HTC HD7 review

Windows Phone 7 goes gargantuan - movie-watching the Microsoft way

The definitive HTC HD7 review
The definitive HTC HD7 review

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The HTC HD7 is based on a number of principles supplied by Microsoft – namely that the battery life is tailored to the power levels of the OS.

The lack of third party multi-tasking, the 1GHz processor specified by Microsoft and the dedicated GPU all mean battery life is pretty well mandated by the Redmond group – and it's relatively impressive here.

In practice, we managed to get around one and a third days' use out of the phone before it died completely – although we found if you switch things off towards the end of its life, the battery will manage almost half a day more for emergencies.

HTC hd7 review

Plus in airplane mode, or with just Wi-Fi turned on and not mobile data, the battery lasts an incredibly long time – a few days by our reckoning, which is really nice indeed.

The battery is also user-replaceable, which is another plus should the phone freeze and crash – although we never saw any hint of that happening in our tests.


As you can imagine the HTC HD7 is filled to the brim with connectivity options – although not all of them work as well as we would have hoped.

Coverage is good, and enables you to make and receive calls nearly all the time. However, we found the data coverage was a little more suspect at times, with the bars dropping down low. The data rarely dropped, but the speeds weren't as fast as we would have liked.

The HTC HD7 also really struggled with Wi-Fi connections at times too – especially when coming out of sleep mode to re-connect.

There were times when we were waiting many seconds to 'get our Wi-Fi on', and if you were in the middle of downloading something, then it would pause and sometimes fail as the phone would get confused over where to get its data from.

HTC hd7 review

Bluetooth worked fairly well – transferring between Windows Phone 7 devices seemed okay but for some reason our handset didn't want to communicate with Android phones, which makes very little sense.

Bluetooth headsets connected easily and without problem, which you'd expect from a Microsoft-powered phone.

GPS was also an issue for us at times – even when out and about and trying to get a decent map fix, the time to find us from cold wasn't that impressive.

It invariably did manage it eventually, but it's not in the same league as the likes of the iPhone 4 at working out where you are almost as soon as you turn on the application.

The digital compass didn't really come into play that often either, which is likely due to its API not being available for developers to put in their apps – it seems that's something that could really benefit some, although LG has managed to utilise it in the Optimus 7.

We mentioned it before, but the Zune software is both a blessing and a curse for the HTC HD7. It's just great for finding your media, siphoning off photos and videos and just generally messing around with your phone.

HTC hd7 review

One feature we adored was the ability to sync wirelessly – simply turn on your phone and your PC together and you'll find that in a few minutes you'll be looking at all the updated stuff from either device.

However, you do have to use it when the phone is plugged into the wall, which ruins the trick somewhat… when are you going to have a phone plugged in and your laptop on in another room? It seems like more a niche idea than anything else to us.

There's no internet tethering, which means your phone's data is going to be safe, and we've already mentioned how annoying it is that some videos have to be converted.

Audio and the like will sync over easily enough – but why aren't we allowed to drag and drop files for easy management? Syncing over four films on the Samsung Galaxy S takes around 10 minutes or so when simply copied across in known friendly file formats – it takes over an hour on the HTC HD7 and other Windows Phone 7 phones.

Connectivity therefore has to get a 'could do better' despite the wide range of options on offer and the excellent (although a little bulky) implementation of the Zune Media interface otherwise.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.