HTC Radar review: Mango on the radar
The HTC Radar is the smaller, less expensive, less powerful and - overall - less exaggerated version of the Titan. Now, turn that around and the Radar will be the sensible, down-to-earth and friendlier phone of the two. It will be up to users to decide. HTC do need both.
HTC have been on home turf in the Windows Phone game so far. LG and Samsung didn’t really take the first complete makeover of the platform to heart, allowing the Taiwanese to capture more than half of the WP7 market share. Now though, with the emergence of Nokia, HTC will have a harder time asserting their supremacy.
The HTC Radar is a good-looking - though far from flashy - and well-built smartphone. It's a WP7.5 Mango-running 1GHz powered package with a fairly palatable price tag hanging off that aluminum unibody. Sure, it may not be the upgrader’s dream, but it will probably tick plenty of boxes for those that are only now considering giving the platform a go.
- 3.8" 16M-color capacitive LCD touchscreen of WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels)
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Dual-band 3G with HSDPA (7.2 Mbps) and HSUPA (2Mbps)
- Windows Phone 7 operating system
- 1GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Snapdragon chipset
- 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
- 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, geotagging and a hardware shutter key
- 720p video recording @ 30fps
- 8GB of built-in storage
- Standard 3.5mm audio jack
- Standard microUSB port (charging)
- Dolby Mobile and SRS sound enhancement
- Wi-Fi b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- Accelerometer for screen auto rotation
- Office document editor
- Facebook integration and cloud services
- Built-in A-GPS receiver
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS
- Comes with HTC Hub and exclusive HTC apps
- Non-expandable storage
- No mass storage
- Zune-only file management and sync
- No Flash (nor Silverlight) support in the browser
- No native video calls
- No DivX/XviD video support (automatic transcoding provided by Zune)
- Non-user-accessible battery
A year ago when Microsoft launched it, Windows Phone 7 was refreshingly different and quite pretty, but still too immature to be able to cover as much ground as its maker hoped. The Mango update brings WP closer to its competitors and while Android and iOS haven't been idle either, WP7.5 has a better chance at making a difference in the midrange.
What's fair is fair - Android has zoomed ahead on dual-core and HD screens. It's not up to the likes of the HTC Radar though to push hard and catch up. WP needs a foothold in the midrange and the second generation of phones may help the platform get it. The HTC Radar for its part doesn’t target upgraders - being pretty much the same phone as the 7 Trophy. It's mostly the software updates that will be trying to convince the fence-sitters.
And Mango does well to address some of the lacking functionality. Before we get to that though, there's the usual unboxing and hardware checkup. It's a proper unibody - at long last. We'd love a taste of the traditional HTC premium feel and solid build.
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