With HTC’s follow up to the highly popular Touch Pro2 due to be here in just over a fortnight, we thought we would share a preview and our thoughts on the forthcoming WP7 beauty. We’re currently taking pre-orders for the HTC 7 Pro, which you can reserve with a free BH M300 Bluetooth headset for £365 + VAT.
There have been mixed reviews of the range of Windows Phone 7 devices that have been released since the new Microsoft OS was launched back in October. With rival platforms such as Android, BlackBerry and Apple already well established, it’s no easy task convincing users to migrate to a new operating system. So will the HTC 7 Pro have what it takes to persuade people to make the switch? With its build, finish and impressive form factor, you would certainly think so. If a users decision to switch was based on hardware and build quality alone, the HTC 7 Pro would be fighting a very strong case.
Also known as the HTC Gold, the HTC 7 Pro is essentially the successor to HTC’s highly popular Touch Pro2. It maintains the form factor of a slide out QWERTY keyboard & tilt screen and features an impressive metallic finish. The keyboard builds on the success of its predecessor, sticking to the 5-row layout that made typing so simple on the Touch Pro2.
The features of the HTC 7 Pro, will allow integration with Outlook and Office making everyday tasks simple, while the slickness of WP7 means that navigation is quick and convenient. There’s also a range of new features, including Zune services and Xbox live connection, which could play a big part in the battle for OS supremacy. I have a Windows Live account, which my Xbox account is registered to, meaning I can enter my details and the rest will be synced automatically. Your Xbox live avatar will be shown on the widget on the home screen, which is quite a nice touch.
At the moment, there is not that much choice in the Windows Marketplace (currently around 6,000 apps with around 150 new apps being added daily), but this is understandable given it’s not been around for very long. I’ve tried a few of the games (there’s a try before you buy feature which is handy) that are available, including Earthworm Jim and Need For Speed. The games work well, featuring good graphics. The gaming and apps market will undoubtedly see some heavy investment from Microsoft, it’s already got a strong groundwork laid via Xbox and, having done so well in the console gaming sector, it makes sense for it to converge console and mobile gaming as much as possible. Of course, the HTC 7 Pro is a business-centric device, so gaming may not be too important to most users, but there is enough content there already if you do want some gaming options.
So who will the HTC 7 Pro be best suited to? Users of the old Microsoft OS, Windows Mobile 6.5, will certainly be impressed and the HTC 7 Pro is a worthy offering for those WinMo fans that have been waiting for a successor to the HTC Touch Pro2. For those that have used Android, BlackBerry and iPhone for the last few years, it’s certainly worth considering the HTC 7 Pro. While a device with a keyboard tends to be considered as a business handset, it’s also useful for social media, email and text, so you may find yourself using these features more than you would on a device with only a touchscreen keyboard.
Essentially the HTC 7 Pro takes the features of the HTC Touch Pro2 that were at times clunky and replaces them with a slick interface that provides quick and easy access to all features. Even the smaller details, such as the luminous green colouring of the keyboards secondary keys, add to the overall slickness that the HTC 7 Pro carries. The Windows Phone 7 Interface takes a little bit of getting used to, but after a few days use you’ll be enjoying the convenience of it’s features.