Motorola DROID 4

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Motorola DROID, the smartphone that was first released just two years ago and well known for being the phone that had a hand in making Anrdoid the big hit it is today has now had 3 successors, the latest being the Motorola DROID 4. The successors haven’t had such a big impact on the market as the first one for various reasons. For instance, Motorola DROID 3 was released without support for 4G LTE connectivity. So Motorola has corrected that issue with the Motorola DROID 4 and there are of course hardware improvements as well. So let’s see if this phone will be able to win back the crowd.

Design

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QWERTY landscape keyboard has been a feature of Motorola DROID phones and the same goes for the Motorola DROID 4. There is however some changes to the design as compared to its predecessors. Nevertheless, these changes, namely its tapered edges and stu      rdy build, are actually things we have seen on other Motorola models like the Motorola PHOTON 4G and the Motorola DROID RAZR. The Motorola DROID 4 also comes with water-repellant technology meaning it will be able to take a few drops of coffee now and again, but don’t dip in your coffee as it’s not completely waterproof. Albeit being the biggest DROID phone so far with its 5 x 2.65 x 0.5-inch body, it nevertheless has kept its compact 0.5 inch thick body. At 6.31 oz it’s not too light, but this gives us the feeling that it’s well built.

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On the front of the smartphone sits a 4 inch qHD display that we will elaborate further later. A little further down the screen – in an effort to rid off accidental presses – are the trademark Android capacitive buttons. Also on the front is a 1.3MP camera which records videos at 720p too. The QWERTY keyboard on the Motorola DROID 4 trumps its predecessor’s already great keyboard somehow. It’s extremely easy to use and the keyboard is also very spacious. Motorola has maintained the same layout but has also given a slight dome to the buttons and some impressive backlighting too. If that’s not enough, then be amazed when we tell you it glows in the dark too. So we can actually say this is by far the best QWERTY keyboard we have seen on a smartphone. The power button and volume rocker were a disappointment as they were flush to the chassis. You will find both the microUSB and microHDMI ports next to each other as the phone has support for Webtop. Finally on the back, there is an 8MP auto-focus camera which has LED flash too.

Performance

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The Motorola DROID 4 comes with an improved 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 CPU when compared to its predecessor. Furthermore, it has doubled its memory with the 1GB RAM onboard. Put these two things together and we got some amazing results. Normal tasks were of course a piece of cake; we were amazed when it worked just as fine with live wallpaper.

Features

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The OS that powers this device is sadly still Android v.2.3.6 Gingerbread, not Android Ice Cream Sandwich. However an upgrade is in the pipelines, so there’s nothing to worry on that front. The user interface running atop the OS is the same MOTOBLUR that we have seen in the Motorola DROID 3. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth mentioning again that the interface still has got its swagger with the amazing 3D visuals and transitions. As mentioned earlier, we have the exact same interface as the one on Motorola DROID 3, so you will find the same organizer apps and they still work as good as they used to. The phone also offers an on-screen keyboard, but we really don’t see why you would be using that especially with a tremendous QWERTY keyboard already onboard. However, it’s our duty to talk about it and we would like to report that the on-screen keyboard seems a bit cramped but still responsive and fast. Email experience is as always amazing, something you come to expect now with Android powered babies.

The 4 inch qHD TFT LCD screen turned out to be a downer for the Motorola DROID 4. This is because, the screen gives a much washed out appearance and the contrast levels were bad. To exacerbate things, the viewing angles were pretty bad too. You won’t have a problem making out tiny letters though as you get a good pixel density of 275 ppi. However there was nothing to like about everything else.

Next up is the 8MP camera that comes with the Motorola DROID 4. There’s nothing new with the interface when compared to the camera interface found on Motorola DROID 3. So let’s not dwell on that too much. Moving on to the photos taken, we sincerely hoped it would be much better than the terrible performance of the camera on the Motorola DROID 3, and we are glad there were some improvements. Color production has improved but details are still lacking in the pictures. The LED doesn’t help too much when taking photos indoors either. All we can say is that, it performs better than its predecessor. Video recording is done at 1080p but still the recordings somehow lack details. At least the good 29 fps recording rate makes up for that loss.

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Internet connectivity is another area where the Motorola DROID 4 has gotten a significant improvement, as it now comes with 4G LTE connectivity. It just had to be done or Motorola would just lag behind its competitors. To complement the great internet speeds, we also get a very good browser that tackles all the complex pages and also provides smooth navigation controls. Loading Flash content was also not an issue with the Motorola DROID 4. Meanwhile, in terms of connection options, we get the usual suspects like aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0 as well as mobile hotspot functionality to go with its ability to connect to Wi-Fi.

