Digital Life: My, what a big screen you have!
HTC HD2, €200 on cheapest O2 contract of €40/pm
Published 16/03/2010 | 05:00
Good grief, look at the size of that thing, said my other half. I presume she was talking about the humongous screen on the new HTC HD2 phone.
In fairness, it's the first, and probably second, thing that strikes anyone about this mobile thanks to its dazzling 4.3-inch touchscreen. The display is larger than that of any rival including the iPhone, yet the handset remains remarkably slim and lightweight.
Naturally, it shows off video, photos and the like to brilliant effect. But in practical terms it also makes the phone easier to operate.
Not that it's a slouch in the usability department. The HD2 runs on Windows Mobile 6.5, usually to be avoided with a bargepole. But HTC layers its own clever software on top, meaning everything from web browsing to contacts to music works like a charm.
WinMob rears its ugly head occasionally but not enough to put you off.
The giant screen exacts a serious toll on battery life, though, and many people may be put off simply by the sheer size of the HD2.
But if you're tired of squinting at Lilliputian phones, then go large with the HTC HD2.
Nokia N900, €320 on O2 contract of €50/pm
Nokia hasn't made life easy for itself, ceding the high ground to the iPhone by churning out forgettable mobiles. Just last week, a Nokia bigwig felt compelled to apologise for its deeply flawed N97, describing it as a "tremendous disappointment" for customers.
But there are signs the Finns are getting back on track, with profits rising again and a new partnership with Intel. The newest member of the family is the N900 touchscreen, which marks a welcome change of direction.
Outwardly, it resembles the N97 -- attractive in its solidly built way and concealing a small, flip-out QWERTY keyboard. But inside it's all change.
Software called Maemo previously used in Nokia's internet tablets now powers the N900. Though at times confusing and a little rough around the edges, it marks a huge leap over older Nokias, endlessly customisable and slick with the basics.
The mobile is probably too chunky and geeky to attract the iPhone crowd, not to mention the prehistoric requirement for a stylus instead of a fingertip.
Most importantly, the N900 shows real potential which will improve as Nokia updates the software. Give it a go if you feel like being a guinea pig.