HTC HD2 review

Could a Windows Mobile phone actually challenge the iPhone?

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While contacts and calling was comprehensive on the HTC HD2, messaging is probably just that little bit more so.

The options for sending someone a message are plentiful – we're talking multiple email accounts, Twitter conversations direct on the phone, threaded texting to name but a few.

However, it's worth pointing out that while the HD2 has an excellent amount of messaging options, it still has to manage all of this through Windows Mobile, which unfortunately still means the terrible messaging interface.

HTC hd2

To HTC's credit the screen when trying to type a message is a little bit easier to navigate thanks to the larger screen and the more sensitive touch display, but it's still a bit fiddly to work.

The early 2000-esque visuals don't help things at all, and trying to move the screen around or enter a new name is a nightmare. Don't get us wrong, we can see the raw power of Windows Mobile when we're using it, such as typing a name and then being able to search for it in the company database, but having to hit the right sections exactly just seems a bit fiddly. Other phones do this a whole lot better and it still just beggars belief that Microsoft simply hasn't managed to sort out its UI yet.

And an interesting problem thrown up by the touchscreen on the HD2 – it's actually too sensitive at times. When typing out a message, especially when the phone is in portrait mode, it's far too easy to hit the send button at the bottom (below the oft-used comma key) and then your message is delivered without an option to stop it.

HTC hd2

What's nice about messaging on the HTC HD2 over other Windows Mobile phones is that it's nicely compartmentalised when you need it to be, but does come together to provide unified notifications too.

For instance, if you want to Tweet someone you can do so within HTC Peep (the dedicated client on the phone) right from the Twitter tab on the home screen. But when you have push email turned on, it will aggregate any unread text messages and missed calls and calendar updates into the notifications bar at the top so you're not overloaded with updates.

The line between Android and Windows Mobile really is starting to blur on the HD2, with so many more gesture related options than before (although we acknowledge there were some put into WinMo already).

It's still very much not optimised as yet though, as scrolling through emails on the phone is a laborious and slow process. For instance, there's no way to mark all the emails as read when you scroll through the previews on the home screen tab, meaning you have to open up the inbox and either delete or head through a mountain of menus to get rid of the notification telling you you have unread email.

HTC hd2

But the little touches like packing a massive 'call this person' button with each email (providing they're in your phone book) makes us feel a lot more connected than before, and show that, like the iPhone and Android offerings, mobiles are converging not only on technology but also as more complete and integrated ecosystems too.

We also love that you can combine up to 10 email accounts onto the same device - this can be through Exchange, POP3, IMAP - you name it and the HD2 can suck it down and show you it in glorious black and white lettering.

However, we are still annoyed that you can't send a message or Tweet to someone direct from the contact menu – it seems like such an easy win when you've integrated photos and statuses already, and has already been shown to be possible with the Motorola Dext.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time6.33 Hour
Product ModelHD2
Screen Size10.9 cm (4.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)157 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionWindows Mobile 6.5 Professional
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height120.5 mm
Width67 mm
Depth11 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time490 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameHD2 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass, G-sensor
Manufacturer Part Number040102019
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

HTC HD2 delivers an experience your senses have been waiting for. The unprecedented 4.3-inch pixel-packed display is stunning. The world's first capacitive touch technology on a Windows phone along with 1 GHz processing power ensure a smooth and lightning-fast response to the lightest touch of your finger.

Most importantly, it is our first Windows phone to embody HTC Sense a holistic experience that focuses on making phones work in the most intuitive way. HTC Sense is based on three core principles make it mine, stay close, and discover the unexpected.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory448 MB