HTC Touch HD Review


YouTube player - HTC Touch HD Review
Let’s not forget that high definition is mostly used for video playback, and we should take a look at the performance of this multifunctional phone. The YouTube player is cool like always but doesn’t offer quality video. Lately, the market has been flooded with models with great video support (including DivX and XviD) and with large screens. Unfortunately, straight out of the box the HD is not one of them. The only clips that plays (MP4 with H.264) have the potential for good quality but are choppy if they are in high resolution (over 640 pixels wide), needed for this screen. To say the least, we were disappointed but never lost hope. We installed Core Player, but nothing changed – we were able to play all types of files but they didn’t run smooth, and the image quality was bad, because of the many artifacts visible.  According to HTC, the cause was Core Player's lack of hardware acceleration. So basically you’ll have to rely solely on the built-in player, which has quite limited functionality. HTC still hasn't responded to our questions regarding the troubles we experienced with the few formats it supports. Any additional information we receive will be posted here.

Video player - HTC Touch HD Review
Video player - HTC Touch HD Review
Video player - HTC Touch HD Review

We wonder if the rest of the applications will help the big guy?

Music player - HTC Touch HD Review
Music player - HTC Touch HD Review
Music player - HTC Touch HD Review
The music player is not modified and is identical to the one seen in the other TouchFLO 3D phones, but we have nothing bad to say – it’s not an iPOD, but is very easy to use and beautiful. Usually, HTC scares the music fans away with the miniUSB headphones but this has been corrected in the Touch HD, which comes with a 3.5mm stereo jack on the top. This will allow the use of better headset and therefore improve the music sound level. Do not expect anything that nice from the speaker – it’s neither loud, nor can produce quality sound.


The phone really comes with a lot of functions but there’s nothing surprising besides the display. Since this is a top-shelf Windows Mobile smartphone, it naturally offers many business features. Usually though, such a phone wouldn’t come with a quality camera. Currently the OMNIA is the leader with its 5-megapixel sensor, good picture quality and a very user-friendly interface. When it was announced, the HD also sounded like a phone with great camera. Unfortunately this did not prove correct during our testing. The interface is minimalistic, and similar to the iPhone’s, with an icon for shooting only. HTC introduces a few extras but they could’ve done a better job with the menu. If at least the pictures were good that wouldn’t have been such a problem but alas, they are not. Even outdoor pictures taken during the day do not have good quality; incorrect exposure, unreal colors and a low detail level are the main issues. Since there’s no flash we won’t even talk about indoor pictures.

HTC Touch HD Review

Camera interface - HTC Touch HD Review
Camera interface - HTC Touch HD Review
Camera interface - HTC Touch HD Review

Outdoor samples - HTC Touch HD Review
Outdoor samples - HTC Touch HD Review
Outdoor samples - HTC Touch HD Review


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53 Comments

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

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!

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.

51. yp198408

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 26, 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/

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?

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.."??

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.

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!

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!!!!!

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.

46. Suatae

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 01, 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.

50. heavybreathing

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 26, 2009

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

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.

12. koko unregistered

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

30. veronica2s unregistered

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

8. unregistered

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

17. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

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

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

9. unregistered

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

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.

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

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

11. unregistered

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

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?

47. Suatae

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 01, 2009

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

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

15. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

Thank you

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

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?

16. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

It doesn't play them at all. If you install Core Player they play, but not well. Check out the review text. Thanks!
Touch HD
  • Display 3.8" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm MSM7201A, Single core, 528 MHz
  • Battery 1350 mAh(6.50h 3G talk time)

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