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Brand new winmo

Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system sees its release in India in the form of the HTC 7 Mozart.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2011 16:00 IST
Shayne Rana

The HTC 7 Mozart is the first handset in the country to carry Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 7 operating system. It is slick looking and comfortable to hold. On the front, Microsoft’s customary logo doubles up as a touch-sensitive home key, which is placed dead centre under the 3.7-inch 480x800 resolution touchscreen. The display features a proximity sensor and multi-touch. It is scratch resistant to quite an extent but also smudges a fair bit.

There’s no provision for additional memory since there’s no MicroSD card slot. So be content with the 8 GB of internal storage. The 8 megapixel camera sticks out a tad bit and comes coupled with a xenon flash.

The user interface is relatively smooth and lag-free thanks to the Qualcomm 1 GHz processor. The WP7 operating system is colourful, vibrant and extremely easy to navigate.

The desktop/ home screen is essentially a tile system that can be customised. Most apps, websites, contacts and the like can be pinned to the home page. The tile’s colour theme can be changed via the settings. The large fonts and very responsive touchscreen interface make navigating the menus and settings easy.

Microsoft’s WP & Office Suite is actually one of the better apps to use and is extremely handy to have for editing and viewing office documents. OneNote is similar to Nokia’s ActiveNotes that lets you add media like voice recordings or images to a simple note.

The media UI is similar to Microsoft iPod-equivalent — Zune. One trump card that the Zune software has over iTunes is that it manages to read almost all video formats. The problem is that it takes too long to convert and transfer files to the phone. But the layout is hardly flattering. Xbox gamers will find the Game Hub quite handy. It’s where you can get access to all kinds of details for your Xbox Live account.

Connectivity and apps
The Mozart is 3G compliant and sports Wi-Fi too. Bluetooth A2DP is supported but you can’t transfer data between phones. You’ll be unpleasantly surprised if you’re looking to get apps off the Microsoft MarketPlace. It’s not available on WP7 yet either.

Facebook integration with the phone book is really good; it’s seamless and gets the job done quite well. Setting up email accounts is not much of a chore and it’s all a matter of following the simple steps. There didn’t seem to be any chat applications preloaded for MSN Messenger, Skype or Gtalk. Independent apps for these didn’t seem to be available on the MarketPlace either. Images can be shared by either uploading them to Facebook, or sending them via MMS or your email account. You can also upload the files to Microsoft’s Skydrive and access it from anywhere. Think of it as Microsoft’s version of Picasa or Dropbox.

The resident search engine is, of course, Bing. A voice search option, like that on Google, is incorporated and may not be as good as the Android version but is definitely a very close second. Mozart also comes with built-in GPS to be used with Bing maps.

The 8-megapixel autofocus camera features scene modes and metering modes. It can capture video in 720p but videos take a little while to focus after starting up.

The camera starts up in about two seconds and images get processed almost instantaneously, which is great. Image quality is not too bad: the xenon flash is nowhere near as effective as the N8’s; and photos, although sharp, tend to blend colours together sometimes in the green range. Extracting images is a pain though since you need the Zune software on your computer.

What we Like
Fast and fluid UI
Excellent audio quality
Comfortable design

What we don’t
Bluetooth is restricted
No access to App Market
No memory expansion