HTC HD2 Review

I have just received the newest HTC Windows Mobile phone from the U.S, the Tmobile HD2.  While many editors try to compare every smartphone that hits the market as a challenger to the Apple Iphone and the comparisons fall short, this phone could be deemed as a serious challenger. I don't believe that Apple will ever be knocked off their Platform due to their tight integration of hardware and software of which they have total control. Smartphones are typically manufactured by a hardware company like Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG, etc.  The operating systems on those phones are developed by Microsoft, Symbian, Google and therefore it is difficult to tightly configure the software aspect to work on every single phone properly.  This challenge has always been something that has forced Cellphone manufacturers to delay releases of their product while they tweak the operating system to work with their particular hardware. The HTC HD2 or LEO as its known encompasses the lastest technologies available in Smartphones today.  The HUGE 4.3" Touch screen is unsurpassed by any other competitor and the brilliance and clarity are evident when you use any program or watch a movie.  This reader found the screen to be very responsive to touch although there are some aspects of the operating system which produced a lag in switching between programs and screens.   HTC provides a notable software component that sits above Windows 6.5 which is Microsofts latest Mobile Operating system and it is called Sense.   The Sense UI (User Interface) polishes up the mundane layout of Windows and allows for fast task and screen switching with a user customizable interface.  Sense is a component that is available on several HTC models and many ROM Cookers (people that rework operating systems and add functions outside of the developers authority) have added it to Android. The minute you put the battery inside the HTC HD2 and power up the device you are impressed with the solid construction of the device.  This is not a flimsly plasticky piece of hardware!!!  You first notice the gorgeous screen which captivates and grabs your attention immediately.  At the bottom are buttons which allow you activate the home screen, launch program listings and there is a back button to move back to a previous screen or a previous program. HTC Sense makes it easy to find the most important functions on the Home screen which the user can switch quite easily.  There is kinetic scrolling to move the  nine blocks forming a square into full view.  You can then tap and select which program you want to launch from those nine panels.   Sense also has a horizontally scrolling panel at the bottom of the screen which allows you to move between many many programs and launch them.  These features improve tremendously on the Stock Windows menu that is included in version 6.5 of Windows Mobile Smartphone Touch edition. The HD2 has full Bluetooth, Wifi and Phone features allowing you to connect to cellphone networks, Wifi hotspots and various Bluetooth devices such as Headsets, Car Kits, speakers and more.  These features are accessed by tapping on the Comm Manager icon on the Home screen.  The activation sequence is quite intuitive and requires just a few taps to configure your device to work with the HD2. HTC has included excellent Multimedia functionality and the Sense UI allows for scrolling through photographs, videos, music and access them with just a couple of taps.  This avoids the user having to navigate through an endless tree of menus before reaching the function that they would like to use. HTC has learned from previous mistakes and included a standard 3.5" headphone jack next to the USB data/charging port at the bottom of the device.  I would have preferred to have this headphone jack located at the top to facilitate keeping the phone in my shirt pocket while listening to music without having to turn the device upside down. The phone also charges quite fast using the included Micro USB charger and you can charge it from any USB port on a computer as well.  This feature is quite helpful to people that travel frequently and somehow forget to take their charger with them.  The included battery pack has more than enough power to get your through a normal day of usage but power users will find that watching videos, using GPS and Wifi will drain the battery much faster. The GPS built in to the device works on AGPS  (assisted GPS) which allows for a file to be downloaded to assist the GPS in getting a fix much quicker.  I tried to use the GPS by deactivating the AGPS feature and got a fix within 1 minute in a mountainous area of the Northern U.S.  The device got a fast fix but also managed to connect to 12 satellites while my dedicated GPS unit took over 5 minutes to get a fix and even then only grabbed a signal from 5 satellites. Overall I would highly recommend the HTC HD2 as a worthy competitor to the Iphone.  Many people who don't like the Apple interface would find this to be intuitive and quite functional while the hardware features are superb.  The build quality is a 10/10 and anyone would not be dissapointed in buying the HD2. I give this device a 10/10 overall 9/10 Hardware 9/10 Software 9/10 Build Quality and Design