The HTC Radar is the latest smartphone to run Windows Phone 7.5, following on from the HTC Titan. With a smooth unibody design, HD video recording and 5MP camera, will it be enough to make Windows Phone a success?
If HTC was at school right now, you can't help feeling it'd be getting an A for effort. The Taiwanese manufacturer is certainly churning out handsets like nobody's business.
For the last few years, it's been concentrating mainly on Android - but now Windows Phone 7.5 Mango is here, it's going for gold. Probably much to the annoyance of Nokia, which adopted WP as its main operating system months ago, but is still being pipped to the post by HTC when it comes to getting handsets on the shelves.
Little brother of the HTC Titan and the second handset from HTC to run Windows Phone 7.5 (or Mango to its friends), the HTC Radar is a solid little handset. It's crafted from a single piece of metal and has enough weight at 137g to make it feel like it means business without giving your biceps a workout.
To look at it, the dull aluminium fascia, the size (120.5mm x 61.5mm x 10.9mm) and even the slight dip at the bottom immediately puts us in mind of a Google Nexus One (which HTC manufactured almost two years ago). But, obviously, there's no trackball here, with the HTC Radar relying on the compulsory three Windows Phone 7.5 soft keys on the front.
The back holds that 5MP camera, LED light and speaker, while there's very little around the edges to write home about. There's a power and headphone jack up top, micro USB slot on the left and volume rocker and camera button on the right.
To open the HTC Radar, you slide the bottom down to reveal a little section that invites you to insert a SIM card. Strangely, the HTC Radar seems to restart if you do this - even though you're not interrupting the power supply.
There's no space for a microSD card because HTC has, just like it did for the Titan, decided to stifle this handset, enabling you to only use the onboard memory. With 8GB storage (just 6.54GB of which is available to the user, once the operating system has taken its share), it really does beggar belief.
For those who like their photos, music and videos in one place, it makes the HTC Radar instantly less attractive compared to the various crop of Android devices out there such as the stunning Samsung Galaxy S2 and, of course, the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S.
Another handicap is the lack of removable battery. You can't access it at all, and although there always seems to be someone about in the office who you can nick an iPhone charger off, there are likely to be fewer carrying around micro USB cables. So, as an HTC Radar owner, that task may fall at your feet.
If we were to pit the HTC Radar against other handsets on the market right now, we'd have to say we think it's up there with the BlackBerry Curve 9360 in terms of its professional abilities. The memory is on a par with Apple's most basic offering, the iPhone 3GS, while we can't help thinking that (apart from the colour), the HTC Radar looks identical to the Android-toting HTC Rhyme, which it certainly matches up against for the majority of its internal workings.
You can buy one SIM-free for around £340, which isn't too bad a price - it's certainly much cheaper than its big brother, the Titan, which is nearer the £500 mark. You can pick one up for free on contract, providing you're willing to part with around £25 a month and sign the next two years of your life away.
It also appears to be available in two colours - all publicity shots show the handset in white. However, our review unit was grey and black, and although sites such as Carphone Warehouse show the white version on their page, they also state that it's only on their systems in grey. It may very well depend on where in the world you purchase it.