Well, here it is. Windows Phone 7 on Verizon! For many of you out there, this phone is your very first taste of Microsoft’s mobile platform reborn. It’s a completely different beast that has a ton of potential. With that said, WP7 and the HTC Trophy are quite a match. but is the duo good enough to warrant passing up on any of the currently available high-end Android devices or the Verizon iPhone? Hop inside for the full review…The SpecsProcessor: 1 GHzDisplay: 3.8 480 x 800 (WVGA)RAM/ROM: 576 MB/512 MBInternal Storage: 8 GBCamera: 8-megapixel w/ auto-focus, flash, and 720p video recordingWireless: Bluetooth 2.1 | WiFi b/g/n | GPSBattery: 1300 mAhHardware & DisplayStarting at the top of the device we’ve got the power button and 3.5mm audio port which gives way to the shutter button (for the camera) on the far bottom on the right side. The bottom to of the Trophy is a wasteland of soft touch plastic while the left side houses the volume up/down buttons. ‘round back you’ll find the Trophy’s 8-megapixel life capturing device complete with LED flash.On paper the Trophy doesn’t look too terribly impressive. but that’s ok because it’s the software that makes WP7. With that said, we have to point out that even though the 3.8 display only packs 480 x 800 resolution, it looks crisp and extremely clear — far better than just about any competing Android device with the same resolution. whatever Microsoft and HTC did here works. really. Even though the Trophy hardware is rather thin, the rounded edges and soft touch rubber more than make up for the diminutive size. still, we wish HTC would have added a couple more mm back into the phone and stuffed a larger battery in there.Camera and VideoAs the specs elude to, the 5-megapixel shooter and 720p video recording performed well and looked extra snazzy on the Trophy’s display. at times the camera would have trouble focusing on close-up shots while photos with a lot of dynamic range ended up being washed out and harsh. but such problems aren’t limited to the Trophy, but instead mobile phone cameras in general. The video captured with the Trophy was overall decent. We’ve seen better and we’ve seen worse. SoftwareIf you haven’t been able to experience Windows Phone 7 yet we highly suggest you do so. It is quite possibly the perfect “anti-iOS” method for navigating a phone. where Apple is all about the eye candy and extreme attention to detail, Microsoft took a very simplistic, no frills stance with Windows Phone. It’s not better and it’s not worse. It’s just different. As we hinted at above, the mid-range hardware pushes WP7 pixels around much faster and more seamlessly than Android counterparts. Transitions between the home screen and apps (and vice versa) was always snappy with very little, if any noticeable slow downs or lag. Setting up a rarely-used Windows Live account as well as several Gmail accounts was also uneventful. Similar to how Apple integrated the iPod into the iPhone, Microsoft has essentially taken the software guts of the Zune and stuffed them into every WP7 device. as a music player, we prefer the Zune interface as it lets you quickly scroll left/right between menus and up/down for items in any given menu. Audio quality was up there with the iPhone in our non-scientific approach — clear, crisp, and fat-bottomed when paired with the right cans. We’ll come right out and say that we love the WP7 onscreen keyboard. In fact, we’d rate it a very close tie for first place with the iOS keyboard. we were able to fly through words just as fast as we can on our iPhone 4, and a good clip faster than the LG Revolution in house using LG’s own fantastic keyboard. For people worried about the transition from physical to digital, this is one platform you definitely want to check out.The Photos app operates similarly to the Zune app navigation-wise and is pretty basic. The People app is pretty cool in that it syncs with your Facebook and allows you to see quick blurbs about status updates and such without having to launch a dedicated app. Finally, being an HTC device you’d expect to see some heavy software customization, right? Well, not so fast. Microsoft took a much firmer stance with Windows Phone 7 than they did with Windows Mobile in a move that shares some characteristics with Apple’s locked down environment. Microsoft now prevents manufacturers and carriers from skinning the WP7 interface in an effort to keep things consistant for all users across the various pieces of hardware. we think this is a very good idea as Android’s “diversity” is nice to write on press releases and news articles, but often translates to crappy performance, bloatware, and an overall pile of garbage in the real world. With that said, HTC does have the “HTC Hub” which is essentially a Sense-UI app pack that is launched rather than all encompassing. In there you’ll find the clocks, weather widgets, and links to download more HTC content. In our eyes, having all the Android skins repurposed as “app packs” would do Android a world of good. (Google, take note.)Almost There… AppsWe could very easily see ourselves using WP7 as a daily driver — if only there were more apps. a lot of simple tasks such as checking in with Foursquare and multi-account IM chats were all but impossible. (**IM+ should be hitting WP7 soon making for a much happier ending.) where we can spend hours on iOS and almost the same amount of time on Android we found ourselves growing bored after 30-40 minutes. Though such a reaction is far better than what we initially experienced on the PlayBook as it lacks just about every useful app/service you can imagine — save for Facebook.We have no doubt in our minds that WP7 will continue catching on. but how fast is anyone’s guess. Palm/HP are are in the same boat — small time newcomers looking to make a name for themselves. while both platforms certainly have some potential and features that Android and/or iOS don’t share, it takes consistency amongst other things to come out ahead. Call Quality And Battery LifeAs far as call quality goes, it’s more of the same. That is, running on Verizon’s network in the (Midwest) was problem-free. Call quality was loud and clear with callers reporting back that I sounded equally impressive. Battery life is something that mobile phones fail at all too often. It’s quite unfortunate really, as the tasks they beg us to perform on them require increasing amounts of go-go juice. With that said, we found the Trophy to do rather well when off the plug — up there with our iPhone 4. of course, one could also say if you’re following Microsoft’s mantra of “getting back to life” and spending less time on your phone then it should run longer. whatever the case, just know that you won’t have to babysit outlets like your standard smartphone.ConclusionIs the HTC Trophy worth your time? It’s certainly much better than the first generation of WP7 devices from late last year. With that said, the hardware itself is pretty awesome despite the meager specs and the software is efficient in the sense that it doesn’t take a miniature super computer to run somewhat smoothly. For this we give Microsoft props. but what gets us the most is the lack of apps (once again). It ruins a potentially awesome experience. However, if you can look past some of these shortcomings and/or don’t mind waiting for Microsoft to issue new updates and features, we feel the Trophy is just as good as any.On a larger scale, we much prefer the semi-closed nature of WP7 to Android’s all-you-can-eat buffet and Apple’s ultra restrictive ecosystems. It seems Microsoft has found a relatively happy medium that promotes ideas and creativity (like iOS) and also limiting fragmentation and malware potential (Android). In the meantime you need to get out to your local cellular provider and give the major platforms a try. because as much as we tell you about these phones, it pales in comparison to what some good ‘ol fashion hands-on time can do. Get out there.Gallery
i might be getting the Speck PixelSkin HD iPhone 4 because it provides protection for the iphone 4 if you drop it. It wont shatter.
I like the Specks myself
I got one of the speck pixelskin cases. It didn't really show off the iPhone 4 features but it sure did look protective.
Incase, speck, ifrogz, and case-mate are all good choices