First Look at the HTC Surround

Everyone knows that HTC has the innovative muscle to manufacture incredible flagship smartphones. They flexed it when they released the Evo 4G on Sprint, the HD2 and HD7 on T-Mobile, and the Verizon Droid Incredible. Does AT&T’s first HTC Windows Phone 7 model match up to the rest of HTC’s lineup?

The hardware certainly does. The Surround has a very classy HTC look, similar to the G2 and the Desire HD, but with more of a shiny exterior. It’s not exactly a new and fresh design for an HTC device, but it’s still a winner aesthetically with a quality and durable form-factor.

Now, the phone’s biggest feature is a slideout… speaker system (unfortunately) made by Dolby Mobile Surround Sound. The slideout speaker adds an additional layer of thickness to the phone (plus a kickstand), and according to most reviewers, the stereo’s sound quality just doesn’t make up for the extra weight. Why HTC would add a feature that had almost no market demand is a huge question mark for the company that brought us the Evo 4G and the HD2.

Fortunately, the phone is well-capable of running Windows Phone 7, the newest operating system to hit the market. The Surround packs a 5 MP camera with LED flash, a 1 GHz chipset, 802.11b WiFi, and is capable of shooting 720p video. If choppy scrolling and excessive lag on the homescreen bothers you, then you should have absolutely no problem with this phone.

The device centers around a capacitive 3.8″ LCD screen with a resolution of 480×800. It’s doesn’t have a Super AMOLED or Retina Display quality and the clarity and color variation isn’t nearly as impressive, but it’s still a high-res screen that gets the job done. Personally, I would sacrifice the AMOLED screen of an Android Galaxy S model for the Surround’s weaker screen, just because Android’s lag, slow navigation and choppiness is so apparent in day-to-day use.

The Surround runs Windows Phone 7 beautifully, it just lacks the innovative feature set of some of HTC’s higher-end smartphones. Bottom line, the HTC Surround is a quality purchase on AT&T’s current mediocre Windows Phone 7 lineup, and the slideout speaker concept leaves more questions than answers. However, if you’re set on AT&T’s network and looking for the HTC/Windows Phone 7 experience, the Surround should suit you perfectly.

Looking for more new Windows Phone 7 releases? Check out Spotlight on Windows Phone 7 and Dell’s Venus Pro is so Professional

via Phonearena, Ubergizmo