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printed October 22, 2014
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Review: HTC Surround with Windows Phone 7

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-Up Comments  10  

Media Camera Pictures/Video Browser/Customize Marketplace Extras  

Music

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.

The media player interface itself is easy to navigate and use, and the on-screen controls make controlling your tunes easy.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

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