HTC Mozart

Style and handling summary for HTC Mozart review
The aluminium with Teflon outer shell is unusual to say the least, but not especially stylish, and the phone is covered in logos. Compared to this, the Windows Phone 7 software proves itself neat, modern and a joy to use.
HTC Mozart

User friendliness summary for HTC Mozart review
Navigation is excellent, the touch-screen proves responsive, and the interface is intuitive. It's easy to use for contact syncing, as well as playing video and music. The only hiccup is the number of clicks you have to make just to make a phone call.

Feature set summary for HTC Mozart review
While we found the media, web and email facilities really decent, the eight-megapixel camera is disappointing, despite its good Xenon flash. We did miss the copy and paste facility too.

Performance summary for HTC Mozart review
Responsive and speedy in use, the Mozart is a joy to play with and really simple to use, with some intuitive features and a very decent touch-screen. Added bonuses on an already well-specced media phone are Zune and Xbox Live syncing.

Battery power summary for HTC Mozart review
Most smartphones need charging every night, and the Mozart is no exception, especially if you are running Wi-Fi, 3G, the music player and GPS.

Full Review and Specification for the HTC Mozart

Throw away your preconceptions about Windows phones, or HTC phones, because the Mozart, a multimedia device that is one of the launch handsets for Windows Phone 7, is now here. And like all its Windows phone siblings, it toes the party line when it comes to what Microsoft expects of it – and that’s not a bad thing.


There are some minimum requirements for the hardware of a Windows Phone 7 handset – for a start it must have a 3.5-inch touch-screen with WVGA resolution. The Mozart gets its own message across with its anodised aluminium cover (rather like the HTC Legend), which curves around part of the phone. The remainder of the phone is crafted from Teflon (like the HTC Desire). It exceeds the minimum requirements with its 3.7-inch screen, although an inch of that is a touch-sensitive area for search, back key and the Windows Start button. It won’t take you long to realise this phone is an Orange exclusive – turn over the handset and you’ll get the branding message – with logos for HTC, Windows Phone 7 and Orange. You’ll also find the eight-megapixel camera lens, a speaker vent (there’s also one on the front) and the Xenon flash.

Back to basics

There’s a unique styling to Windows phone 7, with its homescreen of ‘five tile’ widgets. The Marketplace tile, for instance, can tell you when an app has an update waiting. It's also possible to add shortcuts to contacts, apps, or places to navigate to. You’ll see lots of fades as you swipe between screens – it’s very different from the old, unintuitive Windows Mobile.

Microsoft has decided that one-look-fits-all, so manufacturers are unable to add their own skin to the operating system. However, we don’t think that’s a bad thing. The phone book proves itself excellent, with an integrated contacts list that is mixed with a Facebook feed and your recent contacts. Microsoft has taken note of what other operating systems offer, and you’ll find you can sync Facebook, Hotmail, and Google as well as connect your friends’ contact details across all of them.

It’s just a shame that making an actual phone call is such a long-winded process. Unless you’re calling someone you’ve contacted recently, it takes four clicks just to get to the contact book, and then you have to input a few letters, choose the correct contact, and then…decide if you’re going to text or call them.

Get the message

While the touch-screen is highly accurate and sensitive, and the clever predictive text facility ensures you’re more than likely to type the right word first time –we did, however, find its hit-rate at guessing from mistypes is not as good as the iPhone, for instance.

The emailing facility is excellent – far better than on Windows phones we’ve seen before – and it features instant push notifications for Exchange, Hotmail and Gmail. Our email arrived as soon as it appeared in the desktop accounts – on the iPhone it can take Gmail more than a minute to appear. It’s also possible to opt to sync the whole account or choose to do so for a set period, including your custom folders.

Lights, camera, action

We tried taking scene and portrait shots in both lowlight and dark situations – we were surprised that we got better results in a totally dark room – which highlights the quality of the flash, In a lowlight situation, the auto setting produced images with a blue tinge. Both shots, however, were soft and blurred when we zoomed in. In daylight, images proved clear when viewed on the phone, but once we zoomed in they were still noisy. On a monitor, they suffered from the same slightly cool tint that we have previously witnessed on the HTC Desire.

It is possible to get some good action shots, but you’ll have to acquaint yourself with timing the shots while taking into account shutter lag – that’s one second in a daylight situation, more if you’re using flash. On the video side, we’re used to 720p as a standard, and you get little more from the Mozart. Once you’ve taken your photo or video, it is possible to share it online or back it up using SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud service. You get 25GB of storage with your Windows Live account.


The iPhone has iTunes, but with the Mozart you’ll need to get a Zune account if you want to listen to your music. You’ll first have to download the software to your computer, but apart from that Zune is simple to use. Its interface is fresh and simple – there are menus for music, video, radio, podcasts and the marketplace where you can buy more music. It’s a bit of a shame that it’s not possible to create playlists on the go – a feature available on other music phones, whether it’s the iPhone or more basic devices. (It is possible to add tracks to a now-playing list, but you won’t be able to save it.)

Using the Sound Enhancer app, you are able to get 'virtual surround sound' by selecting Dolby Mobile effect or HTC's 'SRS Surround Sound' – this adds a bit more fullness to the sound. While the sound is a good standard for phone speakers, it in no way serves as a replacement for a set of travel speakers, for instance. If you’re using headphones it’s possible to add a number of ‘boosters’, from bass (which will big up the sounds) to rock or jazz, although we could discern little difference from these.

Exploring the web and navigating

If you’re heading onto the web you’ll find Internet Explorer quick to load. It also has a multitouch facility, and both images and text appear with clean edges. Choose to pinch to zoom, or do a double tap to whizz to 100%, which autofits text to the page. The only – pretty major – omission is copy and paste, which, Microsoft says, will be available some time in 2011.

It’s no surprise that your mapping option is restricted to Microsoft’s own Bing Maps, but we find it far more fiddly than Google Maps, and it offers no navigation features except for text direction on the phone.

For custom content, look to the ‘Hubs’ where either operator partners or manufacturers are able to include their own apps. The HTC's Hub has a few apps plus the clock-weather widget, but nothing to affect your everyday use of the operating system. Likewise, you’ll probably find yourself ignoring Orange’s preloaded apps –although one nifty facility available from Orange is that the price of your apps is billed directly to your mobile phone deal.

With all these features, and running Zune, push email, web browsing and sat-nav, we managed to eke 13.5 hours out of a full battery charge

The verdict

Windows Phone 7 is finally going to give iPhone and Android a run for their money. It’s incredibly well designed – and has the added bonuses of Zune and Xbox live, as well as that excellent integrated phonebook.

As for the hardware – we found the sound and the camera somewhat disappointing. And while the Mozart didn’t thrill us in the way something like the HTC Legend did, we have to say that Windows Phone is – surprisingly – a good enough OS to make the device ultimately very usable.