Since we're generally being quite nice to the HTC 7 Trophy, let's stick a quick gripe in here (although we're also filing this one under 'Connectivity', as you'll see later).
Getting the Trophy to connect to our Wi-Fi network was a total pain. It just outright refused time after time. We reset the phone. We reset the router. Eventually, we tried it and then just started tapping the screen impatiently while it was claiming to be trying to connect.
Apparently, it was just waiting for us to get snippy, because it finally connected. There's no reason for it to have such troubles, and we've had no problem since.
Anyway, with that out of the way we could get some proper browsing done. Choosing the old internet explorer symbol as your gateway to the internet feels inherently odd after abandoning the browser years ago, we have to say.
Once you steel yourself and press it, an incredibly strong smartphone browsing experience awaits.
The responsiveness is through the roof – with one exception. Links sometimes just don't seem to work the first you press them. It often seems to take two or three taps before the browser realises what you're actually asking of it.
However, all other interaction is class-leading. Pinch to zoom is immediate and fast. Text resizes and reformats for the larger size almost instantly.
What impressed us most, though, is just the simple panning around a web page. Not that this is always smoother than smooth peanut butter blended with whipped cream, but it's got the perfect amount of momentum to it.
Tracking's one-to-one when you move around slowly – no surprise there, and no different to comparable phones – but when you flick to go down a long web page, it just goes that bit further than, say, the iPhone.
It's such a small change, but it makes it so much nicer to skip down long articles.
At the top of the screen is the address bar and button to reload the page. At the bottom are buttons to add the page to favourites, view your favourites, see all open tabs (you can have up to six), or there's the WP7 ellipsis, which means more options are hiding nearby.
In the browser, you get extra options to go forward a page (the Back button below the screen acts as the browser's 'back' button, which makes sense, but you can't help but expect it to take you out of the browser and back to the Home screen), plus you can share the page over email or SMS, search the page for a certain term (very handy), pin the page to the Home screen or access IE's settings.
Speed-wise, the browser is fast, but not blisteringly so. Certainly you'll never complain about its speed, but it's not quite winning this particular arms race.
Hitting the Search button while in the web browser takes you to your default search engine website, rather than to the Bing search that pops up when you press Search on the Home screen.
Interestingly, this is actually Google on the Trophy, which gives a rather disjointed approach to search across the handset. Press Search in one place, you get Bing's beautiful pictures and little factoids. Press it elsewhere and you get Google's austere styling.
There's no Flash on Windows Phone 7. Whether this is a deal breaker for you will depend entirely on your own personal preference. We don't judge Microsoft too harshly for not including it in this first version.
A larger issue is that many YouTube videos wouldn't play from the browser, even though we had the YouTube app installed. The iPhone is capable of handling the very same videos from the browser, despite being as Flash-limited as WP7, so that's pretty disappointing.
If Microsoft can add some better video playback and copy and paste (because if a web address appears on a page without being hyperlinked, you can't follow it at the moment) then there'll be an arguable new king of the mobile web. The interaction and general browsing on the HTC 7 Trophy is second to none.