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Nokia Lumia Series 4: Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia and Microsoft introduce their flagship phone, but is it enough to get back in the game?

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The HSPA+ variant of Nokia’s Lumia 900 was made for Europe and the rest of the world in mind. The Lumia 900 includes a 1.4GHz CPU with 512MB RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and a 4.3-inch AMOLED display.

It occurred to me that the Lumia 900 review would be one of the more important critiques of a product that I write this year. For those of you who don’t know the backstory here, the new LTE-equipped, AT&T-bound smartphone represents what could be the beginning of a new era for both Microsoft and its partner Nokia in the mobile race — at least in the US. The 900 is a culmination of all of Microsoft’s work with Windows Phone 7 (now 7.5), and Nokia’s hardware design and execution, packaged in the hopes that the American consumer will suddenly notice that not only does Windows Phone exist, but it’s worth buying into.

Even AT&T has gotten into the spirit, claiming launch expectations that seem to far exceed the warranted excitement over this phone. But it is an attractive offering in many ways. Stylistically the Lumia 900 looks like nothing on the market. It offers LTE service that — where you can get it — is shockingly fast. And most importantly, the top-tier, flagship device is being offered at a wildly discounted price: just $99.99 for new subscribers.

So does the phone have what it takes to court buyers away from Android and iOS, and establish a beachhead for Microsoft and Nokia? I’ll unravel those questions in the review below.

Video Review

Hardware / design

THIS IS THE NOKIA I GREW UP WITH!

The Lumia 900 is a gorgeous device. It’s beautiful. It may be the best looking phone on the market right now. It’s a monolithic device — a slab of high-test polycarbonate with little more than a display and a handful of slit-like, silver buttons. Its smooth, matte plastic is shaped to appear rather rectangular from the front, but has subtle curves around the edges which give it a satisfying feel in your hands. The design is nearly identical to the Meego-based N9, and its predecessor Lumia 800, so even though it will be new to many, it’s not the first of its kind. Still, in a world dominated by lookalike Android phones and a single iPhone, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air.

THE LUMIA LOOKS AND FEELS LIKE NOTHING ELSE ON THE MARKET

Not only is the physical design of the phone different, but so is its coloring. I tested a bright cyan version of the phone (it comes in white and black as well), and I found the stark color extremely pleasing. In fact, it reminded me of how stale and lacking in playfulness industrial design has become in this industry.

The Lumia measures 2.7 inches across by 5.03 inches up and down, and is 0.45 inches thick (comparatively, the iPhone 4S is 0.37 inches in thickness). It’s not the smallest or thinnest device on the market, but it never comes off as oversized or chubby. There’s a small speaker along the very flat bottom of the phone, and a headphone jack, Micro USB port, and SIM door at the top. Along the right side are the device’s volume, power / sleep, and camera buttons.

I really like the design and materials on the 900, and for once I have very little to complain about. I will say that the door which needs to be popped open to insert a SIM does settle back into the top of the phone a little shakily at first, but it does eventually seem to go back to a flush line.

In all, it’s a fantastic piece of technology. It just looks and feels like nothing else on the market. It hits all the right notes for me. A little bit retro, a little bit futuristic, with just a touch of quirky humanity in its otherwise very machined design. This is the Nokia I grew up with, and it’s clear the company hasn’t lost its ability to enchant through hardware.

Internals and display

THE SPECS DON’T EXACTLY MAKE THIS DEVICE FUTURE-PROOF

Inside, the Lumia 900 packs a single-core Snapdragon system-on-a-chip clocked to 1.4GHz, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (which is not upgradable). The device has the requisite LTE and GSM radios onboard, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

The display on the front of the device is a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 AMOLED “ClearBlack” screen, fronted by Corning’s now-famous Gorilla Glass. Unlike the Lumia 800 and N9, the display is slightly raised on the phone instead of flush with the surface. There’s also a 1-megapixel camera embedded above the display, as well as an 8-megapixel shooter with a dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss optics on the back of the phone.

The specs are unremarkable, but performance on the phone was not. Just as with other Windows Phones I’ve tested, the Lumia was snappy and responsive, with few (if any) hiccups or pauses — but more on that later.

On the other hand, I’m disappointed by the display on the Lumia. Besides being lower in resolution than competitive devices (new Android phones at 1280 x 720 and the iPhone at 960 x 640), I felt colors were far too saturated. This is a pretty common problem with AMOLED screens, but the issue seems pronounced on the Lumia 900 thanks to the starkness of the Windows Phone interface. Combined with the lower resolution display (which is particularly notable with white text against that black background), the effect is jarring.

