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HTC 7 Mozart review

Out of all the Windows Phone 7 launch partners, HTC’s obviously been the most hard-working kid in Mr. Ballmer’s sculpture class. So here’s the question: which of the five launch devices is the Taiwanese company’s best work? Well, there’s no such thing as a perfect phone, but we dare say the 7 Mozart’s the most stylish out of the lot. Not convinced? Flip the phone around and you’ll see its two main selling points: its aluminum unibody construction (as applied on the Nexus One and Legend), and its 8 megapixel camera with Xenon flash (as opposed to 5 megapixels with LED flash on the other WP7 devices). Will these goodies suffice to win WP7 fanatics over? Join us after the break to find out.


We’ve already given away the game earlier, but in addition to the handsome unibody chassis and the 8 megapixel camera (with Xenon flash), there’s also the now-common 1GHz Snapdragon chipset, along with a sharp 3.7-inch SLCD (with better color reproduction than the HD7’s) and 8GB storage capacity. On the front there are three backlit capacitive buttons below the screen, whereas above the screen you see a shiny grill for the earpiece plus an LED indicator underneath. The remaining buttons — all in matte silver — are located on the sides: volume rocker on the left, power button at the top (where the 3.5mm headphone jack resides as well), and the two-stage camera button at the bottom right. Before we move to the back, we’d like to make a little complaint about the screen’s two side edges: they’re pretty sharp. Not the knife kind of sharp, but sharp enough to cause discomfort. This is particularly noticeable when we brush our thumbs across either edge, which almost feels and sounds like stroking the edge of some paper card.

Things get a whole lot more interesting when you turn to the back of the 7 Mozart, and we will confess: there have been moments where we spent minutes just quietly admiring HTC’s artwork from all sorts of angles. There’s a certain dynamism in the non-symmetrical design that keeps us absorbed. In brief, imagine a hollow block of aluminum with large parts of its top-left and bottom-left corners sawn off on the backside, and then there are two triangular rubber pieces — same material as battery door on the Desire and Trophy — that cover up the holes. But that’s not all: the key to this seductive sculpture is the triangular dent milled onto the metal, which not only steals your attention with its highlights from various angles, but we also suspect that this is a subtle homage to HTC’s previous logo. Cute.

Going back to the rubberized triangles: the top one — which houses the camera, Xenon flash, power button and headphone jack — is not user-removable; whereas the bottom one doubles up as a fully detachable battery cover plus an antenna (so don’t lose it!), and underneath it lies a flap that stops your battery from slipping off — basically just like the Legend.

Now, onto the less happy things. What we’re most annoyed with is the positioning of the volume rocker — it’s OK for right-handed holding, but it’s definitely too low for our left hand. Since the rocker isn’t where we expect it to be, a lot of the times we found ourselves close to slipping our thumb on the metal instead, therefore also risking dropping the phone. Another problem stems from the camera — HTC’s cunningly sunk the lens glass below the ring to reduce the chances of the glass being scratched, but we have a feeling that due to the ring’s sharp inner side, the lens has been trapping a lot of lint that way. And finally, we’d like to make a little complaint about the screen’s two side edges: they’re kinda sharp. Not the knife kind of sharp, but sharp enough to cause discomfort. This is particularly noticeable when we brush our thumbs across either edge, which almost feels and sounds like rubbing the edge of some paper card.

Just a quick note on the accessories: the handsfree kit is the same as the ones bundled with the latest Android handsets from HTC, i.e. over-sized and no noise isolation. Nice remote, but it’s just too bad that the phone doesn’t support double-tap to skip songs.

Unique apps

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave over the last few months, you should be well aware that Microsoft’s been laying some serious ground rules for strictly no skinning on WP7, which means companies like HTC can’t port a similar experience from their Android or even Windows Mobile 6 offerings. To get around this, HTC came up with the HTC Hub app. Now, to be brutally honest, this is hardly a replacement for Sense; rather than a skin or even a widget, the Hub’s more like a weather app stuffed with a portal to a handful of HTC apps.

