x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

HTC Touch HD Review

HTC Touch HD 8.5

Posted: , by


HTC Touch HD Review

We were excited when we started testing the phone, hoping that we’ll see something great and revolutionary. Sadly, the reality is different. Hardware-wise, the Touch HD is impressive with a large display and excellent build quality. As a phone, it offers many functions and a very good sound during a call, but the software is not innovative at all. TouchFLO 3D, which we’ve seen in Diamond and Pro is the best for a WM smartphone, but not for a multimedia device what we wanted to discover in the HD. The music player is good, we can live with the mediocre camera, but why the bad video capabilities and not the multiple codec/format support like seen in the rivals? This would have made it possible for the users to really enjoy HD clips. So far, the Touch HD is a good smartphone but doesn’t have what it takes to be a good multimedia phone. As we’ve said before, we hope this will be fixed by future software updates, making the HD the best Windows Mobile device available. What we would really love to see is Android on that beautiful screen, but that’s not expected officially.


  • 3.8” WVGA display
  • Very good size and construction
  • This is the phone for document viewing


  • Currently, it cannot play quality videos
  • Weak display performance in direct sunlight
  • More lag in the menu compared to Touch Diamond
PhoneArena rating:
8.5 Excellent
User rating:
9.5 4 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. emblema (unregistered)

i really love the display of this phone and i am a HTC lover, but i am still considering the xperia .. waiting for a review of it

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 13:34

4. (unregistered)

I was about to buy this one too... Now I'm really considering the Xperia instead. Those 5MP photos look as if they were interpolated 2MP photos. Why couldn't HTC put their hands on some good (e.g. Zeiss) lens, borrow a samsung sensor and give us some good results? Is throwing in a Divx codec that expensive? Ok HTC, take a $150 more for the set and just make it happen... I can't avoid a comparison to say.. KIA motors: for some reason they must be thinking their brand should remain cheap and are trying to keep the prices low even when they don't have to. This way HTC is just losing market. hey.. take $700 per unit, not 550, but give us a decent camera to take photos with and we DO want a Divx player when we buy "HD" devices!

posted on 30 Nov 2008, 22:34

38. (unregistered)

I think there's something wrong with this review. I've read other reviews, as well as seen Youtube videos showing videoplayback and it doesn't seem to be the problem indicated by phonearena. Besides, the HD actually comes with hardware video acceleration, so videos should run fine.

posted on 26 Sep 2009, 07:05

51. yp198408 (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Sep 2009)

I know a free program. Umm, actually, it's commercial, but you can get it for free via... Go ahead! You can also add DVD menu and chapter menu in a flexible way. Check their official site http://www.flvdvd.com/flv-to-dvd-converter/

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 08:04

2. losdrivare (unregistered)

Regarding the bar with letters to the left, sorting the contacts, this can be enabled or disabled in Contacts/Menu/Options, uncheck "Show alphabetical index". Howcome you never covered GPS performance?

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 13:43

5. (unregistered)

...How come the English in this review makes me think they can't afford a good dictionary, let alone a native English speaker to write it? "...we can live with the mediocre camera, but ***why the bad video capabilities*** and not the multiple.."??

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 10:00

3. The Dark Knight (unregistered)

Play.com have changed the price of this handset a few times over the past 4 weeks - it was £549, then £499, then went back up to £519 last week. £474.99 with the discount code is probably the best price for the time being.

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 15:34

6. koko (unregistered)

Hey Guys, its smartphone - with ability to install any third party software like Core player... not only video, but nothing is problem!

posted on 15 Nov 2008, 15:32

23. (unregistered)

If you read the review, they said that Core player didn't work that well with the device, as the video was choppy. READ!!!!!

posted on 19 Nov 2008, 18:28

28. (unregistered)

Bet u monkeys never even touched a smartphone. LOL. There is something in this technological term we call UPDATE. Every softwares will be updated. Just wait for a new version more suited for HD. Not suprised if you don't understand. Don't even bother. Sheesh. Monkeys.

