written by: Shanna James•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 10/31/2011
HTC is a popular brand for smartphones and while most of their line-up runs Android they do produce Windows Phones too. One of their latest releases is the HTC Radar. If you are in the market for a new phone, this review will put this new WP Mango device on your radar.
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The HTC Radar is the newest mobile phone released by HTC and it runs the fresh Mango WP 7.5 update. With an updated operating system, unique and commercial design and a few other great features the HTC Radar is an efficient device for all age groups. It also runs on T-Mobile's 4G network. Within this HTC Radar review we will outline some of its new features including its design, interface and media features.
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First impressions of the new HTC Radar are less than impressive. With a slew of beautifully designed phones hitting the market today, the build of the Radar is not special or showy. However, although lacking any real sparkle, some people might prefer a design that is both uniform and attractive.
The HTC Radar features a 3.8 inch LCD touch screen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. It does feature the same resolution as HTC's other Mango release, the Titan, but with a smaller screen area it provides brighter and sharper images. The touch screen features a vibrant array of colors with a quick responsiveness and great viewing angles. Outdoor viewing, unlike other similar mobiles, is spectacular.
The screen of the Radar is encased in a glass like material which houses the display and three capacitive buttons. Above the screen is a front facing VGA camera. On the top of the device is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and power button. On the left side of the device is a microUSB port and on the right is a volume rocker and camera button. On the back of the device is the 5 MP camera with an LED flash, removable battery cover and loudspeaker. As for the build of the device, on the back is a soft touch material which is fixed on the top and bottom and it promotes a fantastic grip. This small addition to the rear of the phone gives it a premium feel.
While most users may find the HTC Radar's build uninspired, the device has a very natural and neutral feel which gives the phone a universal appeal for all age groups.
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The HTC Radar features the newest Windows Phone operating system, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. This operating system is beautiful. It has added both flare and functionality, making the phone both attractive and efficient. The operating system does still boast its usual two primary screens: the home screen and applications screen. The home screen is made up of live tiles which act as shortcuts and notifications. By sliding the home screen users are then able to access the applications screen. Each application can be pinned to the start menu by giving it a long press.
The Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS is a revised version of the previous OS which has very close similarities to the HTC Sense screen. It comes with a standard and large flip clock in the upper portion of the interface with a weather widget attached. When swiped to the right users are able to view the Stocks panel, another swipe leads to News and another to the Featured list. The Featured list consists of pre-installed Mango applications such as HTV Connected Media, Notes, Dock Mode, Flashlight, HTC Location and Photo Enhancer. The phone's dialer is large and nicely designed and features large, angular and responsive keys. The Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS is very easy and intuitive to use.
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The HTC Radar is a dual-band 3G and quad-band GSM phone which comes complete with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity. Within the phone you'll find 8 GB of memory. Along for the ride is a VGA camera on the front of the device for video calling and a completely updated Internet Explorer browser. This new browser delivers fast loading times and smooth scrolling. Zooming is performed using the 'pinch' function. All aspects of this updated browser work flawlessly and on the Radar's 3.8 inch screen websites look great as well.
The Radar comes equipped with a 5 megapixel camera which included an auto focus function and an LED flash. Although 5 megapixels seems like a thing of the past, HTC has added a decent f2.2 aperture and a range of photograph modes -- burst shot, face detection, panorama and effects. Photographs are of a decent quality with a great level of detail overall. The best aspect of the Radar's camera is its auto focus feature. The previous HTC Trophy and HTC HD7 had kinks in the auto focus feature, but it seems that all these issues have been rectified, giving the Radar the ability to focus near perfectly. Thanks to the LED flash, the phone gets a boost when taking night shots.
The HTC Radar also comes with the usual phonebook, notepad, MMS and email messaging options and media support in the form of a music player and video player.
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The HTC Radar offers great call quality. Calls are clear and without noise or much background interference. The phone's loudspeaker is also top notch.
In terms of battery life it lasts for up to 10 hours of talk time and 20 days on standby. With moderate use the Radar lasts for up to one day. Like most smartphones you'll probably need a daily charging routine unless you are a light user.
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The HTC Radar is a mobile phone that has taken notes from its predecessors and come up with suitable and much needed changes. This is also true of the Windows Phone operating system update to 7.5 Mango. The Radar features a great touch screen, an ergonomic design and an efficient and attractive interface. With its 5 MP camera, updated aperture and powerful LED flash as a bonus, the HTC Radar is a phone that will appeal to all generations. It may well attract a new wave of users to the Windows Phone platform.