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We have waited long for this device, but finally it’s here. There were a lot of rumors about the HD2, also known as HTC Leo. Some people believed it would be a (killer) Android device and others told us that it would be the first HTC device with the 1 Gigahertz Snapdragon processor and a capacitive screen. The last party was right.

The HTC HD2 has been released to the public with a Snapdragon processor, a large 4,3″ capacitive touchscreen, lots of ROM and RAM and all this in a 11 mm tick housing. Currently there is no other phone with these impressive specifications and comparing it to an iPhone 3GS only reveals that HTC has done a very good job and beats the iPhone in every single way !

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1.  First impressions

Let’s have a look at this new device and we’ll start as always with a first impression. Designers at HTC must have thought that you’ll never get a second chance for a first impression. So they added some exciting features to the HD2.

First, it is big ! Bigger than a Touch Pro2 and bigger than a normal HD. In fact it is close to the size of the HTC Universal. When thinking of the Universal, you are thinking about a bulky device, but the HD2 is only 11 millimeters thick ! That is only 1 millimeter less than the first HD, but devices tend to get smaller and smaller and the HD2 is a great example of this. With the size of the devices also comes the huge 4,3″ screen. There is only a small edge besides the screen so it looks like the complete front of the device is a screen.

The HD2 also features the new HTC Sense interface with Twitter integration and Footprints. All this runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 and with the help of a 1 Gigahertz Snapdragon processor, this device is a dream to work with ! There is absolutely no lag at all in any menu or when using the Sense interface. It feels snappier than ever !

The device furthermore features a 3,5″ headphone jack and instead of Mini-USB, there is a Micro-USB connector at the bottom of the HD2. On the backside you will find only the lens of the 5 Megapixel camera. Next to the lens there a two very bright LED’s that should give you sharp and well-lit pictures in the dark. All together, HTC did a great job by packing all these features in one device. There’s only one surprise: No stylus ! But you wont need it because of the capacitive screen. Now let’s get a bit more into detail and see what the exact specifications are.

2.  Specifications of HTC HD2

On the HTC HD2 product page you can find a detail overview with specifications, and you directly notice that this Windows Phone is a powerhouse:

CPU Processing Speed: 1 GHz Snapdragon™ processorhtc_hd2_hardware_settings
Memory: ROM: 512 MB, RAM: 448 MB
Display:
4,3″ with Capacitive touch screen and 480 X 800 WVGA resolution
Size:
67×120,5×11 mm
Weight: 157 grams (5.54 ounces) with battery
Expansion slot:
microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
Talk time:
WCDMA: Up to 320 mins,  GSM: Up to 380 mins
Standby time:
WCDMA: Up to 390 hours, GSM: Up to 490 hours
Camera:
5 megapixel color camera with Auto focus and Dual LED flashlight
Battery type:
Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery with 1230 mAh capacity
Connectors:
3.5 mm stereo audio jack and Standard Micro-USB (5-pin micro-USB 2.0)
Sensors:
G-Sensor, Proximity sensor  and Ambient light sensor
Network speeds:

  • 3G Up to 7.2 Mbps download speed and up to 2 Mbps upload speed
  • GPRS: Up to 114 kbps download speed
  • EDGE: Up to 560 kbps download speed
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 B/G

Connectivity (Europe): HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz and GSM: 850/950/1800/1900 MHz
Connectivity (Asia Pacific): HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz and GSM: 850/950/1800/1900 MHz
Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate
Tethering: Internet Sharing through USB or Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Router
Location-based aids: Internal GPS antenna and Digital Compass

Remarkably are the 1GHz Snapdragon processor and the massive 4.3″ WVGA screen.

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3.  What is in the box ?

Although our HTC HD2 arrived in a white (review) box and only contained a charger, a synchronization cable and a headset, the contents of the retail package are the same with the addition of a manual, a warranty card, a quick start guide and a accessory guide.

You are probably also looking for a screen protector because every HTC device you bought in the past had one in the box, but you won’t find any in the box of your HTC HD2. The reason for this is probably that the screen of the HD2 is made of different material than a normal screen and should be unscratchable, just like the screen of the HTC Hero. Only time will tell if this is the correct assumption. A screen protector could also interfere with the capacitive display and your finger. Therefore it might not react as quick and smooth as without a screen protector.

Chris Davies, Editor from SlashGear, has compiled an unboxing video which provides an additional overview of what is in the HTC HD2 box.

4.  Functional hardware design

After the first impressions and an overview of the items which are included in the box it is time to strongly focus on the functional- and hardware design of the powerhouse.

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4.1  Front side of HTC HD2

Of course the first thing everyone will notice is the massive 4.3″ VGA screen, based on capacitive screen technology. The HTC HD2 is, as far as I know, the first Windows Phone which is designed on this capacitive screen technology.

Steve Litchfield, Editor on All About Symbian.com, has written  the article: “Resistive vs Capacitive: the invisible tech war in which both opponents can win?” in which you can find a comparison chart of resistive an capacitive screen technology.

Just above the screen you find a grille behind which you have the front speaker and for example the charging LED. On the left of this grille you find two sensors just below the glass surface. At first the proximity sensor and second the back light sensor.

Below the screen you see one single row of five buttons, with the same layout as we have seen on the HTC Touch2. The front of the HTC HD2 is relatively “clean” compared to other windows phone or in other words a minimalistic design of buttons.

