Windows Mobile doesn’t support capacitive touchscreens, the better-looking, easier-to-use kind of screen used on the iPhone, for instance. But HTC has rewritten core Windows Mobile applications to make it work, and the result is a big-screened, multimedia phone with a cool HTC overlay that makes Windows Mobile its most usable yet.
What we like
It’s very nippy. The speedy processor means that the touchscreen is very responsive, whether you’re typing a text using the HTC virtual keyboard (with its excellent predictive text features) or surfing the internet. Video plays back well and looks great on this huge (4.3-inch) display.
HTC’s Sense overlay is eye-catching and enjoyable, from the windscreen wipers which tell you it’s raining outside to the easily configurable homescreen. It’s easy to put an application shortcut on the homepage, for instance, which turns the phone into a wireless hotspot so you can tether your computer to it.
There’s a touch-sensitive carousel of programs like contacts, calendar and Twitter accessible at the bottom of the screen. Viewing photos is neat – turn the phone and the photos reformat to fill the screen but each snap moves independently in a very cool way.
Plus, if you must, there’s Windows Mobile lurking underneath with its new wonders like Microsoft My Phone to synchronise your contacts, calendar and more with a remote server so you’ve always backed up. It’s a big handset, but very slim and sleek – it feels good in the hand.
What we don’t like
It doesn’t feel quite so good next to your face – it’s noticeably bigger than most phones and you may feel slightly self-conscious holding it up to your head. HTC has exceptionally good taste, so most of the other failings are down to Windows Mobile and its foibles. This latest version, 6.5 and called Windows Phone to make it sound more friendly, is a quantum leap forward but it still doesn’t solve all the problems.
When you use the Windows programs the phone seems to slow down, or perhaps it doesn’t like Windows Mobile any more than the rest of us. You only have to compare the humdrum Windows Outlook calendar with the stylish HTC one on board here to see that Microsoft has a long way to go still.
This is a very stylish and successful handset with lots to recommend it, even if you’re not a fan of Windows Mobile. The screen looks great and the hardware is very neatly designed – if you don’t mind holding such a large piece of metal to your ear.
HTC HD2 User Reviews
"i like this phone.....i hve this phone i used it camera is amaging"
"Had this phone for 6 months. Problems: Software keeps freezing, battery lasts maybe a day, keypad very difficult to use for a man with normal sized fingers, drops calls, difficult to impossible to transfer data from another phone, such as names contacts, hypersensitive touch phone, so numerous mistakes when trying to use it, annoying. Some nice touches with the HTC, but it has to work as a phone first and foremost, which it struggles to do professionally. If the software is bad, then the phone is pretty useless apart from being a paperweight. Camera very good. HTC need to resolve issues with the HD2, then it may be OK, until then it is frustrating and sometimes useless."
"Happy owner of an HD2 for more than 6 months (untill a few days ago - stollen with my handbag). Sense UI hides almost all the unfriendly aspects od Windows - excellent work by HTC. Good reception GSM, 3G and WiFi. Sounds very nice when used as MP3 player (particularly if you combine it with good earphones). Bluetooth OK, Good photos. Amazing touchscreen. Excelent for Internet access. Improvements: some occasional glitches requiring reboot, SMS a bit uncertain (possibly solved with the last patch of HTC). Tendency to activate data connection automatically (increasing your phone bill)"
"htc has been coming out with some really great unlocked phones recently. i just picked up this hd2 from gsmauthority.com. i’m really impressed with it. the snapdragon qualcomn processor is great for smartphones. the touch screen is extremely responsive and i like the size of the screen as well!"
"I\'ve had mine since March and can wholeheartedly reccommend this phone. The only drawback initially was the high gloss screen which needed to be cleaned constantly and did not perform too well in daylight but once fitted with an anti-reflective matt screen cover, problem solved. The reception is excellent and no problems hearing the caller all the features work as they should and the flexibility of being able to change battery when the power gets low or changing memory card to increase video/photography capacity knock an apple of any type into a cocked hat and the fact that it tethers to my laptop giving mobile reception (through vodaphone) is another plus. The standard apps are very good and I love the footprints feature which allows you to take a picture which is gps coded plus allows you to navigate back to the location at the touch because it integrates with Co-pilot. I have used the camera it produces acceptable pictures that are ok for computer screens and is highly configurable but serious photographers need a dedicated piece of kit. Basically this phones AWSOME and knocks spots off any apple as its cheaper (free with vodaphone) and far more versatile"
"Having read so many positive reviews about this phone I feel I must be the only person very disappointed with it. The main problem for me is the very poor bluetooth performance which makes it practically unuseable handsfree. Poor acoustic performance with the person at the other end barely able to hear me. The audio doesn't alway got through to the headset. My first HD2 was so bad I thought there must be something wrong with it but the second is just the same. You are probably thinking that it's not the phone but the equipment I'm pairing with but I've used this equipment for about 2 years with a Nokia 6300 and it works perfectly. The only difference is the phone. There are numerous other annoyances with the phone. Poorly calibrated touch screen (much too easy to do something significant accidentally). Answerphone icon doesn't always dissappear when no voicemail messages, phone doesn't always ring with incoming call, alarm only sounds for a few seconds and the list goes on. The phone is unpredictable and fiddly to use. I would describe this phone as all icing and no cake. Comments from other users regarding bluetooth performance would be welcome."
