Two new HTC HD2 Reviews

HTC_HD2_Windows_Phone
Lots of HTC HD2 coverage lately… and it ain’t stopping. Here are 2 reviews of the device, the first one is from SlashGear who seemed to really like the device but found the camera to be lacking:

It’s not a perfect smartphone – the camera, for instance falls short of what we’d expect from a flagship handset – but its strengths certainly outweigh its failings. We’d have difficulty overstating how well internet access is handled, and the HD2 could legitimately be called a MID-smartphone crossover; the combination of speed and screen size comfortably place it ahead of phone rivals. Underscoring all that is decent phone performance and the sort of build quality you’d expect for what will be a premium price. Microsoft can breathe a huge sigh of relief, because HTC have just given them the handset that bridges the gap between now and Windows Mobile 7.

They’ve also posted a a video of the device in action:

It’s a shame that some people still don’t know how to correctly use/setup a WinMo device. As you can see in the video the WiFi icon is constantly blinking (which means that the device is looking for available Wifi networks) even though the phone is already connected in HSDPA. This significantly bogs down the device’s performance, there’s no need to have to simultaneous connections at the same time. You can check out the whole thing here.

The second review comes from TechRadar who did a 13 pages article on the device. Unfortunately their hate of Windows Mobile kinda overshadows their judgment:

The HTC HD2 smashes past the iPhone in terms of raw processing speed and the ability to handle Flash video.

It dwarfs the Hero with a more responsive screen and its Wi-Fi routing ability too, and is far better than anything Samsung, LG or Nokia have come up with so far.

That said, the phone is still built on an inherently iffy OS, and there are times when that problem rears its head and snorts fire into your hand (metaphorically… that would be a health hazard otherwise).

We so desperately want to give the phone 4.5 stars to rank it alongside the likes of the Hero and the iPhone 3GS, but it just falls short.

If Microsoft sorts out its Marketplace with a few more (and cheaper) apps, as well as a couple of firmware tweaks, this could easily be the phone of the year, even at this late stage.

But until then it will have to be content with being the best ‘business device’ on the market by a country mile.

Read the whole review here

  • http://twitter.com/c_davies Chris Davies

    Thanks for the link (I wrote the SlashGear review). Just to pick up on your comment about connectivity, I’m not sure whether you’re criticising me or HTC for not knowing how to set up a device for wireless access. The HD2 was registered onto my WiFi network (and the video was shot in the same room as the router) so there was really no reason for it to struggle to find a connection. With every WinMo device I’ve used they’ve been able to intelligently manage having both HSDPA and WiFi connections to choose from, and plumping for the latter automatically. Not sure what’s happening with the HD2 here, but it’s exactly the same test environment that I’d use for every other device.

  • http://twitter.com/c_davies Chris Davies

    Thanks for the link (I wrote the SlashGear review). Just to pick up on your comment about connectivity, I’m not sure whether you’re criticising me or HTC for not knowing how to set up a device for wireless access. The HD2 was registered onto my WiFi network (and the video was shot in the same room as the router) so there was really no reason for it to struggle to find a connection. With every WinMo device I’ve used they’ve been able to intelligently manage having both HSDPA and WiFi connections to choose from, and plumping for the latter automatically. Not sure what’s happening with the HD2 here, but it’s exactly the same test environment that I’d use for every other device.

  • admin

    Hi Chris,
    I was criticising you ;-) (hey it was 5am and I was falling asleep on my keyboard lol). Just to be clear, you’ve activated the cellular data connection and the WiFi connection at the same time right? Do you know which one was being used at any given moment? That’s why I found it weird to activated the two connections. (there’s obviously something wrong if the devices keeps looking for a network if you are next to the router). For example, was TouchFlo/Sense using the HSDPA connetion to update (weather/stocks/peep/etc..)? Looked like the device locked on the Wifi when you ran Opera thought (or maybe not ? can’t realy see)). Maybe there was a conflict in TouchFLO/Sense, it was trying to update through Wifi but was denied the connection because it was already connected in HSDPA. Can you try to de-activate cellular data connection, and only connect through Wifi and see if you get the same problem when using Sense?

