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The 600MHz Qualcomm processor keeps things zipping along nicely, and the traditional Windows Mobile slowdown failed to rear its head.
Battery life is particularly strong for such a feature-packed handset, which is one area that the HD Mini puts some distance between itself and the more, er, desirable, HTC Desire.
The form factor of the HD Mini is the perfect compromise between size and usability. The screen is still large enough to do everything you want, but the physical dimensions of the phone itself make it easy to hold and pocket.
HTC shows once more that its Sense user interface really can make all the difference, literally papering over Windows Mobile and creating a truly user friendly environment.
The screen is excellent and the multi-touch interaction works very well in the vast majority of situations. Connectivity is also first rate, with the Wi-Fi router option being genuinely useful.
The class leading battery life will endear the HD Mini to road warriors and those who don't want to carry a charger for weekends away.
Even with HTC Sense on top, it's still Windows Mobile 6.5 chugging along underneath, and it simply can't compete in a landscape dominated by Android and Apple.
The Marketplace is woefully under populated and the lack of free apps is disturbing. This needs to be seriously addressed before the launch of Windows Phone 7.
Browser navigation is tricky, with clicks not always registered and multi-touch gestures not always as smooth as they should be.
We liked the HTC HD Mini far more than we expected to, and it has proved that Windows Mobile can't be written off just yet. After using the HD Mini for a while, devices like the Apple iPhone 3GS and HTC Desire just feel huge in the hand, and for many, size does matter.
The overall design of the phone is sleek, stylish and minimalist, with the yellow internals bringing some colour to the equation. Basically, it feels like a well designed, well built, high quality phone, in the same way that the Nokia X6 doesn't.
But is the HD Mini good enough to sway buyers from an Android or Apple handset? We're not so sure. However, if you were a fan of the HTC HD2 but felt that it was just too big, the HD Mini is the answer to your prayers.
This phone has all the features of its big brother (large screen aside), packed into a far smaller chassis.
Put simply, this is the best Windows Mobile handset currently available, and it makes us think that HTC will have something very special for us when Windows Phone 7 finally hits the street.
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