on May 12, 2014
I actually love this phone, and I am not a phone guy. This phone is very fast compared to some androids I have, and I will never go back to an Android after using the Windows OS. Sure there are not as many apps, but the Windows OS works great!
Anyway, this particular phone has some ups, and some downs. It is a perfect size, and a nice bright screen. It is well built, and battery life is fairly good in my opinion. It runs windows 7 which is a great operating system. The main camera (it has 2, one front, and one back) is actually quite good.
A few bad things is that you cannot remove the battery...well, you can if you watch a Youtube video, but it was not made to be taken out by consumers. It also has (at least mine) one glitch since updating...my wifi, and data seem to conflict somehow? If I am on wifi, the data interrupts and makes the wifi not work...so simply turn off the data, and problem solved...when I am not around wifi, I simply turn the data back on. That might be a hassle for some, but to me...it is no big deal.
Anyway, I feel it is a well built phone, and a good battery life. The OS (Windows 7) is fast and responsive. I have had the phone freeze up on me as others have mentioned...but it is far and few between. My old Android was notorious for freezing up. When my Radar does freeze up, all I have to do it lock the screen by pressing the power button, and then unlocking it, and the freeze is gone...simple!
Anyway, I can see how this phone is not probably the cream of the crop...but I have no real complaints either. I know for certain that I will never go back to Android after using a Windows phone...Too bad that cannot be said about the Windows PC Operating systems, HAHAHA.
on May 9, 2012
A review of windows phone and HTC Radar.
Allow me to tell you about myself before getting into the review. I am a male college student and tech enthusiast. My previous 2 phones were galaxy s2 and note, with htc amaze and sensation right before them (i jump phones ALOT, gone maybe through 20-something phones). I used iOS and android, and like both platforms. I own a powerful gaming desktop, and a macbook 13". I craved for iOS because of their ease of use and syncing capabilities, but iPhones are not supported by tmobile and their pricing (phone and plan) is ridiculous IMO.
This is my first windows phone and I'm LOVING it. To me, windows phone is like a cheaper version of iOS but better. this HTC radar delivers what all phones should focus on: battery life, FREE wifi tethering, ease of use, premium feel/build quality, and cost. I will explain:
For me to buy anything portable, I look at battery first and foremost. That's why I have a macbook (great battery life). I don't need the best specs or a powerhouse on something portable, because that will kill the battery instantaneous. I have a powerhouse waiting for me at home, and I just need my portable devices to last. The radar does just that. The battery is not very big, but neither are the iPhones. The trick is the OS. Like iOS, windows phone OS does not suck a lot of battery juice like android does. The radar easily lasts a day and into the 2nd day. I would rather own a phone that I know will last me a long time, than a phone that dies on me mid-day.
To share the phone's 3g/4g data with a laptop or tablet is a huge feature. For android, you either have to root the phone first and download a 3rd party app for tethering, or pay the carrier to unlock the feature. Samething for iPhone, either hack or pay. I was surprised to find this feature in my radar THERE and ready to go WITHOUT having to pay tmobile. This is the way all phones should be, we pay for our data, we get to use it however we want without additional fees.
Ease of Use:
Ease of use includes built in features MADE for phones. Neither iOS nor android does this well. iPhones are basically just an app launcher, rows and rows of apps for you to choose from. The small icons are just not intuitive at all to me. While android does it a little better through widgets, not all apps have their own widgets, and widgets take up ram, power, and battery life. Most android phones aren't known for great battery life, so having widgets really makes you think twice. Windows phone on the other hand, provides smooth, big tiles that's easy to see on a small screen. Every app has their own tile, each providing live information, and is big enough to tell you what it is. For me, this is much more intuitive than android and iOS. It also has a bunch of built-in functions like Facebook, twitter, etc.
