HTC HD2 review

Could a Windows Mobile phone actually challenge the iPhone?

TechRadar's in depth HTC HD2 review
TechRadar's in depth HTC HD2 review

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The HTC HD2 is well kitted out when it comes to connectivity, as is the case with most smartphones these days.

We've already covered the marvellous improvement in GPS when using the dedicated booster program, so it's nice to see this malnourished part of the phone getting a little bit more love.

Beyond that the communications manager holds the key to letting you get connected to the outside world, using slider switches to let you turn on and off the likes of Wi-Fi and push email from Microsoft Exchange.

HTC hd2

Bluetooth 2.1 is supported in this release too, allowing easy pairing with Bluetooth stereo headsets. We're actually listening to streamed music from the HD2 over a pair of Jabra Halos when writing this review, and the two devices sync together automatically when turned on.

Music reproduction is great, with bass well represented, and the touchscreen is easy to use when just being tapped to change tracks.

Wi-Fi, which we've mentioned a few times throughout this review, is therefore unsurprisingly represented in the communications manager, and the connection interface has been improved again. The buttons are easier to use, the UI changed to look a bit nicer, and the phone remembered the WEP code each time the network came within range.

HTC hd2

And one of the best features of the HTC HD2 is the ability to make the phone function as a standalone Wi-Fi router. It's just a top feature, not least because it simply works. You can choose the WEP key you want, and the phone will broadcast the signal to anyone that wants it.

It's obviously in P2P computer mode, meaning that some people might baulk at using it (as that's usually the form for virus transmission). But we were so impressed with how the router software worked, and how quickly it managed to stream things like YouTube as well.

We wouldn't recommend doing such a thing regularly unless you want angry emails from your network asking you why your data consumption has gone up so much suddenly, breaking your 'unlimited' limit.

Of course, such practices have been going on for some time when tethering a Windows Mobile phone to the PC, and that's once again possible with the HTC HD2.

The later version of Windows you have, the better the PC syncing experience will be, where using Windows Vista or 7 will give access to Windows Mobile Device Centre.

HTC hd2

This lets you back up all your files and folders, copy any media to the relevant areas of your PC and generally make sure the phone and the computer are good buddies, as well as allowing you to add or remove programs where necessary.

Of course, you could always use Windows Mobile MyPhone, which takes things one step further and lets you back your data up to the cloud, save all your messages and find your phone when it gets lost, which is a nice option to have.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.