HTC HD2 Windows Mobile smartphone
Big screen winner?
Review HTC has just about the fullest range of Windows Mobile smart phones on the market at the moment with a wide variety of types and prices. The HD2 is at the apex of its range, offering arguably the most bang, but also demanding a considerable amount of bucks. It lines up as HTC's most complete package to date though, with a huge screen, the latest Sense UI, Windows Mobile 6.5 OS, HSDPA 3G, a 5Mp camera, Wi-Fi, FM radio, GPS and social networking integration.
Quite a display - HTC's HD2
There's no getting around it, the HD2 is a large handset and looks as if it's well on the way to becoming a notebook PC. HTC has sweetened the pill however by making it exceptionally slim and fairly light, so it measures up as 121x67x11mm and 157g. It's still a handful, but not a huge jump from the iPhone and, in practise, we found it surprisingly pocket-friendly.
The capacitive LCD touch screen is a mighty 4.3in with 480x800 pixel resolution and both looks and feels fantastic. The display is clear and sharp for viewing but it's also sensitive enough that it never seems to have any trouble distinguishing between brushes and strokes – not something that you'll find on all Windows Mobile touch screen phones (are you listening Acer?). It is a bit of a fingerprint magnet however, seemingly lacking the sort of anti-grease coating that the iPhone revels in.
Below it is the usual line of hard buttons: call start and stop, home, Windows and return. The touch sensitive zoom bar we've seen on some recent HTC handsets has gone, but that's because the screen now supports multi-touch, so you can pinch to zoom when you're browsing the net or viewing pics.
On the rubberised plastic sides there's just a volume rocker with a micro USB power/sync slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom. The back features a large loudspeaker, plus the protruding camera lens and double LED flash. There's also a micro SD card slot under the metallic back cover plate and, fortunately, you can hot swap it without removing the battery.
Windows Marketplace is gathering momentum
The HD2 has the latest Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system with HTC's own Sense user interface running on top. You get the new-look Windows menu with its big thumb-friendly icons taking up the full screen. Why you can only shuffle individual icons to the top of the screen, rather than placing them wherever you like, Android-style, we can't imagine. Along the bottom of the display is HTC's customisable menu bar scrolling. Windows Marketplace may not have its shelved stacked so high as Apple's App Store just yet, but it's easy to use, and the apps are mounting by the day.
Dub thee "king of the geek hill"
For the proverbial 15 minutes, this device is king of the hill. Got everything and some.
Currently happy on WM (a lowly and tiny HTC Diamond I), long time Palm user, dabbled in iphone and nokia s60. But willing to ditch WM for the next one, never loyal to any platform. It's useability and capability and tweakability that's important to this geek.
WM may need some tweaking upon occasion, but works for me. It's the only platform to have decent desktop sync (PIM as well as generic files). Would try Android, intrigued by WebOS, but no decent (and configurable) out-of-the-box desktop sync, no go. Cloud can take a hike for all I care. Nice to have, but too paranoid of me, I guess.
Other than that, all modern mobile OS'es can do to web/mail/music/gps stuff in some fashion. iphone is lovely - cool games, nice hardware. But too hobbled and crippled to live with, sorry to say: no bt/wifi/usb file transfer? No multitasking? What gives?
The HD2 is the closest thing to the killer device for me: add a keyboard too, my credit card is yours. Or just add some more RAM, bolt the CPU and the capacitative screen on the Pro2. I can always get the new TF3D=Sense from xda-dev.
Spreading more FUD
Where's this long list of problems you speak of? Seems the pink aura problem only occurs on some devices and there is a software fix on the way. No biggy.
The fact is you can get this phone for 40 pound more than a 3GS and it has way bigger screen (4.3" vs 3.7"), better resolution, faster processor (1GHz vs 600Hz), sd expansion, replaceable battery, better camera (5mp, LED flash vs 3mp, no flash), completely open software market, etc.
Regardless of the FUD spread buy WinMo hating trolls, this is THE best phone you can buy at the moment. period.
Would love to see Android on this hardware, just have to wait until someone over at xda does a port ;)
One more fault... a defective camera
Just one more fault to add to the long list. The HTC HD2 has a defective camera. The problem causes a pink aura over the centre of every photo.
But you don't have to believe me. Just Google the following words:
HTC HD2 camera pink
You'll find many accounts of this defect in the HD2.
I wouldn't think that Microsoft would do something so low as to pay HTC to keep the Snapdragon processor away from Android. Would The Borg do such a thing? Besides, the next HTC phone, called the HTC Passion, will be out soon. It's got the Snapdragon. And it's running Android. Hurray!!!
WinMo Apologists crawl
... out of the woodwork.
When a phone appears with ground breaking hardware and ball breaking software, its not difficult to see the missed opportunity. Pretending that WinMo is anything but the final throws of Microsoft's mobile strategy is bit like saying Bing will kill Google Search.
When Microsoft have to (allegedly) pay HTC to keep the lovely snapdragon processor away from those nasty android people, you know things are getting pretty bad. When android devices running said processor mysteriously disappear from trade shows overnight in order to better showcase WinMo you understand the beast is back.
The most glaring shame about the whole HTC HD2/WinMo circus is that if the device ran Android, it would sell like hot cakes on a frosty morning, and peace and love would fill the airwaves.
Been using WinMo for years ... Soon no more!
I just bought a TomTom, that's my first step in moving away from WinMo (I used TomTom for WinMo with a Bluetooth GPS receiver). I got tired of the constant Bluetooth problems and not being able to use my SW when I need it most.
WinMo used to be the most advanced Mobile OS out there. Slick, with more functionalities (remember the clunky but stable Palm OS?). Well, no more. Now it's a relic of how bad Micro$oft manages the maturing of its software. There are now plenty of other OSes to choose from.
Ultimately I am going to be waiting for this HW to be available on Android.