"stunning in every area,except outside i the bright light. i have read many times,that there phone locks up. i would suggest that they are over loading the phone with to many commands and to quickly. remember its a phone... not a pc. mine has never done this,but it will slow down when a lot of tasks have just been done. here is my solution. i regularly defrag my pc, and keep tasks to a minimum when working. its the same for this phone. there is a task ikon in the ikon department, move it to the desktop. now, check your task ikon every few tasks and you will find it getting longer in the list. now if you have more than a couple of items press end task. you should have a quicker phone now. keep doing this all the time, and it will become a habbit, hope this works for some of you out there."
"I am disappointed. It locks up alot when I answer a call. Miss lots of call because the in vibrate mode I can't even feel it vibrate in my pocket. If you touch volume control it shifts it back to ring mode without much warning, constantly checking that ring or vibrate mode.Yesterday I had to remove the battery to get it to stop freaking out constantly staying on the ringer volume page and no other buttons responded. When contract is up switching to Driod operating system. Love the screen, not many apps available. Would not buy again."
"MAN THIS IS PROBABLY THE BEST WM PHONE I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. BUT THE THING ITS LACKS IS ITS UPGRADE THINGY. THAT IS BECAUSE OF HARDWARE FEATURES. I GUESS HTC DID'NT KNEW ABOUT THAT TOO MANY BUTTONS COULD IN THE END BE A PAIN FOR A USER. TOO BAD NO WINDOWS 7 UPGRADE FEATURE WILL BE ON THIS PHONE. BUT STILL ITS SCREEN IS PRETTY RESPONSIVE. I STILL THINK THAT THE BUGS NEED TO BE FIXED. IN THE END I WOULD SAYS 3 CHEERS FOR THE HTC TEAM FOR MAKING SUCH A GREAT PHONE. THANK UUUU SO MUCH IT FULFILS MY NEEDS AND WAS WAITING OR THIS BABY FOR SUCH A LONG TIME. I AM WITH IT AND ENJOYING IT SO MUCH! LOVE U HTC HD2 :-)"
"HD2 we cannot say that their is many problam in it but their are,it is fast and it has very big screen so you engoy this phone, i think this phone make HTC feel serious with the other phones ,the camera is very nice with dual flash, the delivery is poor,it turn off some time, the bluetooth isnot very good with the ths delivery make you feel bad about that if you want to buy this phone you must looking for this phone every wher ,in my idea i dont feel good about"
"am a longtime WM user, and was lkg fwd to getting this, but is a disappointment. Sense is (mostly) excellent, but the thing freezes (every few days). Research suggsets a ROM issue that is prolly fixable, but having just forked out $$$ for a problem out of the box is very poor form."
"I had tried all brands of WinMo phones and I would rate HTC HD2 the BEST AS ON TODAY (Jan2010) Bigger brighter screen. Faster processor & surfing an excellent experience. The screen sensitivity is amazing. The material used in construction look very sturdy (including glass, plastic, and metal). Excellent picture and video quality. Amazing zoom features on photos, pdf docs etc. The office applications are made highly user friendly. (excel, word etc)..dA amazing design HTC keep it up. I would recommend this to any one... Unfortunately lacks a default "Scientific Calculator" .....G.Jayasankar Pillai +65 96445310 Singapore."
"i got mine yesterday and so far i have been blown away for the first time would i consider having a windows mobile phone, but really it is all down to HTC Sense being on the top - this is much better: unfortunaly WM is weird and hidden in the background - if you are not afraid to tinker with features head over to xda-developers forum and enjoy the device - fingers crossed someone will bring android to it! screen - brilliant typing - brilliant camera - fixed & much better sound / vide - brilliant cons: battery - very low, got about 8 hours but bear in mind i was internetting all morning so not bad; opera cant make its mind up on whether to show you mobile site or desktop sites"
"With a gigantic capacitive screen, a 1ghz processor, and HTC Sense; the HTC HD2 takes everything we know about Windows Mobile phones, and throws it out of the window. A good looking, easy to use interface that is fast and responsive lays atop of all the features we expect from a WinMob device, whilst also adding a keyboard that is actually useable, and social network integration"