HTC 7 Mozart review: first look

The HTC 7 Mozart is not only one of the first Windows Phone 7 models, it's also the first with an eight megapixel camera.

Documents can transferred to the Mozart using either a SharePoint server, a Windows Live SkyDrive or as a simple email attachment. It choked on documents in the .rtf format, failing to open them, although this may be due to the late beta firmware.

Excel spreadsheets and Word documents with embedded graphics were rendered almost perfectly. We were able to use pinch to zoom to get a closer look, and finger panning around a document was smooth. We embedded edits into documents, including new points to bulleted lists, and round tripped them with no problems.

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The home screen is dominated by Tiles. These large icons show automatically updated data. For example tiles representing email accounts give an indication of the number of unread messages and the Calendar tile can display information about upcoming appointments. You also get upcoming calendar event and unread email notifications on the lock screen. This helps you access information quickly and simply. You can add, remove, and reorder Tiles simply by pressing, holding and dragging them.

As you move around between these Tiles and within applications there are animated transitions. For example, reorienting the phone between portrait and landscape mode when viewing a document or web site, triggers an eye-catching movement animation rather just a swift reorientation. It's more elaborate than similar transition animations on iOS or Android. It animates smoothly and is fun to look at initially, but we found it got a little tedious after a while.

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Unlike Android, Windows Phone 7 can't be skinned. However both HTC and Orange have added some features of their own. The HTC Hub gives you access to a weather app, photo manipulator and notes tool, but the process of launching the hub involves a somewhat tedious animation of clouds appearing on screen before a location aware weather and time display opens up. We aren't too sure we'd bother with it very often in the real world.

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