HD7

On Sunday we covered some user complaints about the reception on the HTC HD7, specifically that holding it a certain could diminish the reception significantly. While we started off skeptical about the complaint, by the end of the video we were left a little more convinced that indeed something awry.

Now HTC has responded to the charges in a statement to Computer Weekly stating:

Quality in industrial design is of key importance to HTC. To ensure the best possible signal strength, antennas are placed in the area least likely to be covered by a person's face or hands while the phone is in use.

However, it is inevitable that a phone's signal strength will weaken a little when covered in its entirety by a user's palm or fingers. We test all of our phones extensively and are confident that under normal circumstances reception strength and performance will be more than sufficient for the operation of the phone when network coverage is also adequate

While we don't think the HD7's reception issues are nearly as bad as the iPhone 4's, it certainly is demonstrably worse than other handsets available today, including HTC's own Mozart. Still, we'll take them at their word that they do testing and take this seriously but we'll still rank the HD7 has having below-average performance when it comes to reception. And T-Mobile's network doesn't help the situation either.

Source: Computer Weekly; via wmpoweruser

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Update: HTC has contacted Jeff directly and corrected themselves. Evidently, it was due to "lack of time" as to why the extra language packs were not included and that they will be added in an update. As interesting, they said "by February this should not be an issue". which gives more credence to that rumored update coming down the road.

It turns out that the choices for keyboard languages (ergo configuration, see Settings --> Keyboard) are an option left up to OEMs and carriers. While most Windows Phones have multiple languages supported (e.g. French, German, Italian, Spanish and English) the HD7 curiously has only English on board.

Why that is remains a mystery, but at least according to HTC, the decision was not theirs:

If your Windows Phone 7 does not contain a display language that you would like to use, there is currently no way to get a new language pack installed on the phone. Microsoft makes language packs available (as they're created) to the device manufacturers (OEMs) at the time of manufacturing and it is up to the device manufacturer and mobile operator to decide which languages to include. In this case, it was T-Mobile’s decision to only include English.

As a result, some Spanish speaking Americans (who make up more than 12% of the population) are a little bit upset. Specifically, when they type in Spanish, it auto-corrects their words since the dictionary is dependent upon language selection. What's more, the HD7 on T-Mobile seems to be alone in this single language support when compared other WP7 devices (as far as we know at the moment).

No response from T-Mobile on the issue, but hopefully they'll make a note of it to include in an update in the future. Till then, you multi-lingual folk may want to steer clear of that phone if you think this matters to you.

[See also possible reception and magenta camera issues]

Source: T-Mobile Support Forums; Thanks, Jeff G., for the link

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In a new video on YouTube, it's alleged (and seemingly demonstrated) that the HD7 suffers from an antenna/reception issue similar to the Apple iPhone 4--namely if you grip it a certain way, it has a noticeable effect on the reception, up to the point where calls and data are dropped. This so-called "death grip" problem dubbed antenna-gate by many is related to having the antenna near the bottom of the phone, which is a design choice to keep the antenna (and radiation) away from the head.

At first, we were skeptical of the evidence found in the video, noting that in general, T-Mobile's coverage and reception is worse than AT&T and to put it bluntly, the HD7's overall signal reception was not the best to begin with. In turn, we tried to duplicate the situation numerous times and in the video above, you'll see our results which came as a surprise. In short, the HD7 does appear to have a death-grip problem--even to the point where data can be held up.

By way of comparison (not in the video though) the Samsug Focus seems to be just fine.  Combined with the "pink camera" issue, the HD7 to looks have a few notches against it. Feel free to chime in with your experiences in comments! See the original YouTube video after the break.

Source: YouTube, via: Geekword; Thanks, Muhammad A., for the tip

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T-Mobile's Black Friday BOGO event

AT&T isn't the only one offering a BOGO sale on Black Friday. T-Mobile has joined the fun by offering a "buy one, get one free" on select smartphones.

The good news for Windows Phone fans is that the HTC HD7 is included on the list.

 The BOGO offer is for new and existing customers (those eligible for upgrade) who sign up for a T-Mobile family plan with a two-year agreement and purchase one of the featured devicesa can get a new featured smartphone free (which includes the HD7). The new in-store BOGO promotion will be available Nov. 26 through Jan.18, to allow those who want to avoid the Black Friday crowds have the opportunity to take advantage of the offer.