Motorola DROID 4 also deals with calling quality superbly. Voices on both sides were amazingly clear and the absence of background noise just made things a lot better. The speakerphone was also loud. This phone packs a 1785 mAh battery that sadly cannot cope with the demands of a 4G LTE phone. So keeping your charger within reach at all times is a good idea.

Pros and Cons

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This phone has got the best QWERTY keyboard this world has ever seen; at least that’s what we think. For the offered specs, the $200 on-contract price is definitely worth it. Calling quality was simply amazing too on the Motorola DROID 4.

The screen should have been much better. We would like to see a much better battery for a 4G LTE capable phone in the future.

Conclusion

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Motorola DROID 4 definitely has given the DROID name a boost with its cool specs, especially the landscape QWERTY keyboard. Offering 4G LTE internet connectivity at an affordable price definitely makes it appealing.

Samsung Conquer 4G

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When HTC EVO 4G came out, everyone was in awe as it not only it came with 4G it came with a whole host of power packed specs. Nevertheless, people decided to wait for its price to drop so they could also get hold of that beast. However, with time things change. Samsung has now released the Samsung Conquer 4G which is dubbed to the first budget 4G device.

Design

 

 

Samsung-Conquer-4GWhile it is true that being a budget means it comes with some of its specs stripped down a little for instance the 3.2MP camera, the same cannot be said about its build quality. Samsung has given great attention to detail with the Samsung Conquer 4G. The shiny metal frame gives a good color contrast to the black housing. Adding to that, the side buttons and ports don’t jump out but blend in well. Below the display you will find four hardware buttons which flare downward to give a nice feeling when your thumb is on it. Measuring 4.57 x 2.38 x 0.46 inches, it fits well into your pockets. As mentioned earlier, there are some specs that have to make way for the Samsung Conquer 4G to be a budget 4G phone. One of them is the display. This phone has a 3.5 inch TFT display that comes with support for 16M colors. However, its resolution is only 320×480 which is not up to usual Samsung AMOLED standards. Something’s got to give for this phone to be on the budget end, so this was a decent move. On the back is the second budget feature, the 3.2MP main camera that comes with LED flash. Its true phones these days come with 5MP cameras, but it has been proven time and time again, the numbers don’t mean too much if it’s badly set up. The battery door is covered in tiny nibs and soft touch that gives it an excellent tactile feel. The phone’s got a sophisticated look thanks to the black brushed aluminum, which by the way goes well with the camera housing.

Features

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Samsung didn’t give in to the budget phone tagline when it came to raw processing speeds. The Samsung Conquer 4G is powered by a second generation Snapdragon processor that clocks in at 1GHz. Adding on to this, the 1GB RAM gives you a smooth ride while using the apps on the phone. You can even have many apps and still run them smoothly thanks to all the juice the processor is giving.

Much to our delight, the Samsung Conquer 4G runs on the Android v.2.3.4 Gingerbread. However, it gives you mostly stock Android experience which is not necessarily a bad thing. There are some preloaded softwares, but what some people may not like is the fact that these softwares can’t be uninstalled. Some of the softwares provided are, ThinkFree Office, Adobe Flash and Qik. Nevertheless, since Samsung has been generous enough to leave behind half a gig of free memory on the phone, this means you still have ample of space of other apps. The phone also comes with Swype for your typing pleasure. The Samsung Conquer 4G as we mentioned earlier relies on stock Android stuff, which means the same goes for its music and video players. Say you have a Music Beta account, then you could be streaming music via the cloud or use the 32GB memory card in which you could store all your songs. Playing videos in Xvid, H.264 or MPEG-4 format was not a problem, but the same cannot be said for DivX videos.

Back to where we left off with the screen on the Samsung Conquer 4G, it is a 3.5 inch TFT display with 16M colors, which means it’s not your usual 4 inch screen that we see these days. With a resolution of only 320 x 480, it’s really a downer given the fact that Samsung is known for its AMOLED screens. However, using a phone with a smaller screen was a not so bad after all. It allowed us to use the phone comfortably with just one hand as the smaller screen means we could reach across the phone with our thumb.

