Windows

HTC Trophy is a powerhouse despite the Windows platform

Is the Verizon HTC Trophy a worthy replacement for your current device? Jack Wallen's review may help you answer that question.

Even before I started using the HTC Trophy, the smartphone had one strike against it because I'm not a fan of the Windows Phone 7 platform; I find the interface clunky, inflexible, and lacking configuration options that many mobile devices offer. Read my review of the HTC Trophy to learn whether I was ultimately able to get past the flaws of the Windows Phone 7 operating system interface.

Specifications

  • Carrier: Verizon Wireless
  • Weight: 140 grams (4.9 ounces) with battery
  • Display: Type: Touch screen with pinch-to-zoom capability / Size: 3.8 inches / Resolution: 480 x 800 WVGA
  • CPU: 1 GHz
  • Storage: Internal phone storage: 8 GB / ROM: 512 MB / RAM: 576 MB
  • Camera: 5 megapixel color camera, auto focus and flash, 720p HD video recording, built-in scenes include candlelight, landscape, and portrait match the environment of your subject
  • Connectors: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack Standard micro-USB (5-pin micro-USB 2.0)
  • Sensors: G-Sensor, Digital compass, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
  • Internet: 3G: up to 7.2 Mbps download speed, up to 2 Mbps upload speed / GPRS: up to 114 kbps downloading EDGE: up to 560 kbps downloading Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: 2.1
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery polymer or Lithium-ion battery. Talk Time: WCDMA: up to 330 mins. / GSM: up to 405 mins.
  • Email support: Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo!, Windows Live, POP3, and IMAP
  • Contacts sync to Exchange, Gmail, Facebook and Windows Live (no Back Up Assistant)
  • Price: $429.99 USD (full retail price) / $199.99 USD (for a two-year contract) [There is currently a $50.00 online discount offer.]

The great

  • Feel of the handset: Not only did HTC get the size of this phone perfect (at least for my smallish hands), the phone in general has a great feel to it. Although I don't care for the grippy, rubber-like coating on the glass, it does help to prevent the mobile from slipping out of your hand. Overall, the HTC Trophy feels better than almost any other handset I've used.
  • Speed: I have a number of mobiles at my disposal that have beefier specs than the HTC Trophy, but due to some magic combination of processor, memory, and maybe OS (yes, I might have to concede on this one), this phone is smooth as silk. Transitioning between screens, startup, installing apps, and animations is incredibly smooth.

The good

  • Camera: The shape of the camera and the position of the camera shutter button makes it easier to snap photos on the HTC Trophy than on most phones. Also, Flash is a great addition for when you're taking shots in low-light areas. In general, the HTC Trophy takes fairly decent pictures.
  • Call quality: The quality of phone calls is on par with the iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, but sub-par of the Droid X and the HTC Incredible. I found the call quality to be similar to the quality of a call when I use a Bluetooth headset on a Droid X or an HTC Incredible.
  • Display: You won't wow your friends and colleagues with the look of the display, but you certainly will not feel like you're working on a sub-par device. I place the quality of the display somewhere around the Samsung Captivate range, which I consider to be well above the HTC Hero and well below the Droid X. The display is serviceable but not stunning.

The bad

  • Windows Phone 7 operating system: The OS makes me feel like I'm working with a child's device. The design is poor (at best) and not the easiest to navigate. For example, if you pin enough icons to the Start menu (the main screen), you can wind up scrolling all over the place to simply launch an application. There is also a very limited amount of customization that you can do on the screens.
  • Browser speed: I was surprised that the speed of the browsing is sup-par because Verizon's network is one of the faster networks I have used. Once I was on a Wi-Fi network, speed was not an issue.
  • No YouTube application installed by default: Even the default browser, Internet Explorer, would not play YouTube content alone. Once I installed a YouTube app, the quality of the video was good. This strike against the HTC Trophy may be a non-issue for business users.

Bottom line

Despite the fact that I'm not a fan of Windows Phone 7 OS, Verizon's HTC Trophy is a real winner because of its speed and the feel of the device. If you are looking for a fast, easy to handle mobile, the HTC Trophy is the phone for you. If, however, you are looking for a versatile device with a serious display and the ability to be highly configured, you might want to pass on the HTC Trophy.

