The HD2 is the successor to the Touch HD, HTC having decided to drop the 'Touch' this time round, running Microsoft's new Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, or "Windows Phone" as Microsoft are now referring to it.
Codenamed "Leo", the HD2 is HTC's new flagship Windows Mobile PDA. To quote the HTC web site: "HTC HD2 delivers an experience your senses have been waiting for. The unprecedented 4.3-inch pixel-packed display is stunning. The world's first capacitive touch technology on a Windows phone along with 1 GHz processing power ensure a smooth and lightning-fast response to the lightest touch of your finger."
You can read the full specifications on the HTC web site - http://www.htc.com/uk/product/hd2/specification.html
The startup wizard on the HD2 is reminiscent of the Hero and Tattoo Android-based devices.
When powered on for the first time, should the SIM card not be detected, you will be displayed an animation of how it should be inserted:
You will then be guided through how the on-screen capacitive keyboard works and be prompted to set up wireless network access:
Next you will be prompted to enable Google's Location service (which can be used to display GPS location information within applications such as Google Talk instant messaging and Google Maps), as well as set your local time zone:
Once all of these settings have been completed, you're done. Tapping Finish will take you to the default Home Screen:
The Home Screen & Start Menu
The HD2 is HTC's first Windows Mobile device to feature the Sense user interface. The default Windows Mobile 6.5 interface has little to no provision for allowing users to add content to the Home Screen making it difficult to customise the device to your personal requirements. Sense allows you to "make it mine" by adding shortcuts to frequently-accessed applications, contacts or web links as well as Widgets: Internet-enabled applications that can display real-time data such as weather information, email messages, calendar entries, etc:
The Start Menu has been changed in this version of Windows Mobile: rather than being displayed a slide-down menu that occupies part of the screen, you are instead presented with a full-screen grid of icons, which includes both applications as well as the Settings menu:
HTC's TouchFlo technology offers quick and sensible navigation between applications, which can also be customised to your personal preference. Actions are grouped logically, so that when reading an email from an individual, you can quickly select to place a call to that person. In the People application, when viewing a person's contact details, you can also view all calls made to and received from that person, email messages exchanged with them, facebook updates and so on.
The Lock Screen is improved, displaying at a glance information on missed calls, text and email messages as well as calendar entries.
The HD2 has a comprehensive list of preinstalled applications:
Available programs include:
I believe that's what they call 'fully-loaded'!
The People application acts as your Address Book and stores multiple Contact directories from your SIM card, the device's internal memory, a Microsoft Exchange account, etc.
Contacts can be assigned to Favourites and to speed dials and can have images associated with them.
The Albums application allows you to view and organise images stored on the device memory and a storage card, both photographs as well as regular image files:
Image files can be quickly sent to others via email or MMS as well as uploaded to either Facebook or YouTube:
In order to use the latter feature, you will need to be logged into your account with that service, this is done within the Accounts section of the Settings page:
Images can also be set as the default wallpaper and can be assigned to a Footprint, a form of power journal enabling events to be categorised and permanently recorded along with dates, times, GPS coordinates, images and videos:
Slideshows of all available images can also be displayed:
Windows Marketplace for Mobile
This new feature from Microsoft allows you to browse for, download and install supplementary games, applications, sounds, images, themes and utilities for your device, similar in principle to the BlackBerry App World, Google Android Market and Apple App Store.
The MyPhone service from Microsoft allows you to synchronise your personal data with the cloud, effectively enabling you to securely backup your data to your personal 200MB area of Microsoft's online storage. Data can be backed up automatically on a schedule, or manually as you prefer. Once backed up, your data can be restored to any device of your choosing or accessed directly online via your web browser. Data sources that can be backed up include:
The Photos, Videos, Music and Documents options can be applied both to the device's internal storage as well as any inserted memory card.
You will need a Windows Live / Hotmail account in order to use the service. Registration is free.