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Samsung Conquer 4G’s main camera is a 3.2MP one that has LED flash. You might have heard this a million times, but just in case you haven’t, those pixels numbers don’t mean too much if the camera doesn’t perform well when taking shots. With this camera, albeit being just 3.2MP, images were great when the lighting was good. However, in shots where there is not so much light pictures started to grain a little. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty decent camera for a budget 4G phone. The front camera is great for video chat, but for some odd reason, Google Talk does not support the Samsung Conquer 4G although it’s running on Android v.2.3.4. Even though video only records at VGA resolution, we were pleasantly surprised with the output.

Being a 4G phone means data and connectivity on this phone is going to come under some scrutiny. So from what we observed, the 4G speeds on the Samsung Conquer 4G was in par with the HTC EVO 3D and the MOTOROLA Photon 4G. It also obviously comes with 3G support as well as Wi-Fi b/g/n support. The stock Android browser did a good job too. Given the processing speeds this phone has got, the double tap to zoom and pinch to zoom both worked flawlessly. Even flash content loaded without a problem.

Moving on to phone performance, the Samsung Conquer 4G has to be one of the best phones in terms of call quality. People on the other end were impressed at how clear our voices were and at the same we could hear them well too. The battery on the other hand gives you about 6 hours of talk time. However, you can go a few days without needing a recharge with light usage.

Pros and Cons

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The Samsung Conquer 4G was super fast given the beast that powers it. Amazing call quality was also a plus.

Display could have had better resolution especially since the screen was already a bit small to begin with. The camera didn’t do too good under low light conditions.

Conclusion

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Drawing similarities to the LG Optimus One due to the fact that it does what it’s supposed to do at a reasonable price, the Samsung Conquer 4G gets its job done fast and with a hint of style too.

Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile

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The Samsung Galaxy S was the best Android phone when it was first released and it really threatened iPhone’s hold on the smartphone market. Now we have seen two versions of the elder brother the Samsung Galaxy S II both from AT&T and Sprint. As if those two were not good enough already, in this review we will look at the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile. So let’s look further if this phone is as good as its rivals or perhaps maybe better.

Design

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In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile looks almost like the Sprint Samsung Epic 4G Touch and the one way to easily differentiate it would be by the position of the front facing camera. At 5.11 x 2.71 x 0.37 inches, it is wide enough to fit its screen and also thinner than other phones like the HTC Amaze 4G or the T-Mobile G2x but with better specs. It also is light as ever with its plastic build which doesn’t show any signs of fragility. The back cover is made of rubber and is textured so you don’t get any dirt on it and at the same time it gives added grip. Just like its counterparts on AT&T and Sp  rint, the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile also sports a 4.52 inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display which means you get the same old goodness with this phone too. Moreover at this size it is one of the biggest screens you will see on a phone for now. The left side of the phone is home for the volume rocker. Meanwhile the power button can be found on the right and on top sits the standard audio jack. On the bottom is the microUSB port which can be used to provide video-out functionality by using an MHL adapter. Flipping the phone reveals an 8MP auto-focus camera with LED flash and also the notches for the speaker. The mammoth 1850mAh battery sits underneath the back cover. Look underneath and you will find the slots for your SIM and microSD cards.

Features

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The CPU is where we come across one of the major differences the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile has over its siblings on the other service providers. This phone is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU rather than the Exynos dual-core processor on the other two. This results in speedy operation but not as fast and smooth as the two variants of this phone as you notice some small but noticeable lag issues.

The latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI comes together with the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile and what makes things even better is the latest version of Android v.2.3.5 Gingerbread that it runs on. Thanks to all the latest in terms of software, we get a phone that has a much neater and organized look compared to the previous versions. As always, TouchWiz maintains the high level of customization for instance the many gesture options to navigate through the OS and gallery. Some might say it is not so practical to use some of the gestures, but we say get creative as that’s where all the fun is. There are also some useful desktop widgets for your power management use and getting instant traffic updates. Another great thing is the customized applications list where you can create folders to either group your favorite apps in one place or to hide all the bloatware in one folder. There are some utility apps that T-Mobile has installed on this phone like 411 and More app that help you in getting info and another app called Name ID that shows some info about who’s calling you provided you pay the monthly fee of $3.99. While in terms of media apps, there is the T-Mobile TV app as well as the Kies air app. The Kies air app helps you manage and sync your media manually giving you an alternative to the Android’s media syncing options. Oik Video Chat also comes out of the box which is great. The T-Mobile Mall which comes pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile is where you can go to get new ringtones for $2.99 each.

