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General Use

In spite of its only average hardware specs, the performance of the Trophy is quite respectable. Both incoming and outgoing calls were clear. The speakerphone was adequate. We never experienced any dropped calls, static, or echoing.

Data transfer speeds were good for a 3G phone. However, if you expect to surf the Web or access a lot of data on your cell phone, and if you live in an area where Verizon’s 4G service is available, we would highly recommend a Verizon phone which can accommodate 4G. Their 4G service is much faster.

In contrast to the rows of small icons found in the Apple and Android operating systems, the Windows Phone 7 operating system works with a system of tiles and hubs. Figure 6 shows these tiles and hubs on the Trophy home page. You scroll vertically to see more. Tiles are equivalent to the App icons found in other operating systems. As you can see, some tiles are double-wide. Hubs are special areas in Windows Phone 7. There are six standard Microsoft hubs: People, Pictures, Games, Music & Videos, Marketplace, and Office. On this phone, there is also an HTC hub. Hubs are areas where you find more information.

HTC Trophy Cell Phone ReviewFigure 6: The Trophy home page

The home page shown in Figure 6 has the tiles in Verizon red. There are many other colors from which to choose. Changing these colors makes a big difference, as you can see in Figure 7, where we changed the color to lime green.

HTC Trophy Cell Phone ReviewFigure 7: The tiles in green

You can also choose to display the tiles and hubs on a dark or light background. While Figures 6 and 7 had a dark background, Figure 8 shows the light background.

HTC Trophy Cell Phone ReviewFigure 8: The light background

Although the background under the tiles changes from dark to light, email is always displayed with dark letters on a white background, as shown in Figure 9.

HTC Trophy Cell Phone ReviewFigure 9: The email area

One of our biggest complaints about Windows Phone 7 is that not all screens can be viewed in landscape mode. This is very obvious when you go to a hub like the People hub. The main screen can be viewed only in portrait mode. Once you get into the individual people’s information, you can also view it in landscape mode. This had us turning the phone back and forth between landscape and portrait much more than is normally necessary.

Text entry is done via the virtual screen keyboard. Even in landscape mode, shown in Figure 9, we found the keyboard a bit cramped. Luckily, WP7’s excellent auto-correct mode takes a little of the pain out of typing on such a small keyboard. We found this auto-correct to be one of the best we have encountered. Although the Trophy has no haptic feedback, it makes a slight popping sound every time you press a letter, which we also found helpful.

HTC Trophy Cell Phone ReviewFigure 10: The on-screen keyboard in landscape mode

In Figure 10, you can also see the microphone icon in the Bing search bar. Bing is the default search engine of WP7. The microphone icon means that voice search is available. Unfortunately, voice search is not available in some other areas of the operating system. If you want to perform voice commands and searching across the board, the Android operating system is much better than Windows Phone 7.

This phone, however, does include voice recognition for making calls. To use it, you have to unlock the screen and press and hold the call/pause button.

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Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.