I’m not saying that the Lumia 900 is underpowered, but a single-core processor, lower resolution display, and half the RAM of its nearest competition doesn’t exactly make this device future-proof.

Camera

IT’S NOT THAT THE IMAGES WERE PARTICULARLY BAD — THEY JUST WEREN’T PARTICULARLY GOOD

Nokia has a long history of packing terrific optics into its devices, so you would expect that the Lumia would excel in this area. I’m sad to report that it does not.

On the device I tested, the rear camera was capable of producing fine photos, though generally the 900 shot somewhat grainy and very washed out images. It’s not that those images were particularly bad — they just weren’t particularly good. Though the company touts Carl Zeiss optics, I didn’t see anything in my results that belied fairly standard smartphone picture-taking capabilities. In fact, the camera software seemed to have real trouble in some settings, with white balance and exposure out of whack compared to my expectations.

Additionally, the Lumia 900 produces those dreaded, faint pink spots in the center of the display — particularly visible on bright white surfaces — that we’ve seen on countless phones. It’s not the kind of thing you’d notice in most photos, but you can definitely see a discoloration that shouldn’t be there.

Now keep in mind, my daily driver is a Galaxy Nexus, which has a relatively poor camera — so this is significant. I went into the Lumia 900 expecting an excellent photo experience, but it’s really simply mediocre. That’s too bad, because there aren’t many phones on the market that can snap great looking photos, and given Microsoft’s insistence that Windows Phone is a pro at quickly capturing important moments, this is a place where this phone could have shined.

Battery life, data, phone, and performance

THE LUMIA IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF HANDLING ANYTHING YOU THROW AT IT

I was very pleasantly surprised by the battery life of the Lumia. Going into an LTE phone review, I tend to have fairly low expectations for battery performance, but the 900 proved itself as a viable option for a full day’s work. According to Nokia, you can expect about 7 hours of talk time on the phone. Now, I don’t really spend that much time talking, but I was happy to report that getting through a typical day of calls, lots of email, Twitter, and web browsing was no problem — even on a fairly constant LTE connection. Furthermore, in our brute force rundown test (continuous YouTube while connected to both Wi-Fi and LTE, max screen brightness, and max volume) I got 4 hours and 43 minutes. Compared to the HSPA+ One X’s 4:22, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Data performance was pretty awesome on the Lumia 900 — when I was in range of LTE, of course. I’ve been over the moon about Verizon’s LTE service (see the ridiculous speeds I got while testing the iPad), and AT&T’s early showing suggests a match for its rival. In good coverage areas, I saw download speeds as high as 19Mbps, with upstream hovering around 3 or 4Mbps. Of course, those did fluctuate wildly, and AT&T’s network still has yet to be built out to full capacity. It probably also doesn’t hurt that almost no one is using the company’s “real” 4G network.

Phone calls were crisp and clear on the handset. I’m happy to say that during my testing, I didn’t have a single dropped call. That could be luck, but I’m hoping it’s not. The speakerphone worked well on the Lumia 900, though I thought it sounded a bit sharp for my ears, and not quite as loud as I would have liked. Compared to my annoyingly quiet Galaxy Nexus, however, it might as well have been a PA system.

As far as general performance is concerned, as I said in the hardware section, the Lumia is more than capable of handling anything you throw at it. Of course, what you throw at it is tightly bound by the Windows Phone way of doing things, which all but ensures that there’s never too much going on at once. If I had to speculate, I would say it’s the stringent methodology of this OS that allows it to seem smooth and stable during the majority of use. Quite simply, Microsoft isn’t letting these phones bite off more than they can chew.

That comes with a price, however, and it brings me to…

Software

I THINK IT’S TIME TO STOP GIVING WINDOWS PHONE A PASS

Let me just put this bluntly: I think it’s time to stop giving Windows Phone a pass. I think it’s time to stop talking about how beautifully designed it is, and what a departure it’s been for Microsoft, and how hard the company is working to add features. I am very aware of the hard work and dedication Microsoft has put into this platform, but at the end of the day, Windows Phone is just not as competitive with iOS and Android as it should be right now.

