There’s even some good news on the hardware front: the stylus (for the rare occasions you need it) is magnetised and snaps away beautifully into the bottom right corner. Take it out when you’re on the phone and you can even set it to launch the notes application automatically – a nice touch. The phone also has accelerometers inside that sense when the phone has been flipped into landscape mode. There’s even an addictive little game on board that takes advantage of these sensors – called Teeter: you tilt the phone to roll a ball around a maze, avoiding dropping it in holes along the way.
And there are all the usual high-end HTC bells and whistles when it comes to hardware too. You get tri-band GSM, HSDPA with support for speeds of up to 7.2Mbit/sec, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11bg Wi-Fi and, of course, a GPS receiver. There’s a 3.2 megapixel camera on the rear (though this isn’t much cop – focus is hit and miss to say the least) and a VGA one on the front for video calls. Under the hood is a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, plus a healthy dollop of RAM (192MB) a decent 256MB of ROM and another 4GB of internal storage too, which will be good for a fair few photos, video clips and music files.
However, you still don’t have to dig very deep before Windows Mobile starts to surface – it’s a tad disappointing that you have to get the stylus out to set the alarm, for instance, and clicking appointments launches the usual boring style-free Windows display. HTC’s Touchflo 3D is also far from perfect. Foibles include no easy way to turn of the alarm when it goes off – the only way I managed this was to poke the narrow status bar at the top, then press the notification icon on the following screen, then dismiss the alarm – hardly what you want when you’re half-awake at 6am. HTC’s latest software is also far from 100 per cent stable. I had to restart the phone at least once a day because it simply froze and refused to get going again.