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Size matters - or choose your phone according to your pocket

I’ve just posted a First Take story on the HTC HD2.It’s a superb device.
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributing Writer

I’ve just posted a First Take story on the HTC HD2.

It’s a superb device. The fast processor and capacitive screen give Windows Mobile the kind of lift that brings it up to the high standards set by Apple with its iPhone.

The HD2 responds quickly to screen taps, while the capacitive display caters for pinch to zoom. It really is a joy to use.

So confident is HTC that you won’t ever need more than a finger or two to interact with the HD2 that it comes without a stylus – absolutely unheard of as far as Windows Mobile touch or tap supporting devices are concerned.

The reason for that confidence is the huge screen. At 4.3 diagonal inches it is easily capable of displaying Web pages, and the accelerometer lets you switch between wide and tall formats readily. When entering text you have a choice of using the QWERTY tappable keyboard in wide or tall modes. Most rarely, even in the latter orientation I found it easy to tap out text at a fair speed.

This is all great stuff.

But there is a trade-off. The HTC HD2 is large. So far I’ve only had it for a few days, and it has already given me a couple wardrobe issues.

I’m not one for carrying a bag unless it is absolutely necessary. But at 120.5mm x 67mm x 11mm the HD2 needs larger pockets than I can always offer.

In addition, my slightly small hands mean I can’t reach right across the screen with a thumb to use the HD2 one-handed. That means checking something can be a two-handed operation, not recommended when you are standing on a bus which is cornering.

Of course, there is always a trade-off between size and usability. We see it in notebooks – those with huge screens aren’t exactly portable, those with teeny screens are very portable but not always easy to use. I have in the past complained about touchscreened handsets having too little screen to adequately show all I want to see. Web pages can become pinched, calendar views cramped.

There are rules of thumb that dictate the general parameters of size for such devices, with individual preference coming into play for the fine detail of actually choosing what suits you the best. And those rules of thumb aren’t all to do with physical use. When you let the size of your phone dictate your choice of clothing, something has gone badly awry. Even if you are, like me, a little on the geeky side.

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