Premium Feel/build quality:
To me, build quality and premium feel of a phone makes about about 25% of a smartphone's experience. Like I said, I came from a s2 and galaxy note (plastic rims). They have great specs and a gorgeous screen, but I don't find myself loving to hold one. I owned an htc amaze before (great build quality) and I always find myself digging into my pocket just to feel the phone's exquisite build quality and premium touch. Sometimes I take it out of my pocket and turn on the screen, just to realize I have nothing I had to check on the phone. The cold aluminum and dense hefty feel made me feel like I'm carrying a top notch device (ditched the amaze because of battery life issues). I couldn't say that with the s2 or note. I only take them out when I use them. The iPhone has a fantastic build quality and feel, BUT their glass shatters way too easily, forcing the buyer to buy a case for it, which kills the premium feel of the device. HTC radar has a very good feel (dense and hefty, aluminum and hard plastic), no glossy plastic that samsung seems to love.
I bought my radar brand new through a friend for $200. In comparison, my iPhone 4 was $350, note was $550, s2 was $400. I just couldn't justify spending a laptop's worth of money on a cellphone. Yes the specs may be lower, but who really needs a quad-core powerhouse on a phone? you couldn't do serious work on a small screen anyways. a better camera is nice, but the pictures take up more space and it's not like I'm into photography, 5MP works well for me.
CONS (arguably not cons):
Storage- 8gb is "enough" for me. I usually just put my pictures + music library in a phone, takes up about 5gb. The rest are used for apps. I used to put some movies on my s2 and note, but I never once decided to watch a movie on the phones even though they had a great screen, they were simply too small (even the 5.3" screen of the note). I use my phone to watch some short youtube clips but that's it.
Apps- not as expansive as iOS or android, but growing very fast. It's not a big deal for me because they seem to have all the apps I really use (GPS, email, Facebook, etc). I think phone games are boring and all those games on iOS can't compare to the ones I play on my desktop. Just there to waste time. Often times, there are dozens of apps in iOS and android that does the same thing.
I don't like how the bottom bezel is so long, seems like a waste of space to me. But it does seem to be a good place to hold the phone horizontally while watching youtube videos.
I also wish windows phone can sync with windows 7 wirelessly. I've used an iPhone, iPad, and macbook combo before, and the wireless syncing was just amazing. photos, calendars, bookmarks, ebooks, etc all sync wirelessly and effortlessly. that was the biggest selling point to me about apple products, they are all intertwined (price kills it for me). Hopefully windows include wireless syncing when windows 8 comes out.
No flash - this was actually something I cared about, but it was something I was willing to let go since Adobe no longer support flash anyways. With my s2, flash content was horrendous. It was just super frustrating to click any buttons in flash, and viewing flash videos crash every now and then. I only cared about it because sometimes you just have to do something (work or school related) through a flash content, and power through it (and at times it still won't work).
Keyboard - great keyboard, responsive and auto correct is pretty accurate. But I don't like how they have buttons UNDER the spacebar...really bad place and I find myself clicking them instead of space a few times.
All in all, I'm selling my s2. I'm going to stick with windows phone. Maybe I'll change my mind with ICS but I doubt it. I don't consider the phone's small screen and "last gen" specs a con because at the end of the day, it works better than my dual-core s2. The screen might not be the best or biggest on a smartphone, but I don't need the best screen on a cellphone, the best screen is saved for my monitor/TV. Don't take me wrong, the screen is still very brilliant and sharp. The phone is as responsive as an iPhone, much more intuitive than iOS and android, great build quality, great battery life, and it all translates to a great user experience.
on April 17, 2012
I was an early Android adopter. I bought the very first Android phone that hit the market, and the HTC Radar was my replacement.
The user interface is silky-smooth. No lag, no stuttering. Instant feedback. My android device was always jerky, laggy, and stuttering. I recently stopped in an ATT store to check out the latest top-end Android phones. Same problem.
With gentle use, I can get THREE DAYS of battery life! I don't know anyone with a smart phone that can match the battery life of my Radar. When I go on weekend road trips, I don't plug the phone in. Ever. Not in the car, not in the hotel. It works until I get home. Everyone else is scrambling for their chargers on the first day! My old HTC Dream was lucky to make it through 12 hours on one battery!
The body is solid. I've dropped this thing on concrete and pavement multiple times while holding it, and no damage. It has a few scratches in the plastic. The solid metal body is still flawless.