posted on 01 Mar 2009, 04:24

46. Suatae (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Mar 2009)

The latest news on this problem is a new windows program made by Jandre from XDA-Developers. It's called "MP4HtcHD". With that, you can transcode and optimize any (avi, mp4, wmv, mkv, mpg, m2v, mov, vob, flv) video. You can even transcode direct from a DVD, including srt subtitle support for foreign films; as well as the ability to select the audio language of a multilingual DVD. It can also split, join, and preview your video. It's designed specifically with the HD and it's MP4 format. But the built-in quality and format support may change if HTC updates the HD to 6.5 when it releases the next generation touch smartphones.

posted on 12 Mar 2009, 13:25

50. heavybreathing (Posts: 276; Member since: 26 Feb 2009)

*All software will be updated. Learn engish. Monkey.

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 17:15

7. (unregistered)

I have just bought this phone (unlocked) & have been experimenting with various video formats that i re-encoded from avi.files. To date the best result i have got from the built in windows media player is a H264 codec, MPEG-4(mp4), video 196kbps, audio 64kbps, 720x480 resolution, 23.976fps & audio sample rate of 44100 Hz. This is acheived by using a prog by Allok. The playback is smooth & in sync. I hope this helps people.

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 01:21

12. koko (unregistered)

its windows mobile, so WMV format must be supported too... try this

posted on 21 Nov 2008, 02:34

30. veronica2s (unregistered)

is the hd support divx?? is any 1 knows? many thanks veronica.

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 18:09

8. (unregistered)

how about standard divx/xvid not converted of recorded tv shows? will it play it with default software without conversion?

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 07:58

17. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

It doesn't play them at all. If you install Core Player they play, but not well. Check out the review text. Thanks!

posted on 21 Nov 2008, 02:38

31. veronica2s (unregistered)

thank you but how can i install core play? is that will make divx work on the hd? thank you so uch veronica

posted on 13 Nov 2008, 20:08

9. (unregistered)

Until Android gets ported to this thing it will never realize its full potential

posted on 15 Nov 2008, 15:34

24. (unregistered)

LOL!!! At the moment android sucks... It needs time to mature an enough software developers to make it usable.... the G1 was just a taste, not that great of one mind you, but a taste nevertheless of the entree that is to come.

posted on 09 Dec 2008, 14:27

42. (unregistered)

And Windows Mobile sluggish ugly interface is a good fit on this beautiful device???? You sound like you havent spent any decent time with the android os, yes it is young but it would be optimized greatly by the touch hd. Notification bar on Touch HD...i drool at the thought....of course you probably dont know what that is

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 00:56

10. Rocco Ruthless (unregistered)

I have a question for you UK guys. I have found several online merchants offering the htc touch hd for 250-300 USD. (about 167 GBP) Every single merchant that has this price I have found on Yahoo via google search. (which does not offer buyer protection from merchants using their services)http://www.walmartstore-inc.com/htc-touch-hd.html ,http://www.cellltd.com/htc-touch-hd--unlocked.html , and this one which doesn't even come up in the search anymore:http://www.adriannewworld.com/htc-touch-hd.html . I was curious if anyone on here has had *any experience with any of these merchants. I find it suspicious that the ONLY websites that have these kind of deals are all using Yahoo as their platform. What do you guys think? Thanks in advance, -Richard

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 00:58

11. (unregistered)

That's a scam man, in other words, do NOT buy!

posted on 15 Nov 2008, 09:07

21. (unregistered)

Be careful when giving your credit card number to so called "merchants". I can offer you my home for $300, would you buy?

posted on 01 Mar 2009, 04:29

47. Suatae (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Mar 2009)

Trust us, only buy from online "merchants" certified with buyers insurance, like amazon.com/amazon.co.uk. And use common sense, especially online.

