The HTC HD Mini, a scaled down version of the HTC HD2, shows that WinMo can indeed be beautiful. While the world is going gaga about Android, there is still a steadfast posse championing Windows Mobile. The HD Mini is the best evidence they have in their favour, packing the newest WinMo 6.5.3 OS into a slim, 11.7mm-thick chassis and improving its ease of use with HTC's Sense overlay, as found on the HTC Desire.
The HD Mini is a scaled down version of the hulking HD2 with a not-significantly-worse spec and a much more pocket-friendly form factor.
It upgrades WinMo with multiple, widget-laden home screens, improved menus and a 3.2-inch, 480x320 capacitive display that means you can throw away the hated stylus. The keys are touch-sensitive and cleverly placed to allow easy navigation. The screen is a little small at 3.2 inches, but this capacitive touch screen is impressively responsive.
No physical buttons for the camera means this five-meg clicker isn't as easy to operate as others. The 3.5mm jack for headphones is hidden away on the bevelled edge of the rear casing.
Messaging is also improved, with a very well implemented onscreen keyboard and quietly efficient integrated email service. Browsing is excellent, with multi-touch supported on both Opera and Internet Explorer. There's no Flash support, unlike on HTC's more consumer-focused Desire.
Media options are present if not exactly the best; the screen is too small for marathon movie sessions and the music player is basic compared to the iPhone, although you can drag and drop media. The camera is perfectly adequate. Microsoft's app store is not, lets say, awash with cool new software. Instead, only a smattering of business apps is on offer. Storage is 512MB, expandable via microSD card. In terms of battery you'll get a good two or three days use out of the phone, even with push email active. The HD Mini is a great phone by Windows Mobile standards. It looks swish, offers much improved touch screen functionality, but keeps the WinMo foundations that many business users still crave. It does inevitably lag behind the Desire and iPhone when it comes to more enjoyable activities, however.
LOVE : Plenty of features in a compact frame. The Sense overlay masks Windows Mobile effectively
HATE : WinMo still sucks. Navigating menus is a real pain once HTC's Sense overlay is stripped away
WE SAY : The best WinMo phone on the market, unless you happen to prefer the elephantine HD2 (non-Mini)