If you look on the screen from a side angle you can see that there is one single flat glass surface, except for the button row and the grille who stand out. However this is some excellent engineering work.

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4.2  Right side of HTC HD2

If we have a look at the right side of the HTC HD2, you can see that there is no single button there. You can see how the metal battery cover “snaps” on the sides of the HTC HD2. In the metal battery cover you see a slit where you can put in your finger nail to remove the battery cover.

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4.3  Bottom of HTC HD2

The picture above shows the bottom of the HTC HD2, where you can see both the Micro USB port and a 3.5 mm. headphone jack. Some time ago the following article was published: “Micro USB and 3.5 mm headphone jack to become mobile standards ?“, and in fact this is the first HTC device that features both of these standards. Some people might argue in favor of the Mini USB which powered almost every HTC device until the release of the HTC HD2.

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4.4  Left side of HTC HD2

On the left side of the HTC HD2 you can just see the dedicated volume control buttons. I’m happy see these buttons in order to change the volume during a voice call, for example when you walk into a noisy environment.

Furthermore you can see that the metal battery cover also snaps around this side of the HTC HD2, but I would like to point you to a detail. The metal battery cover features a contour that perfectly fits/snaps onto the volume control buttons.

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4.5  Top of HTC HD2

The picture above shows a perfectly clean topside of the HTC HD2 without any buttons. The topside used to be the place where you could find dedicated power buttons in the past. 🙂

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4.6  Backside of HTC HD2

The backside of the HTC HD2 is mainly dominated with the brushed metal battery cover. In the upper part you notice a 5 Megapixel camera. Remarkable is the fact the camera lens sticks a few millimeters (+/- 2.5) out the surface of the backside. However there is a minor edge which protects the camera lens from scratching if you put the device on the table.

Furthermore you notice that on the right side of the camera lens, there is a dual LED flash which supports the camera is less light conditions. Despite you can’t compare the camera with a specialized SLR camera it is a nice addition of improvement.

On the left of the camera lens you see the grille of the speaker on the backside.

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5.  Detailed look at HTC Sense

The HTC HD2 is the first Windows Phone with HTC Sense installed and has (just like other HTC devices) different tabs. The tabs available in HTC Sense are:  (1) Start, (2) Contacts, (3) Messages, (4) Mail, (5) Internet, (6) Calendar, (7) Stocks, (8) Pictures and Video’s, (9) Music, (10) Weather, (11) Twitter, (12) Footprints, (13) Settings.

All the tabs (except for Start and Settings) can be enabled or disabled, and apart from the Start-tab all the tabs can be re-ordered at your own will.

5.1  Start / Home

The Start Tab shows directly on the top the Carrier. Under the carrier-bar there are several widgets which can’t be turned off (like the Android Sense Widgets).

The most top widget is a widget which shows the current time, the current location and weather information about the current location. When you tab on this widget a separate application within sense opens with 2 tabs:

  1. World-Clock application and
  2. Alarm-clock application.

The world-clock application shows the time from different places around the world. Of course there is an option to add your own city here. Next to the world clock application there is the “Alarm” tab. The alarm tab has 3 alarms. Each alarm can be set to a specified time and day.

Below the “Time-widget” on the Start Tab there is another widget which shows the date, the next time the alarm will go and the next appointment. When you click on the date you can select an other date and timezone.

The alarm-button brings you to the same “Alarm”-tab described in the widget above. And when you click on the next appointment you go the the “Agenda-tab” of the HTC sense interface.
Below this widgets there are 3 widgets which can be used as a shortcut to an application, contact or a bookmark.

When you swipe your finger up, while you’re in the start-tab 6 more widgets which can be used as a shortcut are shown.

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5.2  Contacts

The contacts tab, shows 9 directly access shortcuts to your popular contacts. If you scroll-up you’ll see 6 more shortcuts. So in total in the contacts tab there are 15 contacts which can be set a favorite.

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5.3  Messages

The messages tab shows all the text messages. When you’re selecting a message, you’ll see the message tab from the “people-centric communication” like the HTC Touch Pro 2. In this view you get an overview of all the text messages sent from and to this contact.

The people centric communication has been reviewed in the HTC Touch Pro 2 review and is exactly the same on the HD2.

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5.4  Mail

The mail tab show all the mailboxes you’ve configured. When you select a message you’ll see the complete message with some additional features, which again we first found in the HTC Diamond 2 and the Touch Pro2. You’re able to go to the people centric communication from the person who wrote you.

5.5  Internet

The Internet tab is different form the HTC Touch Pro2. There seems to be no push-internet available on the HD2. On the top of the internet tab there is a search-bar. In this bar you can enter a search term and push the search button. This will automatically open Google ad gives you the search results.

Under the search bar there is a large button to open the Internet Browser. On default this will open Opera (Although there is also Internet Explorer installed on the device).

Under the internet browser button there are 2 shortcut button in which you can add a favorite website. When you scroll up this tab you’ll find 8 more shortcut buttons to enter favorite websites.

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5.6  Calendar

The calendar tab has five different views: Agenda, Day, Week, Month and Year.

