HTC HD2 Review
Let´s go back in time. Imagine, it´s 2008 and the undisputed leader on the Windows Mobile smartphone market, HTC, is preparing the launch of their most technologically advanced model to date, the HTC Touch HD. The cell phone manages to impress customers with its huge 3.8-inch resistive screen, but doomed to fail to deliver the necessary multimedia experience due to the lack of support for various formats and codecs...
It´s now a year later and HTC is about to make their newest attempt at changing our view of Windows Mobile with the upcoming release of the HTC HD2. The new cell phone titan once again relies on brute force, although this time carries everything to excess, being equipped with a gigantic 4.3-inch capacitive screen, 1GHz processor and 448MB RAM. As a backup for its muscles, however, the HD2 comes with an improved version of the TouchFLO 3D interface that borrowed the name of its Android sibling – Sense. Now, let´s take a closer look at the ambitious newcomer and see if it’s destined to emerge victorious from the sea of Windows phones we´ve been drowning in lately or will remain one of the many nice smartphones, just like its predecessor.
Appearance is definitely not one of the strengths of the HTC HD2. It´s rather rectangular, but quite thin and the only raised part is the 5-megapixel camera on its back. With its huge screen and slim profile, the HD2 reminds us of the 4.1-inch Toshiba TG01. Unlike with the latter however, HTC has fallen over backwards to slash on the unused, free space surrounding the display and the handset has a reasonable overall dimensions. Despite that, the 4.3-inch screen that´s by the way the largest on a cell phone ever, can´t be used with just one hand. We can live with that, especially when we take into account the good image quality, partly due to the resolution of 480x800 pixels. Fortunately, the display remains totally useable in direct sunlight.
You can compare the HTC HD2 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
We aren’t quite finished with the screen yet. Due to its enormous size, even the tiniest interface elements appear now large enough to press with your finger. Thanks to this, the HTC HD2 is proud to be the first Windows Mobile smartphone equipped with a capacitive screen that delivers quality of interactivity with the operating system that´s unseen before. For all diehard conservatives we can say that using TouchFLO 3D on such a screen cannot compare to the experience delivered by even the best resistive displays. And the icing on the cake is HD2 supports multitouch.
All physical buttons of the HD2 are distinctly felt when pressed and we don´t expect anything less of a cream of the crop, high-end smartphone. The build quality is proper and the phone feels tightly assembled and reliable, although you will be better off not testing the sturdiness of that 4.3-inch screen.
We are pleasantly surprised by the presence of microUSB port. HTC has clung to the miniUSB standard for far too long, but we can see they have finally decided to integrate the younger technology. Aside from it, the phone is equipped with the mandatory for a device like this 3.5mm headphone jack and microSD card slot, located under the metal battery cover.
The HTC HD2 doesn´t stand out with brave, innovative designer solutions. Still, we consider its design a definite success, because the manufacturer has managed to fit the largest screen possible to the best of their abilities. The first stage of the mission seems successfully accomplished, now let’s take a look at the refreshed interface.