Source: T-Mobile

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Evidently Black Friday starts a week early now. Go America. (I Have to put this with a question mark because the wording is a bit unclear/almost too good to be true.)

Starting tomorrow, you can pick up the HTC HD7 at Wirefly for $99.99

  1. Free activation
  2. Free shipping
  3. Use coupon WIREFLYHD79 for $25 off

Using that coupon gets you to $74.99 which is ridiculously low. What's unclear is the order of the pricing: is it $99 after the $25 coupon or before? I'm leaning towards before, making this a heck of  deal. We'll update as soon as it becomes clear.

Update: Indeed, the price is just $74.99 after doing the above! Great time to pick up that HD7.

Source: i4U.com

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The Samsung Focus comes with 8GB NAND memory whereas the HTC HD7 comes with 8GB NAND (presumably) and an 8GB microSD card. Of course the Focus can be upgraded by adding a microSD card, but it does not come with one. The theory has it that the HD7 will probably perform slower due to the memory card and indeed, in our tests, this is the case.

Overall, the Focus feels faster in everyday tasks, navigating the UI and of course loading Need for Speed Undercover, in comparison to the HD7. But, that may be due to the Focus not having an SD card. Either way, the difference is obvious in this video.

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And now it looks like the HD7 is on "backorder" as well (see Samsung Focus).  According to TmoNews, when you try to place an order through Tmobile's website, you get the above message. A quick call to customer care results in the same message with the caveat that they don't know when it will be back in stock.

For now at least, you can still get it through Amazon Wireless, which being $50 less is a better deal anyways. Although funny thing, my HD7 order still hasn't shipped from Amazon, so who knows what's up.

Source: TmoNews

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Uh oh, this is not good.  Looks like on the eve before its big launch, a major flaw in the T-Mobile HTC HD7's camera has been discovered.

Evidently, the HD7's camera has a pink-color issue whereby whites become heavily rose colored. For instance, take the picture above taken with my T-Mobile HD7: that's of my very white refrigerator. There is also this example from Kevin C. Tofel on Twitter and Matt Miller confirms that this is like what the HD2 suffered from before it had an update. That leads us to believe this can be corrected by software. At least?

Of course, you can also color correct for this in post-processing, but you shouldn't have too. And lets be honest, that's some serious pink.

What say you, HTC?

Thanks, Tim Ferrill, who's at a soccer game, for the heads-up!

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This whole microSD/expandable memory thing is pretty crazy. As we've heard, it depends on if the carrier supports and endorses such behavior, as well as if the device has access e.g. Samsung Focus does, HTC surround does not.

Now we're hearing from T-Mobile in an email received by one of our readers who asked. In short, replacing the memory on your HD7 will void the warranty. Now for some, that's not a big deal, but others it is something that you should at least beware of before you commit to upgrading the storage card.

Thank you for your interest in T-Mobile and the HTC HD7. Please be advised that the HTC HD7 is equipped with 16 GB of internal memory. Any attempts to modify the device would result in voiding the device’s one-year Limited Warranty.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at ExecutiveResponse@T-Mobile.com.

Very truly yours,

T-MOBILE USA, INC.

Aaron Marshall, Executive Customer Relations

We just sort of wish everyone was on the same page here as mixed messages will cause confusion.

Thanks, AtomicAgeZombie, for the tip!

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Some preliminary news coming from O2 suggests that the HTC HD7 is quite the hit, with pre-orders being sold out and the telecom reporting "at least five-digit sales". O2 also have an exclusive on the device till an unknown time, similar to T-Mobile U.S.

So far, no word on our side of the pond on HD7 pre-orders and it will be interesting to see how next Monday goes when the device is finally made available. It's not clear if T-Mo will carry it in stores that day too, but we'll keep an ear out. Any of you get your orders in or are you waiting?

Source: Dropnews; via WinodwsPhoneMix

 

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As a follow up to the earlier story about replacing the storage card on the HD7, the only remaining question was how many GB can you install? While we don't know the upper limit, we do know 8, 16 and yes, now 32GB cards will work just fine (it would have been really huge news if, oddly, the 32GB didn't work).

