HTC HD 2 Mobile Phone

Posted by Narender Singh | 6:47 PM | | 0 comments »

Well designed
Very easy, intuitive and fluid UI
Plenty of connectivity options
Social networking integrated
Camera is decent
Video player doesn't support DivX/XviD and has no 'Resume' feature
No TV Out

In this the second HD handset from HTC, the company has made some very relevant modifications. The previous HTC Touch HD seemed as impressive when launched but fared poorly. I was hoping this one would do better and I got the opportunity to find out. Take a look.

Form Factor

The handset can be described appropriately in one word – Big. 2010 has seen the rebirth of the Tablet PC and the HTC HD2 although not officially categorized as a tablet, could very easily pass for one. It has one of the largest capacitive screens in the mobile phone segment at 4.3-inches and looks even larger thanks to the handset's brilliant, slim design. You don’t often expect a handset this big to be just 11mm in depth. HTC’s simple button system has shortcuts to the homescreen and menu which is convenient.  Volume keys are located on the side and a 3.5mm handsfree socket is at the bottom beside the micro USB port.

The handset is gorgeous and although it’s big, it's easy to use with one hand as well as both when necessary. Thankfully it’s not thick enough to create am embarrassing bulge in our trousers, however, its width can make it a little uncomfortable carrying in tight jeans. I recommend a belt pouch in these cases.

Features and Performance

The HD2’s Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor ensures that you have a smooth ride. It uses a Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional OS but thanks to HTC’s Sense UI, you won’t notice... too much. Of course the Sense's look and feel is not very dissimilar to their TouchFLO system, which also made navigation and feature access a lot easier than most other WinMob handsets.

HTC has fully customized the UI to make it extremely finger friendly and the capacitive touchscreen negates the use of a stylus altogether. From onscreen virtual keypads to accessing menus and sub menus, the large display makes it all very convenient. Thehandset’s display and UI also incorporates multi-touch capabilities that would have Apple’s iPhone in a cold sweat.

The handset’s media capabilities are really good, but there are a few drawbacks. On the plus side you won’t ever have to use Windows Media Player as HTC has provided better options built right into Sense UI. To enhance audio, an Audio Booster application with its presets and customizable 10 band graphic EQ setting has been provided. Together with the bundled handsfree kit the HD2 provides loud, comfy and clear audio for both music and voice. Even the FM radio has good pick up in most places. It could have used a recording feature though, but it’s not something to complain about. A voice recorder is also present and an MP3 Trimmer application allows you to shorten music files for ringtones.

Where the HD2 lacks is in its video playback capabilities. Unfortunately HTC has not included DivX or XviD codecs so you’ll have to convert videos to suit the screen so you can forget about copy/pasting files. Irrespective of videos (if converted properly to 3GP, MPEG4, WMV, H.264/H.263 formats) looking stunning on the large clear display, the fact that the player doesn’t have a resume play feature is very very annoying. It’s very odd considering the Android version of the same player supports the feature.

The HD 2 is fully equipped to handle high 3G speeds, of course we won’t get to use that for a while longer so we’ll just have to settle EDGE/GPRS of Wi-Fi. Thehandset can also be used to share your mobile data service connectivity via its Wi-Fi router function. I was successfully able to share connectivity with my iPhone and netbook. You have a choice of browsers. Opera is preloaded which is just as good as the new WinMob 6.5’s IE browser. The large display makes viewing and navigation so much easier, so there’s nothing to complain about here. Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and USB 2.0 can also be used to exchange and back up data between devices and your PC. A GPS antenna is built-in but you’ll have to suffice with just Google Maps.

For email you’ll easily be able to access your MS Exchange client for Outlook Mail access and sync your Contacts, Calendar, Notes and Tasks as well as easily set up IMAP and POP accounts. With minimal information, thehandset will download all the relevant settings and have your emails streaming in minutes. The standard Windows Live and MSN Messenger apps are part of the package. Microsoft’s MyPhone app that lets you back up your data online is also available.

For the social networker, HTC has included their Peep application for Twitter, Facebook integration with your address book, a YouTube client and of course uploading capabilities for videos and pictures to all the various sites that support the same. Unlike their Android models though, the Facebook/Address Book integration is manual and time consuming. With the Android version it automatically matched names in my phone book to those on my Facebook account. I had to search for all manually in this handset. You can also download apps from the Windows Marketplace app.