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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While contacts and calling was comprehensive on the HTC HD2, messaging is probably just that little bit more so.

The options for sending someone a message are plentiful – we're talking multiple email accounts, Twitter conversations direct on the phone, threaded texting to name but a few.

However, it's worth pointing out that while the HD2 has an excellent amount of messaging options, it still has to manage all of this through Windows Mobile, which unfortunately still means the terrible messaging interface.

HTC hd2

To HTC's credit the screen when trying to type a message is a little bit easier to navigate thanks to the larger screen and the more sensitive touch display, but it's still a bit fiddly to work.

The early 2000-esque visuals don't help things at all, and trying to move the screen around or enter a new name is a nightmare. Don't get us wrong, we can see the raw power of Windows Mobile when we're using it, such as typing a name and then being able to search for it in the company database, but having to hit the right sections exactly just seems a bit fiddly. Other phones do this a whole lot better and it still just beggars belief that Microsoft simply hasn't managed to sort out its UI yet.

And an interesting problem thrown up by the touchscreen on the HD2 – it's actually too sensitive at times. When typing out a message, especially when the phone is in portrait mode, it's far too easy to hit the send button at the bottom (below the oft-used comma key) and then your message is delivered without an option to stop it.

HTC hd2

What's nice about messaging on the HTC HD2 over other Windows Mobile phones is that it's nicely compartmentalised when you need it to be, but does come together to provide unified notifications too.

For instance, if you want to Tweet someone you can do so within HTC Peep (the dedicated client on the phone) right from the Twitter tab on the home screen. But when you have push email turned on, it will aggregate any unread text messages and missed calls and calendar updates into the notifications bar at the top so you're not overloaded with updates.

The line between Android and Windows Mobile really is starting to blur on the HD2, with so many more gesture related options than before (although we acknowledge there were some put into WinMo already).

It's still very much not optimised as yet though, as scrolling through emails on the phone is a laborious and slow process. For instance, there's no way to mark all the emails as read when you scroll through the previews on the home screen tab, meaning you have to open up the inbox and either delete or head through a mountain of menus to get rid of the notification telling you you have unread email.

HTC hd2

But the little touches like packing a massive 'call this person' button with each email (providing they're in your phone book) makes us feel a lot more connected than before, and show that, like the iPhone and Android offerings, mobiles are converging not only on technology but also as more complete and integrated ecosystems too.

We also love that you can combine up to 10 email accounts onto the same device - this can be through Exchange, POP3, IMAP - you name it and the HD2 can suck it down and show you it in glorious black and white lettering.

However, we are still annoyed that you can't send a message or Tweet to someone direct from the contact menu – it seems like such an easy win when you've integrated photos and statuses already, and has already been shown to be possible with the Motorola Dext.

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.