HTC Radar review

Could the Titan's little brother bring Mango to the masses?

HTC Radar
Build quality is excellent, but Windows Phone 7 Mango flaws let down the HTC Radar

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HTC radar

The app offerings on the HTC Radar are what you'd expect from a Windows Phone product, and Microsoft Office forms a key part of that.

Microsoft is cashing in on the brand name that has been a staple of so many lives for years, and there's a huge push to get you sharing your files on SkyDrive. It appears Apple and Google aren't the only two with their sights set on taking over the clouds. On top of that, there's the option to use Office 365, which enables you to remotely share files in a different way.

HTC radar

Word, Excel and PowerPoint are there, but while you can create documents on the first two, PowerPoint only appears to let you view presentations, rather than making your own. We certainly had no problems with using Word or Excel. They're obviously watered down versions of the full PC software, tweaked to give them a Windows Phone look, but they seemed competent enough to us (although we're not experts on Excel).

HTC radar

Continuing the Microsoft heritage is Xbox Live, which you can access via the HTC Radar just like you can with any other Windows Phone 7.5 handset. You can send messages, create an avatar and hook up with friends. But Microsoft has taken the Xbox branding and extended it to cover anything games-related, and links it into your Marketplace downloads.

Games and apps are still fairly pricey, but not as much as they were a few months ago, when we initially reviewed Windows Phone 7.5 Mango We'd say Android users are in for a shock, whereas BlackBerry and iPhone users may just think it's a little bit more than they're used to paying. That's not HTC's fault, though, or even Microsoft's, and falls on the shoulders of the developers.

HTC radar

Obviously you'll only have one choice for mapping, and that's Bing maps, since it's Microsoft's own product. It works as well as rival products and gives you a few added extras, including local searches for things such as eating and drinking or tourist attractions.

HTC radar

For navigation, there are various options filling in the gaps that Bing has left.

HTC radar

We're really impressed with the fact that you can try apps before you buy them. We wish iOS offered this, but it doesn't. Android does, but you only have a 15 minute window to claim your refund, so this is something that Windows Phone 7.5 has over its competitors. Well done, Microsoft and HTC!

But, hang on - it's all going too well. Surely there must be something wrong? Yep, ladies and gents - we refer you to the HTC Radar's Calendar app.

Yes, you can have calendars from multiple sources (Exchange, Windows Live, Google, Facebook and so on) and they'll live side-by-side in harmony. But not, it would appear, multiple calendars from the same source. We're big users of Google Calendars, as are millions of potential Windows Phone 7 Mango owners, and one of its great benefits is the fact that you can have multiple calendars.

But you can't if you're rocking Windows Phone 7.5, which only accesses your primary calendar. We searched and searched and couldn't find a decent way to add more calendars. In fact, it appears the only way to do it is through a rather crude method, which involves setting up various Google accounts and accessing them all individually.

We can't imagine what Microsoft is thinking here. It's not the kind of thing it would just forget to include and, considering Apple and RIM manage it, there can't be any issue with it being anAndroid-only perk. Whatever the reason, Microsoft needs to sort it out.