HTC Radar: Software and Battery Life Review

This is the final section of our review on the HTC Radar from T-Mobile. Read our Camera, Hardware, and Sound Quality reviews if you haven’t yet!

The Radar is, of course, running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, and is as smooth as any other Windows Phone. In fact, it may be even smoother in certain apps, thanks to the new GPU.

There are some apps unique to HTC on the phone, like the HTC Hub. Some of these free apps are highly worth choosing an HTC phone, like the Flashlight app which allows you to use your LED flash as a flashlight, something that Samsung phones lack. HTC also added a panoramic and burst mode to the camera, and added facial recognition to help focus the camera.

Also, since the Radar is a new Windows Phone, it has Internet Sharing enabled. Internet Sharing works flawlessly and provides you with a surprisingly fast connection thanks to T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. The range of the signal is quite good too, since it easily covers a small apartment with a full signal everywhere.

The battery life on the Radar is a huge improvement. I performed a music and a video playing test between the HD7 and the Radar, with both phones in airplane mode and with every other variable the same. To account for the difference in battery size, I expressed the battery life in minutes per mAh of battery. Watch the video for more details.

In the music battery test, I found that the Radar was able to play about 7.89 minutes of music per 1 mAh of battery, while the HD7 could only play 1.15 minutes per 1 mAh of battery.

In the video battery test, the results weren’t as drastic. I calculated that the Radar would be able to play a video for 10 hours until its 1520 mAh battery would die, while the HD7 would only be able to play for 6.15 hours with the same 1520 mAh battery. Nevertheless, almost twice the video playback time is a huge difference!

Overall, those huge improvements in the battery and the new software features like Panoramic photo mode and Internet Sharing are definitely worth upgrading for!

In terms of the WP7 operating system itself, there are of course some things it could improve on, but thanks to Mango it is finally a great contender in the smartphone league.