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Review of the HTC HD2 smartphone with 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen

Review by Russell Jefferies on Wednesday November 18, 2009.

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Last year HTC released the Touch HD, a tablet-style Windows Mobile handset with a large 3.8-inch touchscreen display. Not content with their previous offering, HTC have upped the ante with their latest version of the Touch HD, the HD2. This new Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone offers an even larger 4.3-inch touchscreen (the first capacitive touchscreen(INFO) on a Windows Mobile device) and the fastest mobile phone processor currently available, the 1GHz Snapdragon processor. As usual, HTC have also packed the HD2 with just about every extra feature you could possibly think of, making for a very useful handset. Read on to find out if the HTC HD2 can live up to its spec sheet.

Physical Aspects

The HTC HD2 is, as you'd imagine, a pretty big handset. With a 4.3-inch screen, it's hardly going to be a compact device, although HTC have done a good job of keeping the sides of the phone quite tight to the edges of the screen. This means that although it has a large display, the phone itself is still pocketable - though just barely. The HD2 actually measures in at 67mm x 120.5mm x 11mm (2.64in x 4.74in x .43in), making it quite a wide and long device, though still remarkably thin. It is this thin profile that is key to keeping the HD2 from feeling huge in your pocket. However, the HD2 weighs a fairly hefty 157g (5.54oz), so you may need a belt to keep your trousers up...

When you first lay eyes on the HTC HD2 you'll almost certainly be drawn to the huge 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display, which completely dominates the front of the phone. The display is bright and colorful, and has a WVGA (480 x 800 pixel) resolution, giving it more than twice the pixel count of the iPhone and most current Android handsets. Bright sunlight legibility seems fairly good, and the screen is very responsive to touches, for the most part. Also, being the first capacitive screen on a Windows Mobile device, this means that it's also the first Windows Mobile device to feature multi-touch, for pinch zooming gestures and the like.

Above the huge display, HTC have managed to squeeze in an earpiece, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and a status notification LED for notifying of missed calls, messages, and low battery. The five main hardware keys on the HTC HD2 are all located below the display, with keys for: call send, home, the Windows menu, back, and call end/power. These keys all have a nice tactile click and cool white backlighting. The only other hardware keys on the phone are on its left side, which houses the volume rocker. Otherwise, the right side is completely bare, as is the top of the phone. However, the bottom edge features both the micro-USB port for charging/data and the 3.5mm headphone port.

The rear of the HTC HD2 is clad in a dark grey/black soft touch plastic, except for the battery cover, which is made from brushed metal. Just above the battery cover is the lens for the 5 megapixel autofocus camera, which protrudes from the back of the handset quite a bit. When the handset rests on its back, it rests on the lens, which probably isn't the best thing for keeping it scratch-free. To the right of the lens you'll find the dual LED flash for the camera, and to the left you'll find the loudspeaker grille.

Overall, the HTD HD2 is a simple and handsome device, although it may be too large for many people's tastes. Personally, I like it just fine, and feel that the size of the display more than makes-up for the bulk of the handset.

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laphoneuser @ 5:37:27PM EST on Wednesday November 18, 2009

Fantastic video Russell! You really go through the phone nicely. I am truly hoping that this phone comes to the States. I'm an early adopter T-Mobile G1 user, and even though people are pretty down on Windows Mobile, your video proves that there's no reason to be. That HD2 flies like no other phone I've seen, and the GUI is gorgeous.

Phil Kirk @ 9:07:22AM EST on Thursday November 19, 2009

The battery cover is a very vulnerable part of the phone and is easily dented. Hope soon that the spares are available.

Russell Jefferies @ 7:44:57AM EST on Wednesday November 25, 2009

Thanks laphoneuser. I'm actually using a T-Mobile G1 between reviews at the moment, and although I'd miss the wide range of apps if I had a HD2, the processor and screen easily make up for that. Also, HTC load the phone up with all the essentials anyway, so few apps are required. If you browse the web and watch YouTube lots, then there really is no better handset.

Beth @ 8:17:31PM EST on Wednesday November 25, 2009

when is this coming to the states, we live in Atlanta, GA and still using a flip phone, shopping for a smart phone and want to stay with verizon. Great video.. your voice is so easy to listen to!

abushaadi @ 12:50:03AM EST on Thursday December 3, 2009

just got the hd2 with win 6.5 itis adisapointment does not come close to i phone was in uae conection was fast to internet but screen responce was clumsy sensor for portrate and land scape was frustrating speed of shutter not even close to i phone htc should of used andriod since window needs a lot of work what a waste for such a nice phone,when i arrived to jordan could not get wifi to work ip must be renewed so after trying every thing had to take battery out and restart to get conection with all of the above still love the phone htc did a great job if all the glitches are fixed

Justin Salisbury @ 6:13:26AM EST on Thursday January 7, 2010

The HTC HD2 is completely buggy. SMS messages get left in the outbox and don't send properly. The FM radio is useless, even in good reception areas. Third party apps disappear when you try to pinch-zoom them, and then you've got to switch the whole phone off and on again before you can use them. It's really a horror, and I would not recommend it to anyone.

logan @ 10:46:27PM EDT on Thursday September 30, 2010

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 cell 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 verizon phones. my wife loves hers for the games and camera to catch all the kids and their moments. she loves her new unlocked gsm 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 tmobile phones at gsmauthority.com and 2 thumbs way up

About the author

Russell Jefferies
Russell Jefferies reviews mobile phones for MobileBurn from his home located in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

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