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Before purchasing this phone I had the Samsung Tocco, although I really liked the Tocco I had grown tired of it as I do with most phones after having them around 6 months! I went into a few phone shops & at first I was considering getting either the Samsung Omnia, the LG Renoir or the iPhone 3G. I asked about these phones in quite a few shops & I was recommended not to get them, instead I was recommended the HTC Touch HD phone.
To begin with I was sceptical as I mainly go for brands that I know which would be Samsung, I?ve had many Samsungs before & have been extremely pleased with them. I had heard of HTC before but wasn?t overly familiar with them, the only HTC phone I had seen was the Diamond which I must admit I didn?t & still don?t like at all.
However I thought I?ve got nothing to lose in looking so they got the phone out & showed me, I was extremely impressed straight away just by the look of it, it was a lot nicer than so many other touch screens I?d seen before including the iPhone. I told them that I was interested in the iPhone & one of the shops sold it however they told me of it?s many faults & all the shops I went to told me the same thing, they also told me that the HTC Touch HD phone is by far the best phone on the market & I wouldn?t find anything better out there. Five shops telling me exactly the same thing couldn?t be wrong could they?
Turns out they weren?t! After having a play on the iPhone, to my surprise I was actually quite disappointed, after all the hype I was expecting something that would take my breath away. Yes I suppose I did have high expectations, probably too high but even with my high expectations I was extremely disappointed. So many people had raved about how amazing this phone was & I seemed like the only person who didn?t like it? apart from the phone salesmen obviously & maybe I?m a bit naïve but I do trust them more than I would trust one of my mates when it comes to phone choices. I did think that because the HTC is so much more expensive than the iPhone that maybe they just want to steer me into parting with more money? but no, sim free there?s a big difference in price, the HTC is about £200 more expensive than the iPhone but on contract I could get the same amount of minutes & texts for the same price. 600 minutes & unlimited texts for £30 a month, that?s not bad is it?
The man in the shop handed over the HTC phone to me so I could get a proper feel for it & I was immediately hooked & impressed. It was actually all men in the shop & the shop was pretty empty so all the men were in a discussion together about how much they love the phone, two of the men actually owned the phone so I don?t think they were just acting!
The first thing that hooked me with this phone is the pen for the touch screen? yes I know what you?re thinking, loads of phones have PDA pens but the thing about this one is that you store it in the phone. It has a little slot on the bottom right of the phone where the pen?s stored. It?s magnetic & when you slide the pen in it immediately attaches to the phone. Maybe I?m easily amused but I was mesmerized by it! On all other phones I?ve seen that come with pens you have to carry them around & as they?re so small they can be easily lost, which means you either risk it & take the pen out with you & very likely lose it or you don?t take it & get finger prints all over the screen, either way you lose! My friend has a pen for her phone & after using hers I found that her touch screen isn?t very responsive at all but this was different, the touch screen was extremely responsive both with the pen & with fingers. At one point the phone had a hard case on it & even then the touch screen was immediately responsive to the slightest touches which I found fantastic & I definitely wasn?t expecting it.
One thing that made me a little reserved about purchasing this phone was the camera, it has 5 mega pixels. Yes this obviously is good for a phone but other phones now like the LG Renoir & the Samsung Pixon have 8 mega pixel cameras & the Tocco that I had had a 5 mega pixel camera & to be honest I wasn?t overly impressed with it. However the HTC was different, I had a quick look at the camera & took a few pictures & WOW, it?s crystal clear. The salesman also showed me the camera on the Samsung Pixon with the 8 mega pixels & you really can?t tell the difference, if anything I was actually more impressed with the HTC camera even though it had 3 mega pixels less. It was so clear, as clear as any camera I?ve ever had. The only thing is that the salesman didn?t mention was that the camera has no flash, something which if mentioned to me in the shop wouldn?t have bothered me but I was more bothered by the fact that it wasn?t mentioned to me before purchasing it. Ultimately this actually didn?t bother me though, if I want to take pictures in the dark I?ve got a proper digital camera for that which I carry around with me a lot so it makes no difference to me although if you?re a person who doesn?t own a good digital camera with a flash then I?d think carefully before buying this as you could be disappointed when taking pictures in the dark. The second camera, located at the front of the phone is for video calling & is only VGA quality however I feel this is enough for video calling as I don?t know anyone that uses the video calling feature that much anyway, I certainly don?t however I do find it a nice feature to have.
This phone uses Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. I?ve heard lots of negative things about this service, when I was looking into buying the Samsung Omnia I was told to avoid it & the main reason was the Windows Mobile accessory that it includes. I must admit I was worried about this however one of the great things about my contract was that I had a 7 day cooling off period where if I brought back the phone within 7 days of the purchase I could cancel my contract with no charge, this made me feel at ease so I went ahead & brought it & within 10 minutes of getting it home & out the box I knew that I had no intention of taking it back to the shop. All my reservations about the Windows Mobile service disappeared as soon as I accessed the internet. The internet on this phone is simply phenomenal, I?ve got friends who own the iPhone & the iPhone?s internet capabilities do not even compare to that of the HDC Touch HD phone. As soon as you open up the internet from the phones menu it loads up within seconds & you can set your own homepage, mines google! The browser is just like any Windows browser, if you?ve got a Mac computer then you may not be too familiar with it but it?s easy to get used to. The internet is extremely fast, all the pages load within seconds & the great thing about the contract I took out is that I have unlimited internet usage, something which I was very keen on having.
