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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We were pleasantly surprised with the video camera offering on the HTC Radar, which shoots in 720p HD. We'd expected HTC to keep this for just the Titan, since that's the premium offering of the two, so it was nice that we found the same resolution on offer in the Radar.

There's a lot to play with in the menu, from video resolution and effects to continuous focus, metering mode and even flicker adjustment, although the stereo recording option in the Titan has been taken away here.

HTC radar

But one other thing has been left in the HTC Radar: a rather annoying quirk regarding resolution. By default, the HTC Radar is set up to film in 640 x 480 rather than showing off those HD capabilities. And while you can change this, you have to delve into the menu to do so. Not only that, but it reverts back into SD mode afterwards, so every time you start the camera app, you have to go back to the beginning and go through the whole process again. Annoying? Yup.

We're aware that HTC has probably done this so that you're always set up to shoot MMS-shareable videos by default, but we really wish we were given the option to save our most recent settings like most smartphones do, or choose which resolution we'd prefer as default.

HTC radar

One other gripe is the HTC Radar's complete inability to resize HD video for MMS. So many smartphones these days are incapable of this most basic task, and it's really starting to peeve us off.

Yes, we know there's a VGA mode for shooting video to share over MMS, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to capture a special event or moment in HD, then just click 'Send by MMS' to have the HTC Radar reduce the frame rate/quality and squeeze it into an MMS-friendly size? It's not impossible (Apple manages it) but manufacturers seem to have this ridiculous mental block.

HTC radar

It means that you're always forced to trade off between having a copy to send or a high-quality copy to keep, but never both

As it is, you can only send your files by email, Facebook or Microsoft's own Skydrive. There isn't even an option to directly upload to YouTube (despite there being two YouTube apps, which we'll discuss on the Media page).

And getting into the sharing options isn't massively intuitive. You can only seem to share via the actual video in the camera app. If you try to attach the video in messaging, you access the camera roll but the video isn't there (despite being there on the camera roll chapter page). From within the Videos app, you can only choose to 'Delete' or 'Pin to start' but not share. It's all a bit bottom about breast, to put it politely.

Luckily the HTC Radar redeems itself by actually being able to shoot HD video well. Footage comes out clear and looks great even when transferred to a computer. Coping with going from darkness to light is something we noticed it handles well enough.