HTC Touch HD2 gets another review: declared “a tragedy”

HTC Touch HD2 gets another review: declared 'a tragedy'We ran a piece last week previewing one of the early reviews for the Windows Mobile-powered HTC Touch HD2 handset, and the folks at Gizmodo have just posted their thoughts.

The review starts in glowing terms, with the Touch HD2 being described as, ” the nicest phone in the world …ostentatiously huge and amazingly slim …business-savvy and utterly pornographic.”

The praise continues to flow freely as the HTC’s delightfully constructed lines are lovingly admired and the nippy Sense UI praised for delivering the goods with gusto.

And now the bad news

Despite its beautiful build, enormous screen and healthy battery life, the reviewer is quick to point out what he feels is the phone’s Achille’s Heel: Windows Mobile, declaring the choice of OS, “a tragedy.”

And don’t get me wrong, this whole Sense thing is surprisingly usable—it’s a fairly rare occasion that you fall out of HTC’s safe, smooth, grey-and-black arms, and into the Windows 3.1-esque hell that has been, and somehow still is, a Windows Mobile hallmark .

With Sense HTC has made a sort of meta-OS, which uses Windows Mobile 6.5 as a behind-the-scenes stagehand, which only shows its face when it absolutely needs to. HTC has even added multitouch to the browser, maps and photo applications, which works surprisingly well for what almost certainly qualifies as an after-the-fact hack.

It’s impressive, but every time you notice the absurd lengths to which HTC has gone to deny this phone is running Windows—they’ve even replaced the calendar and text messaging apps, for god’s sake—you find yourself asking the same question: Why even bother?

We have to say we’re a little baffled by this review.

Sure, we dislike clunky ol’ WM as much as the next serious smartphone user, but if HTC has created a fast, intuitive and beautiful handset that delivers in all departments, why should anyone really care what’s powering it?

The hardware and software appears to have performed perfectly well throughout, and with the reviewer describing the whole handset as “bliss,” we’re having trouble seeing where the tragedy is here… is it the phone, or the reviewer’s bias?


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11 Comments on “HTC Touch HD2 gets another review: declared “a tragedy””

  1. It’s pretty obvious why Gizmodo don’t like the handset – the site is a veritable nest of Apple fanboys.

    They’re so in awe of Apple that they ran some dodgy virus-laden adverts on their site because – get this – they didn’t have a single Windows machine available to check it on first.

    This phone looks great to me.

  2. We know WM sucks, but it looks like HTC have all but buried the OS, so I don’t get why this phone gets a bad review.

    It looks gorgeous, has a set of specs that make the iPhone look old and who can’t love a screen like that? I’m looking for a new phone now and I’ll be putting this on my list along with the Palm Pre and Droid.

  3. What are those fanboys at Giznmodo on?!! The HD2C looks absolutely fantastic to me – I’ve tried the Sense UI on other handsets and I find it way superior to the iPhone’s interface which, let’s face it – looking a bit tired now. I can’t wait to have ago on this handset – I just hope there’s some good deals available in the UK.

  4. I completely agree. I didn’t understand the review either. The phone looks gorgeous and nearly every review of it was good apart from this one which makes no sense really. Fantastic but a tragedy? wtf.

  5. I understood Gizmodo’s review very well though. Being a former user of WinMo since the good ole days where PDAs were still PDAs and Phones were stil Phones. WinMo is a complete turn-off then and still is.

    “Need to modify a setting that HTC didn’t deem important enough to put in their own control panel? Good luck. And god forbid you don’t like Sense, and want to stick with vanilla 6.5, you basically can’t: It’s not quite ready for stylus-free use”

    This is too true. The HD2 came with a capacitative screen which is worthy of praise. But like the review said, if you wanna change some setting that is within the Touch UI, you’re doomed. You’ll be transfered back to WinMo’s Vanilla screen trying to check those tiny boxes with you fingers. Spare me the agony.

    Also, never forget Microsoft’s registry and DLL hell. My gf is using a touch diamond 2. When brand new, it was fast! So fast I was very impressed. But try installing some 20 software into it and it’s a whole different story. Lags like my old grandmother trying very hard to play football. No doubt the HD2 came with impressive specs, but softwares will be quick to take advantage of the high end specs as well. Soon it’ll be lagging it out too.

  6. But like the review said, if you wanna change some setting that is within the Touch UI, you’re doomed.

    Sorry, I meant something that’s NOT within the touch UI

  7. i do agree that the phone hardware is the best in the market now.
    its the software that i am worried about. as i am a winmo user as well. initally the phone performance was pretty good.. quite fast and not much lag. but after installing upgrading to wm6.5 plus installing the some software. the phone became very slow in responding to input.

    thats y i am seriously comparing iphone to this htc touch hd 2

  8. I’m a wm user and have had numerous HTC devices. Have had enough now. Theyn are far too slow with releasing fixed roms and the devices are buggy, not just the software drivers, the hardware too. Fancy releasing the touch hd with no flash. I’ve had no end of trouble with gps apps. What’s the point of even including the gsensor if the touch flo interface and os doesn’t work properly with it? And no apps available; oh excuse me there are plenty of WM5 apps available (3 years old)- woops. I’m switching to Apple, goodbuy HTC and WM. By the way, I’m a Microsoft Certified Professional.

  9. You’re still be stuck with no flash on the iPhone too.

    I think the Palm webOS is the best mobile OS out there, but in Europe we’re lagging miles behind with apps.

  10. amazing phone. love my hd2. faster processor, easier to navigate. not bad at all. love my new unlocked gsm phones. email and gps are great for my business and my wife loves hers for the facebook and camera. my daughter loves hers she can record whatever she wants. much better than my old unlocked nokia phones. i like the web browser it’s easy to use and the screen is big enough for good youtube video’s and big pictures. it’s also light and not tooo big, which is nice. got our last couple unlocked new phones at 2 thumbs way up

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