Before you cry foul, keep in mind that I went into this review wanting to fall madly in love with this phone. But like a book with a beautiful jacket and a plot full of holes, I found myself wanting more. A lot more.

The problems with Windows Phone are myriad, many small. But it’s a death by a thousand cuts. And all those little problems were once again immediately apparent to me the moment I started using the Lumia 900.

DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS

The most glaring issues also happen to be some of the oldest issues — things you think at this point would have been dealt with. Scrolling in third party apps, for instance, is still completely erratic. I would blame this on developers, but given that this platform has been around for nearly two years, I think that’s a cop out. In new Twitter apps like Carbon, lists of messages will sometimes disappear or skip weirdly when scrolling. I first complained about this in version 1 of Windows Phone, and I thought it had been squashed — it has not.

Elsewhere there are missteps. Though Microsoft has added some form of multitasking to the OS, there is nearly never a feeling that apps in the “background” are actually still waiting for you. In fact, many apps still deliver a splash screen to you when you reenter them — if this is a developer issue, then I guess most of the hardworking coders on this platform never got the memo. In short, it kind of sucks to use. Where iOS and Android at least feel responsive in packing and unpacking background apps, Windows Phone often comes across as broken and limp.

Other issues nag me. In the browser, webpages are often displayed incorrectly as IE seems incapable of rendering certain web elements properly. The Verge, for instance, lacks its colored panels in the top stories section, and TypeKit fonts aren’t properly displayed. Neither iOS nor the new Chrome browser for Android have this issue. Then there are menus to consider — in many applications, options to navigate are often hidden beneath long presses, meaning that most users will never know how to do simple things like delete a single text message from their inbox.

Microsoft offers Twitter integration, but it’s so clunky, it would almost be better to not include it at all. The phone will show you that you’ve been Tweeted at, but in order to view the actual Tweet you have to tap into your “Me” tile, swipe to your notification list, then tap on each individual message to see it. How anyone at Microsoft thought this would help you get “in, out, and back to life” is a mystery to me.

And all of this is to say nothing of the third party app offerings on the platform. Besides the fact that there is a serious dearth of good software for the OS, even in places where you would expect Windows Phone to excel, it lags. Gaming for instance.

At this point, one would think that the Xbox Live offerings would hold their own against game titles for Android or iOS, but even the most advanced games seem at least a generation behind other platforms in terms of complexity. Furthermore, there’s still slim pickings when it comes to titles, with launch offerings from October of 2010 still topping the charts in the Marketplace.

Elsewhere, software is largely a mishmash of fair-to-middling offerings. The design language of Windows Phone seems to present a real problem to developers on the platform, and most third party titles go off the rails badly. Additionally, there’s little in the way of familiar apps, though there are bright spots, like the Rdio app which now thankfully is capable of playing audio in the background (which wasn’t possible before the recent Mango update), and is actually quite a beautiful piece of software.

There’s also a new Twitter app called Rowi which is probably the best experience you can have on Windows Phone with the social networking service — it’s a really well thought out and well made application.

And it’s glimmers like that here which frustrate me. Because there is some really great DNA in this operating system, and it’s obviously possible to produce great software and great user experiences. It’s just too few and far between to have impact at this point.

Don’t misunderstand me, Windows Phone offers some very good experiences in its core apps, and it’s probably the most gorgeous and cohesive piece of software Microsoft has ever released. But after nearly two years on the market, I struggled to find a single thing this platform could do better than Android 4.0 or iOS 5.1.

The sheen has worn off of Windows Phone for me. When I put something in my pocket, it needs to be able to quickly and efficiently get things done. It needs to trump other devices in its class. It needs to be the best — and Windows Phone is far from it at this point.

I REALLY WANTED TO LOVE THIS PHONE, BUT WHILE THE HARDWARE DELIVERS, THE DEVICE AS A WHOLE DOES NOT

I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating. I really wanted to love this phone. From a design standpoint, the Lumia 900 was immediately enticing. I’d already been salivating over Nokia’s N9 and Lumia 800, so knowing that a slightly larger (but more feature packed) version of that device was headed our way was fairly encouraging. But while the hardware — at least externally — delivers, the phone as a whole does not.

I think Nokia made a lot of the right decisions, but it’s almost impossible to move beyond some of Windows Phone’s shortcomings this late in the game. Try as I might to envision the Lumia 900 as my daily driver, the math never added up. There’s just too much missing, or too much that feels unfulfilling.

