As Windows Mobile continues to advance on iPhone and Android operating systems, let’s take a look at two of the newest smart phones running it to arrive on the scene. Both phones come from very well-respected cell phone manufacturers, renowned for both their top-quality consumer products and their track records of innovation in the cell phone industry. So what can you expect from both the Omnia II and the HD2?
Both phones are, as expected from two cell phone manufacturers of such pedigree, extremely feature-rich and up to scratch with strong hardware credentials. Both smart phones offer 4.9 megapixel cameras, parallel expandability options (both phones support microSD, microSDHC, TransFlash and SDIO cards), and connectivity options including Bluetooth and both 802.11b and 802.11g WiFi standards. The two phones have pretty similar batteries and comparable weights, with the HTC HD2 being just a little larger and heavier than the Omnia II (but not enough to really notice). We can say both are pretty decent smart phones on this alone - but what sort of features might set them apart?
The HD2 or HTC Leo (the nicknaming of their phones is a common HTC trend) is part of the venerable stable of the Hong Kong company’s smart phones. The HD2 runs Windows Mobile 6.5, but other HTC phones will run Android, so just make sure you’re aware if you’re looking at the HTC range. The HD2 packs a high-resolution LCD screen (800x400, if you’d like to know) and a 32-bit, 1024Mhz Snapdragon processor, keeping in line with HTC’s commitment to the highest bar of processing power and speed. However, there are a few notable lacks in this phone. A secondary camera isn’t included, there is no TV output connection, and onboard memory only goes up to 512Mb - a pretty average effort given the multimedia capabilities and powerful processor of the HD2.
The Verdict: It’s a solid, powerful phone, but the HD2 lacks the lion’s roar of its HTC compatriots. The inclusion of Windows Mobile 6.5 is definitely welcome, and the phone works well with the new version of the OS, but certain rudimentary features are lacking and that’s a problem.
Samsung Omnia II
Following on from the original and highly acclaimed Omnia, the Omnia II is even sleeker, sexier and more powerful than its predecessor - at least that’s what Samsung would want you to think. And they’ve definitely got us convinced: the Omnia II’s AMOLED screen is a particular pull, delivering some of the best-looking resolutions and image quality of any phones out there. While it technically has the same resolution as the HD2, the Omnia II’s display is noticably crisper and clearer, as is the photo output from its inbuilt camera. While the Omnia II’s processor is a fair bit slower at 800Mhz, it trumps the HD2 in almost every respect, including all those features which its competitor leaves out (like the second camera and the TV connection, as well as a 2GB hard disk option). The screen is smaller than the HD2’s, but seriously, quality always trumps quantity.
The Verdict: Well-rounded, powerful smart phone which hits the spot. Upgrading from Windows Mobile 6.1 to 6.5 is an annoyance, but it’s worth it for the phone. A clear winner.