We had a chance to give HTC's newest darling device -- the Windows Mobile 6.5-sporting HD2 -- a more thorough hands-on today, and we wanted to share our impressions. Firstly, we must say that HTC has done perhaps its most ambitious skinning job ever here. So while this does run atop Windows Mobile 6.5, you rarely see the OS poking through the gorgeous new Sense user interface the company has created. If you're used to TouchFLO 3D (or Sense on Android), this should seem old hat to you, but keep in mind there are some major changes here that dramatically affect the Windows Mobile experience. As you probably already know, the Snapdragon-based device sports a 1GHz MSM8250 CPU, a massive, 800 x 480 capacitive display (with multitouch functionality thanks to more tinkering from HTC), a 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flashes, a 3.5mm headphone jack, FM tuner, and GPS chip on-board.
We were frankly blown away with how slick this phone is. Mind you, WM 6.5 still shows its not-so-fresh colors here and there, but the general experience of using the device is handled mainly through the Sense interface, and it blows the hinges off of any other Windows phone experience we've had. Ever. From the lag-free gestures which get you around the device, to image pinching and zooming with that aforementioned multitouch, the hesitation-free jumps in and out of applications, and typing on the sprawling, HTC-ified onscreen keyboard, using the HD2 is a joy. There's no getting around the fact that the phone is still very much anchored to Windows Mobile, but what HTC has done here is nothing short of a revelation. Why Robbie Bach didn't bring this up on stage today at Microsoft's open house event is anyone's guess -- though we have to imagine that when your OS is this heavily gutted (HTC has even completely removed stock apps like calendar and contacts and replaced them with its own versions, and the company had to hand-roll the capacitive / multitouch interfacing), it might not be the best example of what you've done. We'll be waiting with bated breath till we get more hands-on time with this phone, but until then, we can all enjoy some lengthy video of the device in action... so check it out after the break.
Update: Second video is up!