I am not wild about the camera. I've taken identical shots with other smart phones, and compared the results. My Radar shows more noise than the other phones. This is using all default settings - I haven't played with the ISO of the camera or anything.
The Radar might have "last year's hardware" in it. That's fine by me - it's fast enough for everything I've done, and the battery life makes it worthwhile. Lastly, it's a PHONE. It's not a high end computer. I don't want or need a multi-core processor running at a blistering clock speed. I'm not using this thing for number crunching. It's a phone not a super computer! A phone shouldn't NEED that kind of hardware just to provide a great user experience.
How about Windows itself? I like it. Live Tiles area great. It's incredibly simple and easy to use. There are few apps missing, that I'd like to see (Words with Friends).
I've had the phone since it launched, several months ago. Overall, I am extremely happy with the purchase.
on January 30, 2012
If you're thinking about getting this phone, GET IT! It's a great alternative to Android and iOS. Windows Phone is very intuitive and simple. The 2D colors are very plain and perfect. Regarding the Marketplace, apps are definitely lacking compared to iOS.
Here are some cool tips I learned while using this phone for a couple of months:
1) "Suggest" or add a word to the dictionary by tapping on it. Prior to knowing this feature, it bothered me so much that it kept autocorrecting my "bc" to BC. Just tap on the word you wanna add and it won't bother you again!
2) An alternative to the shutter button is to simply tap on the image you want focused and it'll snap it for you.
3)There is internet sharing! Aka, tethering is built right in. With the 4G internet by T-Mobile, you can surf the web with any wifi device.
3) Create groups in your contacts.
I still wouldn't change my mind if I had the chance, but there are a few cons about this phone and the OS:
1) For a smart phone, the camera's pretty dumb. Once it becomes early evening, the camera cannot differentiate between person and background; the entire image is just black. Of course the auto-correct feature on the phone is very handy. It brightens up the image and you can see the person + the background (but it is very grainy). Another dumb thing about the camera is that it can't macro focus at all! It is very frustrating when I tap on the screen for it to focus and take the picture, and the camera completely unfocuses. Either it is too slow in taking the picture, or the camera cannot differentiate between focused or unfocused. This means that when I am video recording, it just goes out of focus and I can't seem to manually focus it. I really wish I had a toggle switch so I could manually focus the camera (ha).
2) I do not like the accents' color choices for the theme. They are too bright for me, especially if I view the screen at night.
3) There needs to be a brightness toggle. Three options (low, normal, bright) for brightness too generalizing!
Other than that, I find the Radar pretty amazing. I just hope the white rubbery plastic at the top and bottom back part doesn't turn yellow.
on January 7, 2012
In our family we own one iOS, one Android and this new Windows Phone. WP7 has least learning curve. So now we have 2 Windows Phone. WP7 is very simple and clean to use. Android is most cluttered and complex and iOS is in between. Hope Windows comes out with a good tablet now.
on April 14, 2012
18 year old who was sick of the andriod O.S and battery life.
I was a little hesitant at first to jump on the windows wagon because of the simple interface and lack of usership. But I
went online and decided to give it a chance.
Right now I can confidently say that I will never touch an andriod phone or iphone again.
Don't be fooled by the simple interface. Its a powerful system. It incorporates everything from email to your phone to facebook MESSANGER & NOTIFICATIONS. usually its one or the other. It also integrates vitually all accounts from linkedin to twitter, seemlessly that too. Windows phone is easy to pick up and has a fresh appearance. All the essential apps are there ex. angry birds, evernote, netflix. the list goes on and on. The touchscreen is smooth and fast so if you dont like the virtual screen, you wont see much of a difference.
Great sound quality and built in mixer
Last point: the battery life on this thing is amazing! I've gone 3 days without charging my phone and I am a moderate user and watched netflix.
NO CONS (I MEAN IT!)
on December 31, 2011
I have been using this phone for about 2 weeks now. It's fast, easy to use and simply WORKS! No more restarting my phone everyday like with every other smartphone I've owned (including iPhone.)
