Windows Mobile 6.5 is getting a bit long in the tooth now but write it off at your peril. The HTC HD2 is simply amazing thanks to the HTC Sense interface and there’s still a big community out there. The HD2, which we reviewed here, has the 1Ghz chip, huge screen and all the specs you could need but, if we’re honest, the size could put some people off. The smaller HD mini brings a 3.2″ capacitive 320×480 HVGA screen and Windows Mobile 6.5 is yet again covered up with the excellent HTC Sense user interface. Sure, the 600Mhz CPU isn’t as potent as the 1Ghz CPU in the HD2, but trust me, you’re not going to notice all that much.
Other specs include..
– 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus
– 3.5mm audio port and microUSB connector
– 512MB ROM, 384MB RAM with microSD memory slot for up to 32GB storage
– Quad-band GSM / EDGE, dual-band 3G / HSPA
– WiFi Router / Internet Sharing
– G-Sensor, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor
– Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
– FM Radio
– Facebook, YouTube, Peep (for Twitter)
Let’s take a look around the handset before we dive into the video reviews. Firstly, there’s no stylus and no navigation control. This is kinda daring considering the OS was designed for a stylus on a screen this size. The previous “get around” would’ve simply been to have made the screen bigger.
The navigation buttons at the bottom are merely icons and respond to a fairly soft push. The front of the device has a smooth black feel with the keys being back-lit in white. To the left is the call answer key, the home key and then, on the grey section, the Windows and “back” key. The call drop key is at the end.
If we flip the phone over you can see those screws – these actually hold the phone together. They’re not design “bits”, but actual screws that hold the thing together. At the bottom of the picture is the microUSB slot, microphone (to the right) and the lanyard loop (to the left). On the back you get a rubbery feel to the battery cover.
On the left side of the phone you get the volume up / down key. This is in a polished silver colour.
On the top is the 5 megapixel camera. This responds very quickly and takes some pretty decent photos. You can see the shots I took here. Just on the top there you can see the 3.5mm audio port which is sliced neatly into the top.
HTC have added a little surprise if you take the battery cover off too. It’s this bright yellow battery and battery housing. You’ll also notice that the area around the SIM and the microSD is actually see-thru, letting you see the circuit-board beneath.
So, in these mini-reviews we do a lot of video blogs. The handsets are only here for a couple of days so we’ve got the following four videos for you to enjoy..
Inside the HTC Sense interface gives you a slick way to get around your phone with tabs showing a different area of your phone. The first tab is the time, calendar and call history etc. It’s a great way to see the most needed information, such as whether your alarm is set etc. Notice how the Windows Mobile 6.5 “bubble buttons” have been changed to make them fit in with the HTC Sense style..
Although there’s not the “drag and drop” widget-style interface that you get on Android devices, the Sense interface here on WinMo is slick and you can adjust it to display the information you need. Here I’m in the weather tab and you can choose a city or have the GPS grab data from your local area. The clouds fly by and the rain hammers against the screen depending on the outlook. It’s really lovely to look at.
The settings can be adjusted easily using the friendly HTC system. If you want advanced settings you will find yourself quickly dumped into the old Windows Mobile OS, but most of the commonly used bits are here (apart from changing the text sound as you probably saw in the videos).
The HD mini is integrated with your social networks and there’s a tab dedicated to Twitter. Here you can see the recent updates from your friends and you can post a Tweet directly.
Overall the HD mini is an excellent phone. With Windows Phone 7 on the horizon we’d still recommend it provided you’re not fussed about the fact that it can’t upgrade to the all-new OS coming along in December.