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Review: HTC HD2

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The T-Mobile HTC HD2 is the best Windows Mobile phone on the market (though the Touch Pro 2 is no slouch if you need a keyboard). Near the end of this year, Microsoft will release the first Windows Phone 7 devices, but I think the HTC HD2 will hold its own against the newcomers, and I wouldn't advise buyers to hold out if they find the HD2 appealing. It's the most polished Windows Phone HTC has produced, with so many details accounted for and surprise features thrown in that they were almost too numerous to count. From the detailed calling screens that show you contact info, messages and Facebook updates for your caller, to the accelerometer gestures to silence the phone or activate the speakerphone, the HTC HD2 represents some of the most innovative thinking of one of the best smartphone makers around. I can't imagine a first generation phone on Microsoft's new mobile OS will have the same level of polish and completeness.

It isn't all great news. The touchscreen doesn't work as well as I'd like, especially in apps that should take the spotlight on such a large screen, like the Web browser and the GPS maps. There are some cool movie options from BlockBuster, but these are nearly ruined by the horrible, ancient Windows Media Player. The HTC HD2 may be one of the best smartphones for calling, messaging and business tasks, but it still concedes to Apple's iPhone what the iPhone has always done best, which is entertainment. The HD2 is not a great pick for music, movies or games, and that's a disappointment considering lush, expansive touchscreen. I'm also disappointed that T-Mobile dropped the Wi-Fi tethering feature I liked so much on the international version of this phone.

So, if you don't mind putting in a little more effort, in the Web browser interface, the media player, etc, the HTC HD2 is a great phone. It gets so many things right that it's a joy to use in day to day business. Even in its flaws, it isn't a bad device, but it could be much better. In the end, the HD2 is an easy phone to recommend for buyers right now, no need to wait for the next big thing . . . and i do mean big.

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