Review: HTC Surround with Windows Phone 7
The music experience on The HTC Surround — and within Windows Phone 7 — is awesome! The Zune player is so interactive and graphically rich that it is great to use. But first, a few somber words.
When WP7 devices first launch, they will not be able to sync with Apple computers. Microsoft provided us with an alpha version of a "Connector" sync client that provided very basic content syncing. Most normal consumers will have to wait until closer to the end of the year to be able to sync their Macs with their WP7 phone.
Moving on, Zune is great. Here's what I love about it. Once all my music was loaded, the Surround automatically went to the the Zune Marketplace and pulled down album covers, artist info, artist bios, links to other artist content, and so on. Fantastic. Every media player should so this.
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The media player interface itself is easy to navigate and use, and the on-screen controls make controlling your tunes easy.
As far as multitasking is concerned, tap the home button to return to the Start screen. The media player controls will float at the top of the screen for a moment before disappearing. Need to retrieve them? Tap the volume toggle and the controls reappear. Want to make the current song a ringtone? Tap the ringtone button, and it happens automatically.
The music itself sounds great, whether through your own earbuds or the stereo speakers. The presence of Dolby Mobile software on board definitely leaves its mark here.
The Surround's Zune player also offers support for podcasts, radio, and the full Marketplace for buying music.
If you're a music lover, you're going to love Windows Phone 7.Video
Take everything I said in the music section, and apply it here. I loaded Avatar onto the Surround. Syncing the movie took forever. Probably close to an hour. That's a bit rough. However, the movie looked and sounded fantastic on the Surround.
I happily watched the opening sequences with the Surround sitting on my desk, blasting it. OK, so it doesn't quite match the 3D experience in an IMAX theater, but it will certainly suffice to pass the time on a long flight.
Windows Phone 7: Hands-On
Hands-on with the full range of Microsoft Windows Phone 7 devices announced this week, including the HTC HD7 and Surround, LG Quantum, Samsung Focus, and Dell Venue Pro.
Microsoft Provides 'NoDo' Roll-Out Schedule
Microsoft has published a web site to provide Windows Phone 7 users with a general idea of when they might expect their devices to receive the NoDo update. According to the site, Microsoft is scheduling the update for the Dell Venue Pro and HD7 (both on T-Mobile), which means it should be available in the next 10 days or so.
AT&T to Sell 3 WP7.5 Smartphones from HTC and Samsung
AT&T today announced that it will sell the HTC Titan, and the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash later this fall. All three devices will run Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.
Microsoft Taking 'Patient' Route to Distributing Updates
Microsoft's Joe Belifiore today admitted that the system updates offered to Windows Phone 7 devices so far have fallen short of the company's expectations. "We had expected it to be earlier than now," said Belfiore at Microsoft's MIX 2011 conference in Las Vegas.
NoDo Scheduled for LG Quantum, Samsung Focus
Microsoft has provided an update to the status of AT&T's Windows Phone 7 devices and the NoDo update. According to the Windows Phone Blog, the LG Quantum and Samsung Focus have passed the testing phase and are now in the scheduling phase.