Impressions of the Mozart Hardware

by Shane Perris on Thursday, 2 December, 2010

in Uncategorized

The Mozart is a sexy beast. It is slim and lightweight. The screen is a silky pleasure to touch. The processor is beefy enough that the operating system is generally responsive (sometimes a little too responsive). Coupled with Telstra’s NextG network, apps that require an Internet connection are snappy and “always on”. Apart from a section deep within the tunnel beneath Town Square in Sydney, I can maintain a healthy connection along my 45 minute commute down the Western line.

The external speaker is tiny yet packs a punch. It sounds as good to my cloth ears as the speaker on the iPhone 3GS, which is more than I can say about the previous popular HTC handset the Desire (which if you don’t know, runs the latest version of Android and was the subject of the inaugural Telstra Social Review). When I get the chance, I’ll try and do an A-B-C of the external speakers.

Here’s a taste of the two speakers…

(Music is from The Atomica Project. Get on it, kids. Seriously. Free “Best of” download at http://theatomicaproject.bandcamp.com.

The brushed aluminium shell makes the Mozart feel solid without the heft of half a brick.

The screen is gorgeous. Or did I mention that already?

It’s nice that it includes a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of stupidly insisting that people need use mini-USB port with proprietary headphones. Speaking of proprietary headphones, the Mozart comes with a set of headphones that include a mic and remote. While any old headphones will work (and as the phone has bluetooth, any old BT headphones will work, too), only the included HTC headphones let you control music playback or use the handsfree. Since the headphones are hideously uncomfortable, one can only hope that a vibrant 3rd party accessory market springs up or Mozart owners are going to miss out.

It’s light. I believe it’s about 10 grams lighter than my 3GS (yes, many things are going to be compared to my 3GS – it’s my major reference point – deal with it). Subjectively, it feels noticeably lighter, but it certainly doesn’t feel flimsy. On the contrary, the brushed aluminium means at it feels strong and sturdy, as well as light. I remember feeling much more afraid of breaking my 3GS than I have felt handling the Mozart. Some of this is probably due to the fact that the Mozart provides a healthy amount of friction when sitting in your hand. By contrast, the iPhone felt desperately slippery and I was not comfortable until I had a case on it. Unless you are paranoid about the screen, the Mozart does not need a case.

The Mozart has a flash (Xenon apparently, whatever that means). It’s very bright. In fact, it’s a little too bright for my tests. I try to avoid using the flash when using a point-and-shoot camera. I don’t see myself changing this attitude with on-phone flashes based on the results of the Xenon flash on the Mozart.

The camera does take some pretty handy photos, and they sure look great on the phone’s screen (have I mentioned that the screen is gorgeous? I have? Good. Carry on). The thing i dislike the most about the camera is that it has a mechanical autofocus that only works in the middle of the frame. The iPhone touch to focus has spoiled me I fear. I find myself wondering why this isn’t more common. Patents, I guess.

I’ll upload some photos and do a proper A-B comparison in the next couple of days. My first impressions are though that it is a fairly even split between the 3GS and the Mozart – it just depends on how much control you need over the where the lens focuses.

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