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Ownership of HTC HD7 (Windows Phone 7) and My Impressions

I have had HTC HD7 since December of 2010. The first impression I experienced when I turned on the device was how fresh, cool, clean and quick UI was. I was happy to not seeing gradients, unnecessary borders and lines in lists. To be honest, I have the same feeling now, after two months of ownership of the device.

Unfortunately (I know, it’s unavoidable for the first release of any new device), the phone has a bunch of issues. I have no chance to test other models of WP7 phones, so I will not separate issues on device-related and operation system-related ones.

Issues do worry me

As for me, the most important issue is I can’t import contacts via Bluetooth from my ancient Sony Ericsson K700. It’s unbelievable, people can’t migrate from their phones to WP7. Yes, I can store contacts on a sim-card, but I will lose some extended data.

The next issue is SEARCH BUTTON. I hate it. I can’t put the phone on a table without touching it. Have HTC QA specialists tested such behaviour? I hear many other complains on that button in Twitter, blogs, from gamers etc and HTC should provide a fix. Also, Microsoft will do a favour if they provide API to overwrite behaviour of that button.

Another issue is if you set volume level to 1 (the quietest level of sound) and forgot to raise it, the alarm will be hardly audible. Moreover, the phone does not wake up from turned off state when alarm should be activated. My K700 does and has saved my ass a lot of times.

After playing with alarms, they stopped playing and in the morning I didn’t hear alarm melody. Only vibration worked. After rebutting the device, everything works well.

The HD7 device does not support interactive USSD requests (requests with ability to send answer). For example, I do not remember exactly USSD command to get internet settings, so I enter the most simple (e.g. *131#) command and step by step choose the most appropriate answers to find  what I want. HD7 displays answer for your command but does not allow sending any replay.

If you want to set a new ringtone, you can click a button and it will start playing. But you have no chance to understand what item is playing if you forgot what item you have clicked. The icon for the playing item does not change.

I don’t know why but some applications can’t start while the device is connected to the computer (Zune is closed).

The HD7 device does not have any option to get current time/missed calls information except unlocking the device. It would be great if clicking on +/- or on Photo buttons displays that information.

Quite often I unexpectedly terminate a call because my cheek touches the End button on the dialing screen.

When you use headphones and make music louder/quieter from them, the device is unlocking. It is  a bad behaviour because it shines, a battery is discharging etc and a phone number can be typed and executed accidentally..

The next one is a proposal to the WP7 development team. It would be great if Application Bar would be hideable – hide and show the bar if users do not use it often.

Issues do not worry me

The phone does not support input in Slavic languages. I can use English or a virtual keyboard. Moreover, Microsoft promises to provide support of East and Slavic languages lather this year.

Any issue I mention above is more important for me then copy-paste. I suppose it is not a big problem but a pretence to start a holy war between WP7 and other Smartphone users.

When I bought my first mobile phone (it was about 7 years ago), the most important criterion was I could have set my own mp3 as a ringtone. Now, I don’t care about it.

Conclusion

Yes, the first release of Windows Phone 7 has bunch of issues that should be solved as soon as MS can. Nevertheless, the device and the operation system are great because they start new era of UX and mobile development principles. Also, development for WP7 is much more easier then for any other mobile platform. So, I am going to continue developing for that platform and I have great number of ideas to implement.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

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