HTC HD2: Lots of Issues

I recently got hold of an HTC HD2 and have been using the device for a month now. I’m a huge fan of Windows Mobile and have been using the OS for many years, both as a developer and an end-user. However, due to severe usability issues with the current version of HTC Sense, I’d advise against purchasing the handsets for consumer use until the problems are resolved.

Let me start with the positive. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware with a lovely big screen.

Sense UI, HTC’s front-end to Windows Mobile, is an attempt to cover up Windows Mobile’s shortcomings when it comes to providing UI input on a capacitive touch screen. Don’t get me wrong, HTC have done a great job on it and it looks and feels pretty good, but once you skim past the surface, there isn’t a lot of substance to it. Power users especially will get frustrated very quickly.

Anyway, there are loads of reviews covering the positive aspects of this handset. The purpose of this post is to outline the reasons why my handset is now on eBay.

Current Issue List

  • SMS not being sent properly, sitting in outbox or sending randomly on reboot. The HTC hotfix released last week does NOT fix this.  
  • If you switch delivery reports on to address the above, they stay your SMS inbox so every other message is a DR!  
  • SEVERE problem with lag when entering a text message thread with more than 5 messages. Actually, this is not an issue, this is a DISASTER.  
  • My battery doesn’t last the day and my screen brightness is at 20%, Wi-Fi off etc.  
  • Facebook App is pretty much a waste of time, cannot ‘like’ anything or see comments. 
  • The user interface feels messy. It’s a hybrid of Windows Mobile and Sense UI. You never know when you’re going to get a WM dialog.  
  • On the camera, if you’re using the flash when taking a photo, your photos will look overexposed and unnatural. The white balance sucks.
  • The keypad tones are so loud, I have to leave my office to dial a number. Sense UI does not support switching them off or adjusting the volume.

My immediate wishlist:

  • I’d like to be able to write a new text message without waiting 20+ seconds for the current thread to load.
  • I’d like to be able to rely on the alarm feature, which has let me down a few times now.
  • I’d like to be sure people are receiving my texts.
  • I’d like my calendar to integrate with Facebook.

One more thing, there’s a spelling mistake on the most used screen on the device. “Disable wireless connectionss”

Vodafone Snubs HTC HD2 for Apple iPhone Launch

Vodafone on Thursday announced that the company will no longer supply the long-awaited HTC HD2 device after it has fulfilled current back orders for the device, quoting:

“We won’t be re-stocking the HTC HD2 for general consumer sales once our current devices sell out. With subsequent deliveries of stock we’ve prioritised the fulfilment of back orders for the device. Given the wide and expanding range of smartphones available to Vodafone customers, including the iPhone in early 2010, we’re confident that we continue to offer the broadest range of devices to our customers.“

Launched officially in the second week of November, the HD2 sports a 4.3” multi-touch screen and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. It is also HTC’s first Windows Mobile phone to use the HTC Sense interface, which was first seen on the HTC Hero.  Experts predicted the HD2 was going to be a huge success and level the playing field between Apple, Android and Windows Mobile.

According to a Vodafone spokesperson, the company’s telephone and Internet sales teams have been “overwhelmed with customers eager to get their hands on the [HD2] since launch”, which poses questions about why they’d want to pull such a high profile device from their portfolio just weeks after launch.

Perhaps a combination of huge demand coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 3G on the Vodafone network in January posed concerns that this handset would draw too much attention away from Apple’s flagship device?

Although there may be other factors influencing Vodafone’s decision, I do wonder how many iPhones Vodafone agreed to sell to make this decision?

Competition killing backhanders from Apple, “just business” or is Windows Mobile still not quite there? You decide!

The handset is currently available through other UK carriers including T-Mobile and O2.