do make are aided by the clever word prediction system. When you're writing, a list of possible words comes up, but if you make an error, the word it thinks you're trying to type comes up in bold, signalling that the OS will replace your word with that one if you just keep going.
If that wasn't the word you wanted, you can simply pick what you did want from the list.
The cursor system is also very good. Holding your finger in the writing space brings up a cursor just above it, so you then track your finger down to position the cursor where you want it.
All of the above applies to writing emails, too, so let's talk about those. Setting up an email account on the Trophy is as easy as it gets. You simply choose your provider from a list including Outlook, Windows Live, Yahoo, Gmail and Sky. You can also use POP and IMAP settings to manually set things up.
Similarly to the Conversations view, new emails are flagged by having their subject in your theme colour. Alternatively, you can swipe to the right, which will take you an Unread screen.
Unfortunately, there's no way to sort by anything other than date, which is a little annoying. Of course, if you're looking for something in particular, you can just hit the Search key, but it's still a fairly standard feature on other email clients that's missing here.
Similarly, using Search will only look through the messages on the handset – on other handsets, including the iPhone, you can search the server for terms not found in your downloaded messages.
Overall, the email client is great as far as ease-of-use goes, but we were expecting a little more in the way of features for power users.