HTC HD2 smartphone
A massive 4.3in screen and HTC's superb Sense UI combine to make this the best Windows phone on the market
- Superb design and build quality, fantastic capacitive display with multitouch, HTC Sense UI, 3.5mm headphone jack, excellent performance, micro-USB port
- Protruding camera lens, buttons lack tactility, Windows UI still rears its ugly head on occasion, included Twitter app is limited, Windows Marketplace lacks variety of apps compared with alternatives
The HTC HD2 is quite simply an outstanding smartphone. The superb construction and gorgeous display combine with HTC's Sense UI to create an excellent user experience. You'll still be frustrated from time to time with the Windows UI lurking in the background, but this is by far the best Windows phone on the market.
Price$ 829.00 (AUD)
This is still a Windows Mobile phone though, so it's not perfect. The Sense UI does a great job of hiding the regular Windows interface, which is largely designed for use with a stylus. However, there are still times when you end up using the regular UI, — for example, when opening and replying to e-mails, adding music tracks to HTC's music player, and adjusting advanced settings.
In addition, we'd prefer the main screen of HTC's people menu to display the entire phonebook, as each contact listing integrates not only contact information, but messages, e-mail, Facebook updates and events and call history. The default main screen for the people widget is simply your favourite contacts. It lets you press once to call, message or e-mail a contact of your choice.
The HTC HD2 is a high-end smartphone, so it includes all the bells and whistles. This HSDPA-capable phone includes a GPS receiver, a digital compass, 802.11g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP streaming capabilities, an FM radio and a 5-megapixel, autofocus camera with a dual LED flash. The extra-large screen makes the camera application incredibly easy to use, and just like the iPhone you can tap the screen to focus on a particular area. Photos are of reasonable quality, with good colours and minimal image noise, but the flash isn't powerful enough to overcome overly dark environments. A microSD card slot allows you to expand the memory of the Touch HD2, though it's located beneath the rear battery cover. We appreciated the inclusion of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and micro-USB port for charging and synchronising with a PC.
For business users, the HTC HD2 includes the Office Mobile suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote Mobile), support for Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, and Microsoft's MyPhone service, which automatically backs up data such as calendar appointments, photos, contacts, music, text messages and video to a password-protected Web site.
The HTC HD2 comes with Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live applications preloaded. The apps for Facebook and Twitter (Peep) work well enough and the Twitter widget on the home screen is a nice touch. However, the diverse range of Twitter apps available on the iPhone app store make Peep look rather limited — for example, it can't handle multiple Twitter accounts. The Windows Facebook app takes longer to load than the iPhone version and functions like commenting on status updates and viewing posted photos aren't as straightforward as they should be. Though Windows Marketplace has only recently launched and will continue to grow, it can't compare with the number and quality of apps available for the iPhone or even Google's Android platform.
The HTC HD2's battery life isn't great, but considering the large display, we are prepared to cut it some slack. You'll get similar figures to the iPhone — that is, with any half serious use, you'll need to charge the phone every day. Our review unit just managed to last a full day, though this was with hourly push e-mail, Twitter and Wi-Fi all running.
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