Editors' note: This review is related to our review of the HTC Arrive, which is Sprint's version of the same phone design. This review focuses on the HTC 7 Pro's differentiating features, so please consult the HTC Arrive review for details on the phone's features and design. However, we rated the HTC 7 Pro and Arrive separately based on the competitive landscape at the time of the two phones' releases. For more on the operating system, see our full review of Windows Phone 7.
Currently, Windows Phone 7 is one of the few rafts available to carry prospective smartphone owners seeking a little variety over a sea of Android phones. The HTC 7 Pro is U.S. Cellular's first Windows phone, and although it's a direct rebrand of the HTC Arrive, which debuted for Sprint three months before, it's a solid addition to the carrier's lineup and adds welcome choice.
The HTC 7 Pro is a hefty phone of sturdy design with HTC's characteristic brushed-metal accents and elements. It's got a great tilting screen and keyboard we enjoyed using, and it comes with HD video capture and playback, as well as Microsoft's copy-paste feature, something that the first wave of Windows Phones lacked.
While it's a good phone overall, several things keep it from being great. The screen could be larger, and the camera could be sharper, for starters. You won't want to use speakerphone for too long. The update to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango this fall will certainly give the operating system a very welcome boost.
With the exception of a different carrier logo, the HTC 7 Pro is identical to Sprint's HTC Arrive. After testing, we again give the responsive, rubberized QWERTY keyboard and 30-degree tilting screen a thumbs-up.