Photos courtesy of Verizon Wireless

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

15 comments
rclakeman
rclakeman

Why the heck would you be pinning a bunch of stuff to the home screen? The whole point of the UI is to be able to catch up on your business at a glance. i.e. text messages received, calls missed, mail in inbox, upcoming appointments/events, etc. and the phone does this close to perfectly. With the mango update it will get even better. The integration is incredible. My home screen has the phone hub (to make phone calls), people hub (contacts, facebook updates, etc.) messaging (for messaging), email (all the accounts I want), music/video (which let's me access Youtube, slacker radio, tunein radio, zune, hd radio, marketplace, etc.), My grocery list, my calenders. (All of that is visible at a glance!! And big enough to see/read) One upward swipe shows me ebay, a few news sites I check regularly, Browser (which I hardly need to use anymore since everything I need all the time is in the hubs), weather, pictures, a timer app I use for work, and Me hub. That's 16 things pinned to my home screen that I can access in seconds. To access anything I don't use constantly? One swipe to the side and it's all there in alphabetical order. The home button always takes me to my home screen. The back button takes me right where I would expect it to (the last thing I was doing). The search button brings up a search for whatever area your in (music in the music hub, internet if your in the browser, contacts if your in people, etc.) You call it a child's device. I call it taking me a quarter of the time to keep up with everything I need to keep up with and moving on with my day. But hey, I've actually used the device with an open mind. Oh yeah...Android? Phhhhh!

chudster94
chudster94

"The OS makes me feel like I???m working with a child???s device." If you mean that a first generation OS that's as polished as WP7 feels as easy to operate as a child's device than I agree with you. If you mean anything else then I couldn't disagree more. I think the user experience with WP7 is better than any other smartphone out there. It's clean, it's intuitive and instead of being just a collection of applications it actually helps you get things accomplished. As far your complaint about having to scroll after you pin too many items to the home screen, you aren't really serious, are you? First of all, the idea of pinning every one of your apps to the home screen defeats the purpose of it. The home screen is supposed to allow you quick access to the things you use most, it's not intended to be the "Start" menu on your Windows PC. And also, complaining that you need to scroll too far to find stuff is like someone adding a desktop shortcut to every single program installed on their PC and then complaining that their programs are too hard to find because they have to sort through so many icons.

rclakeman
rclakeman

The HTC Trophy from Verizon has 16gb of storage. As for as the child like thing. It does seem that way at first but after using for awhile you realize that your accomplishing all the same things you did with a different os, just with fewer steps and less time. In fact, after my first day of using the Trophy my comment to my wife was "it seems like it should be more complicated than this." Can I wholeheartedly recommend the phone to everyone yet? No, but mostly because I know that techies that want the appearance of a bleeding edge os will be dissappointed. The funny part is that Windows Phone 7 is fundamently so much better than either ios or android. For those looking for productivity, office integration, facebook integration, the best contact management around, and that at-a-glance available information? Buy it! You'll love it!! For you bleeding edge guys? Wait for the new phones and Mango release in the fall. This truly is going to be the os to beat in the mobile space.

CharlesG1970
CharlesG1970

I think the last two coments are getting confused between: WM - Windows Mobile (v6.5 etc.) and WP - Windows Phone (v7) As for WM - old and clunky. More options then anything else but no apps, and the best dev is done by users not M$ or builders. WP is the new shiny toy for M$. The have taking an approach that is an intrestign blend of iOS and Android. WP is locked down (like iOS), and has multiple handset builders so there is a diversity of options for the equipment. There is a growign base of Apps but the system is not app centric, it is Data centric. Sure if you put 50 apps on the main screen you can't find anythingn but when you jsut kep the most important there you have everyting at your finger tips. The first 4 rows on my WP are: Phone, Messaging Work e-mail, personal e-mail link to my wife, People Calendar This means that I can see and manage all my communication in one glance. I also love the way it showes me new notificatins since the last time I looked. If I check and see 2 e-mail then I know that 2 new ones have come in, regardless if I have left older ones as unread. I have and HD2 (yes WM phone) that is running dual boot of WP7 (nodo) and Android (gingerbread). Truth is that although I can configure Android more, I still mostly use WP.

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

We are not really sure what WM is capable of because it was really released for development in the customers hands!Buying this or any other phone with WM will be severely compromised by the possible three years of development yet to be undertaken to amalgamate windows services and unifying them to produce an integrated product (maybe under a new CEO).Even then when they arrive at today's place.The competition would have moved on at least on premium form factor devices.Unless I was making an emotional buy,my best advice is to revisit in three years.

johnrhurt
johnrhurt

My wife is a luddite when it comes to Smart phones. I convinced her to get the Samsung Focus and she set it up herself and got her email and Facebook going without even asking me for help. She loves the phone now and won't go anywhere without it. I have an Android and my wife thinks the android is way to busy and complicated for her to use.