Between the T-Mobile and Samsung logos that are embossed in chrome is the giant 4.52 inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus screen. This is bigger than the 4.3 inch screen that we found on the AT&T version of this phone ad it provides wide viewing angles and a great color production. However a bigger screen with the same WVGA resolution means the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile has reduced pixel density. Nevertheless, it still gives some high-contrast looks and still is one of the top screens on a phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S II regardless of the service provider has proven to serve us with a great 8MP camera every time and the same applies for this phone. The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile is super responsive and it also does focusing tasks quickly giving some really good photos. However, there were issues too like the narrow dynamic range of the sensor producing washed out images in well lit scenarios and also murky ones when you are shooting in the dark. The camera offers some serious customization as well in terms of exposure compensation, white balance and ISO. Clear audio recording at a rate of 29fps means the 1080p video recording on this phone is great as well.

Powered by T-Mobile, this Samsung Galaxy S II is blessed with HSPA+ connection speeds as it proves with its ability to load Flash content easily. The phone is also responsive so you can go crazy with the navigation and the phone will carry out your every crazy move. It is a global phone as it is the GSM type. The usual connectivity options like aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and of course Wi-Fi is available.

Call quality is obviously still important and Infinix phones has done a great job as you find the voicse on both ends to be clear. However there is a minor blip as the earpiece isn’t as loud as we would like it and that means talking to your friend on the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile in a crowded place is going to be a little tough. The speakerphone also lets us down as it produces squeaky voices. At 1850mAh, this phone sports the highest capacity battery of the Samsung Galaxy S II line and that shows as you can go through the whole day without needing a recharge with average use and almost half a day with some seriously heavy use.

Pros and Cons

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The camera on the Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile turns out to be a highlight with great pictures and video. It’s slim for a phone packing such good specs.

The Super AMOLED Plus display we really loved, but with the increase in size, the WVGA resolution is clearly ageing. Light lag issues at times.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S II T-Mobile is another great addition to the other two phones on AT&T and Sprint and it has some exceptional web browsing and camera performances. So if you are looking at getting an amazing phone and have some money to spare, here’s the phone for you.

Infinix Phones: understanding ten advantages of Infinix smartphone in Kenya

Let us take a look at the smartphone that has gotten most Kenyans talking about and others owning it. Kenya is one of the countries which has shown the massive utilization of smartphones as well as the internet. This is what has made it possible for giant brands such as Samsung get a foothold in this country and acquire massive following. This should tell you that it is not easy for a smartphone to gain root in a country that knows a lot about smartphones. There is a brand that has surprised many due to the way it has gained acceptance over the last few months.

The Infinix mobile phone is almost getting a place on the table when it comes to smartphone matters. There is an increasing liking for the Infinix phone and thus, the Kenyan market has been able to accommodate the Infinix brand quite well. There is a lot in the Infinix phone that has made it one of the best brands in Kenya . Infinix smartphones have gotten to that level of competing with brands such Tecno which has been on the market for several years.

There is something about the Infinix smartphones that has made it possible for it to be among the best smartphones that we have around. If you have been wondering why the Infinix smartphone has made it, allow me to take you through some of the facts that has made it the phone of the year.

Price    

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I don’t know whether you have heard about this, in case you haven’t, let me give it to you. Infinix is one of the cheapest phones that you can get anywhere in Kenya. The price is incredible and the quality is great. Most of the smartphones that we have around are quite expensive and at times you May need to save for years to get a quality smartphone that is worth the money that you have. With a budget of less than KSh 10, 000 you will get one of the best smartphones in Kenya. And what counts at the end of the day is the fact that with your budget you will walk away with an Infinix smartphone that you will use for a long time.

Quality

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The quality of the Infinix in Kenya is simply incredible. The package that an Infinix smartphone comes with is awesome. When you put this together with the price you get to understand why the Infinix cell phone will be in the Kenyan market for a very long time. people that have been using the Infinix phones can agree with me that the disappointments that come their way are not as many. I have friends that have been using one of the Infinix smartphones and so far the phone is serving them well and they cannot complain. Just because the Infinix brand comes at a cheaper price than most competing counterparts is not to say that they don’t deliver on the quality of the brand. This is the reason that has made the Infinix smartphone survive the Kenyan market for such a long time.

Accessibility

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One more thing that you need to know about the Infinix smartphone is that it is one of the accessible smartphones in Kenya. You can easily get this phone by conducting a search through the internet. It is easier getting a smartphone through the online platform than having to get it from the shop. The advantage of buying the Infinix mobile phones through such modes is that you will get to compare the prices of some of the phones that are available. This is better off than having to walk to a shop in Kenya to get a phone. At times, you may be disappointed because you may get to the shop only to find out that the smartphone that you need is not there.

