Review: AT&T's Windows Phone 7 Handsets Tested - InformationWeek

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10/27/2010
02:55 PM
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Review: AT&T's Windows Phone 7 Handsets Tested

Here's a first look at the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus, the initial crop of smartphones running Microsoft's new mobile OS.

Microsoft's Windows 7 Revealed
(click image for larger view)
HTC Surround

Performance: Unfortunately, the Surround is not a very good phone. Signal performance was all over the map, incoming calls often went straight to voicemail and call quality was downright terrible. What's worse, the power of the earpiece speaker and speakerphone was not nearly enough to suffice for calls in noisy environments or conference calls.

The Surround did exhibit decent battery life, easily making it through an entire business day with no trouble.

The Surround has a 5-megapixel camera that records HD video. The camera does well enough for this class of device. Images were a bit inconsistent in quality, but were more often better than not. The camcorder records video at 720p HD. Videos were free of some problems common to phones, such as waviness and digital artifacts.

The screen looks fantastic, however, and is perfect for viewing movies. I sideloaded Avatar and it looked great (yes, even on the tiny screen). The WP7 music experience is great, and the stereo speakers are powered by SRS and Dolby Mobile, which enhances their performance.

Sum: The HTC Surround is clearly meant for media lovers. The lack of a physical keyboard alone is enough to keep business users away. Will it handle basic enterprise tasks? Sure. It can sync with Exchange no problem, and the Office productivity tools give mobile professionals the basics when it comes to viewing and editing work-related documents. Its poor phone and speakerphone performance, however, should give interested business users pause.

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