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

Top marks for creating a media phone, HTC. But a massive fail on your head for equipping it with such paltry storage. Seriously, 6.54GB of usable space on the HTC Radar with no option to expand?! What were you thinking? That has to be split between your music, photos, apps and videos. Storing the entire Top 100 albums on this baby plus a thousand photos is something you won't be doing. Thank heavens there's at least an FM radio, which is something HTC rarely lets us down with. Good work, gang.

That aside, we're really happy with media handling on the HTC Titan. It's all packaged with a Zune approach so there's familiarity for Microsoft users, and Windows Phone 7.5 users get the Smart DJ feature that creates playlists from whatever songs it finds on your handset, and even searches through the Zune catalogue (if you have a pass). Think Genius in iTunes repackaged with a Microsoft flavour.

HTC radar

Music playback was fine and we had no complaints. There was nothing in there particularly memorable for us. It just worked and coped with pretty much all of the obvious formats. We like how you can buy that Zune music pass and go wild. Spotify may need to worry here.

You can also find apps with a media twist in the Media section, such as setting up DLNA and watching videos on YouTube, for which there are two apps available in the Marketplace. One is Microsoft's own, which, although it claims to be an app, is actually only a link to the mobile YouTube site (lazy). The other is HTC's YouTube app that, thankfully, has had a bit of work go into it and looks nice. Getting media on and off the HTC Radar is simple enough using the dedicated PC software, and there's even a Mac version that Microsoft has produced very well - albeit probably through gritted teeth.

HTC radar

HTC has given us its Watch service on the Radar, which is a pan-OS operation, being available on Android too. First seen on the HTC Sensation, it's not ready for release yet - at least, not on Windows Phone 7.5 devices. As with the Titan, it simply doesn't work.

We fired it up hoping to be able to rent a movie, but all that was on offer were eight trailers for movies that had been out for ages, including Burlesque and Eat, Pray, Love. And that was it. No more trailers and certainly no movies to download.

We tried to upgrade the player and it told us it was checking our region and then just gave us exactly the same offerings. Either something has gone wrong here or HTC really needs to work on the amount of content it can offer. We're willing to wager it was the former rather than the latter, but it shouldn't be releasing handsets with bugs like this. It's one of the issues that can't be blamed on Microsoft but on HTC.

At least the trailers worked, and we were really impressed with the way the screen holds up when videos are being shown. They do look good on the HTC Radar's display, which is easier to hold than the Titan, so although you lose the size in comparison, you do gain something that's more portable.

When it comes to looking at your own pictures on the HTC Radar, the gallery app is a pleasure to use. It links other bits of the operating system in here so you can not only use apps that enhance photos but view Facebook albums (yours and others') and of course, view your own pictures taken on the HTC Radar itself.

This is one area of Windows Phone 7.5 that other operating system makers could learn from.