Review: HTC HD2 - Time to smash Windows!

HD2_UI_1002.jpgDavey Winder writes for Inspect-a-Gadget.

Ever since I spent a fortune on a Nokia Communicator back in 1996 my wallet has been on a hiding to nothing as far as my smartphone habit is concerned. Which is why I jumped at the chance to try the HTC HD2 for a couple of weeks courtesy of a Vodafone loaner.

I wouldn’t normally touch a Windows Mobile powered device with a barge pole these days, even if Microsoft calls it Windows Phone. But this is no ordinary device; not only has the resistive touchscreen and stylus combo been replaced by a capacitive screen, but ‘Windows Phone’ has been buried underneath the truly beautiful to look at HTC Sense interface.

Windows Phone is still there, you just don’t have to dirty your hands with it unless you really want to. So it’s goodbye naff PDA-style menus and checkboxes for the most part.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a consumer only device though, it’s a Windows-powered handset and that means business users can synchronise with MS Exchange, and MS Outlook and it comes complete with mobile Office apps such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

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Line up an Apple iPhone 3GS, a BlackBerry Storm 2 and the HD2 and the sheer size of the HD2 strikes you immediately. It’s a huge slab (120.5 x 67 x 11mm, and 157g) that feels way to big to be comfortable in my small girly hands. Which is a shame, because that size delivers the most gorgeous screen.
It’s big (a whopping 4.3″ across) and beautiful (a very bright 400×800 WVGA resolution) and the Sense interface exploits it perfectly.

I dare you not to be impressed when the home screen fires up for the first time and you see the clock and weather widget displaying the time with an animation of your current weather conditions. I actually gasped like a sad old geek when the clouds started producing rain!


I dare you not to be impressed with the tech spec, for that matter. A 1GHz Snapdragon chipset with 448MB of RAM delivers the punch that a phone needs to be called smart.

Web browsing and application loading benefit impressively from the powerful guts of the HD2. Battery life suffers a tad, but at around 5 hours talk time it’s par for the course in the world of smartphones these days.

Adding to the strain is GPS, a digital compass (which requires endless figure of eight arm thrashing to set, making you look like Dr Magnus Pyke on drugs) Bluetooth and WiFi (which can be used as a mobile router, but be warned the encryption is of the rather insecure WEP variety).

Oh, and a FM radio tuner and 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash and VGA video shooting capability.


If you need a Windows Mobile device for your business then, truth be told, they don’t come much better than this. However, that doesn’t make it the best smartphone out there. If you can do without the Microsoft connectivity, the iPhone still leads the way and the Android-powered pack is not far behind.

The Sense UI cannot do everything and when a Windows phone rears its ugly head it is, well… ugly. Don’t go near the file browser unless you have to folks!

The HTC Touch HD2 is available for free on a £30 per month tariff from Vodafone.

Specs snapshot

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 OS (upgradable to Windows Mobile 7);
  • 1GHz MSM8250 Snapdragon CPU;
  • Full HSPA with up to 7.2Mbps;
  • 4.3-inch WVGA capacitive mutltitouch display;
  • Integrated FM radio;
  • 5 megapixel autofocus cam with dual LED flash;
  • Bluetooth 2.1;
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

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My name is Lorin and I'm an owner of a 2 months old HTC Touch Pro 2 and I'm thinking of getting the HD2 this week or the beginning of the next week. I'll keep both phones because i like to have a physical keyboard but i want that huge screen and that speedy processor Anyway, i looked on xda and here for solutions to all the issues mentioned in reviews and by users and i found everything except one thing.
me and my kid got the new hd2 and we love them. HUGE screen, hard for texting and it feels kinda weird on my face but we love them! amazing unlocked mobile phones. processor is faster, easier to use, the screen is responsive and for a touch screen the battery life is great. camera is great for family moments and email is great for my business so is surfing the net. got our last couple unlocked phones at and they are perfect. 2 thumbs up
Really the software that embedded in this phone are awesome not only the resistive touchscreen and stylus combo been replaced by a capacitive screen, but also 'Windows Phone' has been buried underneath the truly beautiful to look at HTC Sense interface.I like it so much..