"Hands-On" with the HTC 7 Pro

Alright, I’ll admit it: our hands on with the HTC 7 Pro isn’t totally legit, because the device didn’t actually.. you know, work. This guy isn’t expected to hit the shelves until sometime next year (for Sprint!) — as such, the one we played with was a super early prototype.

And yet… I think it might be my favorite device of the day.

I know, I know, it’s a bit strange to say that the one device that wasn’t working is my favorite. Here’s the thing: at this point, if you’ve seen Windows Phone 7 running on one device, you’ve really seen it all. From a purely hardware standpoint, the 7 Pro is the top contender, followed closely by the 7 and Samsung Focus (hands-ons with those are coming later) fighting for second.

So, what’s so great? The keyboard.. it’s glorious. To geek out more than normal for a second: take the clicky-ness of the Sidekick II, and mix it with the near-perfect layout of the Touch Pro II. For landscape keyboard fans, it really doesn’t get better than this.

Also awesome: the hinge. HTC has figured out how to get the hinge about as small as possible. The only downside: You’ve gotta push the screen flat with the device before sliding it down, which is a bit weird at first.

But really: wait till you get your hands on this keyboard.