The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
This is my current phone and my feelings towards it is very much mixed. I hope this may be of some help to those who are considering buying this phone.
I've purchased this phone in March 2010, which is around 5 months after it's release in November 2009.
At that time I had Nokia N97 (which was 'ok') and from touching HD2 for the first time from a friend, I was mesmorised by the touch-interface, the screen size and the response (the dull touch experience of N97's resistive touch screen was no match for HD2's capacitative).
I've always liked my OS (operating system) to have some sort of eye-candy features; which N97 severely lacks, or any other Symbian based phones. This may sound silly and not entirely practical, but that's just how I like my phones to be - as I get bored of them very quickly.
So I spent 300 GBP for this phone, which was a good price at the time, and I started to use this Windows 6.5 phone. What I would like to note about Windows phone; terrible speed, responsiveness, ugly UI, complicated OS and not at all user-friendly. I've had HTC Diamond, Sony Xperia X1 and I was very disappointed with the OS every time (though with Xperia X1, there were pretty animations to keep you going but the phone itself was a terrible let down).
Now, HTC HD2 packs 1GHz Snapdragon (if I recall correctly) processor, and blimey, it did the trick (or so I thought first). Tabs moved seemlessly, applications opened in a blink and the capacitative touch screen was just fantastic! Wonderful! Brilliantly pleasant! How else could I put it!
So I fell in love with this phone; initially with the size of the screen, which is 4.3 inches (I remember this as this was the phone with the biggest screen) which I, comparing with a PSP, found out they shared the same size screen! Quite astonishing I must say, to own a phone with the same screen size as a games console! It is high resolution (800x480 I think), and to those who don't really know what this means, let's just say you won't be able to see the pixels - the pictures are viewed crisp, and brilliantly.
HTC Sense: Van Gogh paints the overlay. Windows 6.5 is a dull, ugly and conservative OS - there's nothing fun about it. Now HTC engineers cleverly employed Vincent to mask all the ugliness - and now Windows OS has become something of a masterpiece. HTC Sense is a intuitive user-interface, that's been overlayed on Windows OS, to make it more user-friendly. There are large panels for thumbs/fingers to press, simple designs, diagrams and pictures that organised the whole phone to be great. You'll see the home screen, with massive retro-style clock, with weather animations flowing marvellously and beneath it are few pictures that can be pressed to open up an application. The weather animations are just stunning - whether the current location you're in is pouring down, sunny, snowing, windy, the animations will sweep across the screen to alert you and make you feel like you own a very interactive intelligent device. I loved it.
Less of my too personal opinions: more about the phone; Camera is an important factor which many look for in a phone nowadays. 5 mega-pixels, produces attractive, crisp images and video-recording is of high quality, though unfortunately not of 720p HD recording. Some have wondered if some software was able to enable HD-recording but this is yet to be established. I was very content with the camera performance and you won't be disappointed (and talking about disappointment, I've been very disappointed in the past about cameraphones).
Music player is decent and so is the videoplayer. The good thing about having a Windows phone is that there are a number of applications which you can freely download and install on your phone - such as the DivX player, which will play most of your favourite movies. The big size of the screen will be a major plus when watching films or music videos.
You must have the internet-enabled sim card, because without the ability to browse internet/watch YouTube videos, this phone is a bit of a pointless device for you. Big screen is great for mails, texts, reading the news, watching the most viewed YouTube video, and aha! for navigation. Always, and by always, I mean without doubt, phones need assists from the net, with its integrated GPS module, for more accurate and pin-point navigation via Copilot (not free) or Google Maps (yey, free!). I've used Google maps for navigation few times, and it's brilliant - the big screen really does its good here.
Now that's about all I have to say about the phone out of the box. After a while, people get bored, even a phone with this calibre - 1GHz processor, Windows 6.5 OS, 5MP camera, 4.3 screen, videos, music, mail-integration, built in facebook tabs, tweeter tab, sat nav, etc etc, the list goes on, but this just isn't enough, and I started to see little flaws - the phone is still Windows.
Now, this is a big problem for me, as certain things - like phone crashing, and getting slower with use and with filling up with microSD card (oh yes, you can expand the memory with external memory card), battery life becoming worse and worse, and the fun of touch-interface starts to wear off - capacitative yet not capable enough to beat the iPhone - and I'm not even saying iPhone 4 - can't beat any of the iPhones.
This is where the fun begins, and also, where most of us have given up and bought a Blackberry or an iPhone - 3rd party applications and modifications. The World of mods is unlimited for this phone - new Roms (now this is an image, which you can install on your phone, which has certain parts of the OS modified by the developer to make the system run smoother etc) which can change the look of the phone entirely (I mean, different colour, different pictures, icons etc) but of course, the essence of the OS remain - still a Windows phone. These Roms will provide a smoother and more refined user-interface than what you get from HD2 straight out of the box. Now, comes what's even more exciting - Android. Now, I shall mention this briefly, but developers had been cleverly ported Android OS to HD2, and this is a major thing because HTC makes different phones and their hardware based on the OS they're going to imprint on the phone. HTC HD2 with Android, will be the equivalent of HTC Desire HD (or even HTC Desire, though it has a smaller screen). It's basically the same phone but with different OS. Android is by far, the better OS, than Windows, in terms of usability, function and hardware-OS integration.
It's very difficult at the moment to recommend this phone - there are many alternatives out there now which I personally would prefer having and will recommend. The phone has a great potential, and to me, it is a pity that it is on Windows (though this is a foolish remark, as like I said, there is Desire HD, which is HD2 on Android) and even with such advanced hardware, Windows have ruined the experience. If you really want a smartphone to do smart things correctly at all times, then Windows 6.5 isn't for you. If you want a giant of a multimedia phone, which is smart and will do its tasks 6/10 times, then go for it (and if you have the cash).
Oh, and in terms of phone build; glass-screen is surrounded by rubber-plastic soft edges which is great and will withstand shocks, and won't easily be scuffed (unless you drop it on asphalt), though it gets quite annoying as dust can accumulate in between the rubber and screen. Oh and yes, also watch out for the battery life. The big screen really will drain its small battery - so much for a big screen huh?