With this, let us take a look at some of the Infinix smartphones that will give you all these three deals on the same phone.

Infinix Zero 3

Infinix Zero 3

Infinix Zero 3 is one of the Infinix smartphones that gives you a great phone, with a good quality at a good price and it is accessible through the online platform. Most of the Smartphones in Kenya that can give you the specs that are in the Infinix Zero 3,  will force to part with over KSh 50, 000. This is not the case with the Infinix Zero 3 which you can get at a price of less than KSh 25,000. This phone is accessible in almost all the online companies that sell smartphones in Kenya. The quality of this phone is pretty impressive because it runs on the latest Android operating system which is the 5.1 version. This is the version that will give you the freedom to interact with some of the best apps that you get at the Google play store.

A 3GB RAM gives you speed that you have never imagined of in a phone. Imagine a situation where you have the absolute freedom to switch among apps in a smooth way and a phone that allows you to have as many apps as you like. This is unlike what you can get in other smartphones in Kenya. It has an internal memory of 16GB which allows you to store all the documents that you have on your phone. As a matter of fact, this saves you from having to buy an external memory card. And the battery is really great with a 3030mAh capacity which ensures that your phone is on most of the day. You can forget about the power bank that always wears you down.

 

Infinix Hot Note X551

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Infinix Hot Note X551 is another of the Infinix brand in Kenya that gives you the perfect blend of an affordable smartphone whose quality is really great. One thing that is quite smart with the Infinix brand is that they have made a brand that is perfect for the Kenyan people. This is the phone that will give you a good deal when it comes to the battery of 4000mAh. This battery capacity can keep your smartphone on for over one day and if you are not a heavy user you will even go for two days without your phone shutting down.  The other thing that has made the Infinix smartphone gain roots in the country is also depicted in this phone. With such a powerful battery capacity it goes for as little as KSh 10,000. Where else in Kenya can you get such a deal? It runs on the 4.4.4 KikKat Android version which is not as bad considering that the RAM is 1GB which is capable of working well with the KitKat Android version. The internal storage of this phone is 16GB, you will not get such an internal storage on other smartphones that have the same price range such as  the Infinix Hot Note X551, you will probably get such a deal in more expensive smartphones. I will not forget to tell you that it supports dual sim, this is great news for any Kenyan that has been thinking of getting a smartphone that will give them the freedom to have more than one service providers in the palm of their hands. The fact that you can make your order on these smartphones while in any part of this country makes the whole story something that we would all want to have.

The above are only a few illustrations of the three things that you can get in the Infinix smartphone without a lot of hustles. There are more brands of the Infinix smartphones in Kenya that go for less that KSh 10, 000. This allows people from all walks of life to own smartphones without any form of discrimination. The fact that these phones are quite accessible to most people makes it possible for individuals all over Kenya get access to the Infinix smartphone as you will not waste a lot of time looking for the smartphone physically.

Problem of Infinix

Why go through all the hustles and problem of getting a smartphone and then have to part with a lot of money to own one. This is the problem that the Infinix smartphones have been able to solve in Kenya. This is the reason as to why it would be quite difficult to stay for a whole day without meeting someone who owns an Infinix smartphone. I think that the Infinix brand has made the reality of having one of the best smartphones a reality for most people. The quality mores so in the specs is what excites me with this brand. It has been able to maintain high quality and this has made many people fall for the Infinix brand. We are yet to see what the future has for most Kenyans with the Infinix smartphones but from the look of things, I think we are in for great things from this brand.

HTC HD Mini Review

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Introduction

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The HTC HD Mini is probably one of the last smart phones to be released with Windows Mobile 6.x.x OS. As the usage of the Windows Mobile OS is being slowly phased out in the smart phone market, how will the HTC HD Mini fare against other competitors in the market? This is what we hope to answer in this review.

The HTC HD Mini package comes with a micro USB cable, a fairly compact wall charger, a wired handsfree, the usual start guide, and miscellaneous papers. The only things missing are a phone casing and a car charger. However, in our opinion, a casing is not needed for the HD Mini because it looks fantastic without the use of one.

Design

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As its name implies, the HD Mini is fairly compact. Although by far not the smallest of phones, it is easily operable with one hand which is a definite advantage for some people.

The screen is a 3.2 inch TFT with HVGA resolution which utilizes capacitive technology. While an AMOLED screen might provide a brighter and better angle viewing display, rich colors and good image quality can still be enjoyed, although it is nowhere near Super AMOLED standards. Above the display is the earpiece located dead center and a status LED right beside it.

