While the smartphone market was once a relatively small place, these days you have several options for carriers and operating systems when selecting a smartphone. Among these choices is T-Mobile with its Windows smartphone, the HTC HD7, and the Droid series of Android phones from Verizon Wireless.
The most immediate difference between the phones is their operating systems: Microsoft's Windows mobile platform (as of this writing, called Windows Phone 7) as opposed to Google's Android operating system. Whereas the Android operating system is mostly open source with a few proprietary functions, the source code for the Windows platform is closed and proprietary. For most consumers, the relevant difference in operating system characteristics will be that Android can run multiple third-party applications (or apps) at once, whereas the Windows platform cannot. This means, for example, that you cannot run a third-party music streaming application while simultaneously browsing the web on the Windows phone, whereas you can on the Android platform.
The home screen of Verizon's Droid phones allows you to place small applications called "widgets" on it. These are small programs that can display details like the time, sports scores and stock quotes. These widgets will look however the programmer designed them to appear. The HD7, on the other hand, uses a home screen that is based on a series of "tiles," or colored squares. You can set these tiles to link to a contact page or an app on the phone. These tiles can also display summary information, such as new messages on social networking sites, e-mails or text messages. The look and feel of these squares is uniform and symmetrical.
In terms of hardware, the main difference between Verizon's Droid phones and the T-Mobile HD7 is memory. As of this writing, the HD7 shipped with 16 gigabytes of internal memory with no ports for memory cards. The Droid phones, on the other hand, have ports for Micro SD cards (up to 32 gigabytes as of this writing) to expand the phone's base memory. If you mostly stream media to your phone this probably won't be a limitation for you, but it could be of concern if you like to store a lot of music or movies on your phone.
Both Verizon's Droid phones and T-Mobile's HD7 require you to purchase a data plan with your contract. As of this writing, neither T-Mobile nor Verizon offer unlimited data plans. For Verizon, this means that if your phone exceeds your plan's bandwidth you will be charged overage fees. On T-Mobile, exceeding your plan's bandwidth does not translate into overage charges for you. Rather, T-Mobile will throttle your phone's Internet connection. This will significantly reduce the speed with which your phone will be able to send data to and receive data from T-Mobile's wireless network.
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