Update: Checkout our HTC HD7 review.

HTC’s HD7 is one of their first two Windows Phone 7 devices, and the first WP7 device for T-Mobile. As you have seen in the video above, the HD7 is a big phone with it’s 4.3″ screen, and as far as I’ve seen, it is a whole ‘lotta phone.The HD7 feels similar to the Evo 4G, thanks mostly to it’s large size. Holding a phone as big as the HD7 is surprisingly different from smaller devices like the iPhone, or even smaller phones like HTC’s own Wildfire. But it doesn’t feel too big, rather it sits on the cusp. I’ve found with a few hours of use the large size is annoying in some ways, like when trying to lock the phone, while at other times it’s great, such as when viewing media.

Of course, the LCD display doesn’t stand up to the Samsung Focus’ SuperAMOLED screen, but it looks sharp. However, that could just be WP7, which is surprisingly clean and pleasant on the eyes.

There are a few weird things on the HD7, like the placement of the 3.5mm audio jack. It’s on the bottom, but unlike the iPod Touch, it’s in the middle. It actually sticks out of the device. If you ran your hand across the case, you’d feel a lump, and that would be the plastic and metal frame around the port. The bezel is a glossy silver surface, which contrasts the dry, smooth back surface.

On the top is a difficult to press power/standby button. So far, it’s been the biggest problem I’ve found with the device. The button itself is mushy, and the plastic bezel actually makes it more difficult to press because of it’s shape. It’s hard enough to unlock the phone one-handed. On the HD7, it’s no easy feat with two hands.

Turn the phone around and you’ll find the 5MP camera with a dual LED flash. LED is the standard right now for cellphone cameras, tough LED light is not great for photography. Xenon would be better, but it’s more expensive. So far, the only cellphones utilizing Xenon flash I know of are some of Nokia’s higher-end models. What is cool with the HD7 is the metal frame around the camera, LED flash and rear microphone (for noise cancellation when on the phone and sound recording for video), pops out to act as a stand. Which, with any screen 4″ or larger, is really quite convenient. Too bad Microsoft doesn’t have any applications to take advantage of it.

From what I’ve seen thus far, the HD7 is smooth and fast, and has no problems handling web browsing or games or anything. Check back in for the full review, coming shortly!

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.