This phone also has a youtube link which is separate to the internet icon. I?m aware that the iPhone has the same feature but I?m not familiar with the iPhone?s version but what I do know is that the HTC?s version is absolutely brilliant. Youtube loads within seconds & upon loading, the screen changes so you can view youtube in a landscape view where the phone is on it?s side instead of the usual portrait viewing feature. This is very good as it allows you to view a clearer picture. Upon loading youtube you can then search for any video you wish to view or log into your account, you basically just use it as if you were at your laptop or computer & it?s just as fast.
The memory on this phone is brilliant, it comes with an 8GB memory card which is around 4000 songs. You can also add, if necessary a 32GB memory card, this would only be for people who store hundreds of songs, pictures, videos & films though. I have an iPod so I don?t really use the memory card for songs. I think it?s great for picture storage as I take a lot of pictures. It?s also brilliant for video storage, you can store up to around 80 music videos in HD quality & you can store about 5-10 full length films which is simply fantastic & again these will be in HD. The quality of the picture is amazing, I was extremely surprised. This is the first HD phone (for any of you that don?t know, HD means high definition) so I was expecting there to be a few faults as usually the first model always needs tweaking, however I have absolutely no faults with this phone whatsoever.
Another great feature that comes with this phone is the handwriting recognition on text messages. I know a few other phones use this application so it?s nothing new or groundbreaking but I had never used it before & I was surprised at how accurate it was. You will really need the pen to do this though as it?s extremely difficult using your finger! It took me a while to get used to texting on this phone (by a while I mean an hour or two!) however this was true with my last touch screen phone. When you get the hang of you it you will find that texting is extremely simple & you may even be able to text quicker on the touch screen than on a normal keypad on a mobile phone.
The sound quality is excellent. If you?re still reading this then I image you?re quite bored as I keep stressing about how brilliant everything on this phone is! Believe me if there were faults I would say but I honestly can?t find any! Making a phone call is simple, scrolling down the list is quick & easy & of course you can just input the first letter of the person?s name if you prefer. The sound is very crisp & clear, this was one of the faults on my Samsung Tocco & something I wasn?t prepared to put up with again so I was relieved on making my first phone call to discover that the problem doesn?t exist on this phone.
The screen size is very impressive, it?s 3.8 inches wide. Some people have said that it?s a bit too big but in my opinion I wouldn?t mind even if it was a bit bigger. The quality of the films & videos on this phone is so good that you require a large screen to take it all in.
The talk time is up to 480 minutes which is brilliant however I have found that the battery does recede pretty quickly, with so many features that?s to be expected though. The battery life is apparently 18 days however if you use a lot of the features & spend quite a lot of time texting & on the phone then you?re probably looking at 3-4 days maximum, but like I said, with a phone with so many features this is pretty good & the same as what I would get with my Tocco which had less features.
The Bluetooth on the phone is great & extremely simple to connect to a headset or another phone, it only takes a couple of seconds to connect & then you?re away!
One of the main reasons that I was so interested in this phone was the GPS application, it?s so simple to use. You simply input an address or a postcode & it will show you on the map exactly where to go, it also gives you spoken instructions which is great if you?re driving. When I was looking up accessories for this phone on the internet I actually saw a windscreen mount where you can place the phone sideways to use as a Sat Nav, granted it will be a bit smaller than an actual Sat Nav but when you?re driving all you need is the spoken instructions isn?t it?
Before buying this I looked this phone up on the internet & if you?re planning on buying it sim-free as it?s not out on pay-as-you-go as of yet, my only advice would be? don?t! You?ll be looking at paying around £530 for the sim-free version which is awful. I do love this phone & don?t regret getting it in any way but I would never pay that much for a phone, I?m so glad I got it on contract. I pay £30 a month & that?s for an 18 month contract. You get 600 minutes, unlimited texts & unlimited internet usage which I think is fantastic & you definitely shouldn?t buy this phone without the internet package. This phone is exclusive to Orange however you can unlock it. I was sceptical about going back onto Orange as I?ve had a few problems with them in the past & was perfectly happy with my 02 contract but I couldn?t resist when I saw this phone.
I?ve also looked on the internet for cases & I?ve seen numerous cases on play.com for as little as £3.99 although for a decent one I?d recommend you pay about £10-£15 to make sure your phone is completely protected.
In the box you will have; HTC Touch HD Smart Phone Genuine HTC Touch HD Battery Genuine HTC Mains Charger USB Data Cable Genuine HTC Stereo Headset Software CD-ROM User guide
Overall I would recommend this phone to anyone, however by anyone I mean anyone that will use it to it?s full potential as there?s no point in buying this if all you want is simply a phone to receive phone calls & receive texts. This is a real executive phone & although I?m no executive I?m completely smitten with it & have no regrets at all about buying it. This isn?t as well known a brand as say Nokia or Samsung however don?t let scepticism about popularity hold you back, I feel this phone in the up-coming months will become very popular, especially when the price reduces. The iPhone should be very worried!