Thursday, October 8, 2009

HTC HD2 i know you want it!

they reviewed..

Mike Gartenberg:
What does this all mean? Well, despite apologies from Microsoft’s executives, there’s a lot of viability in this platform. Features ranging from Exchange integration to media support and services can appeal to both business users and consumers. That’s important in an age where users have needs in both of those worlds and want to move seamlessly between them, especially when they’re mobile. Second. It’s not about Windows Mobile 7 or whatever Microsoft decides to call the next version of their mobile OS platform. It’s about what vendors are capable of doing with the current OS to create powerful and relevant phones for today’s market. Bottom line? If you’re dismissive of Windows Phones and Windows Mobile 6.5, you’re not looking at the whole picture, and you’re certainly not looking at the HD2.

We were frankly blown away with how slick this phone is. Mind you, WM 6.5 still shows its not-so-fresh colors here and there, but the general experience of using the device is handled mainly through the Sense interface, and it blows the hinges off of any other Windows phone experience we’ve had. Ever. From the lag-free gestures which get you around the device, to image pinching and zooming with that aforementioned multitouch, the hesitation-free jumps in and out of applications, and typing on the sprawling, HTC-ified onscreen keyboard, using the HD2 is a joy. There’s no getting around the fact that the phone is still very much anchored to Windows Mobile, but what HTC has done here is nothing short of a revelation. Why Robbie Bach didn’t bring this up on stage today at Microsoft’s open house event is anyone’s guess — though we have to imagine that when your OS is this heavily gutted (HTC has even completely removed stock apps like calendar and contacts and replaced them with its own versions, and the company had to hand-roll the capacitive / multitouch interfacing), it might not be the best example of what you’ve done.


A bigger display means that the on-screen QWERTY can be larger, and in fact the keys are significantly bigger than any portrait-orientation hardware keyboard smartphone we’ve played with. The same clever auto-correction has been implemented, and – though our typing experience was brief – we found it to be very straightforward to use. Full-screen browsing, using Opera Mobile (since Internet Explorer Mobile doesn’t support multitouch), is a slick revelation, with the speedy Snapdragon processor making for rapid zooming – whether by double-tap or multitouch pinch-zoom – and instantaneous text resizing and reflowing. There’s no pause or delay to wait for jagged images to be rescaled, or half-chopped paragraphs to shuffle onto the screen. The capacitive touchscreen itself is swift and smooth, and has instantly left resistive Windows Phones in the shade.

The first thing you notice is the enormous 4.3-inch screen, which sits in a slender handset barely bigger than the model it replaces. It makes the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen look rather measly in comparison, and while it doesn’t match Apple’s uncompromising design aesthetic, it is a handsome phone. The old HD was good-looking in a workmanlike kind of way, but its younger brother has a sharper suit and a better haircut.

It’s also nimbler, faster and more responsive. Instead of the old model’s pressure-sensitive resistive touchscreen, which required a firm tap of the fingernail (or a prod of the stylus), the new phone comes with a sensitive capacitive screen, which responds to a gentle sweep of the finger – and to the multi-touch zoom gestures that Apple made famous. It’s joyfully smooth and fast too, thanks to its 1GHz Snapdragon processor.

official promo video magazine says:

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