Expert Review of HTC 7SURROUND
HTC 7Surround, a genius by HTC includes a ravishingly large 3.8”capacitive LCD touch-screen which packs WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels) coupled with a landscape slider build on the same basic internals as the rest of its platform siblings but there’s no keyboard under the screen—when you slide the quarter inch slide it reveals an aluminum speaker bar and integrated kickstand, which combines to create a tiny little stereo system of a sorts. Like all current Windows Phones, HTC 7 Surround offers Xbox Live integration, Zune, and a neat and interesting Metro User Interface (UI). It has a sturdy chassis which with its weight of 165 grams and the dimensions of 4.7mm x 2.4mm x 0.5mm make it a little heavy and thick as many prefer.
User Interface and UI functionality
The Microsoft team has essentially worked on HTC Surround 7's operating system based on a number of principles of which elegance, simplicity, relevance are a few. What you notice immediately on the phone is the easy panel as it has none of the unnecessary information and put forth a ‘Start screen’ that consists of ‘live tiles’ which are essential widgets to your favorite apps, contacts and other alerts like emails, calls etc. Meanwhile, offering the freedom to pin new tiles. Beyond start up and apps one finds a platform Hub that reflects Microsoft’s attention to organization and relevancy. In total the phone offers six hubs – People, Picture, Games, Music + Video, Marketplace and Office all of which is presented via a bold text. While some may complain to all of the stuff being in one place and hard to scroll the organization is done brilliantly as many things can be done together without the havoc of opening a dozen apps. This Windows Phone 7 provides, in comparison to the previous iterations, a modern, fresh, fast and pleasant navigating experience. And with the 1 GHz processor the application run time is fast.
HTC 7 Surround’s voice feature include quad-band world roaming, a speakerphone, conference calling, voice dialing, text and multimedia messaging, full range wireless options that include : Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G and GPS. Other perky feature includes the automatic option of ringer volume lowering as you pick the phone to see who is calling and better; with just a flip you can put it to complete silent. All those who have experienced a fumble during a lecture or over an important meeting might eye this feature with a smirk. Further basic feature is the Contacts that let you see merged contacts from your different e-mail accounts and social networking sites. Features like Email and Calendar are easy to use while your emails are to be set up in a separate in-box depending on your separate accounts and marked, read and deleted accordingly. Your Calendar is combined and offers even a ‘view by agenda, day and/ or month ‘option. If we discuss its messaging feature, we can happily say that the messaging experience is a fantastic one and the 3.8 spacious display is one of the reason why. Auto-feature is another handy feature and as like any other phone this one has not missed. Additionally, the stand out feature is the Microsoft office suite while you can download and open Word and Excel attachments in their original format you can also edit and create them. A new addition is the rather cool OneNote Mobile that lets you add photos, record clips as well as bullet or number lists as you go. Finally if your work group is a part of SharePoint Server then this phone lets you share and edit that too, all you have to do is enter the URL. Another shining feature will appeal to the music people. The music player allows you to break down your library by artists, songs, playlist, and genres. Also offers track info, few on screen controls etc .And offers to play formats - MP3, WMA, M4A and M4B. And what better way is to enjoy your neatly organized music? Is the Dolby Digital surround speaker that speaks volume, literally!
Pictures and Video quality
HTC 7 Surround camera is as the mobile is turning out to be, responsive and fast to focus. It gives you a range of settings including multiple shooting modes – Auto, portrait, Landscape, Sports, Beach, Backlight, Candlelight and Macro—together with various effects – Grayscale, Negative, Sepia and Solarize. Plus flicker adjustment, a choice of metering, flash on/off/auto and also an option to over saturate photos. If we talk about the pictures qualities, it is only when you pull the images on the computer that the picture seem to lose its beauty, put a long story short the camera will not provide a “brilliant” quality on a larger resolution. The Video fares better with the HTC 7 Surround as it records 720p HD clips and with the help of the brilliant screen be viewed clearly and brightly.
One of the key features of any phone is the Web browser option, which in HTC Surround 7 seems to be pretty decent as browsing is quick and pages can easily be searched, zoomed, favorite and shared. It gives you the capability to load up to 6 tabs together. Mobile sites are told to load as quickly as 8 seconds and computer sites as quick as 27 seconds! This makes HTC 7 Surround hands down one of the most gratifying web experience seen in a phone.
Internal and External Memory
One drawback that can be easily drawn out of the phone is the unavailability of any kind of expandable external memory due to absence of a card slot but this deficiency is easily covered up by the massive 16 GB internal memory provided by the device alongside 448 MB RAM and 512 MB ROM.
Applications and Gaming
As apps have become an integral part of smartphones HTC 7 Surround makes sure it stands up to deliver quality apps. With all the major apps like ‘Twitter, Slacker, IMBd, Foursquare, Opentable’ and many other various useful apps are given. Another sweet thing about Window Phone 7 is that you can actually uninstall any unwanted carrier apps not just remove them from your Start menu but actually uninstall them. This is great for those who do not like all the bloatware tying up precious resources.
Good news for gamers is the fact that it can integrate with XBOX live. And it does not slow as you play your downloaded game. Also you can alter your Xbox account directly
With Li-Ion batteries that ought to last 12 hours of normal usage, 4 hours of talk time and 275 hours of standby time. HTC 7 Surround is feature enriched and fast processing mobile that will give you beyond the simple need.
HTC Surround 7 offers WiFi as another means on connection to the internet. The phone comes with built-in Bluetooth 2.1 and a MicroUSB slot to plug in a MicroUSB to USB wire which can be used to connect the device to the computer or to the wall charger. WiFi tethering, initially not supported, has been added with Windows Phone 7.5.
HTC Surround 7 is currently available online in India at many retialers, as far as the pricing goes this phone can be compared to HTC Wildfire S, Nokia Lumia 610 and Samsung Galaxy Ace as they are the closest competitions. Considering the features provided, the phone is a certain winner with bigger screen and better processor but huge lack of availability of the phone certainly makes it lose its edge