The agenda view – gives you a chronological list of items in your agenda.The day-view shows you all the appointments on a specific day, and the weather of the location of you appointments, if these can be retrieved from the internet.
The week-view shows all days of the week, so you can have a good overview of your (work) week.
The month-view shows all the days of the month and shows a little icon on the days that have an appointment set. When you click on a specific day you go to the day-view of the selected day.
The year-view shows all the months. When you select a month, you’ll see the month-view of the selected month. Of course you can than select a day, which brings you to the day-view of the selected day.

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5.7  Stocks

The stocks tab shows a list of all the stocks you’re interested in. Stocks can be added, removed or re-ordered.
In the settings of the stocks it is possible to automatically update the stock information with an interval from 5 minutes to 8 hours. It is also possible to select an option that lets you download stock-update information while you’re roaming. The last setting is the color of the stocks when the price of the stocks rise. This can be set to green or to red.

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5.8  Pictures and Video’s

The pictures and video’s tab lets you go through the pictures and videos on the device. When you swipe your finger up you’ll see the next picture or video. The pictures and videos tab can be rotated. This view gives you a very nice sleek overview of the pictures and video’s on the HTC HD2.

htc_hd2_sense_23

5.9  Music

The music tab shows all the music on the device. When available the album-art of the device is also shown. In the music tab it is possible to play, pause, and go to the next and previous song. The music tab also has an landscape view. This shows a view very similar to the iPhone’s Coverflow. In the landscape view it is also possible to play and pause the song and skip to the previous and next song.

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5.10  Weather

The weather application shows a full-screen overview of the weather. The top part shows the temperature high and low, and the temperature at the moment. Of course it also shows the nice animated weather information when it’s sunny, clouded or when it rains.

The bottom part shows the same information (temperature high, low, and a small picture of the expected weather forecast) for the next four days. When you swipe your finger up the weather of an other location is shown.

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5.11  Twitter / HTC Peep

Twitter has grown very fast over the last couple of months. HTC made a decision to add a Twitter tab to their HTC Sense. When you have set your Twitter credentials in the Twitter tab you see your timeline in the tab. At the very top there is an input text field where you can enter a tweet and update your status. The 2 soft keys are “Menu” and “All tweets”. The menu has some shortcuts to the basic twitter functionalities. These menu items are “update timeline”, “new tweet”, “new message”, “update location”, “my profile”, “Settings” and “Search”
All these menu items are self explanatory.
At first it looked like there was no difference in the menu options “new tweet” and “new message”, but it turned out that the option “new message” has a extra input field and you have to add a recipient. The message is send as a Direct Message to the recipient. The twitter tab is strongly connected to the “Peep” application, which is also installed on the HTC HD2.
Also the soft key button “All tweets” brings you in the application called Peep.

Peep has 4 tabs

1) your twitter timeline
2) your @replies
3) your Direct Messages
4) your favorite tweets

The “Menu” soft key in Peep is exactly the same menu as in the Twitter tab.

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5.12  Footprints

With footprints it is possible to add meta-data to photo’s. This meta-data includes a rating, Category, GPS-location, Phone number, web-address and more.

The tab Footprints let you flip through the footprints which you created in the past and lets you add new footprints. A particular nice feature of footprint is the integration with Google Maps and CoPilot. Google maps shows the street view (if available at that location) and CoPilot Live lets you navigate to that location.

5.13  Settings

The tab settings gives you a quick access to the most used setting. In this tab you can change the settings of HTC Sense itself but also other phone settings like  Wireless settings, Sound settings and other settings.

6.  Other software highlights

HTC has put a lot of efforts in the HTC Sense interface but there are a lot of additional (third party) applications included as well.

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6.1  Wi-Fi-Router

The first highly interesting application, developed by HTC themselves, is the Wi-Fi-Router application. This is a simple one-click solution to turn your Windows Phone into a router. This can be a really helpful application since, in for example a project group working in an out-of-the-office-location can work on a project and stay in touch with the corporate infrastructure, in a simple way.

Windows Mobile was already known for its Internet Sharing application, in which the Windows Phone becomes the modem of your Windows powered notebook. However this Wi-Fi-Router application takes it one step further, and you can easily now share your cellular data connection with others as well.

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6.2  WorldCard Mobile

I think the Wi-Fi-Router application already emphasizes that this a well balanced device that is perfectly suited for application in business as well (and I not only mean the Exchange ActiveSync).

HTC has included Worldcard Mobile from PenPower on the HTC HD2, which lets you easily take a picture of a business card via the build-in 5 Megapixel camera, and transforms the information into the details of an Outlook Contact. In other words, take a picture and the contact details are imported into your Windows Phone.

This application normally costs $25,– and is certainly a valuable addition to the HTC HD2.

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6.3  JETCET PRINT 5

Another valuable application is the the JETCET PRINT application v5. With this application you can print documents stored on your HTC HD2 to a bluetooth or network printer. On the Westtek website you can read the following product description:

“Experience the best mobile printing solution on the market! JETCET PRINT lets you print documents, photos, email and much more from your Windows Mobile Pocket PC phone. Quickly add printers, browse to files and voila! Print! No more complicated configuration steps or additional software required.”

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6.4  Adobe Reader LE

Probably not amazingly shocking is the availability of Adobe Reader LE version 2.5 on the HTC HD2. I must admit that I work a lot with pdf-files, since most of the scientific articles are available in pdf-format. However the massive and ultra clear 4.3″ screen of the HTC HD2 makes it possible to read pdf-files easily, and without hurting your eyes or scrolling like hell.