Windows Mobile 7.5 is nothing like old Windows phones. So you should give it a try!
on May 10, 2012
I've had this phone since November 2011, and I have to say this is the best phone I've ever had. It's been almost 6 months and I keep getting surprised by this amazing phone. Previous to this I had an HTC Touch Pro 2 and it was AWFUL! Waited out the contract and got this. I need my phone to do certain things for work, so it really shines for me:
Social Networking: The Radar uploads pictures and videos seamlessly to Facebook in a flash. I can also set it up to automatically send all pictures to my Skydrive so I don't need to take up memory with tons of pics. I can also email and text any pictures or videos easily as well. Facebook and Twitter are easy to set up and you can have as many account as you want (as long as they use different email addresses).
Email/Contacts, etc: I set up my Gmail in minutes and it automatically synced all my contacts without me having to ask which was great. Any contacts that doubled up with Facebook I could link together to remove duplicates. Email is a breeze, and with the Adobe app and Office I can open any attachments with ease. I check my email more on my phone than my laptop.
Camera: I love the flash, and there are a ton of settings to get a great shot. I think camera works great in lowlighting contrary to what other people have said, you just need to learn to tweak the camera correctly. Also, the front facing camera is much better than I expected, and as of May 2012 Windows Marketplace introduced Skype for Windows which is great. You can tap the screen to take a pic or use the dedicated button. As I said before I have my camera set up to send all pics/vids to my Skydrive to save room.
Apps: All the usual apps are here Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Kindle (love & use daily), Amazon Mobile (love it!), Allrecipes, Adobe Reader, ShopSavvy, Skydrive App, Skype, VEVO (can make playlists for this), great weather apps, Angry Birds, XBOX Live, Fruit Ninja, Wordament, etc. Really there may be less apps than iPhone or Android, but they are apps that count. The Marketplace is always expanding.
Flash: True there is no flash so I can't watch Netflix, but the screen is a little small for that. Any videos that I find online are usually Youtube anyway, and when I click on them it will open up my Youtube app to watch from there, so it's not an issue to me.
Music: There's a radio on my phone, which is awesome because I like to listen to my morning show on the go, you can also stream from Pandora with that App, or Slacker, or you can buy music from Zune. Now, I had a Zune MP3 Player before this phone, and I don't use the Zune Marketplace Pass, I buy my music from iTunes and then sync with Zune. I think it's easier to buy per song then buying a $14 Pass that I won't use that much. But, it's still super easy to sync music and Zune never has a problem with iTunes. 3.5mm jack included, nothing weird!
Live Tiles: Almost every app has the option to pin it to the homepage, and will keep updating as long as you have signal. This is great because with one glance you can get updated on Facebook, check the current temp, check you calendar and the time without ever having to click on anything! The option are endless with this feature.
Calendar/Multitasking: I use the calendar to run my life and have been satisfied with it. I like that it updates the calendar on my laptop too, so if I do end up checking my email on my laptop my Google Calendar matches what is on my phone. I am sure it's that way for Windows Live & other email clients, but I can't be sure bc I only use Gmail. You can have several windows open with this and multitask between panes, to exit you hold down the "back" button and "x" out what you're done with.
Bing & Internet/Maps: Bing is great, you can use it hands free by clicking on the microphone and talking into it, it will come up with map locations, web and reviews so everything is super easy, you can even scan book and QR codes from Bing. I use it every day. Internet explorer comes with it and you can open many tabs to view a bunch of things. Depending on your signal depends on the fastness of it, but zooming and scrolling work great. You can set it to look like a computer website or a mobile site. Maps work so good, and I love that it talks to me as I'm driving so I don't have to look at my phone while I'm finding a place. You can also pin favorites on the map if you go there a lot.
Windows "Siri": The hands-free is great, just hold down the Windows Icon button and say things like "open calendar," "call mom," text mom" and it open up those programs (or calls). From the text window you can tap the microphone from there and say your message. It has a 90% accuracy rate for me and I love it!
