HTC HD2 review

Could a Windows Mobile phone actually challenge the iPhone?

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Internet on the HTC HD2 is an interesting situation – there are actually two browsers baked right into the phone, Internet Explorer and Opera, with the option to download more like the alpha release of the first Firefox Mobile browser.

But while Opera is the default browser for all internet-related elements on the phone, when entering the Windows Mobile applications menu Internet Explorer is right at the top, and Opera is all the way at the bottom of the list.

And the difference between the two is pretty major as well – IE will support Flash video but not multi-touch browsing, and Opera vice versa.

HTC hd2

We preferred using Opera for internet usage on the HD2, but we'll quickly talk through the highlights of IE.

The main advantage, as we just mentioned, is the ability to watch Flash video on your mobile (which HTC has already shown as possible on the Hero).

However, while some sites will let you watch web videos, a great number of others won't. The greatest duality is shown on the BBC main site – BBC iPlayer will play but without sound and picture, and navigating there took ages.

The BBC sports site led to a better experience – video turned up on cue and played smoothly. However, don't expect to do anything else while watching it, such as making it full screen or zooming in, as this will just bring the phone to a grinding halt.

IE also has some other bugs beyond Flash video – for instance it's slow to load web pages even over Wi-Fi (it felt more like dial up than anything else) and the only ways to zoom in and out are either to tap and wait, or call up the zoom bar, neither of which are that intuitive.

That said, it did respond well under the finger when moving around web pages, and the easy-to-hit menu icons certainly are an improvement (and should be the way Microsoft goes about everything while it's developing Windows Mobile 7).

HTC hd2

Opera is a much more intuitive experience though, and that's the reason we're glad it's the default browser.

It's a lot more basic, with limited functionality compared to IE, but we like that for browsing. Using it over 3G is quick, and over Wi-Fi it easily keeps up with (and often outstrips) the iPhone in terms of page rendering.

HTC hd2

The only advanced feature the Opera browser has is the ability to save pages to read back later without needing to connect, but that's used on so many phones (even non-smart ones) that it's not necessarily a headline grabbing feature any more.

You can add favourite bookmark icons to the internet tab on the phone, which also makes it easier to head to your favourite sites. However, there's no push internet system here, as we've seen on previous Windows Mobile phones from HTC, so there was no automatically updated content to view when out of signal.

And of course, we can't help but enjoy multi-touch on a decent capacitive screen – every time we play with it we have to tip our hat to the iPhone for bringing an experience this good over two and a half years ago.

Overall, internet browsing on the HD2 was a really pleasant experience. The sheer wealth of options on offer made it a decent proposition, and while both Opera and Internet Explorer have some slight niggles both are perfectly adequate mobile browsers – it just depends what you like from one.

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