XDA member derekcranson did the test and even explains the process, noting there are 10 screws that need to be removed before exchanging the SD card. Replacing the card, of course, violates the warranty, so make sure you keep the original and the little sticker handy just in case. As interesting, the stock 16GB card is a class 0, meaning "These cards do not specify performance, which includes all legacy cards prior to class specifications."

Of course this presumably means that other WP7 phones can do the same, like the Samsung Focus and we're betting the Dell Venue Pro. Shouldn't be long before we confirm other devices as well.

So, who's now ordering a 32gb card for their new phone?

Source: XDA; via wmpoweruser

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Over at the::unwired.net, Arne Hess does a fine job of explaining the memory requirements of Windows Phone 7 and helps shed light on what is turning out to be a complicated issue (see our earlier coverage of the Samsung Focus & its SD card).

Turns out he was able to disassemble his (pre-production) HTC HD7 and replace the storage card after some finagling (he had a problem at first). He also explains how the memory works on WP7--basically it's not like a RAID system, but rather it concatonates the memory installed into as and reads it as one big drive. Removing a storage card requires a hard reset in order to get it working again.

Finally, he mentions that the reason for this SD card usage, instead of installed flash, is cost. OEMs can save money by using SD cards which are easy to upgrade and replace as opposed to onboard solutions which are more pricey and restrictive. Seems to make sense and even though it's confusing for us, we bet OEMs might like this for production purposes (remember how everything was 8GB then magically almost all WP7 devices went 16GB? Yeah, that...). It remains to be seen, however, if all WP7 devices use this method or not.

Source: the:unwired.net

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Although you can get it through Amazon.com for the same price plus free 2-day shipping, if going with Wirefly is your thing, then here you go.

With a new 2 year contract, the HTC HD7 on T-mobile runs you a very fair $169.99 for the pre-order or if you want contract freedom, you can have it for $529.99.

Update: Price drop! Reader Saad lets us know that Wirefly has dropped the price to $149.99, undercutting Amazon.com by $20 and making us a little envious...

Source: Wirefly

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Microsoft Windows Phone 7 devices are already landing in stores overseas and are just around the corner from hitting the store shelves in the U.S. We are now seeing reviews surface across the web on the Samsung Focus, HTC Mozart, HTC Surround, and HTC HD7.

We will soon add our own reviews to the growing list but in the meantime, we thought we would offer up a little roundup of what others are saying about these new phones.

Ease on past the break to see what others are saying about the new Windows Phones.

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T-Mobile has announced pricing for the HTC HD7 and based on a twitter post, the Windows Phone will be in stores on November 8th. So much for AT&T's exclusivity rumors.

The HD7 will runn $199.99 after contractual discounts. If you would like email notifications on the HD7, you can sign up for those as well over at T-Mobile's HD7 webpage.  Hopefully, the "available November 8th" on the web page and "in stores" on Twitter mean the same thing.

via TMoNews

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Assuming it's not a scam (an admittedly huge assumption), some anonymous soul is selling an HTC HD7 on Craigslist for a whopping $950. That's one heck of a premium over a phone that will be out in about 4 weeks.

The pictures given don't even appear to be of the actual phone, as the weather curiously shows New York City, not Chicago. Perhaps HTC is missing a phone or two from the Open House? Or maybe we're just cynical.

Anyways, we're sure we'll probably get this listing pulled now that we've publicized it.  On the other hand, if you actually buy it, let us know how it feels to spend nearly a $1k on a phone, m'kay?

Source: Craigslist

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WP7 Video: HTC HD7 boot time

The HTC HD7 is heading to T-Mobile and we were able to spend a little hands-on time with the Windows Phone 7 device during the Windows Phone 7 Launch.

It's an impressive phone with an impressive boot time. Helped by the 1ghz processor, the HD7 takes about twenty seconds to boot. That's lightning fast compared to some Windows Phones running Windows Mobile.

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HTC was in the thick of the Windows Phone 7 launch and has added three new videos highlighting three of their WP7 phones. You can find the video on the HTC HD7, Trophy and Mozart over at HTC's YouTube Channel.  The twenty second videos don't offer any specs on the phones but showcases them nicely.

While the Trophy and Mozart are headed to overseas markets, the HD7 will land at T-Mobile next month. Still not sold on the kickstand but that 4.3" screen does look nice.

Ease on past the break to see the videos on the Trophy and Mozart.

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