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Windows Phone 7: Hands-On

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HTC Surround LG Quantum Samsung Focus  

The HTC 7 Surround is one of the more interesting form factors to launch with Windows Phone 7. It looks and feels similar to the HD7, but it thicker to accommodate the slider mechanism. Rather than offer up a QWERTY keyboard under the slider, the Surround offers two stereo speakers for media playback and a kick stand. It's not many phones that ship with stereo speakers, and even fewer that hide them under a slider, but that's exactly what the Surround does.

HTC Surround  

The slider mechanism felt a bit stiff. It was work to get it to open. It only slides about 1 or 1.5cm, and the two speakers are teensy. The kickstand on the back and the speakers on the front, mean you can sit and watch movies with no problem.

Given the thicker form factor, it is a little bit less pocket friendly, though it is still thinner than the LG Quantum. The rounded and smooth surfaces still make it easy to slip into and out of a pocket.

It has the same three buttons on the front, each of which worked well. The camera button and volume toggle also had a good feel to them. The lock key and 3.5mm headset jack were on top, and the camera and flash were on the back.

It has an excellent display, but it doesn't quite match the 4.3-inch monster on the HD7.

I can't say if the video-centric form factor will appeal to everyone, but it will definitely appeal to some. Look for it on AT&T soon.

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