I used to get upset that Android didn’t have a cohesive design language, and iOS was lacking basic functionality like copy and paste or multitasking — but most of those complaints have been put to bed. Today I might complain about a lack of widgets or a skin I don’t like, but I’m not griping about fundamental pieces of an OS. And I think that’s what’s so trying about Windows Phone.

These aren’t minor gripes I have — they speak to the foundations of this OS. My annoyances aren’t just about the color choices in the calendar, they’re about whether or not scrolling in apps functions as it should, or if I’ll get important updates in the background. Can I use IRC without breaking my connection every time I leave the app? How many steps does it take to get to the information I need? Do webpages display properly? Will the apps I need or want to use make it to this platform, and will they be any good when they get there?

In some ways, I feel like I’m reviewing a webOS device again (but with much, much nicer hardware). There are all these wonderful ideas at play, but it’s impossible to look past the nagging bugs and missing features.

Of course, there are users out there that will embrace this phone. It is generally easy and pleasant to use, and the low price point, coupled with the beautiful hardware and solid LTE service could be persuasive. But for me and most of the people I know, there’s still something missing here, and until Microsoft and Nokia figure out what that is, Windows Phone will continue to struggle upstream.

GOOD 

  • Incredible hardware design
  • OS is snappy and responsive
  • LTE data is speedy
  • Great entry price

BAD 

  • Windows Phone still has lots of issues
  • Third-party app offerings are weak
  • Specs feel last generation
  • Camera underwhelming

Specifications:

Also known as Nokia Lumia 900 RM-823

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2012, February
Status Available. Released 2012, May
BODY Dimensions 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm, 90 cc (5.03 x 2.70 x 0.45 in)
Weight 160 g (5.64 oz)
DISPLAY Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
– Nokia ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 16GB storage, 512 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
Speed HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, video stabilization, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1 MP, VGA@15fps
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Chipset Qualcomm APQ8055 Snapdragon
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java No
Colors Black, cyan, white, magenta
– SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer/editor
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/command/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1830 mAh (BP-6EW)
Stand-by Up to 300 h (2G) / Up to 300 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 7 h (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)
Music play Up to 60 h
MISC SAR US 1.29 W/kg (head)     0.95 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.33 W/kg (head)
Price group About Rs. 31,000/-
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal) / 2.562:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 70dB / Noise 68dB / Ring 75dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 38h
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Nokia Lumia Series: 1, Nokia Lumia 510

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Nokia Lumia 510: Coming Soon to India

Nokia premiers Lumia 510 in India, coming soon at “less than Rs. 11,000”

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Nokia has announced the launch of the Lumia 510 in India. The country is the first market in the world to receive the “cheapest Lumia device in the world”, a mantle that the Lumia 510 inherits from the Lumia 610.

The Nokia Lumia 510 sports a 4-inch WVGA (800×480) display with a 5-megapixel rear camera. The phone is powered by a 800MHz Qualcomm processor and ships with just 256MB RAM and 4GB internal storage (2.88GB available to the user). Since the phone runs Windows Phone 7.5, it has no support for MicroSD cards, or any other kind of expandable storage.

Nokia did not reveal the exact price of device, only suggesting that the retail price will be “less than Rs. 11,000”. Similarly, the exact availability date wasn’t mentioned either, with the device expected to be available in the “coming weeks”. With Nokia intending the Lumia 510 to be its “Diwali gift to India”, one certainly hopes the phone will become available before the festival (13th November).

While the device looks a decent option at the price on paper, the limited storage and RAM will likely prove to be problematic in day-to-day usage. Sure, Nokia points to the various cloud storage options in its defence of the paltry on-board storage, but poor connectivity across the country makes the cloud-option a non-starter for day to day usage. Nokia could have solved this problem by using Windows Phone 8 (which supports expandable storage) in the Lumia 510, but perhaps it is not ready to undercut its flagship device the Lumia 920, and its sibling the Lumia 820, just yet.

Nokia Lumia 510 replaces the Lumia 610 as the “cheapest Lumia device” in the world. Nokia Lumia 610 was introduced in the country in July this year carrying a price tag of Rs. 12,999. It comes with a 3.7-inch display, 5MP camera and a 800MHz processor with 8GB of internal storage. Today, the smartphone is available online for an estimated price of Rs. 12,000.

The Nokia Lumia 510, like other Windows Phone 7.5 devices, will not be upgradable to Windows Phone 8, but will receive the Windows Phone 7.8 update instead.

