The HTC 7 Mozart is a fairly typical HTC handset in specifications, but with Windows Phone 7 rather than Android. Despite the 3.7in screen, the device fits easily into a pocket and is not too heavy to carry around. Windows Phone 7 is easy to use - perhaps too simple - and has a fantastic web browser and good Office integration. However, much of the functionality is tied to Microsoft's online services.
Slick user interface; excellent browser; good touch-screen keyboard; decent screen
No storage expansion; disappointing camera; needs Microsoft Zune to sync with PC
Free with £35 per month 24 month tariff from Orange
Windows Phone 7 OS, 1GHz Snapdragon QSD8250 processor, 512MB ROM, 576MB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 3.7in touch screen with 480 x 800 pixels, HSPA up to 7.2Mbit/s, quad-band GSM, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 8-megapixel camera with xenon flash (supports 720p video capture).
The HTC 7 Mozart is one of three Windows Phone 7 handsets available from HTC in the UK at launch, and has a focus on high-fidelity audio with Dolby Mobile and SRS surround sound built in.
Available exclusively on Orange from 21 October, the HTC 7 Mozart is very similar in size and styling to many other HTC handsets, save that it boasts the three standard buttons below the screen specified by Microsoft across all Windows Phone 7 devices.
In fact, with its 3.7in touch screen and slimline design, the Mozart could easily be mistaken for one of HTC's Android-based handsets, until you turn it on, of course.
Overall, we were very impressed with the slick and responsive nature of Windows Phone 7 on this device, especially when browsing the web. However, we also felt that Microsoft has gone a tad too far in simplifying things to make the platform accessible.
Buyers should also be aware that Windows Phone 7 is strongly tied to Microsoft's online services in much the same way that Android integrates Google Mail, but even more so. For example, you need an Xbox Live account to play games, and a Zune account for music and video downloads.
The HTC 7 Mozart has similar specifications to many high-end smartphones, with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, HSPA support up to 7.2Mbit/s, quad-band voice, GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an 8-megapixel camera.
In fact, most Windows Phone 7 handsets have virtually identical specifications which closely correspond to Microsoft's minimum requirements. These also dictate at least 256MB RAM and 8GB Flash storage. The Mozart beats the first with 576MB RAM, but stays with the 8GB minimum for storage.
One glaring omission is the lack of a micro SD slot for expansion, but this is because the memory on Windows Phone 7 is not user expandable, according to Microsoft. Some handsets do have an internal slot, but this is purely for the vendor to include storage at build time.
Windows Phone 7 itself is much more impressive when you get to actually use it than might be gathered from descriptions or even demonstrations. The main home screen comprises live 'tiles', which could be applications or playlists or even a shortcut to a web site or contact.
The concept of the tiles is to show information you need at a glance, so the messaging tile shows how many unread texts you have, for example, and tapping it takes you to the messaging application itself.
This feels very intuitive, and we suspect that Windows Phone 7 could prove a hit with non-techies and buyers who have not used a smartphone before. It is certainly very different from the way the iPhone works, although not quite as visually appealing as the colourful grid of icons that greets you on Apple's device.
In addition to the live tiles, there is a more complete list of functions available by swiping to the right on the home screen. This includes the six 'hubs' of Windows Phone 7: People, Pictures, Music & Video, Office, Games and Marketplace.
Many of the Windows Phone 7 functions and applications make use of a wider space than fits on the phone screen, and swiping to the left or right brings another screenful of information into view, as just described.
The hubs are designed to bring together information from multiple sources, so that People lists all your contacts from Windows Live as well as social sites such as Facebook. It also shows the contacts with whom you have most recently communicated.