If a smartphone is on your Christmas list for yourself or a family member, take a good look at the HTC Radar. This is an awesome Windows Phone. It runs Windows 7.5 which is a solid smartphone OS. The meat and potatoes of the Windows Phone OS is the People Hub. This is an awesome way to keep up with what your friends are doing and what is going on in your online world. Right there on the home screen you get a quick view of the number of voice-mails, emails, text messages, and more on huge clear easy to push buttons. And the interface is one of the most responsive I have ever used.
My Favorite Features
Email client: Although it does not have all the plus features of a full Gmail client that I love like the ability to star messages, etc. this client is nice and smooth and clean. You can setup Windows Live of course, Outlook (Exchange or Office 365), Yahoo! Mail, Google, or other Pop and IMAP accounts.
People Hub: As previously mentioned, this screen give you a great view of what is going on with your Facebook friends, Twitter account, and more. You can quickly update your status, see a list of friend's statuses and photos, or choose one person and see all of their social media activity.
Camera: The camera is one of my fav features because the phone actually has the camera button on the side. I love that. It makes it so much easier to snap a pic. And even when the phone is locked holding down the button quickly opens the camera app. The camera takes pretty good photos.
More Awesome Features that You Can't Miss
Groups: I loved this when I read about it! This is so useful. You can organize your friends into groups. This allows you to easily text, IM, or email them all at once. You can even pin the group to the start screen. I tried it out and it's sooo easy and useful! Tag this one as another favorite feature.
Threads: Threads allows you to start communicating on one medium (text, FB, or IM) and finish the convo on another.
Internet Explorer Mobile: I admit that I do not use IE on my desktop, but on this phone it is pretty good. Opening multiple sites is easy. Although what is called “Tabs” is actually more like tiles. But browsing is a good experience.
In addition to the phone itself being fast, the network is fast. the I ran a speed test using the Speed Test app and T-Mobile 4G is pretty fast. The first test came up at 4317 Kbit/sec download and 1375 Kbit/sec upload. Not bad at all. And I had a friend test Messaging with me and I swear I got his text before he was even done typing!
|Platform||Windows® Phone OS 7.5|
|Processor||Qualcomm® MSM8255, 1 GHz|
|Internal Memory||512MB RAM, 8GB ROM|
|Display||3.8-inch touchscreen with 480×800 resolution|
UMTS 1700/2100/ AWS,
UMTS 2100, 1900, 850
|Camera||5-megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures). Front camera: VGA front camera. HD video recording: 720p HD|
|Battery||Rechargable Lithium Battery.
GSM: Up to 600 minutes.
GSM: Up to 480 minutes.
|Dimensions||120 x 61.5 x 10.8mm|
Great Feel and Build
Overall this phone is very well made. I love the metal back which makes it feel solid and not at all light and flimsy like some other phones. I like my phones to have a bit of weight.
The Calendar: My real one and only complaint about this phone is not a complaint about the phone, but a complaint that I have about the Windows Phone OS. And it's been the same since I first started using Windows Phones years ago. That is that it only allows you to sync one calendar if using anything other than Windows Live. This is not useful for me since I have multiple calendars for personal, kids, business, etc. in Gmail that I have to have access to. And I'm not switching to Hotmail/Windows Live. 🙂
Lack of apps: I'm sure this will change in time as new apps are being added every day. But there still are not as many apps available for Windows Phone as there are for iPhone or Android. But the ones that are available are great.
The HTC Radar is now available for FREE from T-Mobile.
Disclosure: The HTC Radar was provided to me by Microsoft for this review. All opinions are my own.