HTC HD2 review: Portrait of a rockstar

GSMArena team, 17 November 2009.

Generous retail package

HTC thought of everything when they put together the HD2 retail box. Along with the handset itself you get a USB wall charger, standard microUSB cable, software CD and a quick start guide.

There is also a one-piece headset with dedicated music controls; however, it sounds so bad you'd be wise to get rid of it and look for a proper replacement if you consider yourself an audiophile. Luckily, that headset isn't your only option since the HD2 is kind enough to offer a 3.5mm audio jack.

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The HD2 unboxed

Digging deeper you'll also find a 2GB microSD card and a stylish carrying pouch. While we're impressed by the pouch, we felt the enclosed memory card capacity was a little disappointing.

And here is a quick unboxing video of the HTC HD2.

HTC HD2 360-degree spin

A screen that big has its consequences. The HD2 measures in at 120.5 x 67 x 11 mm. The increase in the overall size of the phone has crossed some usability lines. We still find the HD2 reasonably easy to handle and the responsiveness and speed are remarkable. We're not sure which one will have you more impressed: the size or the sensitivity of the screen. The thin waistline does reasonably well to make the height and width of the handset a bit more acceptable.

The weight of 157 grams is also understandable: the screen is covered by glass and the battery cover is all metal. Nevertheless, we don't consider the added weight a disadvantage. The phone feels very robust and well built.

Design and construction

The HTC HD2 makes a better first impression than its predecessor - the HTC Touch HD. It's not that the differences are so big, but the thin frame combined with an even larger display and higher quality materials make for a pretty impressive combo.

The new HD feels much more sophisticated - this is quite hard to achieve actually on such a big device. We still have to admit though that we liked the styling of the keys below the display better on the Touch HD.

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HTC HD2 makes a great first impression

The number of hardware controls on the HD2 body has been increased over its predecessor. There are five hardware keys below the display now. The Menu key is the newcomer - it's mandatory for all WinMo 6.5 devices (such as the Touch2 which we reviewed a week ago). Just as a comparison, the original Touch HD had only four keys (and they were all touch sensitive). The actual hardware buttons on the HD2 are smallish but well defined and with adequate press feedback.

The inconsistency between the HD2 regular hardware keys and the over-sensitive capacitive screen certainly needs a little time to get used to but it's not too bad.

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The five regular keys below the display are small but comfortable

The left-hand side of the device hosts only a volume rocker. It is reasonably tactile and we have nothing to complain about here.

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The volume rocker is on the left

Unfortunately, there's no camera shutter key on the right side, just as there wasn't one on the Touch Diamond, Touch Diamond2 and the original Touch HD. The top of the HD2 is also bare.

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The bare right-hand side of the HD2 There is nothing on top either

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