HTC 7 Mozart review: Eine kleine Nachtmusik

GSMArena team, 08 December 2010.

Zune music player with added sound enhancements

The media players reside together in the Music & Videos hub, which bears the Zune logo. When you start it, it shows the History, which gives you quick access to the last two things played, or you can go to the full menu and start the music or video player, listen/watch podcasts (both audio and video podcasts are supported), start the FM radio or go to the Marketplace.

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The Music & Videos hub

The music and video players are simple and have straightforward interfaces. You won’t have any difficulties using them. However there are some things missing, like equalizers. Another missing feature is the ability to scrub through a song with your finger – you have to press and hold on the FF/rewind buttons to simply jump back and forth.

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Playing some tunes • the handy music player control

Tapping the album art temporarily reveals three buttons – repeat, favorite and shuffle.

The players can of course work in the background and there’s another nice shortcut – when you press a volume key, the name of the currently playing track also appears along with play/pause, next and previous buttons (they can also scrub through the song).

It’s interesting (and useful) that you can pin individual items to the homescreen – like a song or video, even an FM radio frequency.

One of the best preloaded apps by HTC is the Sound Enhancer. It can apply sound enhancements to both songs and videos – there are two separate settings, so the music enhancement you choose won’t affect videos.

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The Sound Enhancer app

You can enable either Dolby Mobile or SRS enhancement and for music you get an equalizer too. It doesn’t support custom presets though.

Video player could have been better

The large enough 3.7” screen with nearly widescreen aspect (it’s 15:9) makes the Mozart a good platform for movie and TV show fans. It’s even better because of the Zune Marketplace, which is a great source for buying or renting movies and TV shows.

Much like the picture gallery, viewing the list of videos can be done in portrait orientation mode only. The video player on the other hand is fixed to landscape only.

Another gripe we have with the HTC 7 Mozart video watching experience is that the loudspeaker is on the back so the sound is actually directed away from you. Stereo speakers around the display on the front would have been a much better option.

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The video player has its flaws

Yet another problem is the missing AVI or DivX/XviD support, you only get support for MP4 and WMV. However, the Zune software on your computer will automatically convert such files to .WMV (up to WVGA res). You can watch those formats on the HD7, it’s just that the transfer to the device can take quite a while (depending on your computer configuration).

Videos from the Zune Marketplace come in the correct format so they might be the easier option.

FM radio with RDS

The HTC 7 Mozart also has a built in FM radio with a dead simple interface. You have the current frequency in very large digits – swiping left and right changes the frequency and a swipe and release automatically searches for the next available station in that direction.

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The FM radio

You can mark some stations as favorites, which will allow you to pin them to the homescreen. RDS is on board and you can switch between headphones and loudspeaker.

Audio quality worthy of the name

As is to be expected from a handset named like that, the HTC 7 Mozart delivers an excellent performance in terms of audio quality. Just like with the previously tested HD7, the output is excellent, when you use it with an active external amplifier. The frequency response, noise levels, dynamic range and stereo crosstalk readings are just great and the total harmonic distortion is pretty low too. The intermodulation distortion is the only thing we would qualify as average.

When you plug in the headphones, the HTC 7 Mozart audio quality suffers a bit but still remains pretty decent. Stereo crosstalk raises, but not as much as with most other handset so it still remains great. There's also some extra intermodulation distortion, but frequency response actually improves even though very slightly. A pretty great performance in general.

Check out the table and see for yourself.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
HTC 7 Mozart+0.13, -0.54-86.688.50.0200.255-86.8
HTC 7 Mozart (headphones attached)+0.38, -0.14-86.488.30.0280.466-72.1
HTC HD7+0.09, -0.43-89.389.50.0170.242-88.9
HTC HD7 (headphones attached)+0.11, -0.36-88.989.20.0240.251-60.3
HTC 7 Trophy+0.44, -3.57-85.088.70.0560.926-83.0
HTC 7 Trophy (headphones attached)+0.69, -3.12-84.988.10.0581.028-66.0
LG E900 Optimus 7+0.13, -1.49-87.887.80.0270.308-87.2
LG E900 Optimus 7 (headphones attached)+0.13, -1.49-90.590.30.0260.303-13.1
Samsung I8700 Omnia 7+0.13 -1.14-84.485.10.017 0.266-82.5
Samsung I8700 Omnia 7 (headphones attached)+0.31 -0.33-80.581.10.016 0.311-37.7
HTC Desire Z+0.11, -0.09-90.190.10.0120.037-90.7
HTC Desire Z (headphones attached)+0.70, -0.17-90.284.50.0150.430-64.2
HTC Desire HD+0.09, -0.44-90.690.40.0140.517-92.6
HTC Desire HD (headphones attached)+0.09, -0.44-93.292.90.0200.728-17.9
Apple iPhone 4+0.01, -0.07-90.590.60.00410.011-92.0
Apple iPhone 4 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.07-90.490.40.00360.092-68.4

HTC 7 Mozart frequency response
HTC 7 Mozart Trophy frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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