Nokia Lumia 510 specs

  • Display: 4-inch WVGA 800×480, TFT, capacitive touch screen
  • Memory: 256MB RAM (4GB internal storage)
  • Camera: 5-megapixel auto-focus; video recording in VGA resolution @30fps
  • Size: 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5mm
  • Weight: 129g
  • Connectivity: GPRS/EDGE, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS/A-GPS, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls), Dual Transfer Mode, HSDPA/WCDMA
  • Processor: Snapdragon S1
  • Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 8.4 h/ 6.2 h; Standby time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 653 h/ 738 h

Specifications:

General 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
SIM Yes
Announced 2012, October
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2012, November
Body Dimensions 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5 mm, 81 cc (4.75 x 2.56 x 0.45 in)
Weight 129 g (4.55 oz)
Display Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 65K colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Memory Card slot No
Internal 4 GB storage, 256 MB RAM
Data GPRS Up to 85.6 kbps
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
Speed HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
Camera Primary 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus
Features Geo-tagging, face detection
Video Yes, VGA@30fps
Secondary No
Features OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java No
Colors White, Cyan, Black, Red, Yellow
– SNS integration
– 7GB free SkyDrive storage
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1300 mAh (BP-3L)
Stand-by Up to 739 h (2G) / Up to 653 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h 15 min (2G) / Up to 8 h 25 min (3G)
Music play Up to 38 h

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HTC Radar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HTC Radar 

 

HTC Radar
MRP: Rs 25,500
Street Price (As On 7-Nov-2011): Rs 22,650 (Saholic.com); Rs 24,000 (HomeShop18.comLetsbuy.com)

The Radar is the first Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) phone to visit our labs. The USP here is its OS, which can make or break this phone. Let’s find out.

Design And Build Quality
The phone’s retail box contains earphones, and a charger with detachable USB cable. It does not ship with a memory card. Why? Because the device doesn’t have a memory card slot! Out of the 8 GB of onboard storage, the user gets roughly 6.5 GB to pack in all his data.

Review: HTC Radar

The device measures 4.7″ (l) x 2.4″ (w) x 0.4″ (d), and weighs 137 grammes. Its design is minimalistic and complements the software inside. The body is made of quality aluminium with a classy finish. The top and bottom ends on the back have rubberised plastic, which provides a superior grip over the device.

Review: HTC Radar

The Radar is powered by a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, and has 512 MB RAM. Other specs include a 5 MP rear and VGA front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, and a 3.5 mm jack.

Display
The device sports a 3.8″ Super LCD screen packed with 480×800 pixels. It’s sharp and produces rich colours. Images and videos when viewed in this screen display more intense colours than on most other smartphones, such as theNokia N8 and 701. The viewing angles are excellent, and the legibility in sunlight is good too.

UI And Applications
This is my first WP review and boy, am I impressed! Mango is the most beautiful and optimised OS I’ve ever come across on a mobile. Its homescreen sports Live Tiles that are refreshingly different from the old grid of icons found in every other OS. Doing justice to their name, these tiles display relevant information in real-time. Hence, a mere glance on the homescreen gives you an idea of all the activity going on with your phone and contacts.

Swiping the homescreen to the left reveals a list of applications and settings, all of which can be pinned to the homescreen for quick access. Features such as copy-paste and multitasking have been nicely implemented. TheFacebook and Windows Live integration is deep and will please social network junkies.

Review: HTC Radar

Overall, the UI is stunningly beautiful, and the attention to detail is amazing. As the interface is completely different though, other OS users may take an hour or two to befriend it.

Coming to the apps, Microsoft‘s Office Suite is functional yet easy to use. Tight SkyDrive integration allows you to easily share documents across various platforms. The onboard browser, a mobile version of IE9, renders pages fast and effortlessly. The text reflow feature, which adjusts the text display according to the magnification level, works like a charm. However, fans of Flash will be disappointed by the lack of support for the platform. Finally, HTC has thrown in a few apps, out of which the Photo Enhancer deserves a special mention.

Xbox LIVE allows you to get in touch with your gamer friends while you are away from your Xbox 360. Moreover, it allows you to access many quality games for downloading. Although the list is not as populated as its rival platforms, it does have some interesting titles that cannot be found on the latter.

