HTC HD2 review: Portrait of a rockstar
Apps and stuff
The HTC HD2 comes with plenty of preloaded applications - an RSS Reader, MP3 Trimmer, HTC Peep, Facebook, Bing, Wi-Fi Router, World Card Mobile, Jetcet Print, a YouTube application and a Streaming Media manager.
The RSS Hub app is an RSS reader for staying up-to-date with the latest news and content at your favorite web places. The Streaming Media manager allows access to custom sources of streaming audio and video.
The Facebook and Peep are the official mobile apps for accessing the popular social networks of Facebook and Twitter. You can do almost everything with them - change status, write posts, upload photos or organize albums, stay connected to your friends and all that stuff. As we mentioned before, there is complete Facebook integration with the new phonebook. When you link a Facebook profile to a contact you can view its status message, updates and online albums directly in the Contact manager.
HTC Peep works directly in the Twitter tab, so you won't need to run it from the Start menu.
The Wi-Fi router allows you to share your HSPA connection to other Wi-Fi enabled devices such as a mobile computer, while the Jetcet Print will let you to print documents wirelessly directly from your HD2.
WorldCard Mobile is a business card scanner. You can capture cards, and then edit or save them.
HTC HD2 also ships with the MP3 Trimmer app. It allows you to crop MP3 tracks to make your own ringtones. Another goodie is the Remote Desktop Mobile client. It allows you to connect remotely to any Windows-based computer.
Another thing that has become a part of the HTC experience is the well-known Teeter game. The game is simple - by tilting the phone, you must guide a ball through various mazes avoiding trap holes along the way. The graphics are polished and the phone vibrates each time your ball hits the walls of the maze making it quite engaging to play.
The YouTube application is here again. It offers a fluid, excellent looking interface - shinier than even the iPhone's.
Embedded GPS, CoPilot Live 8 on trial
The HTC HD2 features a built-in GPS receiver. It also supports the Assisted-GPS technology, commonly known as A-GPS. It means you can download current satellite data over Wi-Fi or the 2G/3G network for a much faster satellite lock.
The HD2 comes with a trial version of CoPilot Live 8 and the free Google Maps. The 4.3" touchscreen of the HD2 is a serious threat to dedicated GPS units. Anyway, you have 14 days to test the CoPilot Live and decide if the HD2 can do the full-time job of in-car SatNav unit.
The good thing about CoPilot Live 8 is that it allows you to download the whole map for your region so you don't need to download it over the wireless network on the go. The bad thing is that the software won't allow downloading to the memory card so all the storage you have available fits within the 180MB worth of free space storage on the system partition. Sadly, that won't take you too far - both geographically and metaphorically.
The chip sensitivity of the HTC HD2 seems to be quite decent for a reasonably fast initial satellite lock. Both CoPilot 8 and Google Maps have multi-touch support, while the double tap works only in the GMaps.
The built-in digital compass enhances the digital map experience even further. The compass works in CoPilot, but not in GMaps. Still it's more important for the navigation software and we think there will soon be an update to give the Google app compass support.
Update 11 Dec: The latest Google Maps 3.3.1 adds the awaited compass support. Well, sort of. Instead of an auto rotating map, you get a blue arrow (replacing the standard “My location” dot) hopefully showing accurately which way you're heading at the moment. We really hope they would add the map rotation feature ala Android or iPhone soon.
Check out how pinch zooming works in Google Maps on the HTC HD2.