Again this is an example which shows the versatility of the HTC HD2 and the balance of work and life coming together in one device.

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6.5  CoPilot

Also a 14-day trial of the CoPilot navigation software is included on the device, which was also the case on the HTC Touch2 and Touch Pro2.

6.6  Facebook

Some time ago Microsoft release a Facebook application for Windows Phones, to keep track of your Facebook page while on the go. This application is included with almost every Window Mobile 6.5 device, and you might want to check out our detailed review.

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7.  Camera- and video use on the HTC HD2

At first I need to start with the remark that there is no dedicated hardware button for starting the camera application on the HTC HD2.

The main reason for this is probably the excellent integration into the HTC Sense GUI, in the pictures and video tab as you may have seen in section 5.8 – A detailed look on HTC Sense.

Furthermore HTC is working for some time on their own camera- and picture album software (to my knowledge from the time the HTC Touch and the HTC Touch dual were released). All these different applications are very well integrated including (shortcuts into) HTC Sense.

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In the specification list you can see that the HTC HD2 has a 5 megapixel color camera with Auto focus and Dual LED flashlight. When you start the camera application you can see and hear the auto focus doing its job before taking the picture.

The dual LED flashlight does an “ok” job, because when you are to close to an object you get an overexposed picture. However for an overview picture from “a distance” the flashlight is ok. In fact the pictures in less light conditions are pretty well, but certainly not as good as on a digital SLR camera.

However for a mobile device certainly excellent, and the picture below gives an example of a picture taken outside (without the flash), and on the link below the picture you can open the original sized picture as well.

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Click here for the original-sized version

8.  Multitouch on the HTC HD2

One of the new exciting features of the HTC HD2 is multitouch. Multitouch is one of the methods you can use to interact with the screen.

It allows you to use two or more fingers to interact with the HTC HD2 by placing them directly on the screen. Any movements you make with your fingers will create a gesture, which sends a command to the screen. Gestures can be used to rotate or to scale a photo or picture.

When you use the photo gallery on the HTC HD2, you can use your fingertip to browse through the pictures. When you move your finger from right to left across the screen, the next picture will be displayed.

If you see a picture that you want to scale, you can use multitouch, by placing 2 fingertips on the screen and slowly moving them away from each other. This causes the picture to be enlarged. You can reduce it by moving your fingertips in the opposite direction. You can also rotate a picture by placing your fingertip on the screen and slowly make a circle. This will cause the picture to rotate.

You can also use the scale or zoom function in the Opera browser to zoom in or out on web pages. This gives you the advantage to view a website in normal layout and if you want to read an article, just zoom in on that particular part.

Multitouch is a very handy feature on the HTC HD2 and I hope in the future this will enable users to use multitouch more to interact with the device.

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9.  Haptic feedback, Proximity Sensor and G-Sensor

The HTC HD2 also features haptic feedback just like the Touch Pro2. This means that the device gives you tactile feedback when you press the screen within TouchFLO 3D. With every screentap you will feel a little vibration that confirms that you have touched the screen. It is enabled by default and cannot be turned off.

The HTC HD2 also features a Proximity Sensor. An extremely cool and useful feature of the HTC HD2. It senses whether the device is being held next to your ear. Once the device is raised up to your ear, the Proximity sensor immediately turns off the screen in order to save battery life. Moving the device away from your ear turns the screen turns on again. PDA screens by nature are one of the biggest battery drains, especially when a screen is as large and bright as this one.

The HTC HD2 has also a built-in G-Sensor. We have seen this feature before in other devices such as the Touch Pro  (2) and Diamond (2). The G-sensor automatically turns the screen to landscape when you turn the device over. This is very useful when you want to type a message in landscape.

However HTC has developed another cool application based on the sensors available in the device, which is a digital compas. A screenshot is shown above (right).

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10.  Overall conclusion and wrap-up

In the concluding section of this review we would like to take a different approach and combine three (different) perspectives on the HTC HD2.

Mark Briggeman

Quietly brilliant. I would rather say quite brilliant. I was really impressed when I saw a pre-production version of this new HTC flagship. First I thought it would be to big for my hands, but it fits perfectly. The vivid capacitive 4,3″ screen reacts extremely fast and this is also due to the latest Snapdragon processor. I am more a hardware keyboard user, but a quick demonstration of the onscreen keyboard showed me that I might not need a hardware keybaord anymore.

I now use a Touch Pro2 and I was finding things to compare it with, but to be honest, there weren’t to many. The HD2 is bigger, faster, more stylish and packed with the latest HTC features like HTC Sense with Twitter integration and HTC Footprint. Multitouch is a great addition to this device and makes it even more usable.

HTC is showing again a great new device with a great design and I can’t wait to start using it !

Paul Willen

The HTC HD2 can be named the new flagship from the Windows Phones portfolio from HTC without a hardware keyboard.

The capacitive touchscreens works brilliantly. I think HTC set a new standard with this capacitive touchscreen. Due to the snapdragon chipset, the device is really fast. In fact it feels like it’s the fastest Windows Phone I’ve seen.

