updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue March 22, 2011
Our first-hand test of the HTC HD7s
AT&T put out a small surprise when it unveiled the HTC HD7s this week, not the least of which is that it didn't remain the same. The new Windows Phone 7 hardware was billed as having an "improved" version of the 4.3-inch LCD. We'll find out in our hands-on what that means and how it compares to the T-Mobile HD7.
After delving into the device, we learned that the upgrade wasn't a resolution upgrade that some had hoped for, but instead an upgrade from the original plain LCD to a Sony Super LCD. That still left a 480x800 resolution, we could see better colors, an overall brighter picture and wider viewing angles. On a phone where the display is the centerpiece, those go a long way towards improving its standing.
Most of the other contributions are the anticipated AT&T apps: U-verse Mobile is the highlight and gives the option of watching content from your IPTV bundle or, through a separate subscription, on its own. AT&T Navigator is also there if you like subscription-based, turn-by-turn directions. HTC Hub is still there and provides a certain amount of utility for news, weather and shortcuts to the Marketplace for apps, but it still takes awhile to load and isn't as useful as a home tile app for each.
Of course, the promised NoDo update is the biggest shift for many in software and will support copy-and-paste text, among other improvements.
The phone is still as responsive as ever through the 1GHz Snapdragon. Even as regular Android and iPhone users, we like Windows Phone 7 because of how relatively fast and direct it is. We wouldn't have had a realistic opportunity to try the five-megapixel camera or 16GB of built-in storage, but both are the same as on the regular HD7.
The HD7s is due to ship sometime in the next few weeks and doesn't have a price. We believe it might cost $150 or less to spur sales of the upgraded WP7 flagship.