T-Mobile will exclusively offer the HTC HD7, one of the five Windows Phone 7 smartphones that Microsoft introduced Oct. 11. The HD7, which features the largest screen of the five handsets, and so also the largest virtual keypad, will arrive mid-November. Pricing details have not yet been announced.
The HD7 pairs a 4.3-inch touch display with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an emphasis on entertainment, and a kickstand for propping up the phone when viewing video. It will arrive with applications for Netflix, T-Mobile TV, Slacker Radio, Zune and Xbox Live all preinstalled.
“With deep integration of entertainment brands, social networking capabilities and rich Microsoft services, the HTC HD7 intelligently brings together information and experiences that matter to customers all in bold, sophisticated design,” Paul Cole, T-Mobile vice president of product management, said in a statement.
The HD7 is, of course, the first T-Mobile phone to run Windows Phone 7-Microsoft’s big, new effort to rejoin the smartphone race, after essentially missing out on a cycle, or generation, of devices, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted. With Windows Phone 7, Ballmer says Microsoft has created something modern, relevant and utterly brand new that will enable the company to compete with the likes of the Apple iPhone and high-end Android-running smartphones.
“We focused in on the way real people really want to use their phones when they’re on the go. We want you to get in, out and back to life,” Ballmer said Oct. 11 at the Windows Phone 7 launch event in Manhattan. “We set out to build a phone that was thoroughly modern … modern in the hardware we use, modern in its design principles. … We hope you agree that, with all of that in mind, we’ve taken a very different tact.”
New to Windows Phone 7 devices, the HD7 will feature Live Tiles. In place of static application icons, the Tiles enable users to see real-time updates without having to open the application. Another Windows Phone 7 feature, Phone Hubs, brings together related applications, services and content into a single view and additionally makes them easy to share.
Also included on the HD7 is GPS technology with turn-by-turn navigation, a 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and HD video recording, Internet Explorer 8, and 16GB of internal memory.
A T-Mobile application called Family Room-premiering on the HD7-will offer a place for family members to communicate, with a shared calendar, a virtual chalkboard for leaving notes, and a streamlined ability to share photos and interact.
“We think there are a lot of things you’ll see today that’ll show how the Windows phones are different,” Ballmer added. “We wanted it to be that way for the consumer, and for the developers who will build a growing set of Windows phone applications.”
Another Windows 7 Phone, the Dell Venue Pro, will also arrive on the T-Mobile network “in time for the holidays.” The Venue Pro, a slider phone, features a 4.1-inch display, a full QWERTY keypad, the 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 5-megapixel camera.