In my opinion there is only one thing missing on this device and that is a Large build-in storage. Of course there is a possibility to insert a Micro-SD card, but that needs to be purchased separately. 8 or 16GB internal memory would be great to store some music or video’s on.

Overall I would say this is really the best Windows Phone without a hardware keyboard currently on the market.

Remo Knops

Every mobile technology geek must be excited about this powerhouse fresh from the HTC factory, and so was I during the review process. I was very curious about the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 1GHz. The experience is a blazing fast device, and we have done some comparison scenarios with the HTC Touch Pro2.

Furthermore the massive ultra clear 4.3″ capacitive WVGA screen is really awesome. With such an amazing screen you hope even for resolution larger than 800×400. You might recall the example where I could read an article in pdf-format without any problem, so this has really amazed me.

The capacitive technology works really well, and it’s the first Windows (touch) Phone without a stylus -a true milestone in Windows Mobile history. Also the onscreen keyboard, especially in landscape mode works fine, but in my opinion it can’t beat the HTC Snap hardware keyboard. 🙂

The HTC HD2 is a very well balanced Windows Phone for various usage scenarios, and with a bulk load of added value not only in terms of technology and hardware but also in terms of software innovations as well. HTC has done an amazing job and set the bars significantly higher.

Overall conclusion:         Quietly Brilliant !

A few short remarks:

At first we haven’t covered one important feature of the HTC HD2 which was announced, which would be the carkit for- and carkit mode on the HTC HD2. Chris Davies, Editor at SlashGear, had a similar experience:

“What we don’t have – and we hear won’t be available until December – is the HTC Car Kit for the HD2, which adds a powered windscreen/dashboard mount, new docking battery cover for the phone itself and automatically kicks it into navigation mode whenever it’s clicked into place.”

Second the received HTC HD2 has a localized Dutch ROM preloaded on the device, so therefore the screenshots consist of Dutch translations. However I honestly do hope that you will be able to get an idea of the device software and its functionality. We plan to exchange these with screenshots of a HTC HD2 with a WWE ROM in the upcoming future. 🙂

What we like about the HTC HD2 ?

  • Huge screen
  • Super fast processor
  • HTC Sense
  • 3,5″ headphone jack
  • Design. Only five buttons on the front panel and a touchscreen is all you need

What we like a little less about the HTC HD2 ?

  • Position of the camera lens.  I think the lens will damage quickly because the device rests on it when it is placed on it’s back.
  • Again no camera hardware button. I really miss that.
  • No Video-out.
  • Not a real disadvantage, but switching to Micro-USB requires me to carry an extra cable to charge in the office or on the go. Until now I could perfectly manage that with one Mini-USB cable.

11.  Postscript

HTC’s Quietly Brilliant Campaign focused on HTC HD2

HTC Sense is based on three principles. Make it mine, stay close, and discover the unexpected.

Make It Mine

Make It Mine HTC HD2’s expansive display is like a canvas on which you create a phone that is just right for you. Customize the phone by prioritizing essential features like mail, calendar, messaging, browser and more. Next, with just a tap, put shortcuts to the most important people, favorite websites, or most used application right on the home screen. And if you feel like something is still missing, visit Windows® Marketplace for Mobile, and install fun and useful applications.Your phone doesn’t only reflect your personality; it also tunes into your location. The clock automatically updates to the local time wherever you are. You can see the outside temperature and weather at a glance. And, if you choose the weather wallpaper, you’ll get a brilliantly lifelike animation that lets you virtually feel the sun’s rays or the chill of the breeze without setting a foot outside.

Stay Close

With HTC HD2, communication is focused around people rather than applications, so all of your interactions like email, SMS, phone logs, and even updates from Facebook are all in one place. Right where your instinct tells you to look – next to the photo of the person with whom you want to stay in touch with.In business, a phone call often has the power to prevent a mile-long pile up of inconclusive emails. HTC HD2 makes it simple to go from reading an email to calling the sender. All it takes is a single tap on the large phone icon right from the email. And if you need to get everyone involved in the discussion – just tap next to the images of everyone to create an instant conference call.Forget the challenge of jumping from your calendar to your phone application while trying to find and memorize the number for your next conference call. On HTC HD2, conference call reminders conveniently appear with a big dial button ready for you to press, even the PIN is displayed, so you’ll never miss out on the latest strategy session.

Stay Close

Discover the Unexpected

Some design features of HTC HD2 are far better experienced than can be explained in mere words. Like the ringer volume level that immediately scales down when the phone detects that you have picked it up, or the display that automatically adjusts to the light level in your surroundings and turns off to prevent false screen touches during a call.HTC HD2 is built for pure finger touch control. Zoom in and out of documents, web pages, pictures or emails with just a simple pinch. Type up responses faster and more accurately on the large onscreen keyboard. The capacitive touch experience combined with an interface optimized for the spacious display, lets you easily adjust the settings, set up calendar appointments, browse through photos, and navigate through menus with only the touch of a finger.Discover the UnexpectedCarry the HTC HD2 in your pocket and you’ll never have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi access point for your laptop. Your phone simply connects to superfast 3.5G cellular networks and becomes your personal wireless access point – anytime, anywhere.HTC HD2 has you covered when it comes to taking and viewing pictures wherever you may be. The 5 megapixel auto-focus camera is perfect for capturing the beauty of the great outdoors; combined with the dual LED flash it’s also ideal for capturing images in dim conditions. And when you’re ready to move from behind the lens and start sharing your collection, you’ll dazzle your audience with the large beautifully displayed pictures in the new river-flow gallery.

