HTC HD7 - Built for Mobile Entertainment

Launch SRP: S$938


The HTC Way

As mentioned throughout the previous articles, Microsoft has placed strict guideline policies for manufacturers, limiting the level of customization for WP7 phones (i.e., the interface). If you're still not accustomed to what WP7 brings to the table, you can check out out these mini articles from Microsoft as well as our own feature articles and findings. However, this is not an entirely despairing situation as most manufacturers find innovative ways to differentiate their WP7 phones with hardware add-ons or proprietary apps. One good example is the HTC Hub that is found on all HTC WP7 smartphones.

A huge weather widget greets you on the HTC Hub startup page.

There has been a lot of hoohaa about the HTC Hub, and with HD7 being the flagship HTC WP7 phone, we were excited to see how the app fared. On switching on the phone, you will find that you can easily access the HTC Hub on the homepage. Starting it up, a nifty and quick animation will greet you - which you can't skip so be careful to navigate properly. The Hub exists mainly to alert you to featured apps, new HTC applications, and games. Essentially, it works similarly like the Marketplace hub, but with a clear anchor on HTC apps.

On clicking the weather widget, you will get transported to a page with HTC's trademark weather animation as well as weather data for major cities around the world.

One of the more exciting HTC apps is the Photo Enhancer. Just like its name implies, the app works as a simple, no-frills photo editing software. There are a couple of color presets you can choose from after selecting your intended photo - simply click on the desire palette and your photo will be automatically edited. Don't expect to be able to change color temperature or contrast levels manually as you are limited by the available color presets.

 HTC has provided users with a simple photo enhancing app that allows you to add effects to your photos.

With an obvious emphasis on mobile entertainment (which is further augmented by its huge screen size), HTC has also included the Sound Enhancer app for both Audio and Video. You can choose to play your entertainment on Dolby Mobile or SRS Entertainment modes when you using the phone's internal speakers. Once you're plugged into headphones or external speakers, you have an array of equalizer options to choose from such as Jazz, Country, Bass Booster and more.

The menu is simple to navigate, with choices laid out in a list. The choices could have been better integrated with the music player so that you don't have to go in and out of apps to select different sound enhancing modes.

For now, the HTC Hub's interface is pretty to look at but rather bare in terms of offerings. There isn't any more that is already on the Marketplace or pre-installed on the phone, but we are excited to see more exclusive offerings to come in the near future.

There aren't many HTC-exclusive apps yet, but we will be sure to watch out this space for more.

The Good
HTC-exclusive apps
Decent video and audio playback
Useful kickstand
The Bad
Bad buttons placement and design
Low battery mileage
Average imaging quality

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