Verizon’s HTC Trophy is exactly the same as the GSM variant HTC launched in Europe late last year, and while the phone may sound outdated, the hardware is actually quite nice. The Trophy is even a global device. The entire phone is a matte black, with a nice, somewhat soft, paint feel to it around the back and sides. The phone is very comfortable to hold in hand, and all of the buttons and ports are easily accessible.
The front of the device is almost entirely screen, surrounded by a nice chrome trim. At the bottom of the screen are the three standard Windows Phone keys, back, start, and search. Up top is the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a minuscule power button, which at times can be a little hard to depress. We wish HTC had mad it just a bit larger, but it’s usable nonetheless.
On the right hand side is the dedicated two step camera button, which is standard on all Windows Phone 7 devices. It’s quite a nice button, as far as camera buttons go. Opposite the camera button on the left hand side of the device is a micro USB port. Above that is the standard volume rocker, which is large, but doesn’t move very much. It can be hard to tell if you’ve actually pressed it or not.
Around back is the 5MP shooter with an LED flash. Next to the camera is a speaker grill with red accents, which we think looks great. The camera, flash, and speaker grill do stick out a bit, much like on Nokia’s N8 – but not by nearly as much.
All in all, we think the Trophy’s hardware is absolutely fantastic. We really wish all Windows Phone 7 devices were as nicely built, and featured as fantastic a color scheme. While some may think the Trophy looks boring, we think it looks great, especially with the small red accent around back.
The Trophy is running the latest update of Windows Phone 7, NoDo. NoDo brought along CDMA support along with cut/copy/and paste support. Since we’ve already reviewed Windows Phone 7 devices, we won’t go into detail about the OS. We still think it has a ways to go before becoming truly competitive to the likes of iOS or Android.
HTC includes some nice apps, such as their YouTube app which we find far superior to Microsoft’s. Out favorite of the bunch is the HTC hub, which has a live tile on the homescreen by default showing your location’s weather. Launching the app shows the classic HTC flip clock, along with the current weather animation (with sound effects!).
The Trophy’s 5MP camera doesn’t take great shots. Most seemed rather blurry with lackluster colors. For as much focus as Microsoft puts on Windows Phone 7’s camera abilities, we wish OEMs would pony up the extra cash to have nice shooters in their Windows Phone devices. Hopefully this will change once Nokia launches their first Windows Phone devices later this year.
As with all Windows Phone 7 devices, performance is quite good, especially graphically. The Trophy features a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, which is really quite nice even for its relative old age. Opening apps is as fast as you can get with the current OS, and switching between them was reasonably speedy – although we find resuming apps to be slow across all Windows Phone 7 devices we’ve used to date.
Gaming performance is especially nice, and combined with the Xbox LIVE integration, we think Microsoft can definitely take on the likes of Apple when it comes to mobile gaming.
The Trophy has reasonable good battery life, as with most other Windows Phone devices. You’ll easily be able to get through a day, possibly even two with lite usage. We hope the good battery life sticks around post Mango update, but that is yet to be seen.
HTC’s Trophy is one of the best Windows Phone 7 devices we’ve used to date. It’s definitely a device we would enjoy carrying around day to day hardware wise. Unfortunately, Windows Phone 7 is still lackluster when it comes to features and apps compared to Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android OS. Once Microsoft gets the Mango update out the door and onto the Trophy, we think it will become a far better device than it is currently. Until that time, we think your money would best be spent on a different device.