The camera has the same f2.2 aperture lens with backside-illuminated sensor we saw on the Titan, and if anything the low-light performance on the Radar was better than on the larger device, giving bright, clear results in pretty dark conditions.
Backing up the hardware are a couple of new shooting modes, Panorama and Burst Shooting. Both are very easy to use with only one press of the shutter button needed for both and on-screen guidelines telling you where to point the camera.
Looking at the interior of the phone, it is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor backed-up by a rather measly 512MB of RAM. Internal storage of 8GB is available but no possibility of expansion via microSD card. The Radar has a 1520mAh battery promising up to 10 hours talk time – though we’ll have to wait for the full review to check that out.
As we said with the Titan, the Mango software experience will be pretty uniform across all new WP7 devices, thanks to Microsoft’s strict guidelines. They have allowed a couple more pre-installed apps from manufacturers this time round though, and HTC is hoping its offerings will help differentiate it.
The two most prominent apps are the updated HTC Hub and the brand new HTC Watch. The Hub is where users can go to get all their social networking updates in one place, plus news, stock market prices and much more. It’s a slick app, though we did notice a delay in the content loading, which could be down to the lack of RAM (though admittedly the Wi-Fi connection at the launch event was not lightening fast either).
HTC Watch, which we first saw on the Sensation, will give users of the Radar access to thousands of TV shows and films, but how many will want to pay for the films to watch on the 3.8in screen is debatable.
The Radar, which will come in Active White or Metal Grey, is a phone which has all the basics in place: decent screen, five megapixel camera, WP7 Mango software and a nice aluminium unibody feel. The problem is that we’ve seen this dozens of times before with Android and 1st gen Windows Phone handsets and the Radar looks as if it’s 12-18 months out of date. Add to that the slowish processor and low RAM, and it could be a phone that slips under many people's Radar.