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Review: HTC HD7

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The HTC HD7 is nearly identical in size and shape to the HTC HD2, though a closer look will reveal distinct changes in the style and materials. The front of the phone is dominated by the 4.3-inch display. At the very top and bottom of the front face are two speaker grills, so when the phone is propped up sideways on its kickstand, those speakers act as left and right channels for stereo. Beneath the screen the HD7 has the required Windows Phone 7 buttons: Back, Start and Search, always in that order. These are capacitive buttons, and between the speakers, the screen and buttons are part of one long, seamless piece of glass.

The HTC HD7 is more of a wide trapezoid shape than a regular rectangle. In some ways this is good thing, as the gently curved back and inward sloping sides make the phone relatively comfortable in the hand, considering it's probably the biggest phone you've ever seen. But those angled sides also make the side buttons more difficult to use. It was tough to find the thin sliver of the volume key. It was also difficult to hold a steady hand and press the camera button all the way down. I could never find the right grip.

Up top, you can see the power button / screen lock, but you can hardly feel it beneath your finger. You just have to press in that general area, and usually the screen lights up, unless you miss.

Around back, the top two-thirds of the back cover peels off to reveal the battery. On my review unit, the cover came off easily, but when I put it back on it left a little gap between the top and bottom parts. It wasn't a big deal, it just looked kind of ugly. The kickstand, on the other hand, is awesome. It surrounds the camera and the dual LED flash, and has a cool, industrial look when you snap it open, thanks to the holes for the lens and lights. With the kickstand open, the phone sits nicely on a desk in landscape position, tilted so it was easiest to see when I was two or three feet away. Around back you'll also find an extra speaker for the speakerphone.

There are heavier phones on the market, but not many. The HTC HD7 is a hefty phone, though it's Android cousin, the Sprint Evo 4G, is a quarter ounce heavier. Still, 5.7 ounces is not unreasonable, and the slim design with the rounded back make it easy to pocket in a well fitting pair of pants, though you'll want to wear a belt.


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