Let’s run through the apps quickly. Photo Enhancer is rather simple and self-explanatory — you just load up a picture, apply one of the 14 filters (auto enhance, cinnamon, vintage, sepia, etc.), and then save the result as a new file. We’d love to see this built into the camera app, but we have a feeling that Redmond’s already said no. Next we have Sound Enhancer, which offers a set of audio effects: Dolby Mobile, SRS Enhancement, and headphone equalizer. We weren’t convinced by Dolby Mobile — the resultant audio had a wider soundstage, but it also sounded very bland to us; SRS Enhancement, however, provided some interesting bass extension. The remaining HTC apps shouldn’t need much explaining: Stocks, Notes, Converter, and Connection Setup (for carrier networks). They all worked flawlessly for us as well.

On our particular review unit, Orange has also thrown in a couple of apps: Orange Daily is essentially a news reader with Twitter and weather add-ons, but neither of those two features worked for us; the second app Orange Wednesday lets you check out new film releases and find nearby cinemas, but it was slow and buggy for us. Sounds like a premature app to us — let’s hope Orange can patch things up real soon.


Finally, we’re now touching the last of the 7 Mozart’s two selling points — its 8 megapixel autofocus camera. The number sure sounds impressive compared to the other 5 megapixel WP7 phones, but as we all know, quality comes before quantity. Sure enough, our photos weren’t as spectacular as we had hoped — the one post above is the best of the bunch, while most of the rest are a too soft and appear washed out. Sadly, there’s not much you can do about this in the camera app’s settings, as it appears that HTC’s chosen to keep things simple and have hidden all the various options — ISO, EV, sharpness, metering, wide dynamic range, etc. — that the Samsung Omnia 7 features.

Camcorder performance is even more disappointing. As we’ve seen on other HTC devices, the 7 Mozart suffers from the same frame rate reduction issue when filming in low light condition. We’ve also noticed that its autofocus speed isn’t ideal, and the rolling shutter effect doesn’t add any merit, either. For the sake of comparison, we should mention that the Samsung Omnia 7 doesn’t have these problems, or at least it doesn’t perform that badly. As usual, we’ve attached a sample clip here as evidence:


So let’s gather our thoughts for a moment. The 7 Mozart is no doubt one of the most stylish WP7 devices right now, and it handles both the OS plus the HTC apps pretty well. Of course, potential buyers should take note of the comparatively smaller 3.7-inch screen (although screen quality here is better than the HD7’s, as mentioned earlier), along with the subpar camera performance and shoddy earphones — both typical of HTC these days, it seems. Well, the choice is yours, friend.


How much data does video streaming use?

When it comes to internet usage, video watching is one of the main interests of users. Most users are mainly inclined towards streaming videos so it matters a lot to know how much data is required for it. Of course, we do require a smooth internet connection to be able to stream our favorite content online.If video streaming is your preference then you must consider high-speed internet like Spectrum internet for instance, that do not offer data caps. This means you do not have to worry about any extra fee surprises in your bill that are bound to happen if you run out of your data limit. Most of the providers in the United States do impose data caps so it is very important to find out an internet plan that assures a no data cap policy. For that, let us first have a look at the data that is needed for various video streaming platforms.YouTubeJust like using any other app on your smartphone, YouTube being one of the popular platforms needs data too. It nearly takes 562.5 MB of data per hour. This holds valid when you stream at around 480p resolution. In case you want better resolution, then you might require 1.86 GB per hour for 720p. For 1080p you might require 3.04 GB. For watching videos in 4K, you will require a massive 15.98 GB of data per hour.NetflixWe all agree with the fact that how much we love Netflix as it has successfully evolved as one of the most popular video streaming services. For subscribers exceeding 130 million, the internet speed is not much of a problem. An hour of video streaming in standard definition would need around 1 GB of data. If you want to enjoy high-quality video streaming, you might need up to 3GB. For ultra-high-definition, you can require up to 7 GB of data per hour.The selection of accounts can help you decide a suitable resolution for your connection. If you want to save your data, you can check the settings option and click the save button when you want.Amazon Prime VideoAmazon Prime Video was launched by Amazon as a streaming service in 2011 and has ever gained popularity among the users. Nowadays it is seen as one of the biggest competitors for Netflix. This service provides up to three resolutions for the users. Among them include good, better, and best. The Good enables streaming videos at around 480p in standard definition and utilizes a data of 800 MB per hour. The Better option allows an HD stream with a data requirement of around 2 GB per hour. The Best option consumes nearly 6 GB of data per hour. You should also know that accessing Amazon Prime Video on your mobile app results in low data consumption as compared to the desktop app.HuluHulu is another important video streaming option that uses somewhat less data as compared to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video This makes Hulu as one of the most economical options available. You require around 680 MB per hour of data for the standard definition. If you switch to a 720p high definition setting, the data requirement may jump to 1.3 GB per hour. 1080p resolution can need data up to 2.7 GB per hour. You can also stream live TV if you are using Hulu’s $39.99 monthly plan.SpotifySpotify is one of the best-known music streaming platforms but not everyone knows that it also provides a video service in certain areas. The company does not disclose much about the data requirements of the video streaming service. However it only notifies that video streaming requires more data as compared to music streaming and is much like the ones needed for other video channels. Mostly the videos are in high definition and can consume up to 3 GB of data for an hour streaming.VimeoVimeo does not have any details regarding data usage. The standard definition content can need up to 353 MB of data per hour. As far as the HD videos are concerned, they need up to 2.75 GB per hour.StanMany of us might not have heard of Stan as it is accessible in Australia only. The app usually provides four-tier quality. The lowest standard definition setting can require up to 1.13 GB per hour while HD and 4K can require around 3 GB per hour and 7 GB per hour respectively.DirecTVThe DirecTV website also does not display clear information about the required bandwidth. In case if your provider puts a data limit, you can always reduce your video quality. The data consumption parallels to the aforementioned video streaming platforms.Sling TVSling TV is another one of the highest quality video streaming service that uses around 2 GB per hour of data for its highest quality option. The data required for medium quality is 540 MB per hour that further lowers to 360 MB per hour for low-quality streaming options.Summing UpYou need to be aware of the data consumption involved in the video streaming service you are using. This can save you from exceeding your data limit and paying any additional cost.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

