When you think of smart phones, you probably think of all those Android offerings, plus the ever popular iPhone and Blackberry. Recently, though, Microsoft has also launched its own range of smart phones using the Windows Phone 7 operating system. These phones are built by several different companies. LG, Samsung and Dell all have Windows phones, and Android specialists HTC have released 5. We take you through the advantages and disadvantages of some of the best Windows handsets on offer to give you a flavor of how they work.

One of the most eagerly anticipated Windows Phone 7 phones is the HTC HD7. This phone is generally very good. It has a decent sized screen of 4.3inches, and it’s also a touchscreen. There are good apps available, including Photo Enhancer and Notes. It also has up to 16GB storage capacity, a 5 megapixel camera and HD video recording capabilities. A couple of flaws include the below par display quality and comparatively low number of pixels, plus a slightly low build quality.

The HTC Mozart is thought to be the most successful of the Microsoft phones and it certainly has the spec to suggest that this is the case: it boasts an 8 megapixel camera with Xenon flash and generally excellent picture quality. The apps are as good as they are on other HTC phones and the appearance of the phone, plus the 8GB storage capacity, are also attractive. The 3.7inch touchscreen makes it a good pocket phone and the build quality is definitely excellent.

The Omnia 7 is the Windows phone produced by Samsung. The best feature of this is the brilliant high contrast AMOLED screen, which is easily better than any other LCD offerings. It has a good 5 megapixel camera, although the focusing capabilities could be improved. It has a good loudspeaker that streams sound with only minimal distortion. One area where it’s lacking is in the number of apps available from Samsung. Also, the power button is in an odd place but overall the layout and phone appearance are good.

Microsoft Store

The LG Optimus 7Q gives you the best of both worlds in that it’s (as yet) the only Windows Phone 7 phone to offer both touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, although the addition of the keyboard does add considerable bulk. It comes with a 3.5inch screen with 480 x 800 pixel resolution, plus a decent 5 megapixel camera. The phone has 8GB storage capacity and good connectivity, which is a plus. Overall, it’s a good phone but its bulk and slightly uncomfortable keyboard let it down slightly.