By now you will know what smartphones are and what we are looking for in a top smartphone, but does the HTC Touch HD have what it takes? They are becoming increasingly popular not only in the business sector but also for those who just want an ultimate phone. We’ve looked at the iPhone 3G which is widely accepted as the market leader, but what have the rest of the pack got to offer and do they even compete with the iPhone’s usability and design?
We move onto the HTC Touch HD which is the latest offering from the portable computing manufacturer, and at first look it is quite impressive. It has a nice black design and makes full use of it with a large touchscreen taking up most of the front of the phone, and like the iPhone there isn’t a QWERTY keyboard in sight.
Ease of use
One of the massive advantages of this smartphone is the wonderful screen, which despite being a similar size to the iPhone (it is in fact bigger with an impressive 3.8 inches) manages to pack in the pixels resulting in an impressive 480×800 resolution. This ultimately means that using the screen is a dream despite the fact that it uses a Windows Mobile 6.1 making browsing easy with decreased need to be constantly zooming in (which is easy regardless) and more importantly you can actually do work.
The impressive screen means it is actually possible to do office activities on it, including fiddly programmes like excel, not only with relative ease but also in a way that means you can see the entire screen and not just a small section at a time. Unfortunately the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system is clunky and cannot match the iPhone for elegance, but TouchFLO 3D front-end covers it up well and gives you a phone that is still nice to use.
This phone is complete with lots of nice little features that make it that little bit easier to use, and many of them are things that are ignored by other smartphones. Haptic feedback is where the phone gives out a small buzz when it is pressed and although that may sound unimportant it is very nice to have when you are tapping away. It also has an accelerometer which helps to make the most of the widescreen not only for browsing and work but also for videos and pictures.
On that note the camera is one of the best with 5 megapixels and the ability to capture video both of which work very well on the wonderful screen. You can also expect to get the normal array of applications (MS Office etc) as well as several connectivity options (HSDPA, Wi-Fi, FM radio and Bluetooth). The assisted (via Google Maps) GPS is also very smooth and easy to use.
The design is fairly understated — no fancy colours, chrome plating or minimalistic design — but it remains good looking whilst being functional. Admittedly not as good as the iPhone but still impressive, the black case is very sophisticated and the four buttons at the bottom of the screen add to the look rather than detracting from it. And for a change they are actually useful, the back and home buttons are fairly self explanatory, but having the call buttons separate means you don’t accidentally press them when on the phone.
With a price tag of £685 is one of the more expensive phones out there (and the SIM free option at £525 is perhaps a little too much) but it is by no way extortionate and compared to the iPhone it is not unreasonable.
One of the outstanding things about this phone is the battery life, which comes in at around 120 hrs, the longest surviving of any of the top phones. This is a massive benefit to everybody who uses it — for those listening to music on the move, work on the tube or taking photos with their family — extra battery life is always very welcome.
The HTC Touch HD really is a great top smartphone — whilst it may suffer from the clunky-ness of Windows Mobile 6.1 it does well to cover it up and still manages to retain the compatibility advantages of Windows. The screen makes it very easy to use, and is probably the highlight of the phone due to the fact that it makes everything that bit easier to do. The camera is very good, and the battery is the best out there so it really is a great phone not only for the business minded but also for those who want a general purpose phone that can do everything.