The HTC 7 Mozart is the first handset in the country to carry Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 7 operating system (OS). It is sleek and is comfortable to hold. On the front, Microsoft’s customary logo doubles up as a touch-sensitive home key, which is placed at the 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. You have to be content with the 8 GB internal storage since there’s no MicroSD card slot.
The user interface is relatively smooth and lag-free, thanks to the Qualcomm 1 GHz processor. The WP7 OS is colourful and extremely easy to navigate. The 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. 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. Unlike iTunes, Zune reads almost all video formats. The only hitch — it takes too long to convert and transfer files to the phone. Xbox gamers will find the Game Hub quite handy.
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 disappointed if you’re looking to get apps off the Microsoft MarketPlace. Facebook integration is seamless. Setting up email accounts is not much of a chore either. There were no preloaded chat applications for MSN Messenger, Skype or Gtalk. 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. 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 and metering modes. 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.
What we like
Fast and fluid UI
Excellent audio quality
What we don’t
Bluetooth is restricted
No access to App Market
No memory expansion
The battery life leaves a lot to be desired. Even with minimal usage, it’ll only see you through a day. With a price tag of R26,490, the Mozart is moderately priced. But we would not recommend it. For now, there are too many features missing. The UI has tremendous potential and we see the Windows Phone 7 OS give others a serious run for their money.
Rating- ** 1/2