Justin James
Justin James

I'm really not sure why you rag on WP7 so much. While it may make *you* feel like you are using a child's toy, many of us (myself including) just need to get work done. The big icons make easy targets for the fingers, and the simple design (and UI widgets that encourage more of the same in 3rd party apps) make the phone a delight. WP7 requires dramatically fewer gestures to get things done than Android (compare opening up a new text message from the notification area, for example) and simpler gestures (unlocking the phone is a good example). So yes, you can keep your Android phone if you want ultimate control over your device... it does give you that. Me? I'll stick with my WP7 device that is as easy to use as Fisher-Price, thanks. I don't buy a phone to impress others with what the UI looks like, I buy a phone to use and make calls and do whatever else it can do. And WP7 does that really well. J.Ja

grayknight
grayknight

I pin many things on my home screen, but the stuff at the top is more important and as you progress down, the importance is less. So I can see everything important very quickly. Once you start using WP7, you find everything is just easy to do and intuitive. Looking at Android or iPhones, I can't even tell where to begin because too much is going on.

The Management consultant
The Management consultant

Clearly MS has least to offer in the mobile space for the next three years.To review windows 7 you must consider the complete distrust of the brand throughout the world,business ethics,poor management,outlook for the user over the next three years to have any kind of value compared with the market users Android or Apple.Personally do not feel spending anything but of economy money on these phones until MS attains it can at least produce a competitive system at reasonable price.Clearly the old MS trick is to launch a OS unfinished and use the consumers hard earned cash to finish it over the next three years.once finished call it windows 8 to defend a brand position of failure...sound familiar? i don't spend my hard earned cash on weak maybe's or broken dreams neither should a premium buyer! It remains to be seen if MS is now broken up by its investors.....

PMC-CON
PMC-CON

Mr. Consultant, Where do you get your information about WP development timing and management succession plans at Microsoft? Could it be that you are simply pulling it out of our ... gasp?

adimauro
adimauro

As I said, above, I had exactly the same experience. I was expecting to be blown away by Android after all the hype I kept hearing, and meh...I've been using computers since 1981, and even I found the Android interface just too busy, and overly complicated. WP7 is very usable, Android tries to do too much. Then again, I'm one of those people that actually uses my mobile device as a phone (gasp!). Web browsing sucks on any smart phone platform. It's OK in a pinch, but I just don't get the appeal of staring at a tiny screen, and constantly scrolling/pinching the screen just to read a couple paragraphs of text. I'd rather have a tablet for actual mobile 'computing'.

adimauro
adimauro

Work got me an HTC Thunderbolt. I held out for the HTC Tropy for myself. After using both, the Trophy is MUCH better. Not only did I find Android clunky and hard to navigate, the battery life is ATROCIOUS! I don't even use it anymore, and the battery is still gone in 12 hours without any use. It was so much easier for me to figure out WP7, I like the design much better, much more user friendly. The battery life of the Trophy is also far better, I can go a couple of days even with a good amount of use. I agree with all your points, Justin. In fact, WP7 surprised me. With all the Android hype I had the expectation that is was going to be so much better than WP7. I was actually worried when I bought the Trophy, but went for it, anyway. Now I'm glad that I did! And, I'm glad I didn't have to pay for the Android device.

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

I prefer a desktop for web browsing, but when out and about all I have on me is my phone. I have found that I can accomplish a lot of work on it while I waiting in line or stuck somewhere. I use it like a multi-tool. If I have a real screwdriver then I use that, but if not then I will still be able to get my job done with the multi-tool I carry in my pocket. Bill

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

If you read the review that was one of the issues with the Thunderbolt. Generalizing battery life across a whole spectrum of products usually isn't very productive. Bill

shryko
shryko

Android can do either: A) highly flashy/impressive to look at, or B) great battery life ...like most phones, there is the spectrum between A and B, but the high end, beefy phones lean towards A, not B. Clearly that is the case for your Thunderbolt. ...my Desire Z (middle of the pack for the specs) does a great job balancing them out of box (I went for 2-3 days between charges, with mild use), and I configured power use further towards B. With my use pattern, I can go all week between charges.

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