This portable UV-C wand sterilizes your items and work space

In an age when cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer aren’t easily found, it’s a little tough to keep your personal items and space clean. Not wiped down and washed, but free from germs and bacteria.Rather than fighting your way through a store to find only to find out there are no wipes left, take a smarter approach. The SANITECH UV-C Wand, on sale for just $72.99, is the sort of thing you buy once and get to use over and over. Try that with those Clorox Wipes.About the size of an electric toothbrush, the SANITECH UV-C Wand emits a UV-C light that kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria within ten seconds. It cleans all sorts of surfaces, including clothes, bedding, phones, keyboards, laptops, and more. If your hands touch it, you can probably clean it with the SANITECH UV-C Wand.FeaturesUV-C light kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, & viruses within 10 secondsChemical-free for your safety & can be used on baby products, cosmetics, pet supplies, on home and public spacesLasts up to 90 minutes w/ full chargeBuilt for travel & convenienceBuy it NowPurchase the SANITECH UV-C Wand for just $72.99, a savings of 18% off the normal $90 price. Choose from Winter White, Flamingo Pink, and Seabreeze Green.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

How to set up a Messenger Room in Facebook Messenger

With the launch of Messenger Rooms, you can now participate in video calls from the comfort of your smartphone and without any extra apps.If you’re using WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger, you can now make a virtual room and invite your friends in a matter of seconds. This saves you the trouble of installing extra apps like Zoom.Today we’re going to look at how to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger.How to set up a Messenger Room in Messenger – The easy wayThe only real pre-requisite here is having the latest version of Facebook Messenger installed on your phone from the Google Play Store. Download it here.Step 1Tap on the People tab at the bottom on the Messenger app and choose to Create a RoomAt the bottom center of the screen, you will have the option of Share Link. Tap on it.With the Who Can Join, you can also control who joins the Messenger Room if you wish to keep the room exclusive to friends, family, etc.Step 2Copy the link in the box and paste it to the group or people you wish to share it with. They will also need to have the Messenger app installed and on the latest version of the app for it to work best.You can share the link via any app or medium you wish, but whoever has access to the link can join your room, unless you modify the Who Can Join settings in Step 1.From here, you just wait for your friends to join and carry out your business. When you feel the room has met its purpose, you can close the room by tapping on the X button at the top right of the room.Leave will mean that the room will still be there to return to for anyone who has the link. End Room will close the room and make the link invalid. This means you’ll have to make a new room if you do End Room here.We also wrote a guide on how to start a Messenger Room from WhatsApp. The feature will soon go live on Instagram globally, so be sure to look out for that as well!If you’ve used Messenger rooms, let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!

How to make a fence in Minecraft

Gates and walls take time to build from scratch, so get your pickaxe and axe ready for a chopping good time.