Extremely detailed HTC HD2 review published

Leo_Bench_graph54Winmobile have probably had a HTC HD2 longer than anyone else, and this can be clearly seen in the extensive review they published, which delves into every nuance of the device.

If you are thinking of buying the handset (especially for around £500) you owe it to yourself to read this review first.

The conclude:

CONCLUSION
Windows – I’ve been honoured to have the HD2 in daily use for the last six weeks (thanks O2) and I’m very impressed with all aspects of its design and function – The Sense tabs that replace the Titanium interface work beautifully well and the deeper integration that HTC have done to hide the somewhat finger unfriendly WM6.5 interface make the device a joy to use – and yes I can say that the stylus has not been missed at all.

The speed of the HD2 has to be seen to be believed (videos to follow) everything feels fast and smooth from the transitional tab navigation in the Sense screen to the speed of scanning photos in flow mode, or flicking through large pictures in the Album itself. Transitions from portrait to landscape modes in applications is nigh on instant and the same can be said when zooming in and out of photographs using the two finger pinch system. At one point I actually found I had fourteen applications loaded in the background (including heavyweight items like the Album) and there was no slow down in operation and no applications had auto-closed in the background. During the time I’ve used the HD2 there have been no problems with the device heating up or behaving in an adverse manner in any way.

Dislikes – There is only one annoyance I have with the HD2. This is the removal of the ability to customise the functions of the buttons on the front or the HD2. The only application that really suffers on the HD2 is the native Notes application, it is fine entering text using the keyboard, but trying to draw any freehand graphics is nigh on impossible as you have to use a finger tip, not even a fingernail can be used and the results are not good, accuracy goes completely out of the window!
Personal Final Words – The HD2 is awesomely fast and smooth both in operation and looks, the large glorious capacitive screen works wonderfully well and the thin form factor with the functionality of the Sense system make it for me at least the best WindowsPhone so far. Go and buy one, you’ll not be disappointed.

Boz – Firstly I would like to echo Daron’s comments and thank O2 for generously letting me have use of an HD2 too. I have enjoyed every minute with it so far without any problems at all, and helping out with this review certainly helped me to learn every aspect of the O2 HD2 at a very rapid rate, and all without the use of a stylus!

Looks wise there’s no escaping the fact that the HD2 oozes class in every respect, from its exquisite build quality that makes the device look the part, to its wonderful large pin sharp capacitive screen, and software that does its job in a very understated way. There is so much to admire about the HD2 too, the ‘Sense UI’ is excellent, and the ability to update the weather using the built in location software to wherever you are, is simply brilliant. The music player that’s standard is in my view the best I have seen on a Windows Mobile device, and is a pleasure to use rather than a chore like Windows Media Player.

Windows Mobile 6.5 has been given a fantastic makeover by HTC, and there are many clever touches on the HD2. One of my favourites is the screen turning off when placing the phone against your ear while making a call, then turning itself back on when the phone is taken away from your ear which saves accidently setting off other applications. The HD2 isn’t just about quirky ideas that work well though, it’s all about speed and overall performance as a whole, and running a 1GHz processor it doesn’t disappoint, its lightening fast at everything it does, and running a host of applications in the background doesn’t drag it to its knees at all. There’s no clunkiness or sticking when scrolling, zooming, flicking or when changing from portrait to landscape mode, and the whole operating system feels and looks perfect in use.

I do have a few gripes though, I dislike having to search for the task manager to close applications, having been used to ending a program by tapping ‘X’ in the top corner on previous HTC devices. I’m also not keen on having to use the magnifier in a few applications to tick boxes or scroll drop down menus, but I suppose that is a legacy from Windows Mobile 6.1, and I’m sure in future ROM updates this will be history. Also I can’t believe that there isn’t anywhere at all to add your ‘Owner’ details, this omission stops you from being able to install any software you already own, because without the owner information you cannot add the product key number in many cases, plain daft in my view!

Freehand writing or drawing in notes isn’t easy at all, but it isn’t something I use anyway so isn’t a major problem for me, and is the only application that doesn’t work as it should. Believe it or not I do miss the XDA branding and O2’s applications that used to be. The name XDA was synonymous with O2 and was the symbol of their high end Windows Mobile devices, but times change I suppose.

In my view the O2 HD2 is a fantastic device and one well worth considering, it does everything really well at supersonic speeds, and I can’t see how you could possibly be disappointed with it, I find it hard to put mine down!

Pros

Cons

Fast 1Ghz processor
Build quality, appearance and feel
3.5 inch hires WVGA screen
Bright, sharp and large capacitive screen
Large ROM and RAM memory
Fast boot times
OOBE
Inbuilt GPS
Fast GPS lock and GPS signal strength
Location based Weather System
WM6.5 operating system
HTC Sense today screen
HTC Sense finger friendliness
HTC’s WM 6.5 makeover
Strong metallic housing
FM Radio
Removable battery
micro-USB (now industry standard connector)
No stylus required
Fast portrait / landscape transitions
Supports up to 32Gb microSD storage cards
Comfortable in the hand
Non-slip housing
Enhanced headset
Good battery life
CPL8 included in ROM
Good phone signal strength
Great battery life
Installed software
The variety of settings
Ease of customisation
Overall device speed
3.5mm headset jack socket
Lock screen
Auto screen shut off and switch on when making or ending a call
Bluetooth System
Sense UI music player
No button customisation
No Xda branding and the loss of O2s added applications
Notes application is impossible to use for free hand drawing
Having to use the screen magnifier in a few programs
Slightly inaccurate Compass application
Nowhere to enter owner information, so impossible to add pre-owned software in most cases
Twitter application does not always update as per the schedule

The pro’s clearly outweigh the cons.

Read the full review here.

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