HD7

HTC has revealed on Twitter that no plans are in the pipeline for Windows Phone 7.8 to be released for the HD7. While this is no confirmation that the company will never update the HD7, it's a shame there's nothing for consumers who still wield the handset. Sporting Windows Phone 7, the user experience is still butter smooth and rich, but everyone wants the latest and greatest, right?

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File this under shocking, but wonder hacker Dotcompt has gone ahead an managed to port over Windows Phone 7.8 (early build) from a Nokia phone to a the venerable HTC HD7.

The ROM is now live and ready to be downloaded though like all ROMs, there are some caveats and things to pay attention too, including the fact that this has not yet been widely tested. For the most part, it looks like you just get a new Start screen but it's too early to tell.

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The Windows Phone Tango update is currently in testing by Australian carrier Telstra. What is being referred to as the Mango Commercial Refresh 3 update is being tested for release to the Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7, Samsung Omnia W and LG c900k.

Speculation has the Tango MCR3 update being pushed out sometime in July. The update will bring these older Windows Phones current with the HTC Titan, Nokia Lumia 900 and 610 which are shipped with the updated version of Windows Phone.

Source: wpdownunder; Thanks, Peter and Sheeds, for the tip!

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It has been officially announced on the T-Mobile U.S. support forum that the carrier is rolling out the Windows Phone 8107 update out to HTC HD7 owners. The 8107 OS update introduces numerous changes, but the highlight is the fix for the disappearing keyboard bug.

Be sure to check Zune (or the Mac Windows Phone Connector) for the notification. Unfortunately there's still no word on a 8107 rollout date for Lumia 710 owners on the T-Mobile network, though you can hack the handset to receive the update along with new firmware.

This has been confirmed by our readers who have received the update notification on their handsets. Let us know when you get yours in the comments.

Source: T-Mobile, thanks everyone who tipped us!

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Custom ROMs on Windows Phone, mostly isolated to Gen 1 devices like the HTC HD7 which applies here, usually focus on things like updating to the latest OS. In that case, the newest version of Deepshining by dotcompt is up to snuff as it now features 8107 of the OS. But Deepshining goes much further with version 7 released yesterday.

The biggest addition, besides the custom SMS backup tool and Skydrive would be the Deepshining Marketplace. That's right, this is the first custom Marketplace that features XAP files from XDA and Marketplace Aps and Games. The files are stored on the Deepshining servers, which means when they are updated at XDA, they will be uploaded and distributed through the ROM. There will be an update panel for users to check to see if they have the latest and greatest homebrew apps. (At the moment, we're unclear if this features any illegal apps or games, but we're giving the benefit of the doubt it does not).

Early reviews from users seem to be heaping praise on the ROM and no doubt having 8107 on an HD7 must feel pretty good. Of course you'll need to unlock the HD7 and take your time updating, but overall it seems to be worth it.

Head here to XDA to learn more and we'll see about flashing our HD7 to give all this a test drive.

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If you fancy yourself a custom ROM, you may want to take a peek at the latest version of Nextgen+ which just received a nice little makeover. We covered the previous release here, noting that it offered some very interesting additions, including a stripped down core and new color emoticons for things like messaging and system icons. Version 2.0 looks to go even further and is now available in 'lite' or 'full':

  • Windows Phone 7.5 (Build 7740.16)
  • MultiLanguage (in Full Version)
  • High Speed
  • Full-Unlocked
  • Installing *.xap from IE
  • The easy, optimized and modified ROM
  • New exclusive iconpack
  • OEM apps, Wallpapers, ringtones, sounds from Nokia Lumia 710 / 800
  • Internet Sharing
  • Visual Studio Debugging
  • Colored Themes
  • New, great wallpapers, pictures, sounds
  • Some minor reg Tweaks
  • OEM apps from HTC Omega / Eternity

Not a bad set of features, in fact we may have to fire up our HD7 and throw this on there to see how it performs. Plus you can expect some excellent battery life and the usual speed improvements, which is great for that Gen1 hardware.

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks, volpi3000, for the link!