There are a total of five capacitive controls below the screen; two call keys, home, menu and back. This is the same layout used for the HTC HD2 but this time the controls are touch sensitive instead of physical press buttons. This enables a smooth transition from and to the display. The controls are well-spaced out which also enables a fluid transition from one key to another.

From the back you will see four screws on each of the corner of the HD mini which are practically holding the phone together. While it might look a bit weird initially, we grew accustomed to it and even found it to be stylish and unique. The loudspeaker grill is located right next to the deeply embedded camera lens which hosts a 5MP camera.

The volume rocker which works throughout the interface is found on the left side. The right side is completely bare and we found the lack of camera keys fairly disappointing. A camera shortcut key and a half-press shutter key would be a nice addition.

The mouthpiece is located at the bottom of the HD Mini, right beside the microUSB port. There is no cover over the port to keep foreign particles and moisture away. The same holds true for the audio jack located on the top. Another object of interest on the top is the power button, which interestingly also acts as a screen lock button.

Features

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We had previously mentioned that the HD Mini uses the Windows Mobile 6.5.3. It is well known that a huge majority of smart phone users would prefer Android or the Apple OS and there is little place for Windows Mobile OS in the customers’ hearts. Well, do not give up on the HD Mini just yet because HTC has improved the user interface with Sense. It should be noted that HTC’s Sense for Windows Mobile is different from Sense from Android with small graphical and functional tweaks.

The Home tab allows you to quickly access all the basic functions such as alarms, call history, calendar, clock, and dialler. Swiping upwards brings out a dock with nine empty spaces which you can assign quick shortcuts to any application within the phone. You can even set up to 12 shortcuts to your favourite contacts in the People tab, each shortcut allowing you to dial, text, or email the contact.

The Messaging and Email tabs easily let you preview different stack of inbox messages which can be browsed by vertical sweeps and there are even handy shortcuts to create new messages. The Email tab allows the handling of several mailboxes. There is even a button for each mailbox and they can be used to switch between mailboxes. The same functionality is also done for the Photo and Video tabs as most of the settings are personalized by Sense and we especially like it this way.

HTC sense allows the HD Mini to come with a handy QWERTY on screen keyboard, a half-QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode and a full QWERTY in landscape mode. Typing is made easy enough with the 3.2 inch screen.

It comes with two internet browsers side by side, the traditional choice for HTC, Opera, and the default browser Internet Explorer Mobile 6. Everything from scrolling to double-tapping zoom works smoothly enough on either browser. Surprisingly, the pinch-to-zoom function works better in IEM6, but the occasional lag and slow loading times make it the worse option of the two.

The 5-megapixel camera is simply not good enough without a flash, which results in fairly dark photos. Most of the objects seen in the photos are quite blurred. In our opinion, this isn’t a good phone for taking pictures. Indoor shots are acceptable but with the lack of flash, it just doesn’t quite cut it.

The video sampling is done at 640×480 pixels resolution. Video is recorded in VGA resolution at 28 fps, not perfectly smooth but usable. Like most other phones, there is no support for DivX, XviD, and H.265 codec for watching videos. However, no issues were encountered when watching high resolution MPEG-4 coded videos with a maximum resolution of 800×480 pixels.

What is the use of a smart phone nowadays if it cannot play music? The HD Mini comes equipped with HTC’s music player which is simple and straightforward to use. The bundled in earphones provides a decent sound which is perfectly balanced.

Pros and Cons

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The official YouTube client for Windows Mobile has a very good user interface and you can easily filter out the contents by categories. More importantly, the quality of the streamed videos is great and awesome.

You also get HTC’s Twitter client, which seems to be a huge thorn in our side. Clicking links in a tweet proves to be very troublesome and irritating as it sometimes takes up to ten tries just to get one link working.

The official estimated time for the battery is 7.25 hours of talk time and 14 days on stand-by. Not bad at all we say.

 

 

Conclusion   

The HTC HD mini is not a great phone but it is pretty much what a modern smart phone should be all about. It does not require the ultimate of technology to impress everyone around. It is just the right working tool that can also manage to keep the user entertained. Compared to the HD2 in the HTC line, it offers a comparable (but slightly inferior) performance at a cheaper price. We are talking about speed and power pitted against fair performance and functionality. HTC has done well using Sense for Windows to cover the shortcomings of the Windows Mobile OS. In our books, the HD Mini is by far one of the best Windows Mobile phones out in the market.