HTC HD7 review: Dim the lights

GSMArena team, 1 December 2010.

Organizing your day with WP7

The calendar prefers two view modes – agenda and day view. You have month view too, but you can’t access it by side-swiping – you need to use the soft key for that.

The Windows Phone 7 calendar

The other two softkeys are Today (brings you to the current date) and Add an appointment. That’s the only type of event you get, but it has enough options to suit your needs.

Adding a new appointment

You can sync with multiple calendars, including our Google Calendar but we had to add it as an Outlook (ActiveSync) account.

You can set multiple alarms – each with its own name, ringing sound and repeat pattern. We set up ten and yet the add alarm button didn’t grey out – the HTC HD7 can handle more alarms than we know what to do with.

There’s a basic calculator too, which has big, easy to hit buttons – turn the phone on its right side and the calculator adds hexadecimal digits and a few more operations (e.g. mod), turn it on its left and you get trigonometry and logarithms.

You can set multiple alarms • the Calculator app

Mobile office is better than ever, still not perfect

The Office hub is an important part of the Windows Phone 7 package. The interface is identical to the other hubs and it’s the best mobile Office suite we’ve seen yet.

The Office hub breaks down into three sections – OneNote, Documents and SharePoint.

The Office hub

OneNote is Microsoft’s collaborative note taking tool. It has great (and easy to use) support for lists of multiple levels, you can add photos and voice memos and you can send notes via email when you’re done. OneNotes can be synced with your SkyDrive or Windows Live account so that they are accessible from everywhere. Pin-to-homescreen is available too.

OneNote is a great note taking tool

Collaboration for both Word and Excel files is enabled with SharePoint. It allows syncing, sharing and web publishing but you’d need to use the right SharePoint server. You can attach those files to emails, though you need to do that from the Office hub. You can't do it from the email editor, which caused a little confusion at first.

Anyway, let’s look at the two most important apps – Word and Excel. They share the Documents panel, which lists all available documents of the relevant types (in order of last used). Both viewing and editing of files is supported. PowerPoint files live in the Documents section too – but they are for viewing only, you can’t edit them or create new ones.

The Word file support is very good. When reading a file, you can tap the Outline key to view a list of all titles from the document. The other way for navigating long files is the Find key.

Viewing and editing a Word document

Editing is pretty straightforward and easy to use even on a mobile device. You type in the text and you can use the Format key to change the formatting of the selected text. You can also insert comments.

Formatting options include the standard bold, italic and underline, as well as text size, highlighting and font color. For highlighting and font colors you have only three colors to choose from, which is a little limiting but should be enough for most cases.

Formatting options and overview of a document

There’s undo and redo options but strangely, there’s no way to create lists, like in OneNote.

And of course, the biggest missing feature is copy and paste. That’s a huge miss for a document editor – you can’t copy and paste parts of other documents, emails, messages, sites, nothing. We’re guessing many people will sooner or later find this omission quite frustrating. Microsoft will be fixing that in early 2011.

The Excel viewer/editor is pretty good too, but like the Word editor it misses some features. You can add formulas to cells (though it’s not as easy as on the desktop Excel and there are fewer cells available), you can sort and filter the cells too, even merge some of them.

Viewing and editing an Excel document

But cell formatting is limited to date, money or percentages. You can’t even change the currency sign. Another must-have missing is row and column insertion. Several sheets are supported but you get three by default and you can’t rename or delete them, nor add new ones.

Formatting a cell • adding a function

Anyway, the apps support pinch zooming and work very well for viewing even complex documents. But Microsoft’s fondness for simplicity may have over-simplified the editors.

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