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T-Mobile has an awesome sale starting up on December 17th, and ending on the 18th. For just two days, 4G handsets stocked by the carrier will be available for purchase for $0 after a mail-in-rebate. A few Windows Phones are included in this deal, the HTC Radar and HTC HD7. Handsets require a two-year contract (qualifying Value Plan) to be taken out, but for Christmas, a brand new 4G Windows Phone with a packed plan is a perfect present.

Source: T-Mobile

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For all of those with HTC HD7's, even if it is just laying around having been supplanted by the TITAN, you may want to take a look at this. Zloy Pryanik at XDA has bumped his NextGen+ custom ROM to v1.8 and we have to admit, this is starting to get real nice looking. The latest version brings the 7740 OS update as well as the latest drivers and radio software to the venerable Windows Phone. On top of that, there are quite a few interesting and unique enhancement to the ROM that has piqued our interest:

  • Light ROM (~260 mb *.nbh include radio)
  • Full-Unlocked (full support registry edit / ie install .xap ... etc) Mega Thanks DFT Team
  • Firmware reduced by 31MB , registry - 500kb
  • Update OEM software , add Touchexplorer, registry editor
  • Deleted Device Feedback
  • New sound camera shot
  • New Wallpapers, pictures
  • Ringtones and Sounds from Apple iPhone
  • Facebook-blue accent color
  • Custom system graphics
  • Watch videos from Zune in Bluetooth Headphones
  • Enabled IPV6

How's that for a feature-set? As you can probably discern, all of that reduction in file size and stripping of things has resulted in a clean, fast ROM with some neat customizations. For instance, the text emoticons are now colored as are the icons for setting up new email accounts--subtle, but nice. Even battery life seems remarkably improved, with one user's screenshot show the battery at 90% and an estimated 1 day, 13 hours remaining--we're a bit envious! If this sounds like something you want to give a go, head to the source link below.

Source: XDA; via WP7.com.pl

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Remember the previous Amazon Wireless penny sale last year? Well, we're having another, and a number of Windows Phones are included from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Amazon is also throwing in a $100 gift card* with each purchase. The handsets that are included are:

Be sure to check out this deal soon should you be interested as the closing date is November 28th.

* Note, you must activate the hot-spot feature/Wifi tethering at time of purchase to get the $100 gift card

Source: Amazon Wireless, thanks atander for the heads up!

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We understand some folks on T-Mobile are a little miffed about not getting the Titan and instead have to "settle" for the Radar 4G. We disagree a little bit, having handled the Radar and knowing what a svelte device it is.  We also know that these second generation devices have better internal hardware, a faster CPU, newer more powerful GPU and better screens to name a few differences.

In this case, WP7.com.pl has put the HD7 next to the Radar for a side-by-side speed test. While it should be of no surprise that the Radar wins easily, it's still certainly interesting to see the margin of difference. Needless to say, a lot of us will enjoy that extra speed boost that the Radar gives, even if it still only has a 1GHz CPU (but newer build).

Source: WP7.com.pl

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A reader has notified us of some photos uploaded that show a visible difference between the camera in the HTC HD7 and the monstrous HTC Titan. The HD7 features a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and dual LED flash, while the Titan sports an 8 megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor for better low-light capturing.

You can view the original images on Flickr - Titan / HD7.

Thanks Peter for letting us know about the images!

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6

DeepShining custom HD7 Mango ROM

Should you have a spare HTC HD7 at hand and feel extraordinarily adventurous, this is an interesting custom ROM for you. DeepShining claims to be the first ROM to feature nine different themes and lockscreen wallpapers with the addition of a black Nokia accent. Highlighted details and features:

  • Based on Shipped Mango ROM: HTC Europe 4.05.401.02 build 7.10.7720.68
  • Radio 5.69.09.29a
  • 1st Worldwide ROM with 9 Themes and 9 Lockscreen Custom Wallpapers plus Black Nokia Accent.
  • Dev/Introp Chevron unlocked
  • XBmod Certificates
  • Unlock Hidden option in ease of access settings
  • Some minor reg Tweaks
  • OEM apps from HTC Omega like HTC Hub, Notes, Attentive phone, HTC Location and HTC Connected Media

Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for damaged handsets - use this at your own will. For more information, screenshots and flashing requirements/steps head on over to the DeepShining thread at the XDA Developers forum (link below).