About a week ago, we told you about the Quietly Brilliant campaign from HTC which involves YOU.
HTC has made some great commercials from which you can see one them below.

 
Comments
 
Comments

What about sound quality, noise ratios, etc?

Also, what about battery life?

yeah no battery life? that’s one of the primary considerations for buying a smartphone.
Acer’s Fluid underclocked to 768MHz to save power…

Vygantas,

Excellent points. At first the sounds queality during phones calls didn’t differ from the HTC Snap, which is very good.

For listening to music, it really differs that you can use the 3.5 mm. headphone jack and use your own high quality earphones.

I did some short tests with my AIAIAI Y-COM in-ear headphones, and was pleased with the sound quality. However I must admit that a an audio-professional might have a different opinion. So this is kind of subjective …

Within the timeframe of the review we weren’t able to draw some battery unload-curves in different scenario’s. We will try to come back on this one.

// Remo Knops

Nice device, great review guys!

Too bad it’s not running Android 😉

..Yes, because now we know that all your habits and interactions with the phone won’t end up on a Google database someweher.

great phone, i want one. but does it work with a projetor wireless or not for presentation in a business environment? or it is not quite there yet?

Hi reynold,

Excellent question. The HTC HD2 is pretty well balanced for both personal and business use.

However there is no VGA-out or TV-out on the device, so that you can hook up the HTC HD2 to a beamer. Unfortunately …

// Remo Knops

Thanks, and I suspect no many smartphones are capable of powerpoint presentation through a mini projectors. I sure hope for a possibile dream where we do not have to haul around big loads of PC and projector, and a hand held with a mini beamer and a fews flash memories to do wonder.

You mean like the Nokia N95 onwards with VGA output?

The technology is there, just isn’t being used…

What I’m seeing is what the Dell Axim would have become if Dell hadn’t gotten cold feet. C’est la vie…

No stylus, but can it be operated by some type of stylus? I have proprietary software that require a stylus. I get leery when I hear all the ‘gee whiz’ emotion for a new product. I am moving up from a Dell Axim X50v and will appreciate the Sense interface, but my concern is it’s usefulness.

The Samsung Omnia II may be a better choice in my situation, but they say the AMOLED screen washes out in sunlight. Both of these unit’s cameras have been criticized for the picture quality – video and still. The Omnia II is supposed to have a pile of software assist with it’s camera, but still falls short.

I know the price will be a reality check for all of us drooling technuts.

HTC has a stylus with a magnet coming:
http://wmpoweruser.com/?p=6842

Because of the capacitive screen a stylus cannot be used. The screen reacts to bodyheat.

“Capacitive screen” “reacts to bodyheat”, I believe HTC knows it is electrons rather than heat that we need.

FUI: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question716.htm

What about GPS lag for satnav? I’ve got an original HD and know is has serious GPS lag making it a problem for use as a satnav. I also know that most other people with HD’s and Diamond2’s have this issue. Is it still there? If so, there’s hardly any reason for people with HD’s to upgrade. You can already get the ROM from the Leo ported for HD so can use the new UI, albeit slower because of the processor but you do get the slighlt smaller but still hugely useful 3.8″ screen with a reasonable battery life. I expect 1250maH wont last a day with the power it’ll need, just look at the HD with a slower processor, smaller screen but bigger battery as a comparison. Danger of this heading for the Iphone camp in terms of rubbish battery life.

Hi PaulSwift,

We haven’t thoroughly tested on third party navigation yet, and look at one of the remarks in the conclusion:

At first we haven’t covered one important feature of the HTC HD2 which was announced, which would be the carkit for- and carkit mode on the HTC HD2. Chris Davies, Editor at SlashGear, had a similar experience:

“What we don’t have – and we hear won’t be available until December – is the HTC Car Kit for the HD2, which adds a powered windscreen/dashboard mount, new docking battery cover for the phone itself and automatically kicks it into navigation mode whenever it’s clicked into place.”

We take this feedback and run some tests for you when we receive a retail device.

// Remo Knops

One more thing, people keep raving about the wifi router. There has been a free piece of software to provide this feature on just about any Windows Mobile phone for a couple of years now so that’s not a new feature at all. It is very useful to have and I use it quite a lot but don’t need a new phone for that, just hunt for wifirouter and you’ll find it somewhere for free, I did.

I am Htc phone’s lover I am big fan of Htc’s mobile phone these are look so nice and awesome The design of phone look so attractive and color combination also look very nice and cool.This gadget has very different functionality and very advance technology also used in it.

Thanks for the review! As a business user I would appreciate to learn about the interface when creating new appointments (in addition to viewing them), which to me is such a big every-day part of the overall appreciation of a smartphone. Does the Sense interface do a good job in this respect?
Cheers.

Yaf,

Excellent question, but HTC did a great job in providing a very finger-friendly way of creating new appointments and easily viewing them. You might want to read an article from Matthew Miller, Editor @ ZDNet: “Did HTC address Windows Mobile 6.5’s initial shortcomings?

While I personally really do like Webis Pocket Informant 9, the Calendar tab of HTC Sense is better optimized for touch control.

