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Review: HTC HD7

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The extra screen real estate definitely makes for a larger keyboard on the HTC HD7, but I'm still not sold on Microsoft's keyboard design. It looks very plain, which is in keeping with the overall simplicity of the interface, but I wish the keyboard had more to offer. For instance, on many other smartphone platforms, holding down a letter key gives you the corresponding symbol, so you don't need to tap the Alt key (the “&123” key on WP7) to choose a symbol. On the Windows Phones, you can only see the letters, though the keyboard also offers a key for @ and one for “.com”. Here's a pro tip for any Windows Phone 7: you can tap and hold your finger down on the “&123” key, then when the symbols pop up, slide to the symbol you need. The keyboard will type the symbol, then revert back to the QWERTY alphabet when you lift your finger.

Messaging features are identical on the HD7 to the other Windows Phone 7 devices. There is support for Exchange, POP and IMAP accounts, and the phone keeps your email inboxes separate. More casual users might wish for a unified inbox that groups everything together, but business users will prefer the WP7 design, which keeps your work and personal email separate.

One flaw that still bothered me on Windows Phone 7 is the inability to send a text message to any number in your address book. If you type someone's name into the SMS recipient field, the phone only offers you numbers that are labeled “mobile.” Sure, you could spend a long time fixing your address book. Some users might even find this more convenient, since it eliminates extraneous numbers from the available choices. But my work number is a mobile, and the same is true for a lot of people I know. I'd like to have more options, at least.

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