Things People May Not Like: Memory is limited, but Skydrive can hold up to 25 gigs and you can download and upload anytime you have signal, same goes for Amazon Kindle. There are other ways to access music so you don't always need music in the memory. Pictures can be sent to Skydrive so you don't need to keeps those on memory either (they eat up most of my memory personally, so i delete them periodically, but I can still access them from skydrive on my phone easily). The battery cannot be taken out, but I have had an extensive conversation with Tmobile about if something ever happened to it and they said they'd take care of it, but it was unlikely since batteries last longer than they did years ago in phones. I never had to replace the one for my HTC Touch Pro 2, and I doubt I'll have to for this one. No flash, but who wants to watch Netflix from a 4" screen anyway?
Love this phone and I don't think I will ever want another one for a loooong time.
on February 18, 2012
Been playing around with my new phone all day, and I have to say WP7 is pretty much all it's cracked up to be. Some of the specs on the HTC Radar aren't all that impressive, but it delivers on everything it promised. Storage is where it lags the most, only 8GB, with 6 and change usable, but I've loaded a pile of music and apps today, and there's still plenty of room to spare, so I'm not going to bitch too hard about that. It holds enough music to keep me happy, enough movies to keep the kid entertained (and with the Netflix app, that's even less of an issue) and enough games and widgets to keep me entertained too.
Speaking of games, this is something the WP7 phones have a leg up on the iPhone and any of the Android units I've played around with (wife has a iPhone 4, friends have androids), Microsoft has really thrown some coolness into their platform in this department. So far, I've only played a few titles, but it's a much smoother experience than what I've seen on other phones. Add in the fact that that it hooks into my Xbox Live account and I'm a happy gamer. Score one for WP7.
Interface-wise, everything is very intuitive, the learning curve has been almost non-existent, which cuts both ways. On the one hand, it is very VERY nice to have a piece of technology that pretty much does everything it's supposed to right out of the box and doesn't need ten hours of configuring to make the email work. On the other, a tad more customization might be nice, but I would be hard pressed to point to anything but the background picture (that is, the lack of one, black or white are your two choices here) that I missed even a little bit. Mango is a very fluid, very smooth UI, the lack of horsepower (only a 1GHz single core Snapdragon) only shows up on the spec sheet, the experience is seamless.
One day in, I have to say this is the best phone I've ever owned, and I'd put it up against my wife's iPhone any day. The screen is bigger and on par with the Apple display, the interface is fresh and uncluttered, and the 7.5 OS really delivers on its promises. If the Metro layout and system works as well on tablets and laptops, it's going to be a huge development in technology in general. The fact that your apps will run on your phone, laptop, tablet and xbox seamlessly is something that is going to give users a massive boost in their bang-for-your-buck levels.
On the HTC end of things, the build quality is excellent, it feels nice and solid, striking a perfect balance between being light enough to hold comfortably while still hefty enough to feel like it's not a cheap piece of nothing. Lack of access to the battery is kind of part and parcel with the unibody construction, so there's a trade-off you have to decide whether you're ok with or not. Personally, it's not a big deal, but ymmv. My one complaint is that my provider only carries the white version, but there's something to be said for looking different from the rest; it's not another black featureless candy bar, so that might be a selling point for you.
Final marks: 95% would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a cool new alternative to their BlackBerry, Android or iPhone.
on February 1, 2012
I don't need to get into the ins and outs of Windows Phone 7.5. Everyone has their opinion of the OS. To me, the OS is great. I am a Windows Phone 7.5 fanatic.
Most reviews from the major tech website generally praise the Radar 4G for durable construction, the feel of quality materials and generally good battery life. The screen is acceptable too. It is a generally fantastic phone.
However, having used the phone heavily for the last few weeks, I have found some negatives about this phone that were not mentioned in any of the numerous tech and user reviews I have read. These are absolutely horrible sound quality through the headphone jack at higher volume levels and poor wi-fi connectivity range.
NOTE: I have updated this review, and have removed my complaints of poor sound quality. If you are having problems with popping noises, or distortion, go to settings->sound enhancer-> and disable the sound enhancements. The default settings boost volume and bass that cause weird issues with powered speakers/headphones.
The other negative about this phone, is how poor the wireless network range is. My home network is through a Actionec Q1000 802.11n router. The HTC Radar 4G struggles to maintain signal beyond 15 feet. By 15 feet, I am struggling to maintain 1 signal bar of strength. Very disappointing.