// Remo Knops

PaulSwift: I have the Touch HD and I can get GPS locks in seconds. I use it with IGO in my car all of the time and I have yet to see anything that comes close in terms of speed, feedback, and quality of the Text To Speech.
If you have GPS lag, ensure that you are running an up to date version of quick GPS and that your GPS settings are set well. WM6.5 helps a lot here, especially the 6.5.1 builds.
I plan to get the HD2 as soon as it comes out

hi really good review. however i wanted to know a few things:

1. how are the speakers? mono or stereo?

2. can u transfer all types of files incl. music via bluetooth?

3. the screen res is 65K as compared to iphones and other phones 16M colors! how does this fair.

thanx

Does anyone know which carrier in the US will have the phone? I noticed one of the screenshots said “Tmobile”

Hi Kim,

Part of the MobilityMinded Team is based in the Netherlands, and we used the HTC HD2 review sample both with a Vodafone NL and a T-Mobile NL SIM. It is the HTC branded version, so not operator branded.

As far as I know there are no official announcements yet on which carrier in the USA the HTC HD2 will become available.

// Remo Knops

Awesome review and very thorough, enjoyed reading it! This is the hottest product on the planet right now!

once I saw the review of the HTC HD2 I was hooked. Finally a phone with the screen size to match my PSP. Plus all the other bells and whistles. I am an avid Windows Mobile user so I was a little disappointed that once in the states, the HD2 will not be running WM on the Verizon version (Passion). However, that’s just my own lack of experience or change. After reading a bunch of reviews, it sounds like not having WM OS will be a plus. If you own a HTC HD2, you discuss the phone at http://www.HTCHD2Forum.com I will be there often to share tricks.

I do not see this device stylus. Why not have it. Since it is much more convenient to use the program

Thanks for the great review.
I must admit I almost lost hope in Windows Mobile but this one… this one is so impressive it’s few leagues higher than other WinMo phones.

I had a chance to use it for one night, and what a night it was… sigh…
Gigantic screen (WVGA with capacitive touch), amazingly fast, huge size but very thin.

Many improvements were added on top of the first HD that was also a very good product.

The only weak points are:
– Device is too thin – feels strange in the hands
– No pysical D-PAD – might become a problem using the old WinMo screens.

Read my review in here:
http://mobilespoon.blogspot.com/2009/12/one-night-stand-with-htc-hd2.html

Mobile Spoon,

Thanks for the feedback, and I will eleborate a little on your points:

> “Device is too thin – feels strange in the hands”

The thickness of the device is a little subjective, and the HTC engineers and industrial designers have put the sides of the HTC HD2 under an angle. In my perception this gives a nice grip, while the minimal thinkness still makes it possible to wear the device in the frontpocket of my jeans (despite the huge screen).

> “No pysical D-PAD – might become a problem using the old WinMo screens.”

You are pointing to the good old Windows Mobile checkboxes and pull down menu’s a few layers down, which are not optimized for fingerfriendly use, right ?? Well HTC did a great job with HTC Sense, look for example to the settings tab. I hardley need to get in the “all settings” Windows Mobile settings screen.

What are your thoughts after a longer period of use ?

// Remo Knops

The HTC HD2 looks to be a good phone but some how HTC missed the curve not adding a A/V output to the unit to have so much multimedia capability constrained to the device pushes it back a couple of notches from the IPhone
if Windows Mobile devices are ever going to catch up in the US there going to have to push the cruve on it’s technology. Apple is not holding back with strange patents such as facial recognition, tactile sensors etc… that might show on the next generation IPhone to leap them even further.

Hi James,

Excellent point, but if I remember correctly the HTC Touch Pro was only suited with an audio/video output port !! It would be a great extension of the multimedia capabilities, but the question is if such a feature will increase sales numbers (despite some difficulties of fitting all that hardware into a compact formfactor).

// Remo Knops

Leonardo Brazil

I’m traveling next week to Florida-USA and would like to know where I can buy the smartphone HTC HD2?

Dear Leonardo,

During CES 2010 it is announced that the HTC HD2 will come exclusively to T-Mobile in the USA ! You might want to check out the original press release: “T-Mobile USA TO EXCLUSIVELY OFFER HTC HD2

But before you run into a T-Mobile store please think about possible implications like a possible simlock for the T-Mobile network or the supported (cellular data) bands.

Good luck with your search for a HTC HD2, it is a great andvery powerful device !

// Remo Knops

Dear all
I just bought HTC HD2. I find it really hard to type anything on the screen, because it types multiple letters when i try to type one. Is stylus stick compatible with this phone.

Also is there any handwriting recognition software which can be installed on this phone which is compatible.

BW
Vrindavan

For the Stylus I would Recommend reading this article (http://www.mobilityminded.com/6176/dagi-capacitive-stylus-for-htc-hd2-iphone-3gs-or-google-nexus-one) by Remo.
As handwriting software I would recommend PhatWare Calligrapher – (http://phatware.com/index.php?q=product/details/calligrapher), But I’m not 100% sure it’s compatible with the HD2 since I cannot test it at the moment..

//Paul

The HTC HD2 deals with all WinMo competition. Easily. TouchFLO is a revelation, and the only failings are the slightly sluggish scrolling and the lacklustre mail.

