New phone: HTC HD2

So, I’ve had enough problems with Cricket, and I’ve decided to go with another provider to at least try. I’ve migrated to T-Mobile, for my own investigation. The only thing is, I don’t do 2-year “commitments”. I guess I fear commitment 🙂 I also wanted another smartphone. My Blackberry Storm, while a great device, is sorely lacking apps and abilities for me as a modern IT-based consumer. The two together (Cricket & Blackberry) cancel each other out. Everytime I find a way to do something with my Storm, Cricket ends up firewall’ing the port the app uses which neutralizes it’s use as anything more than a phone that texts and sees the web.

I’ve broke down and purchased a USED week-old HTC HD2. Why spend $449 when I can get one with the skins and accessories included for $200 cheaper? hah
It’s a wonderful device, so far. While I’m waiting for my sim card from T-Mobile, I’ve had the time to flash the phone with different versions of the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system. I’m not a Windows guy, but hey, it’s a smartphone and what’s the worst that can happen? I’ll just flash it with Android if I don’t like it!

So far I’ve found the HTC HD2 LIGHTNING FAST!!! The video play is astounding, the processing is quick as hell. I can even play video games on it like Sims 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and Lemmings: Tribes. I can also get my gmail through it (using outlook imap4), and use outlook sync to get my google contacts, & emails. The screen is a beautiful size, and very crisp. I have an app called Manila TV Player, which has a couple of non-mainstream recorded broadcasts to watch. Youtube is also available through it’s own app, and it’s awesome.

So far I’ve only used it on my wireless network at home (WPA2-PSK with AES encryption, so it does work with it), so I can’t comment on the T-Mobile network, yet.

The music and photos sections of the phone are great as well. While the interface was kind of “borrowed” from Apple, it’s still an excellent easy to access system. Only thing missing for me is more than just a single zoom to photos.

Physically, the phone is wide and long. This is mainly because of the screen size, since it’s like.. ALL screen. The screen itself is very tough, almost tempered glass-like in strength. I have a Phantom-skin on my screen and phone body, and that only adds to it’s scratchproofing. It comes with a rubber case that covers all but the screen and buttons, but I will be upgrading to the Body Glove brand case which is transparent plastic with a black rubber finger holder on the middle-sides. This will protect the phone during those unavoidable times when your phone slips from your hands when taking it from your pocket… or the phone is accidentally knocked off of the table by someone.

Google maps is a godsend, as you can say what you want to look up, along with connect to the google latitude app through it, as well.

The phone is thin, and feels very tactical. I’m impressed with HTC on this one. I will see how things go as time progresses.

Addition 07/14/2010:
One thing to look out for are applications that are so buggy that they hog the display and go into a perpetual lock state as it fights with another application for the display.  The only way I’ve found to get around this if you cannot work your way out of it is to pull the battery.
I’ve also noticed that if you are like me and run 2-4 apps at a time on the phone multitasking (FM Radio, Latitude and google maps, browser, instant messenger… etc etc) then the battery chews through itself fast.  It will last about 4-6 hours the way I use it, and HUGELY faster if I use the wifi router to run my laptop through it for internet access.  (probably like 1-2 hours)
Looking around, I’ve seen two types of extended batteries out there, and both have their own qualities.  One is the 1600 mah battery (which I bought on ebay for $10 http://cgi.ebay.com/New-1600mAh-high-Capacity-Battery-HTC-HD2-T8585-/180527371253?cmd=ViewItem&pt=PDA_Accessories&hash=item2a084513f5, and is coming in the mail now), and the plus side on this one is that it’s the same size as the original and will fit into the phone without a new battery lid.  Another available (which I’m buying online for ~$20http://www.amazon.com/HTC-Extended-Battery-Door-BLACK/dp/B003TMD760/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1278973713&sr=8-1 for those times I want to use the Wifi router for extended periods of time) is a 2400 mah battery.  This battery has a custom battery cover to replace the metal one, and is larger than the stock one.  Since the original is 1230 mah, that is about double the mah rating, which means approximately double the usage.
I also picked up a solar charger from dealextreme.com (~$16.22 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.30047), which does charge by solar power but takes about 2-3 days of sun to fully charge up.  As an added bonus, it charges by AC power as well.  The plus side is that I have a solar charger with a battery with a rating of 2400 mah (the ad says 2600 but it has a 2400 mah battery inside) and that can be charged by light or by AC, and is portable.  It’s also almost exactly the same size as the HTC HD2 in all dimensions.  It’s metal, so it’s not going to melt in the sun, either.

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