Review: HTC 7 Mozart

 
This is an archive page, the content is no longer up to date.
Published: February 1, 2011 11:00 PM
By Florence Legrand
The HTC 7 Mozart is the fifth phone to run Windows Phone 7 that we've tested.  All of them are remarkably similar, if not almost identical.  That's because Microsoft has a demanding specification for its hardware partners that doesn't leave them much room to stand out from the crowd.  LG decided to add double the amount of required memory on its Optimus 7 for instance.  

The 7 Mozart has a 3.7'' screen and is very similar to the 7 Trophy (which has a slightly larger screen) and is clearly hoping to make a name for itself amongst WP7 handsets as a cameraphone with an 8 Megapixel camera (the others all only have 5 Megapixels) and a Xenon flash.  It boasts a rather unusual masculine design, especially when you flip it over.

Design and usability


The HTC 7 Mozart weighs just 130 g and has a well chosen compact shape, meaning it rests perfectly in the palm of your hand.  It would be hard to say that it looks very original from the front: the screen occupies the entire surface with three well-behaved touch-sensitive buttons underneath.

Turn it over, though, and you'll find a phone that doesn't like many of its rivals.  Featuring angular, rather masculine lines and a mixture of metal and smooth plastic, the HTC 7 Mozart has a rugged, sporty look.  The ladies that tried it were less impressed than the gents in our office, and it's true that HTC has real difficulty winning over female consumers.


As is often the case—we can't say 'always' after the fiasco of the HD7—HTC has produced a solid, well-built handset.


The back panel might have an unusual design but it doesn't make getting the battery out any easier

The 3.7'' 480 x 800 pixel Super LCD screen might be able to boast flashy technology like AMOLED, Super AMOLED or Retina, but it does a perfectly good job, with plenty of contrast and accurate colour reproduction, something very few phones manage.

Even outside in bright sunlight the screen is still usable, as long as brightness is turned up to maximum.  Wide viewing angles also mean you can look at it from any direction.

Interface and responsiveness: classic Windows Phone 7


The phone's user interface didn't contain any surprises now we're familiar with Windows Phone 7.  It's easy to use and HTC has followed Microsoft's instructions to the letter when it comes to implementing this innovative and intuitive new OS.  We're still huge fans of the very easy set-up procedure for Gmail, Facebook and Windows Live accounts and the fact that your contacts' news from social networks is updated automatically.  With so many accounts available, it's also great to be able to link the same person's presence on different sites on a single page.  For more information about what we think of Windows Phone 7, have a look at our review of the LG Optimus 7.




 
The 7 Mozart's voice recognition system means you can control everything from the web browser to your phone book by speaking to it.  We didn't use it that much, but when we did, it worked pretty well.


HTC Hub: some extra apps from the handset manufacturer

Overall, using the phone is a very fluid experience, and the combination of stable OS and a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm is clearly successful, although a few apps sometimes take a while to launch.

Multimedia: hardly a virtuoso performance


Given the name, you'd hope this smartphone would at least have a good audio player.  Despite having several equaliser settings, the audio output is pretty average—as are the headphones—so we can't really conclude that the HTC Mozart is worthy of its name.  Be careful not to turn the volume up too loud, as the sound can easily become too saturated.  All in all, audio on the Mozart is, like most of HTC's other phones, pretty average, and it's no better or worse than any of its cousins.


The keyboard is accurate enough, but like the other WP7 phones we've tried, it doesn't take up the full width available

All Windows 7 phones rely on Zune for syncing media content, and the clear, easy interface makes moving files around a doddle.  For more information about Zune, you can read our review of the LG Optimus 7.


Annoyingly, you can only type in a new address or look at your favourites in portrait mode.  The progress bar that updates you on pages you're loading is almost invisible.
 
Most of its rivals—including stablemates the 7 Trophy and HD7—have 5 Megapixel cameras, but the Mozart boasts 8.  The colour reproduction and amount of detail are both excellent for a smartphone, and certainly better than the other WP7 handsets.  The Xenon flash means that even photos taken in darker conditions can come out reasonably well, but it's still better to rely on natural light for the best results.

Frustratingly, the gap between pressing the button and taking a photo is a little long.  There's not much point in the zoom which has an immediate negative impact, disorting the picture.

Video recording is far from perfect and instead of being smooth, all of our recordings were jerky; without stabilisation, they jumped around.  Playback works better, but if your collection has a lot of AVI or DivX videos, you'll have to convert them before you can view them on your phone.

 


Compare the HTC 7 Mozart to other cameraphones in our Product Face-Off
3/5 HTC 7 Mozart DigitalVersus 2011-02-02 00:00:00

Pros

  • Build quality and handling
  • Responsive, intuitive interface and stable OS
  • Great camera
  • Screen reproduces colours accurately
  • Decent battery life: around two days

Cons

  • Homescreen can quickly get cumbersome if you have too many apps
  • Just 8 GB of memory and no way to expand it
  • No copy and paste or multitasking until the next update
  • Camera takes too long to activate, poor video results
  • Some apps slow to load

Conclusion

There's not a lot that allows the HTC 7 Mozart smartphone to stand out from the other new mobile with Windows Phone 7 we've tread. They're all fast, have a nice interface, work with Zune and none of them have room to expand the memory. Apart from a more original design and a better camera, there's not much else, but between the 7 Mozart, the 7 Trophy and the HD7, it's clearly the best of the three.

ADVERTISING