Today was the Australian launch of the HTC HD2 Smartphone. Running Windows Mobile 6.5 it’s receiving a surprising amount of commendations. Whilst HTC have added their own UI layer with TouchFlo 3D, the overall user experience is reported to be the best of any Windows Mobile device on the market.
Not entirely surprising when they’ve taken so many cues from the industry leader in user experience – the iPhone. The elimination of a physical keyboard, the use of a capacitive, rather than resistive touch screen, accelerometer, disabled screen when in calls, are all similarities. When there HD2 has it over the iPhone, is the high res screen, faster processor, better camera and wi-fi hotspot features.
The HD2 features:
- 4.3” capacitive multi-touch screen (480 x 800 res)
- Windows Mobile 6.5 w/HTC Sense (Windows Mobile 6.5.3 not yet available)
- TouchFlo 3D user interface
- 5-megapixel camera (autofocus, dual LED flash)
- Wi-Fi sharing (becomes a hotspot for other devices)
- 1Ghz Snapdragon processor
- 448 MB RAM
- Tethering via USB or Bluetooth
- Digital Compass
- Proximity Sensor
- Standard 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
- Battery life (Up to 8hrs video, up to 12hrs audio, talk time: 320-380mins, standby: 390-490mins).
Despite all these features, it’s still hard to get around the App Store issue. Whilst WinMo has a massive amount of apps, the number of apps is essentially irrelevant, the number of high-quality apps is the number that’s important.
Long Zheng over at the istartedsomething blog has been hands on with the device all day and suggests its time to “stop generalizing Windows Phones”. Recognising that far to often the experience of a WinMo phone has been an ordinary one, Microsoft and HTC now have a phone to be proud of.
It still remains to be seen if this phone is upgradable to Windows Mobile 7, but we’ll have to wait to Mobile World Congress in February before we have that confirmed.
Telstra currently have an exclusive on the phone, but that’s got a limited timeframe, so if your on another network, its just a matter of time. The HD2 is currently selling for A$829 outright or $0 on an $80 per month plan for 24-months.
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