An iPhone beater?

I know there are many iPhone users in the outdoors blogging community, myself included. The iPhone has its faults, but so far it’s been the most complete and flexible package when it comes to writing, creating and publishing blogs on the move.

There is a new device in town now though and it could be that the HTC HD2 has enough extra functionality to supplant the iPhone in the hands of outdoor bloggers. Admittedly if all you want to do with the iPhone is blog then ignore the rest of this post, but if you want your phone to help out in other areas as well, then the HTC could be the phone for you.

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First of all it’s a Windows Mobile 6.5 based device, but don’t let that put you off, it has the CPU to cope with the OS and it shields most of the clunky OS from the user with the cool HTC interface. Windows Mobile however, gives you a much more acceptable platform for programs like Memory Map, Anquet, TomTom and other GPS reliant programs.

I use Memory Map and I don’t have any doubt that they will never release an iPhone app – it’s been 4 years since we’ve had a PC software release and no sign yet of a new one. But their Windows Mobile program will work on the HTC, so perhaps I could carry one less piece of equipment on the hills. It has a built in GPS and a digital compass, it will be interesting to see how long the battery lasts with the GPS active.

It also has a much better camera than the iPhone and a double flash, so another tick in the box for outdoor bloggers. I’ve seen the results that people like Whitespider1066 can achieve with the iPhone, but that’s despite the quality of the camera rather than because of it.

The screen is huge, a lot bigger than the iPhone and it’s a Capacitive Touch screen, just like the iPhone, so it supports all those neat gestures for screen manipulation, it’s also very slim as you can see from the picture. It’s not clear if the battery is removable, but I’m guessing so, unless this is a complete move away from the usual HTC designs, so you can always carry a spare or two. It weighs in a 157g with the battery, which is 20g heavier than my 16gb iPhone 3G, not bad for a slightly bigger device.

When my iPhone contract expires in a few months, I will be giving some serious consideration to this new handset. There’s a little BBC technology vid here.

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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6 Responses

  1. lonewalker says:

    Thanks Pigalle, at the price they want for the app I’ve decided not to download it. Especially as some of the reviews are so bad. I will wait and see what happens over the next few weeks. I also question whether the app will work in an area with no phone signal – i.e. in the area you need the app most – out on the hills.

  2. Pigalle says:

    You might want to go to the iPhone App Store; as of this week (February 10 2010) there is a genuine Memory Map application and its pretty good.

    See: http://www.memory-map.co.uk/iphone/index.html

  3. I think the flash on a mobile is pretty useless and a pointless feature in my opinion. But others may find they work for them.
    But as you point out it’s down to the apps you want to use on the phone itself. Granted that MM etc aren’t on the iPhone (yet) but there is an OS map app for it. TomTom on the iPhone is pretty good I use it myself.
    I personally want to see an app that is like the satmap but on my iPhone. None even on the Windows Mobile has any of the apps come close to matching the satmap for functionality and ease of use.
    As I have pointed out on one or two posts where the iPhone wins hands down is the apps.
    Windows Mobile apps just dont compare with the iPhone ones, for ease of use, and functionality.
    If I was to look at an alternative to the iPhone my preference would be the GSM version of the Motorola Droid (well actually the keyboardless version when it gets the Android v2 OS upgrade).
    But dont forget July will be new iPhone month most likely. Who knows what treats Uncle Steve has in line for us.
    The 3GS has the digital compass, better camera and does video.
    But great post and valid points raised. But at the end of the day we all have different needs in a phone and no phone is perfect (even the iPhone is not perfect!) so we have to chose the one that best fits what we want and decide what is important and what we can compromise on.

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