Can you multi task?? Meaning can you be on the phone and also look up msgs, emails, websites, etc.

Hi!

Im just questioning on that part where it tells you how to rotate your picture.
I have done this but it does nit work??

Help?

Thanks,
Emma x

PROBLEM USING HTC HD2: I am using the HD2 about two months now, i am facing a problem, the problem is .. sometimes the phone cannot call out, can receive calls from anyone, but my phone cannot call out for what reason i do not know, when i dial any number the line will drop automatically without completing call … anyone knows what is the solution ?

Hi Smart Xs,

Are you running the latest stable stock ROM from the HTC support website for your specific language ??

// Remo Knops

Does the HTC HD2 has Adobe Reader LE, Word Mobile, and GPS Google Maps.

Dear Lijah,

Thank you for your comment. The HTC HD2, at least the European version, has Adobe Reader LE, Office Mobile and Google Maps installed out-of-the-box. I’m not sure what the differences are with the USA-based T-Mobile version of the HTC HD2.

However I installed Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 beta via Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and the latest version of Windows Live for Windows Phone.

If you have any additional questions please let us know.

// Remo Knops

Thanks a lot Remo; right now I have a HTC Touch Pro 2 I bought it because I needed a PDA for school and did not want to carry two devices. I have had trouble with my Pro 2 I am on my third on now… it was working fine, but this Tuesday while at work my phone began to over heat right in the case while it was on me. It was so hot it heated up my clothes as well. Also yesterday my screen went black and the buttons lighted up for 30mins since then it has been running really slow.

I am thinking that is not a good thing; what do you think should I return it or is it something I can do? I really enjoy the Pro 2, and there is no other phone that is compatable with the Pro 2 right now, so I would take a lost. Thannks.

I just baught my HD2 about an hour ago. Love what I see, and looking forward to getting my hands on the rom side of it.

I begin using windows mobile starting with the T-Mobile Shadow. That was wehn I first learned about Windows Mobile. As I was a computer technician then, and still am, I soon began to work on making the Shadow’s rom better for all users. I created themes mainly, and am still the only themer for the 6.5 ROM that has been put onto the Shadow.

I then got the LG Incite, and started off by making themes. I quickly began to learn how to do more however, and a few months ago I began to create ROMs for the Incite. My Incite rom is currently one of the most stable Incite ROMs. I am currently developing another incite ROM based off my first, but this time with more resources and customizations.

I have been a computer technician for over 4 years now, that is just the professional side of my skills. Before the pro side computer modding and hacking was just a hobby I did that became very helpful when trying to get past security features at the high school.
I love windows mobile and look forward to getting to know you all, and be a bennefit to the community.

BTW, I came across http://www.HTCHD2forum.com it’s a must see for HD2 owners.

this is a fantastic unlocked gsm phone. easy to use, screen is HUGE so the facebook and internet surfing is great. texting is surprisingly easy to use even though there’s no keys and it keep my wife and kids busy on the road with all the games and apps. much better than my old unlocked phone. got my last couple at gsmallover.com and we love them. htc is really stepping up their game lately!

“With footprints it is possible to add meta-data to photo’s.”

photos.

“Position of the camera lens. I think the lens will damage quickly because the device rests on it when it is placed on it’s back.”

its.

Hi Miles,

Thanks for the feedback and a very sharp eye. Great to have some additional spell check for us native Dutch speakers. 🙂

// Remo Knops

Is this HD2 device has Calculator?

Hi Derek,

Yes the HTC HD2 has a calculator –> Calculator for Pocket PC version 1.1 (build 1920.1131)
It is a calculator developed by HTC and optimized for use via “touch” !

// Remo Knops

wow i actually like this phone. my new hd2 is really nice. i mean it’s not perfect but it has it’s good with it’s bads. i like my new unlocked world phones. screen is nice and responsive. i don’t like the buttons on the bottom and it’s kind of big but i’ll keep it. processor is faster, email is great for my business, the web browser is great for navigating and keeping up on my facebook and fantasy football. much better than my old unlocked at&t phones. my wife loves hers for the games and camera to catch all the kids and their moments. she loves her new unlocked t-mobile phones. my daughter takes great pictures with hers and my partner likes his for the gps and business apps. and the games are fun too. got my last couple unlocked cell phones at gsmauthority.com and 2 thumbs way up

hey,
I am HTC touch pro user. I wanted to change it for a long while now, but i have been waiting for a nice piece to trade. I am quite interested in the HD2 But i am a bit confused whether to stick to the HTC or try the iPhone for some change. what do you suggest?!

Hi solly,

In the end it is a matter of personal preference.

The HTC HD2 has got some great software improvements with the latest ROM. In terms of hardware the HTC HD2 has almost the same specifications as the standardized hardware foundation for Windows Phone 7, so I personally would consider a Windows Phone 7 device as well.

Please have a look at the following reviews:
Windows Phone 7 review – Step by step overview of the mobile OS core features !

Samsung Omnia 7 review – Windows Phone 7

LG Optimus 7 review (LG E-900) – First Windows Phone 7 device from LG Electronics

If you just want to focus on a Windows Mobile 6.5 device, than the HTC HD2 is the most powerful device available. Each operating system for smartphones has a unique set of advantages so in the end it is a matter of personal choice and preferences. Hope this information helps you a little making a difficult choice !

// Remo Knops

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