I posted a quick first impressions of the HTC HD2 yesterday, but as I was commuting home on the train I had a chance to spend more time with the media capabilities of the device and wanted to share a few thoughts and a video with you. As you can see the weather animations alone will turn you into a fan of tracking the weather, the photo viewer rivals the iPhone, and the HTC media player is awesome.
WeatherYou can add locations around the world, but there are limits to the cities in the database so it won't pick them up by area code and may not include your city. I understand there is a reg hack you can perform to enable more customized city selections, but my current cities are covered so I didn't have to worry about this.
As you travel around the Home screen city will change to match your actual location, but then you can bounce over to the Weather tab and flip through different cities. The animations are simply fantastic and I particularly enjoy the snow and thunderstorms.
PhotosOne reason I make it a point to carry the iPhone around to events where I will be bumping into family or friends I haven't seen in a while is to share photos with a device that has an excellent photo experience. I am pleased to say the HTC HD2 beats the iPhone in fluidity and abilities with photo viewing. You can view photos in portrait, but the real magic happens when you rotate into landscape orientation and your photo thumbnails fly across the screen. You can pinch and zoom, scroll, and share those photos. You can switch quickly to other albums and then even enable the camera and capture photos with the 5 megapixel lens.
You can tap a single F icon and view you and your friends Facebook albums right from within the application. You can tap on a photo and share it via email, MMS, Facebook, or YouTube. There are a number of transitions and durations for enjoying photos in slideshow mode as well. With the multitasking capability of the OS you can have music playing in the background as you enjoy the slideshow too.
MusicWhen you first jump to the Music tab you might think it is the same as what we have seen before on TouchFLO 3D and there are a few options in portrait mode. I particularly liked the single tap to update album art for lots of music that I had from a CD with no album art attached to it. I now have album art for almost all my music.
Again, the real magic happens when you pop the device over on its side and switch to landscape orientation. Your album art turns into a cover flow experience and you can zip through all your albums in a flash. I especially like the left music icon that shifts the album art to the right and has the song order, titles, and times appear with album art on the right. You can use the right side arrows to jump up and down a song or simply tap or scroll right through the song list to quickly get to where you want. There is a play/pause button in the center of the two right selection arrows.
Did I also mention that the HD2 only has a single speaker that is LOUD? Listen to it in my video and you can hear it for yourself.
I plan to next try to convert some DVDs into a format for watching on the HD2. The Star Trek DVD package I bought yesterday comes with a digital copy so I will try that out first. I also plan to test out the still and video capabilities of the 5 megapixel camera this weekend. Do you have any other media related functions you want me to check out?
UPDATE: I figured out that Zune Pass subscription music plays perfectly on the HTC HD2. All you need to do is connect in ActiveSync mode to your Windows PC (I used my Windows 7 MSI Wind netbook) and then launch Windows Media Player and drag the songs you want onto your HD2 external storage card drive. With the awesome HTC media player application, the HD2 is turned into an awesome alternative to the Zune HD.
HTC HD2 reviews from around the InternetAs I continue to work on my full review, I found several very good reviews of the HTC HD2 that can occupy you all weekend so check these out:
- 4WinMobile has all the benchmarks
- TechRadar has 7 pages in their review
- MoDaCo has an almost 45 minute video
- MobilityMinded devoted 3 people to this review task
- Pocketnow awarded the HD2 a rare 5 out of 5 rating