    Nice review though and I agree I wish it had it better camera especialy better video recording (higher than 640X480, the SnapDragon SOC is capable of 720p encoding)

    Cheers

  • admin

    Hi Chris,
    I was criticising you ;-) (hey it was 5am and I was falling asleep on my keyboard lol). Just to be clear, you’ve activated the cellular data connection and the WiFi connection at the same time right? Do you know which one was being used at any given moment? That’s why I found it weird to activated the two connections. (there’s obviously something wrong if the devices keeps looking for a network if you are next to the router). For example, was TouchFlo/Sense using the HSDPA connetion to update (weather/stocks/peep/etc..)? Looked like the device locked on the Wifi when you ran Opera thought (or maybe not ? can’t realy see)). Maybe there was a conflict in TouchFLO/Sense, it was trying to update through Wifi but was denied the connection because it was already connected in HSDPA. Can you try to de-activate cellular data connection, and only connect through Wifi and see if you get the same problem when using Sense?

    Nice review though and I agree I wish it had it better camera especialy better video recording (higher than 640X480, the SnapDragon SOC is capable of 720p encoding)

    Cheers

  • http://twitter.com/c_davies Chris Davies

    Ha, I certainly wasn’t suggesting you couldn’t criticise me, just checking :)

    Unfortunately the HD2 was collected yesterday morning – they’re apparently short on review units :( tbh I think having both connections switched on simultaneously is a more accurate representation of how most people use their devices. A minimum expectation of a smartphone should be that it could manage its own connectivity, flicking between WiFi or cellular data whenever each is available. I have unlimited cellular data on my plan, and a speedy WiFi connection at home, and that’s not unusual for most users of devices like the HD2.

    Something also worth noting is that there appeared to be a refresh issue with the status bar icons, particularly when the animated weather effects were on-screen. They flickered (even when the connection was stable) when the weather animations were active. Switching off those animations got rid of the flicker.

  • http://twitter.com/c_davies Chris Davies

    Ha, I certainly wasn’t suggesting you couldn’t criticise me, just checking :)

    Unfortunately the HD2 was collected yesterday morning – they’re apparently short on review units :( tbh I think having both connections switched on simultaneously is a more accurate representation of how most people use their devices. A minimum expectation of a smartphone should be that it could manage its own connectivity, flicking between WiFi or cellular data whenever each is available. I have unlimited cellular data on my plan, and a speedy WiFi connection at home, and that’s not unusual for most users of devices like the HD2.

    Something also worth noting is that there appeared to be a refresh issue with the status bar icons, particularly when the animated weather effects were on-screen. They flickered (even when the connection was stable) when the weather animations were active. Switching off those animations got rid of the flicker.

  • admin

    The flicker issue happened on the early roms IRC(I remember this problem being fixed by pulling down the task manager on the upper left, weird stuff indeed) do you remember the rom version of the review unit?
    I actualy never used my WinMo devices this way mainly because of the resource hog that is caussed when the phone is scanning for available Wifi networks(as seen in your video), I either use cellular data or Wifi. Wonder if this can be fxied though. It also happens on my iPhone to a lesser extend when activating the Wifi (the fact that it has no background running apps helps it in this situation), you can only use one connection at a time on the iPhpone anyway.
    Wish I could get an HD2 to check it out, hopefully my carrier will have it in a few days/weeks.

  • admin

    The flicker issue happened on the early roms IRC(I remember this problem being fixed by pulling down the task manager on the upper left, weird stuff indeed) do you remember the rom version of the review unit?
    I actualy never used my WinMo devices this way mainly because of the resource hog that is caussed when the phone is scanning for available Wifi networks(as seen in your video), I either use cellular data or Wifi. Wonder if this can be fxied though. It also happens on my iPhone to a lesser extend when activating the Wifi (the fact that it has no background running apps helps it in this situation), you can only use one connection at a time on the iPhpone anyway.
    Wish I could get an HD2 to check it out, hopefully my carrier will have it in a few days/weeks.