Thursday, December 9, 2010

Taking a look at the HTC 7 Mozart

Smart Communications is offering the HTC Mozart 7. Pinoytechblog confirms that it is available both on regular phone plans and Smarts new Mobile Internet Plans. At its current pricing, it pretty much competes with Globe Telecom's iPhone 4.

The HTC 7 Mozart is a Windows 7 phone. Any Windows 7 phone will have to comply with the following minimum requirements:
  • Capacitive, 4-point multi-touch screen with WVGA (800x480) resolution
  • 1 GHz ARM v7 "Cortex/Scorpion" or better processor
  • DirectX9 rendering-capable GPU
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 8GB of Flash memory
  • Accelerometer with compass, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and Assisted GPS
  • 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash, 
  • FM radio tuner 
  • Six dedicated hardware buttons (back, Start, search, camera, power/sleep and volume up and down)
This means that any Windows Phone 7 will be priced upwards of Php20K. This seems to go against the industry mantra of Googles Android, Nokia's Symbian and Samsungs bada operating systems "smartphones for all" trend by making Smartphones available at below Php10K. 

In the market for a new smartphone (preferably on Smart retention) I was looking for reviews on th e  HTC 7 Mozart and found at HTC 7 Mozart review at GSMArena. My initial impression of the HTC 7 Mozart, that it was a music phone, because it is name after a composer. Apparently what distinguishes the HTC Mozart 7 from the other Windows Phone 7 in the market is not any features to it relating to being a portable audio player, but its 8MP camera and xenon flash. The reviewers at GSM Arena said that as "for the camera performance, the Mozart turned out to be the worst 8MP cameraphone we’ve ever reviewed" and  that the "Xenon flash is so small and weak that it’s only good at short to medium distances. Low-light shooting is hindered by how the flash works – it doesn’t light up when the phone is focusing (even in complete darkness) and only fires when taking the photo. Still, the auto focus didn’t have any issues even in the dark."

Okay. This being the case, it would seemed that there really is no reason to buy the HTC 7 Mozart over its lower priced sibling, the HTC 7 Throphy which has a 5MP camera which also does not perform too well in another review by GSMArean. Still, without a good camera on either phone, the lower cost unit seems to be a better proposition. The only problem is, usually relying on free phones giving under my current plan (Smart Gold Plan 1800) is would have to add another Php16,500. I do plan to move to a Smart Mobile Plan 2000, but this would still mean having to pay another Php12,500 for the phone.

As for Windows Phone 7 itself. My take from it is that, it is much better than Windows Mobile 6.5, but not yet up to the level of Googles Android or Apple's IOS. Based on its listed strengths and weaknesses, I would consider making moving from my current Windows Mobile 6.1 platform to Windows Phone 7. Based on our previous comparison of costing and services between Globe iPhone 4 and Smart Mozart, it just does not seem like a very good deal. 

All in all, it does not look like that this is not the phone the Smart should be using to challenge Globe's iPhone. Advice for Smart, look at lower cost Windows Phone 7 devices, like the HTC 7 Throphy or the Samsung Focus. Even better, bring in the iPhones proper nemesis, the Android powered HTC Desire, Desire Z and Desire HD. Even better try to bring in Google's Nexus S.

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