Written on 11/06/2009 08:35:00 AM by poison_ivy
HTC has just announced the availability of the HTC HD2 here in Europe as well as in Asia. You know what that means? You'll see a lot of unboxing and video reviews of HTC's latest gem around the net. Luckily for me, because of friends in high places, I was able to get a hands-on on the HTC HD2. Read on to see what I think.
Honestly, with 4.3 inches screen, the HTC HD2 is the BIGGEST smartphone I've handled. The screen is just HUGE but then the mobile phone itself is thin. For females, the HTC HD2 would seem daunting specially since you can't exactly slip it on your jeans pocket.
The screen colors are remarkably brilliant indoors, but still can't compare with Samsung's AMOLED screens. I wasn't able to test how the screen sunlight legibility is since I got hands-on on this baby indoors in the evening.
I love HTC's TouchFlo 3D on my Diamond2 but I've always wondered how the HTC Sense is on the Android. Now, thanks to the HTC HD2, I'm able to see what all the hubbub is on the HTC Sense. First off, I love the weather tab on Touchflo 3D and I've always wished that whenever I open my mobile phone, it would go straight to the weather tab. The new UI on the HTC HD2 has the weather application on the homescreen together with clock. The graphics are really amazing and I love how the clouds rolls around the whole screen.
HTC also updated the icons on the tabs and decided to put in more colors instead of the usual black and white. HTC Diamond2 users (those still on WinMo 6.1) can also change their touchflo 3D tab icons and I actually did that a few days back so that's one less thing Diamond2 users can be envious about the HD2. I'll try to write a blog post on how to do that these coming days. Anyways, going back to the Sense UI on the HTC HD2, you can also call up the menu screen right from the homescreen by flicking your finger upwards.
I actually don't like the new People or contacts tab. In my HTC Diamond2, the contacts are arrange in a sort of Album Art fashion, in the HTC HD2, all your contacts are arrange in big thumbnails. Sure, it's easier to search for contacts especially if you have tons of favorite contacts but it's less of an eye-candy.
The HTC HD2 has a capacitive screen so you don't have to press as hard. Screen responsiveness is fast and if you've own a Diamond2 or the first Touch HD, you'll notice that the interface is a bit snappier. Usually, when I try to browse the tabs after my Diamond2 has been idle for a few hours, there's a noticeable lag but that seems to have disappeared on the HTC HD2 and it may be thanks to the 1GHz processor.
And the best thing I love about the HTC HD2: multi-touch! Yes, I know! I thought WinMo can't do multitouch?! Well, HTC made that possible. You can now use that pinch and zoom thingy like on the iPhone on the image gallery. HTC did a pretty great job and the pinch and zoom motion is smooth and responsive, very comparable with the iPhone.
Camera, Multimedia, Browser
The HTC HD2's camera is still 5 megapixels but now has LED flash. Now I love how HTC just covered WinMo and made it user-friendly and cool but really, cameras are not HTC's thing. Trust me, I've had HTC handsets before and even though a lot of winmo users say that HTC Diamond2's camera is an improvement, it's nothing compared with Samsung's mobile phone cameras.
The audio player also changed on the Sense UI. On the TouchFlo 3D, you can have a glimpse of the Album Art covers or the next song because the Album Art are kinda stacked. On the Sense UI, you only see the Album Art of the currently playing song. The good news is that the accelerometer now works on the music player. When you turn the HTC HD2 in landscape mode, you get an iPhone-like coverflow interface.
Multitouch also works on the browser and the new internet explorer on WinMo 6.5 renders pages quickly. Now this is where HTC HD2 would definitely be a must-have—for YouTube addicts. Since Internet Explorer supports flash, you can now view YouTube videos on the browser. With the large screen, it's no longer awkward viewing YouTube Videos.
My first impressions? One word: AWESOME. But of course, since I didn't have the phone for a long time, I'm still having reservations. My Diamond2 is known for having a few memory leaks when a lot of applications have been opened and when I haven't done a soft reset on the phone for a week, there's some memory leak issues. And of course, theres' the battery life issue. For sure, the HTC HD2 will be a power hog. But for what it's worth, HTC has definitely matured over the past years and I'm okay with my Diamond2 so I'm not too worried about the HTC HD2. But I'll let you in on a full review once I'm able to get my hands on the HTC HD2 for a full week.