Maps and navigation are powered by Bing, which is similar to Android’s and iOS‘ offerings. However, it requires a continuous internet connection to work. Another complaint is that enhanced features, such as a 3D map view, are available in the US but not in India. Lastly, the search results do not display as many local establishments on the map as compared to Google‘s and Nokia’s offerings.

Review: HTC Radar

The Marketplace is crowded with apps, and the only gripe I have is the limited number of free apps. Unlike the App Store though, it lets you try every paid application before making a purchase.

Multimedia
The Zune player is slick, and can make the iPod‘s Cover Flow look ordinary. You can jump to the previous or next track by using a swipe gesture. The sound quality is superb, though the earphones are too big to be comfortable for anyone who is not a Vulcan. For some mysterious reason, it lacks equaliser settings. Moreover, the SRS enhancement option is located in the Settings menu, which is unbelievably dumb.

Review: HTC Radar

The device managed to play 720p WMV files. For some reason, it didn’t pick up MP4 files with a similar pixel count. What’s worse is the lack of mass storage mode, requiring you to forcibly install the Zune software in your PC for transferring media.

The camera can be activated by pressing a physical shutter key, which can also be used to autofocus on objects by partially pressing the button. The interface is clean and offers many options such as face detection, panoramic mode, and a burst mode. My favourite feature however, is its ability to automatically detect and read QR codes.

Photographs taken in daylight look natural and contain a good amount of detail. However, sharp edges are visible in indoor snaps. The camera is capable of 720p video recording, and the clips are saved in MP4 format. Fortunately, these clips can be viewed without any problems. Overall, the camera does a decent job.

Review: HTC Radar

Telephony And Messaging
The People tile is your phonebook, pulling your friends’ updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live. On the downside, having all your email contacts in a phonebook makes it cluttered. Thankfully, there’s an option to toggle the display of email as well as social network contacts. Moreover, clicking the first tile in the list of contacts brings up the alphabet, from where you can click on a letter’s tile to jump to all the names under it.

Review: HTC Radar

A darkened tile indicates that there are no names under that letter.

The signal reception and call quality weren’t a problem during the course of testing. Both the messaging and mailing apps support a threaded view, and the virtual keyboard is excellent.

Battery And Verdict
The 1520 mAh battery performs exceptionally well. Despite hours of music and video playback, I only had to use the charger on the second day. Sadly, the battery is non-user replaceable.

The Radar is a sleek and sturdy phone that feels great to hold. Moreover, the Mango update is refreshingly new, and Microsoft has done a marvelous job in terms of aesthetics and optimisation.

On the other hand, Bing Maps and the video player are not up to the mark, primarily due to a lack of offline navigation support in the former. You cannot share files over Bluetooth, and there’s no memory card slot either. In my opinion though, the lack of a mass storage mode is the phone’s biggest downer.

HTC’s Radar is a worthy buy, but only if you are bored of the currently dominant mobile platforms and want to try something new.

Features: 3/5
Design And Build Quality: 4/5
Performance: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Mojo: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

 

Review: HTC Radar

A beautiful phone, but with a few shortcomings.

Sleek and fluid UI; Excellent Facebook integration; Great build quality.

Can’t share files over Bluetooth; No mass storage mode; Lack of memory card slot.

Expert Rating :

Rating

SPECIFICATIONS: 

Also known as HTC Omega
HTC Radar 4G for T-Mobile

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
HSDPA 1700 / 2100 – for T-Mobile
Announced 2011, September
Status Available. Released 2011, October
SIZE Dimensions 120.5 x 61.5 x 10.9 mm
Weight 137 g
DISPLAY Type S-LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.8 inches (~246 ppi pixel density)
– Gorilla Glass display
– Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
– Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
– Multi-touch input method
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack Yes
– SRS Sound enhancement
MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Practically unlimited
Internal 8GB storage, 512 MB RAM
Card slot No
DATA GPRS Up to 80 kbps
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
3G HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
Infrared port No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 5 MP, 2560х1920 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps
Secondary Yes, VGA
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
CPU 1 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser HTML
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games Yes
Colors Active White, Metal Silver
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support; Bing Maps
Java No
– HTC Locations
– MP3/eAAC+/WAV/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Organizer
– Microsoft office document viewer/editor
– Facebook integration
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1520 mAh
Stand-by Up to 480 h (2G) / Up to 535 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 10 h (2G) / Up to 8 h 5 min (3G)
MISC Price group  About Rs. 25,500/-
Thanks to: Techtree

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