The HTC Trophy had the distinction of being one of the five phones to feature the Windows Phone 7 operating system at launch, meaning it needed to meet Microsoft’s stringent build quality requirements but was at a disadvantage when it came to features and add-ons, due to the fact that the operating system was still finding its feet and developers were still getting to grips with Windows Phone 7.
When compared to some of the other phones HTC were releasing at the time, the Trophy’s design is a little bit more reserved and can come off as a little boring. However, that appears to be intentional as the phone very much favors function over flair. This means that if the style that many phone makers bring to the table is high on your agenda, you will probably be better off looking elsewhere.
Having said that, many people will find the simple and slim design extremely appealing, especially because it means that the phone feels light in the hand and is easy to slip into your pocket. As such, you won’t find yourself grappling with an enormous phone, which has the added benefit of making the phone much harder to drop when you are using it.
The phone also has a solid display that features nice and sharp colors that make use a real joy. The screen itself measures 3.8 inches, meaning that the phone can be used for viewing other media but may not necessarily be the best choice.
Still, it has everything that you could need and the touchscreen itself is exceptionally responsive, again demonstrating how functionality has been favored over some of the wilder design aspects that many phone makers have become accustomed to using.
The HTC Trophy offers very good call quality, so you shouldn’t run into problems on either end. Voices sound nice and clear, though there is a slight tininess to the sound which prevents it from being marked out as perfect. The only other minor issue is a slight hissing when there is a lull in the conversation, but it’s not going to be something that causes you many problems unless you like to not talk at all during your phone conversations.
The phone can feel a little bit sluggish when it comes to opening some apps, with the delay being especially notable for apps that haven’t been developed specifically with Windows Phone 7 in mind. However, this is a minor issue and one that is likely to be expected given how new the software and operating system were at the time of release. In general, you should find that using the phone is a smooth experience, which can likely be attributed to the minimum specifications that Microsoft require to run Windows Phone 7.
Unfortunately, the phone is let down a little bit by the battery, which only offers a below-average 4.9 hours of talk time. It’s certainly not the worst thing in the world, but there are a number of phones that easily exceed that number while offering many of the same or superior functionalities.
The phone is integrated with Zune and Xbox Live, so music-lovers and gamers will love it. Unfortunately, it can be a little bit of a bother getting set up with an account, as it often seems like you can only use one or the other. Still, it is a nice little feature and one that helps the phone stand out from those that run other operating systems.
Apart from that, the phone offers many of the basic features that you would expect, like a GPS, call forwarding and a speakerphone, but none of this helps it to stand out from the other phones that use Windows Phone 7. The basic 5 megapixel camera is again functional without really excelling, though you can tweak photos if you want to.
Unfortunately, a common problem with many phones running Windows Phone 7, particularly the early adopters, is the fact that the base memory can’t be expanded upon. That is the case here as well unfortunately, so you are going to have to make do with 8GB unless you update the OS and gain access to Microsoft’s cloud storage service as a result.
The Bottom Line
The HTC Trophy was never going to be all things to all people, but for those who are looking for a cost-effective way of checking out Windows Phone 7 there are really few superior options. The phone itself is extremely functional and offers all of the essentials, so it is hard to complain given the low price.
Of course, if you are looking for a more high-end offering then it is probably a good idea to take your search elsewhere, as the Trophy probably doesn’t have quite enough to satisfy you. However, as an early adopter of the operating system you could do a whole lot worse.