Source: XDA Developers forum, thanks Joaquim for the tip!

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T-Mobile, for some reason (we bet they signed something), evidently insists on making Google the default search engine for their phones, including the HTC HD7. It's sort of annoying for many because Bing is actually really good at what it does.

In the Mango update for the HD7 for T-Mobile (in the US at least), users have an extra option under the IE9 settings--basically they get to choose Google as default or switch to Bing, which is migh-tee nice of them, no? Of course, you're probably wondering why the rest of us don't have that option to go in reverse, right? Yeah, we don't know either.

But at least for T-Mo users, feel free to switch back to Bing now and take a shower to wash the ick off. Thanks, Prakash G., for the tip and photo!

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T-Mobile has posted a small announcement within the support section of the website, on the HTC HD7 support page, that asks customers not to contact the carrier with regards to the Mango update for the HD7. They state that it's "coming" and is ready for deployment, customers will receive a notification soon (don't pay too much attention to the 2 weeks time frame provided).

The link for the installation instructions takes us to a Zune update walkthrough page. It was published in August this year so it's definitely for Mango. There you go T-Mobile Windows Phone users, some hope for you and light at the end of the tunnel.

Source: T-Mobile, thanks Nick for the heads up!

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Microsoft are kicking off a good number of marketing campaigns. One being the Me video series following Windows Phone users, which we saw fallowing Eagle Rock Yacht Club, a non-profit dodge ball league and community. We've now just seen published on the Windows Phone blog a new written series that follows individuals and how Windows Phone affects their life.

Kali Jones, hair stylist, answered some questions with in-depth explanations covering how Windows Phone has changed her life, both on a personal and professional note. One of the highlights about the platform that attracted Kali to purchase her HTC HD7 was the simplicity of the Metro UI. Here's a quick snippet of the article:

For one thing, I’m not going to miss a contact, whether they choose to email, call or text me. My clients will book their appointments through texting, and then I remind them about their appointments with a text. For the Las Vegas clients, one week before I go down there I blast out texts. I think they like that, because people can’t pick up the phone at work, or maybe they’re a cocktail waitress and they can text me back at 1 or 2 a.m. and it’s fine—I don’t sleep next to my phone. And it’s easy to track what happens to the emails and texts, whether they went through or got a reply. 

I also use my phone to take credit card payments. When I started my business after moving back here, I looked at getting onto the Visa machine at the salon, but you have to do a 3-year contract. If you’re in business for yourself, that’s hard because you don’t know how long you’ll be in any one place. Then I got my phone and found an app called Credit Card Machine that only required a 6-month contract. It stores the client’s contact info—all I have to do is enter the credit card number. It emails a receipt to me and to the client, all paperless and totally awesome. You can check online to make sure the payment went through, and it shows up in your bank account in a couple of days.

It's well worth the read should you be looking at Windows Phone Mango as your next investment or know of someone who's looking to switch. Head on over to the blog (link below) to read through the rest of the interview. Also, if you know of anyone who could be interviewed next, be sure to send their details in (email located at top of interview)

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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Interestingly, the other day we saw what was thought to be the first screenshot of Windows Phone "Tango", the next iteration of the OS coming after "Mango". Starting with build 8200 and higher, "Tango" is still a bit of a mystery, seeing as "Mango" hasn't even rolled out yet. Yesterday we saw mention of it as a low-cost option for Microsoft.

Now from a Slovakian Facebook page, we have an individual supposedly selling an HD7 with "Tango" on board. That's the same area of the world where we saw the last "Tango" sighting. Translated from the page:

"HTC HD7 16GB (T9292 Schubert) for sale. You can select from three builds of Windows Phone - 7.0.7392, 7.10.7720 (Mango), 7.10.8200 ("Tango"). The first two are stable and functional build, third is dev build (not stable and to continue with official builds you have to flash it using RUUs). Price starts at 150€, you can contact me on my mail which I have on the forums, only through mail, highest price wins, delivery is not included in the price (only express delivery, not post office). In mail, write down which version of the OS you want, RUUs are not included. All accessories, slovak distribution, arrived today :)"

So like the Toshiba TG-01, here's your change to have a one of kind device. Though we'll stick to local sales in the States for now, you know, just in case.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, wictory, for the info!

