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Review: HTC HD2

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch  


The huge touchscreen on the HTC HD2 is obviously the standout feature. The high resolution, 800 by 480 pixel display is always clear and bright, and the HTC Sense interface looks crisp and colorful. Text is always clean and legible, whether you're reading a Web page or a book in the Barnes and Noble e-reader. Photos are sharp, as well. Outside, the phone lost a lot of brightness, but still performed better than an OLED display. Fingerprints were a problem, as they are on most touchscreens, but the phone didn't show any scratches during my test period. Considering the HD2 is really a giant screen with a phone wrapped around it, its nice to see that the display delivers.


The HTC HD2 was a little behind in terms of wireless signal. While other 3G T-Mobile phones, like my Google Nexus One, held a steady 3-4 bars of service, the HTC HD2 was usually a bar short. This resulted in some dropped calls. Most annoyingly, I was never able to complete a multi-hour talk test because the phone couldn't hold a connection for the 6+ hours I'd estimate for talk time. Most people won't mind a dropoff or two during a 6 hour conversation, but the point is really that the HD2 dropped more calls than I'd expect from T-Mobile. Wi-Fi was also occasionally a problem. The phone had trouble finding my Wi-Fi network at first, and I occasionally had to make the phone forget its settings and find the network anew when the phone didn't respond properly to my home WAN.


Sound quality on the HTC HD2 was very good. During calls, my callers sounded present and clear. On their end, callers said I sounded just as clean. The speakerphone sounds good, but could be much louder on this device. For music and videos, you'll want to connect a pair of headphones. Ringtones, on the other hand, managed a surprising loudness, and I could easily hear rings or alerts when the phone was in another room, or buried under couch cushions.

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Battery life on the T-Mobile HTC HD2 was solid, perhaps even exemplary considering the huge screen the battery drives. I got a little more than 6 hours of talk time, though never in a row, as I said earlier. For mixed use, the HD2 lasted a full day, and even waited patiently on standby for more than a day without a charge. You'll have to charge the phone every night, but if you miss a charging period, you'll probably make it through a day if you skip Web browsing and navigation. More importantly, the HD2 was able to last through two complete feature films. I downloaded "Fantastic Mr. Fox" from the Blockbuster app, then played through "Transformers 2," which comes preloaded on the phone. The phone died within minutes of the end of the second movie, but that was about 4 hours of solid video, including the initial 20 minute Wi-Fi download.

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