HTC hd2

The HTC HD2 is a boldly designed phone, with a massive screen and industry leading features under the hood, all in a slim and attractive design.

And for 'only' £500, we're impressed with how much technology was actually on offer. When you consider the Samsung Pixon12 still costs the same to buy from some online retailers, you can see how much of a better proposition this is.

We liked

There's just so much to like we could practically double the word count listing it all right here. The screen is large, bright and responsive, the phone can handle media better than most other handsets out there, and the sheer power of Windows Mobile is highlighted in the best way possible.

Add in the Sense UI giving us direct access to a number of social networking aspects, and the uber-cool ability to turn it into a Wi-Fi router on command, and you can see why it's worth getting excited if there's a sniff of a chance the company might give you this phone as your corporate device.

We disliked

Ah, but there's invariably a downside. Usually this would be the place where all the problems of Windows Mobile would be laid bare, but no other company has done a better job of hiding its faults than HTC with the HD2.

However, that massive screen is both a blessing and a curse. The phone isn't going to appeal to many, as although it's a slim device, it's still very handbag unfriendly, as well as easy to see through any pocket.

The messaging still needs a few more tweaks (with the occasional amount of slowdown every so often when typing at speed) as well as the annoying positioning of the send key.

Video could be made a bigger deal of in the phone too, given the huge screen, and that's something HTC could perhaps fix with a future firmware update.

Verdict

The HTC HD2 smashes past the iPhone in terms of raw processing speed and the ability to handle Flash video.

It dwarfs the Hero with a more responsive screen and its Wi-Fi routing ability too, and is far better than anything Samsung, LG or Nokia have come up with so far.

That said, the phone is still built on an inherently iffy OS, and there are times when that problem rears its head and snorts fire into your hand (metaphorically... that would be a health hazard otherwise).

We so desperately want to give the phone 4.5 stars to rank it alongside the likes of the Hero and the iPhone 3GS, but it just falls short.

If Microsoft sorts out its Marketplace with a few more (and cheaper) apps, as well as a couple of firmware tweaks, this could easily be the phone of the year, even at this late stage.

But until then it will have to be content with being the best 'business device' on the market by a country mile.

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