HTC Radar Review: Mango On The Radar: Unboxing, Design And Build Quality

By 12:56 Wed, 11 Aug 2021 Comments


The HTC Radar’s retail package is fairly standard. You acquire a one-piece headset, a microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) cable and a detachable charger plug that uses the Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable.

The Radar retail box content

Windows Phone doesn’t support microSD cards yet, so you couldn’t expect to find one in here. A carrying pouch would be too much to ask at that price - not that the supposedly premium Titan had one either.

HTC Radar 360-degree spin

At 120.5 x 61.5 x 10.9 mm and 137 g the HTC Radar is not the most compact, nor is it the lightest of smartphones to feature a 3.8” screen. But it doesn’t come across as bulky either and the suave aluminum unibody is worth the fuss of carrying the extra weight. At least for us it is.

Design and build quality

The HTC Radar is a well-built and handsome smartphone. Designed to minimalism and fine ergonomics, there’s small to frown at in terms of styling and hand feel. You can't go incorrect with an aluminum unibody, and the HTC Flyer-inspired rubberized plastic accents at the back add to its appeal. The device could have been slimmer perhaps, but that's nit-picking really. The worse things to consider are the lack of a memory slot and the sealed battery.

The 3.8" S-LCD classy screen of the HTC Radar comes with the WP-standard WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution. It's hardly the best there is - neither its contrast, nor its pixel density are close to the market-leaders, but then again, fine luck getting some of them on the same budacquire as the Radar.

The display is pretty fine and even more so for the class

So we should probably be pleased with the decent viewing angles and sunlight legibility on offer and not acquire too particular. AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens certainly do the Windows Phone Operating System (OS) more justice as their deep blacks are quite vital here. The Samsung Focus Flash I677, which we reviewed not long ago, is a fine example. Anyway, the HTC Radar is by no means let down by its Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) display. In fact, the Radar seems to offer better performance outdoors than the older HTC 7 Trophy.

Display test

50% brightness

100% brightness

Black, cd/m2

White, cd/m2

Contrast ratio

Black, cd/m2

White, cd/m2

Contrast ratio

HTC Radar

0.26 204 794 0.59471 797

HTC Titan

0.26 233 891 0.56567 1007

HTC Sensation

0.21 173 809 0.61 438 720

Motorola Atrix 4G

0.48 314 652 0.60 598 991

LG Optimus 2X

0.23 228 982 0.35 347 1001

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II

0 231 ? 0 362 ?

HTC Incredible S

0.18 162 908 0.31 275 880

Above the HTC Radar's classy screen there's a secondary 1.3 MegaPixel (MP) video-call camera, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor. Three haptic-enabled capacitive controls are placed below the 3.8" display. The Back, Home and Search keys are well-spaced and nicely backlit in white.

The secondary camera, the earpiece and the proximity sensor are all on top

The correct side of the HTC Radar is where the volume rocker and capturing camera button are. The shutter key is a bit too slim, but soft and springy, with very distinct half and full press. Pressing and holding the key will unlock the phone and launch the capturing camera correct from the lock screen.

The volume rocker and capturing camera key

The only thing on the left is the microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port. It's got no protective cover to haged it from filling with dust. The port is near the bottom, which some might find uncomfortable for working with the phone while charging. It would be particularly difficult for left-handed users.

The microUniversal Serial Bus (USB) port is near the bottom

The top of the HTC Radar features the 3.5 mm audio jack and the power/lock button. No usability problems with either of those.

The 3.5mm jack and power key up top

At the bottom of the Radar we find nothing but the mouthpiece.

There's small going on at the bottom

The back of the Radar features the 5 MegaPixel (MP) capturing camera lens and Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash. There's also a loudspeaker grill and a Windows Phone logo at the bottom.

Opening the cover at its very bottom lets you insert a SIM card, but you cannot access the battery. That comes with the unibody – on the upside the phone is solidly built and a pleasure to handle.

You don't have access to the Radar battery

The Radar got a 34h rating in our dedicated battery test, which means you should expect about 34 hours between charges if your usage pattern involves an hour of browsing, video playback and 3G calls each.

The HTC Radar is well put together, with remarkable hand feel and likely to last. It may not have the massive classy screen of the HTC Titan, but that’s not necessarily all bad. For one, it's much easier to squeeze in a pocket and way more comfortable for single-handed use. The WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution is a better match of the classy screen size too – low pixel density failed the Titan at times.

Handling the HTC Radar

We’re about to go on to the Windows Phone Mango inside the Radar. The updated software is the main advantage of a phone that altogether lacks the novelty factor. HTC didn’t have the liberty of skinning the user interface as heavily as they do in Android, but they obviously couldn’t resist the temptation of sneaking some of their Sense UI niceties in.



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