Verizon's First Windows Phone 7 Smartphone Officially Available

Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest mobile carrier, finally has a Windows Phone 7 smartphone to offer the public.

Thursday Verizon unveiled the HTC Trophy phone, giving it a competitor for the Android and iPhone devices it sells. The phone retails for $149 with the industry-standard two-year commitment.

The Trophy sports the standard Windows Phone 7 hardware specs, which include: a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 480 X 800 touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera and HD 720p video recording capability. Internal storage is a somewhat skimpy 8 GB, and it comes with 576MB of RAM.

It also features, of course, the Windows Phone 7 OS, which departs significantly from the Android and iPhone "squares" motif. Windows Phone 7 is based around "hubs" like social networking, music and photos, and uses tiles of varying sizes. The OS generally gets high marks from independent reviewers.

To sweeten the pot, Verizon is offering Windows Phone 7 buyers a free Xbox 360 game for every phone purchased between launch and July 15. Three games are offered: Halo: Reach, Kinect Sports and Lode Runner.

Windows Phone 7 phones debuted in the U.S. on Nov. 8, 2010. Sales since the launch have been sluggish, causing Microsoft to be somewhat vague about specific figures.

Android and iPhone continue to dominate the smartphone market, with Windows Phone 7 making little more than a ripple to this point. Trying to gain a foothold, Microsoft last February announced a partnership with Nokia to become the primary OS for its phones.

A comparison guide to Windows Phone 7 devices available in the U.S was recently published by Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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