THE HTC Radar is the successor to the now discontinued HTC Trophy which was actually a very powerful Windows 7 when launched. It was expensive but powerful.
HTC has replaced it with the more contemporary looking Radar minus and plus a few features.
Made from a single piece of polished aluminium, its unibody design does add a bit of weight compared to the plastic unibody Nokia uses but I feel that shocks from falls (and I have dropped it two times so far) are well absorbed by the aluminium body.
On the front of the Radar is Corning Gorilla Glass so, theoretically, you do not need a phone case or screen protector, but I like to err on the side of caution, so I placed an anti-glare/finger print protector on.
The Radar has very few buttons — both physical and capacity. The power button is at the top right of the phone, the volume button on the upper right and the camera button much lower down. The buttons sit nearly flushed to the body but protrude enough for you to find them by touch. The Back, Home and Bing Search capacity buttons are located just below the display.
I would like to mention early what I believe is the philosophy of the button placement on the Radar. The phone is meant to be held in the left hand of the user while operating its functions with the right hand.
Yes, it is made to be a two-handed device. Why? To prevent SMS-ing or other finger input activities while driving, which is illegal in most countries.
Handling both the Radar and the Windows operating system is a breeze. The main screen has all the important icons for you to get right into using the phone. Icons for calling, SMS-ing, social media, email, pictures and music are nice and large, arranged in a vertical tile formation.
All this is well and good, but how does a Windows-made phone handle the “real world”?
Well, the Radar handles itself admirably. The 1 GHz Scorpion chipset is more than sufficient to run Windows 7.5 Mobile as scrolling and app launching is smooth and fast. Web browsing as well as pinch to zoom is smooth, like any desktop experience, well minus Flash.
The Super LCD screen is clear and bright and although faint, is readable in direct sunlight when viewed close enough. Sound quality is excellent, with calls being clear and loud.
As for battery life, Windows employs a lot of power saving features trying off many unused functions when the phone goes into screen lock and becomes even more aggressive when battery power hits 20 per cent.
That translates to moderate or heavy whole day use of the Radar and may not sound like a lot but in practice means a lot.
The camera quality is fairly good. It takes some nice outdoor shots and videos and good indoor shots too but remember the limiting factor of lighting, the flash and the basically small sensor before you get ahead of yourself and throw your pocket camera away.
The Radar comes with the standard Windows 7 apps and a few special ones from HTC.
You find many useful apps like Maps, Photo Enhancer, Lists and even Microsoft Office. Should you want to add apps and games, Windows has a Marketplace for you to peruse its goods, all of which are categorised, rated and priced or free.
The HTC Radar, with its excellent build quality, and Windows 7.5 OS is a winning combo. Not only do you get a phone that looks good and feels tough, but you also now get to enjoy an operating system that is easier to use that the iOS but still has most of the flexibility of current Android OS.
The Radar should win many fans among the young and old, the tech savvy, perhaps even the tech shy.