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 02:36

13. moonman (unregistered)

"despite the OS limitation of 65 536 colors" WRONG! It's 2008 already, learn the facts, if you want to call yourself a Windows Mobile expert. http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/archive/2005/09/07/462187.aspx

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 07:56

15. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

Thank you

posted on 15 Nov 2008, 02:10

20. (unregistered)

so what are you trying to say moonman? that blog entry is a few years old, but basically says that 65k is the most wm will display (if not support.) every winmo device is 65k for a reason, be it good or bad

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 03:42

14. (unregistered)

I also would like to know if it play ok divx/xvid tv shows from the net (not converted, just as they are)? Such as heroes for example?

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 07:57

16. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

It doesn't play them at all. If you install Core Player they play, but not well. Check out the review text. Thanks!

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 13:51

18. (unregistered)

Sorry, i checked the review but i though it reffers to HD ( 720p ) video. It really sucks if this device can not play normal divx xvid tv shows and movies. HTC realy got it very wrong here .. and they are going to lose big becouse of this. A lot of devices play divx / xvid... totally disapointed about this. How about Mobile Divx ? did you tried with it also?

posted on 31 Jan 2009, 10:07

45. tromto (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Jan 2009)

OMG! There SHOULD be somewhere on the net a place for noobs in the WinMobo world! Every new forum I'm registering to has one and same question - "how to play DivX/XViD in WM devices". The simple answer is one-and-only - get the FREE media player called TCPMP (short for The Core Pocket Media Player). Does the name ring a bell? Oh, yes - it sounds _almost_ like "The Core Player" about which it had already been told (regarding the HTC HD device) the is does NOT perform quite well. OK - "The Core Player" is a _commercial_ spin-off of TCPMP, built by _almost_ the same time, where the _almost_ makes a difference! The Core Player has only limited support to video acceleration and no support for subtitles. It's just the opposite - TCPMP support almost all kinds of video accelerator chips available today on the PocketPC market, plus supports SMI, SRT and SUB subtitles, plus - it's an open source _modular design_ project which is constantly developed and modified to suit to its best to the new hardware. Right at this moment the TCPMP modification for the HTC HD device is ready and performing charmingly well with ALL kind of HD videos in DiVX/XViD format. Just download it from: http://www.araxbg.com/download/index.php?dir= Touch%20HD/&file=TCPMP-0.72RC1-ARM-PPC-recomp-03.CAB

posted on 14 Nov 2008, 18:20

19. (unregistered)

how about the quality of playing H.264 movie in window media player?

posted on 15 Nov 2008, 14:39

22. gzafiro (unregistered)

Hei guys at PhoneArena, when you used the CorePlayer, did you use only Direct3D video mode, or you switched to other video modes as well (for example GDI)? Because I have seen many devices which do not perform well in Direct3D but with the other modes they ar just fine.

posted on 16 Nov 2008, 15:07

25. Johncar435 (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 Nov 2008)

I would of expected a higher rating in the Christian Dior rank, because don't get me wrong, this device look nice. The only thing holding it back is the size, but it has such a large screen, who wouldn't like it?

posted on 17 Nov 2008, 09:32

26. janne303 (unregistered)

WHAT??? Doesnt play movies? So whats the mediaplayer for?

posted on 18 Nov 2008, 11:10

27. (unregistered)

Ok phonearena team it seems that you are the only one with the coreplayer problem. You need to play with the settings! According to pocketnow review, coreplayer was used and the video playback is 'super smooth, and the clarity is fantastic'. Checkout now!http://pocketnow.com/index.php?a=portal_detail&t=reviews&id=1111&p=1

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 06:59

35. (unregistered)

or it could be bribery...

posted on 19 Nov 2008, 23:49

29. Maxence (unregistered)

Hey guys, Some buddies said the video quality could be dramatically improved by turning on the option "Raw Frame Buffer" in Core Player. Can you please confirm that ??? Thx

posted on 24 Nov 2008, 12:05

32. Big Daddy (unregistered)

Its not a comment rather a question... Iam asking all experts opinion which is much better to buy HTC HD or Samsung Omnia?

