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Thursday, May 6, 2010

HTC HD Mini Phone Review (Window Mobile, tech, report, news, PDA)

There was a time when Windows Mobile used to rule the smartphone seas. Then along came Symbian but that’s a whole other story. It was touchscreen that showed to all the willing challengers that Windows Mobile is just too big to turn around quickly enough and catch the new wind. HTC however seem to disagree and dispel doubts of jumping ship. They have not given up on the cause and the HTC HD mini is the living proof.

So, mini is perhaps the right approach to users who would otherwise feel timid about giving Windows Mobile a try – especially with so many touchscreen temptations around. On the other hand, it does matter whose mini version it is. The almighty HD2 was the first PocketPC with a capacitive screen and a Snapdragon core.

Now, the HTC HD mini is obviously shorter on size, resolution and processing power. But it may be well worth the resources invested in making it what it is – a pocket-friendly, but still powerful handset with solid build, slick design and a touch-friendly UI.

Check out the HTC HD mini key strengths and possible turn-offs in the lists below to get an idea if this is the handset that will suit you.

Key features
3.2" 65K-color HVGA capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch input
Compact body and bold industrial design
Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Professional OS with Sense UI
Qualcomm MSM7227 600 MHz CPU and 384MB RAM
Quad-band GSM support with dual-band HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 2 Mbps
Wi-Fi connectivity
Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support
5 MP autofocus camera with touch focus
VGA video recording at 30fps
microSD card slot
Standard microUSB port and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
Standard 3.5mm audio jack
Stereo FM radio with RDS
MS Office Mobile document editor
Opera 9.5 web browser
YouTube client, Facebook and Twitter integration
Very good audio output quality
Excellent loudspeaker performance
Main disadvantages
Poor display sunlight legibility
No dedicated camera key and no lens cover
Card slot under the battery cover
No DivX/XviD video support out-of-the-box
Preloaded CoPilot Live navigation software is a trial version only
No secondary video-call camera
No voice dialing
No handwriting recognition
Unreliable Flash support in IE Mobile
We all know there’s more to a contemporary smartphone (touchscreen at that) than its spec sheet. The HTC HD mini certainly has the pedigree but the verdict will only be passed on its performance.

Windows Mobile has been known to be pretty demanding on a phone’s processing power, and the Sense UI probably takes its toll too. Our initial impressions of the HD mini were downright positive but it still needs to pass the test of a full review.

Now then, we’ve got a PocketPC on our hands and we’re not gonna let that pet name fool us. It’s been a while so let’s not waste any more time in small talk and move on. On the next page, we look inside the box, before we set off to exploring the hardware and ergonomics.

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