Friday, July 1, 2011

HTC’s HD7, the HD2 update

Social networking has been taken to a new level by consolidating the user's address book with Facebook and various other social networking sites. Conversations across multiple sites are brought together for each contact, making it easier for the user to track updates in a single format.

Like previous versions of the mobile Windows operating system, WP7 includes a mobile version of the Office suite, including OneNote. Documents from the PC can be downloaded to the HD7 for on-the-go viewing, while new documents can be created on the device itself. The transferring of these files isn't quite as user-friendly as in previous versions, and it's not possible to edit documents downloaded to the device, but there is at least a limited Office capability.

All software is now purchased and loaded from the Windows Phone Marketplace via the phone itself. There's already a fair stock of applications, games, and novelties on the marketplace, many for free or only a dollar or two; and every one I've tried so far has offered a trial so the user can try before buying.

For a more detailed read of Windows Phone 7, see our earlier article Is Windows Phone 7 for power users?.

Final thoughts

There are some users who will not find the HD7 as user-friendly as some of its predecessors. Because of the mechanics of the way Windows Phone 7 has been designed, it's not exactly tailored for power users. The inability to access the file system and to load anything other than entertainment-related files somewhat cripples the device for power users and techies. But as an entertainment-based mobile device, the HD7 is top notch.

It flawlessly records video and pictures, and delivers seamless playback of same. The ability to connect with Facebook and other like sites provides for social networking at any time or place, and the manner in which WP7 integrates those conversations and posts with your contacts and other apps makes tracking your friends and keeping in contact quite simple.

While the current version of Office Mobile isn't quite as fluid and accommodating as previous versions, it still does allow for creation of documents in the field, and mobile viewing of previously created ones. Although the HD7 and its Windows Phone 7 operating system may not appeal to hard-core techies and power users, it easily rates a 3 out 5 for delivering the entertainment-driven focus it was designed to.

RATING: 3 STARS