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 06:00

33. (unregistered)

I'm thinking the Omnia will end up better. For all the questions about divx, i read omnia will support it along with other formats. But yeah after a long wait I gave up on the Iphone and am now debating between this Htc HD and the Omnia.

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 06:16

34. (unregistered)

I dont really understand why everyone is talking about the HD not playing videos well. I installed coreplayer and i can play all my favorite shows, i watch them in the train all the time, without any chopyness. I just put the standard DIVX dvd rips on it, which have a reso of something like 620x380. Everything works perfectly! and it uses very little battery while watching a movie, very nice.

posted on 10 Dec 2008, 15:40

43. (unregistered)

Hi Can you post an example to prove there is no choppyness on Xvis /Divx playback....please.... Thanks

posted on 27 Nov 2008, 01:37

36. crewmeal (unregistered)

I currently have a Nokia N95 8gb and am considering buying an HTC touch HD. Is the quality of the video playback better than on the Nokia as this is important factor when buying a phone? Can you actually download a video player to compensate for the one that's already on the HD?

posted on 30 Nov 2008, 02:37

37. Vic (unregistered)

Works great with mobile Divx.

posted on 01 Dec 2008, 00:04

39. crewmeal (unregistered)

Thanks Vic - much appreciated

posted on 05 Dec 2008, 14:06

40. (unregistered)

I'm having a hard time understanding why iphone 3g gets an 8, G1 gets an 8.5, LG dare get's a 9, and this phone only gets an 8.5. Not to say those other phone are bad but c'mon. And to say it doesn't play video well while other sites clearly show, it plays video very well says too much about the integrity of this review. But you didn't stop there. This phone has been shown to out-perform all of those other phones I've mentioned from video, internet, camera and a bunch of other things... but yet all those great things are mentioned as being just mediocre here. While the Dare get 10 for camera res and quality, this phone get an 8 for res and a 3 for quality dispite the fact that the HD pics are clearly bigger and clearer. Even the iphone gets an 8 for cam quality... WTF? What's the pay-off for this bias whack review?

posted on 05 Dec 2008, 14:58

41. (unregistered)

AND dispite having a 5 mp camera like the OMNIA, the OMNIA get a 10 rating for resolution and the HD get 8.

posted on 12 Dec 2008, 16:05

44. Azriel (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

It amazes me how much this review completely disagrees with the 10 or so other full reviews of the HTC Touch HD I've read. The PocketNow review even goes as far as saying "Video playback is super smooth, and the clarity is fantastic. ... The clarity of the video is breathtaking. ... This is where the Touch HD really excels as a multimedia device..." Soon a custom version of CorePlayer will be released for the Touch HD to take full advantage of the hardware acceleration. Anyway I signed up to this website just to point out that I think this review is a load of bull.

posted on 01 Mar 2009, 04:55

48. Suatae (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Mar 2009)

I agree, this is the only review that I have seen, in the past few months, that has such a negative review on the HD's performance and quality.

posted on 05 Mar 2009, 09:01

49. cheapcellphones (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Mar 2009)

nice phone.http://www.iccellphone.com

posted on 12 Dec 2010, 07:34

52. Sven (Posts: 10; Member since: 19 Feb 2009)

i have an HTC HD for few months now and i can confirm that it's totally the opposite of the phone you're talking about here in this review, i'm using wm 6.5.3 with sense 2.5, it's really smooth and velocity is great. ah yeah, the video playback is awesome, never seen this before on such a mobile phone!!!!!!!!

posted on 30 Dec 2010, 04:32

53. HR Webinars (unregistered)

Thanks for providing such useful information. I really appreciate your professional approach. I would like to thank you for the efforts you made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

HTC Touch HD

HTC Touch HD

OS: Windows Mobile Professional 6.1
view full specs
Display3.8 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (246 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Qualcomm MSM7201A, Single core, 528 MHz
0.28125 GB RAM
Size4.53 x 2.47 x 0.47 inches
(115 x 62.8 x 12 mm)
5.16 oz  (146 g)
Battery1350 mAh, 5.16 hours talk time

Latest stories