Trophy Could Be Top Prize

Taiwanese phone maker HTC always manages to surprise – but even they have outdone themselves this time with their Trophy phone, which has made me consider switching from my iPhone (ever so briefly mind you) to HTC’s new Windows-based smartphone.

Not having used a Windows-based mobile since the dark days of Windows CE, I was surprised at how smooth and logical the screens were that I was literally taken aback.

In an interesting sideline, the Trophy’s Qaulcomm Snapdragon processor was also a candidate for Apple’s iPhone 4 at one stage and is a Smartphone engine that has copped little flak, nor encountered any major problems to date.

OK no, it’s not in the same category as a BlackBerry, iPhone or Samsung Galaxy but I sincerely believe it was never supposed to be. At $799 outright it beats a number of so-called more ‘sophisticated’ models and, if anything, may well be in its own sub-category – the Windows-based Business Lite Smartphone category.

The best test for any reviewer is the ‘do I need to read the manual’ test. Luckily for me, the test unit came sans user manual, but hardly necessary, as the Trophy is ridiculously easy to figure out. And for those of us whose digits are a bit on the plump side, the large Windows boxes work a treat and also no little navigation wheel meaning no more frustration.

Setting up the email was a cinch, the settings were as easy as pie to change and the phone’s logical set out and ease of customisation for weather, alarms and camera meant that from the moment I took it out of the box, whacked in my SIM card and reconfigured all the screens and other attributes meant that less than 10 minutes had passed and I was ready to face the world with my brand new smartphone.

Perhaps best of all, since it is a Windows 7 system, the Trophy comes with heaps of Windows software including Explorer. However, best of all, HTC’s Trophy also comes preloaded with Microsoft Office, which means viewing documents comes naturally.

An annoying aspect, or any other phone for that matter, is those talk times the vendors quote. I am not sure where they test their phones – maybe in a vacuum in space during Pancake Tuesday but really, all phone makers, including in this case HTC give exorbitant figures for talk times when in fact, the real amounts are much lower. To their credit at least, HTC were not that far off the mark, but to set the record straight, the Trophy does not give 7 hours talk time- more like 4.5-5 hours.

So whilst HTC’s Trophy is not a top of the range model, its design, feel and functionality is such that it beats several other phones in the same category hands down.

The only other gripe I have bar the talk time discrepancy is that HTC could have been a little more creative in the Trophy’s final look – it has fixed the heart, soul and brains of its smartphone; now it just needs to make the Trophy look like the name says and jazz up the design.

The phone itself has a screen resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, a 5 megapixel camera, a 720p HD video camera, 8 GB of expandable memory, USB 2.0, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7 OS, GPS and a battery that is supposed to give nearly 7 hours talk time and 18 days standby.

Pros: easy to use, super fast, solid specs
Cons: lower talk time than quoted, perhaps needs to be sexed up a tad

4 Out of Five Shacks