Review: HTC Surround with Windows Phone 7
The Surround has a lot of AT&T software loaded. You've seen it all before, this is just the WP7 version thereof. Included: AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T myWireless, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Radio, and AT&T U-verse Mobile. I am not a U-verse subscriber, so I was unable to test how that works, but U-verse customers should be able to access their home DVR with the app to schedule recordings and even download recorded content for viewing on the handset.
The Surround pairs with mono and stereo headsets with no problem. Sound quality through mono headsets was pretty bad for phone calls. Sound quality for music through stereo Bluetooth headsets was acceptable, but not great. The Surround supports the PBA profile, but it can't pair with computers to pass files back and forth.
It's easy to read the time from the Surround's lock screen. Press the lock key, and the screen pops to life with a nice digital clock. As far as I can tell, this clock can't be changed. The time also appears sporadically in the status indicator bar at the top of the screen. Oddly, the HTC Hub offers a typical HTC-like clock and weather widget. However, it can only be seen when in the HTC Hub. Odd.
The Surround has AT&T Navigator and Bing Maps on board. AT&T's Navigator software works just as it does on any other device, and I had no problems at all with the Surround's GPS system. I much preferred Bing Maps. Bing Maps supports pinch-to-zoom, searching, directions, traffic layers, and even satellite views. The aerial view is so good I was able to tell which of my cars was in the driveway. Bing was great for routing directions, and performed just as well as Google Maps in a side-by-side comparison.
Windows Phone 7's productivity apps are ridonkulous. The Calendar is amazing. It syncs with Exchange, and works with the email program to make sure that calendar appointments are added easily. Other tools include OneNote, SharePoint, and of course Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These aren't lame mobile versions. They can be used to create and edit documents, and then email them for access on desktop PCs.