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printed December 14, 2017
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Review: HTC HD2

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Bluetooth

Bluetooth worked fine in all my tests. Using a small headset, calls sounded clear, about as good as they did using the built in earpiece, and pairing the phone was simple and reliable. I also tested the phone with a set of stereo Bluetooth speakers, and these worked even better. There is a huge range of Bluetooth profiles available in the stack, including OPP and FTP for file transfer, as well as all the audio profiles.

Clock

It's easy to use the HD2 to check time. There's a big clock on the lock screen, and another, bigger clock on the main home screen when you unlock the display. I like having a clock permanently planted in the menu bar up top, but the HD2 didn't offer this. Still, it's easy to press the home button and jump right to main screen, if you're not in the middle of an important task.

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Weather

You can't review an HTC Sense phone without talking about the weather. HTC takes weather more seriously than any other manufacturer. The weather app looks amazing, perhaps better than any other built-in app, with forecasts that update using GPS for accurate local weather, and cool graphics to animate the prediction. When it's raining outside, the phone shows droplets and a windshield wiper cleans the screen for you. The Home screen can be customized with a live weather forecast wallpaper, so it's easy to check the weather at a quick glance.

GPS Navigation

TeleNav provides turn-by-turn navigation the HD2. The TeleNav app worked well on the phone, tracking me smoothly on my journeys in and out of the city. There's a good point of interest database, too, to find local spots. It's not the most modern app. The map doesn't support the pinch and zoom gesture, and the entire app could use a subtle visual refresh to keep up with the latest from Google and the third party navigation apps that are making headway in the various app stores. The phone also uses Google Maps for static mapping. It can offer you directions, but it can't offer you live, turn-by-turn directions on your trip. I wish these two mapping apps could come together somehow. Even if Google Maps simply sent the destination or route to TeleNav to finish the job, that would be an improvement.

Wi-Fi Tethering

The HTC HD2 on T-Mobile does not allow you to share your network connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices. I only bring this up because I had a chance to use the European version of the HD2, and Wi-Fi tethering was one of my favorite features. Like the Palm Pre Plus on Verizon Wireless or the HTC Evo 4G coming to Sprint this summer, the Euro HD2 could act as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot and share its network connection with other devices. It would have been a great feature to have on T-Mobile's 3G network, but it got lost in the translation to the U.S. model.

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