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HD7 gets first custom ROM

We reported a few days ago that the Dark Forces Team completed work on their HSPL tools, effectively allowing the creation of custom ROMs for 1st generation HTC Windows Phones.

The first ROM comes from ansar.ath.gr over at XDA, who's a pretty popular contributor over there. Now, like we speculated, there's not too much at this point that can be done with custom Windows Phone ROMs and this one affirms that. Still, it has some nice features:

  • ChevronWP7 unlock
  • MangoB2 update to 7403 and 7712
  • Stock ROM HTC_Europe_1.69.401.01_Radio_5.54.09.21_22.33b.50. 10U

Some sites are reporting that this carrier unlocks the phone as well, but we're not seeing that mentioned anywhere (they might be confusing carrier unlocked with the Chevron registry unlocker for side loading). You can grab it now over at XDA, but we'd stay on the sidelines for a bit and watch what happens--after all, it's not like this is bringing any new radical abilities to the device. But hey, it's a start.

Source: XDA; via Windows Phone Daily, PocketNow

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It's been a busy day for T-Mobile and Windows Phone updates. First we had the Dell Venue Pro update going through and now we are getting word that the HD7 is getting an update of their own.

According to AtomicAgeZombie, who tipped us on this, the updates deal with firmware and radio software. The old firmware (2250.09.12001.531) is updated to version 2250.21.30102.531. The old radio version (5.51.09.11a_22.31.50.09U) is updated to the new radio version 5.65.09.25a_22.45.50.21U.

T-Mobile HD7 owners should get the customary "There's an Update available" message on thei Windows Phone. If you miss it, simply connect to your Zune Desktop and check for updates under the Settings.

If you've already updated, feel free to chime in on the process and what effect the changes have in our comments section.

Thanks goes out to AtomicAgeZombie for the tip and update info!

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It was just days ago that we reported that U.S. Cellular would be offering their first WP7 phone, an unspecified HTC device, "between now and the end of the year."  Well, it turns out that it would be less than a week later, on June 14th, that customers will be able to get an HTC 7 Pro (aka, HTC Arrive--see our coverage here) sporting Windows Phone 7.  The 7 Pro is available for $199.99 with a Belief Plan w/Data and/or a new 2-year contract.  The final price is also after a $100 rebate in the form of a Visa debit card.

Today's press release hyped the 7 Pro as a great device for multi-taskers and multi-media/gaming enthusiasts who are looking to "simplify their busy lives and have fun too."  It's not clear why the initial forecast was so murky, but the sooner the better for Microsoft, who is trying to break into a smartphone market dominated by Android and iPhones.  It's a good sign that another carrier is bringing WP7 onboard.

You can get yours here.

Source: U.S.Cellular

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If you've read our AT&T HTC HD7s review, we gave the phone fairly high rankings despite the let-down of Super LCD--the one key difference between it and it's brother, the HD7, on T-Mobile.

Since that review, we've managed to get a side by side between those two devices to get a better idea what, if any, the difference in screen quality there are present. In short, while the Super LCD on the AT&T HD7s is a little punchier and bolder, it's only slightly better than the HD7 and is still dwarfed by the Samsung Focus Super AMOLED, which is brighter, punchier and works better in sunlight.

Still, the HD7s looks good "in charcoal" as opposed to the chromed-out version on T-Mobile and they seemed to have fixed the loose volume rocker, which was present (and annoying) on the T-Mobile version.

The biggest disappointment though with the the HD7s/Super LCD is the "screen ghosting" (seen after the break) which we though would be fixed with the newer screen technology (the HD7 suffers from the same distortion). In conclusion, if you like the HD7 you'll like the HD7s as it slightly improves things. But if you were not sold on the HD7 before, then the HD7s willl not convince you to change up. And we really doubt and Focus owners will drop the Super AMOLED for Super LCD. And just think, this fall, Windows Phone users stand a good chance of getting a taste of Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus tech (see PhoneArena), leaving Super LCD even further behind.

Hit the break for some more "versus" photos and see for yourself. *Note: Brightness on every device here was set to 'High'.

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