The client application is installed by default on Windows Mobile 6.5:
When running the application for the first time you will be prompted to accept the terms and conditions of the service:
and then enter your Windows Live account details and set your synchronisation options:
as well as define which folders you wish to synchronise:
Once the initial setup wizard has been configured, you can adjust any settings by selecting the Options Menu:
Once backed up, your data is then also accessible online from any web browser:
Mobile WiFi Router
This feature of the device allows you to share its data connection to the cellular network via WiFi from any suitable device within range, be it another PDA as well as a laptop or any other WiFi-capable client device:
Meaning that you need never worry about finding a WiFi hotspot for your laptop ever again.
The version of IE that ships with Windows Mobile 6.5 is based on version 6 of the desktop browser, meaning that you can view web pages 'as they were intended', with full-screen browsing, zoom and side-to-side scrolling. The desktop experience can be turned off if you prefer viewing the mobile version of web pages if they exist.
Opera is also installed on the device if you prefer.
Remote Desktop Mobile allows you to connect to a suitable desktop PC running Windows XP or later or server running Server 2003 or later:
NOTE - in order to be able to remotely access hosts then you may first need to have established a VPN connection, but otherwise this feature is ideal for IT admin staff who need to be able to remotely control servers via WiFi while in the office.
Windows Live Search allows you to access Microsoft's Bing service directly from the device without first having to load your web browser:
Facebook is included:
The Domain Enrollment feature introduced in Windows Mobile 6.1, allows client devices to connect to a Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager (SCMDM) Server and have Group Policy settings applied to it automatically.
The Domain Enroll feature is accessed within the Comm Manager:
Users are assigned an activation password by the administrator, which needs to be entered on the device along with their full email address:
The device then performs a DNS lookup on the domain entered in the user's email address to locate the external address of the SCMDM Gateway server, for more information on the SCMDM product view the Device Management section of the blog - http://ukblog.im-mobility.com/device-management
The Music Player application, as its name suggests, allows you to play music files stored both locally and on a storage card, as well as display album art, organise playlists, shuffle songs and adjust equalizer settings:
As you'd expect from a device running the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system, the HD2 can synchronise mailbox data with an Exchange server (provided that it is running Exchange 2003 SP2 or later if you want to make use of the push functionality).
Once Exchange 2010 is released, not only will you be able to synchronise contacts, calendar, email and task information, but SMS text messages too:
enabling you to compose text messages directly from within Outlook Web Access (OWA) or Outlook 2010 on the desktop when it's released, and have them sent from your device remotely:
after which they will be displayed in your Sent Items folder:
Also available is the ability to display email messages by Conversation, grouping messages in a common thread together and applying rules to the whole conversation thread to help keep you organised:
In addition to advanced Microsoft Exchange functionality, the HD2 naturally supports the ubiquitous POP and IMAP protocols used by consumer email provider services. The HD2 has the ability to configure common accounts quickly and easily, having the settings predefined, requiring only that you enter your email address and password:
As the HTC web site states, some design features of HTC HD2 are far better experienced than can be explained in mere words. Like the ringer volume level that immediately scales down when the phone detects that you have picked it up, or the display that automatically adjusts to the light level in your surroundings and turns off to prevent false screen touches during a call.
HTC HD2 is built for pure finger touch control. Zoom in and out of documents, web pages, pictures or emails with just a simple pinch. Type up responses faster and more accurately on the large onscreen keyboard. The capacitive touch experience combined with an interface optimized for the spacious display, lets you easily adjust the settings, set up calendar appointments, browse through photos, and navigate through menus with only the touch of a finger.
HTC HD2 has you covered when it comes to taking and viewing pictures wherever you may be. The 5 megapixel auto-focus camera is perfect for capturing the beauty of the great outdoors; combined with the dual LED flash it's also ideal for capturing images in dim conditions. And when you're ready to move from behind the lens and start sharing your collection, you'll dazzle your audience with the large beautifully displayed pictures in the new river-flow gallery.
The HD2 is available to pre-order today, contact Ingram Micro UK Mobility for more information on 0870 849 0225