Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HTC Surround Windows 7 Phone

I was recently provided an HTC Surround to try out with BzzAgent.  If you have never heard of BzzAgent, you should definitely check it out.  They offer campaigns to try out a product.  All they ask in exchange is that you spread the word about the product and what you thought.  Here is my opinion of the HTC Surround that I received.

A few specs about the HTC Surround:
  • The first Dolby surround sound pop-up speakers
  • Windows Phone 7-with Xbox Live and Zune integration
  • Pop-out kickstand and 3.8" touch display
  • 5MP camera with auto focus and flash
  • Live Tiles on the Start screen dynamically update, so you don't need to open an app to see if you have new mail, new texts or even new status updates from Facebook friends
  • Internet Explorer 8 allows for full HTML Web browsing
  • The Office Hub offers mobile versions of popular programs, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace
  • Fast 3G connectivity via AT&T's HSPA/UMTS network (850/1900 MHz bands; 3.6/7.2 Mbps speeds with network availability)
  • Ultra-fast Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g/n) for accessing home and corporate networks as well as hotspots while on the go.
  • GPS navigation capabilities via AT&T Navigator service includes audible turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic updates, and re-routing options.
  • Lithium-ion battery rated at up to 4 hours of talk time and up to 264 hours (11 days) of standby time
  • Full QWERTY virtual keyboard
  • Digital media player compatible with MP3, WMA, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+ music formats and MPEG4 video.
  • FM radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity (version 2.1)
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • Text (SMS) and picture/video (MMS) messaging
  • Access to personal and work e-mail (supports Microsoft Exchange corporate e-mail)
  • MicroUSB port (2.0)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

I know, that's a lot of info, but what's the real deal with the HTC Surround (or HD7)?  Well, since this is my first smartphone, I don't have much to compare it to myself, so I'm going to use my husband for help on this one.  He has the HTC Aria which is an Android phone, so I will use it in some of my comparisons.

Personally, I haven't had the best experience with the HTC Surround.  Neither has my sister.  Both of our phones will shut off randomly.  We have to take the battery out to reset the phone.  My phone also drops calls frequently or mutes me so that the person I'm talking to stops hearing me in the middle of a conversation.  The battery will last about 2 days if I'm only using it to talk and text.  If I use the internet or play games, I have to charge it every night.  My husband hasn't had any of these problems with the Aria.  Also, the Surround and the Aria both come with some ringtones, but we can't find a way to add new ringtones on either phone.  That would definitely be something I would suggest HTC add.  Also, my Facebook App is almost always acting crazy.  It won't let me login sometimes for whatever reason.

After all of those bad things, let me get to some good ones.  I really like the calendar on the phone.  That is actually probably my favorite part.  It is super easy to add to your calendar, and activities for the day show up on the main screen.  It is very easy to send text messages (after you get used to the virtual keyboard); however, my phone has issues and won't let me send picture messages.  The surround takes great pictures and video (a little better than the Aria), and has AMAZING sound!  The Surround doesn't seem to have the same amount of Apps as the Aria because of the different operating systems, but the Surround does have some great Apps (like Netflix) that the Aria doesn't have.  The Surround is a little bigger than the Aria, but not by much.  When you hear how much better the sound is on the Surround - it won't matter that it's a little larger!

I don't love the Surround, but I don't hate it either.  I think that HTC should make some changes to it in order to make it better (mainly the important aspects mentioned earlier), but in general it is a good phone.  I would definitely give it back to have my trusty old LG Neon back, though.  Call me crazy, but I like it simple!
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