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HTC Radar announced for October: 3.8-inch Super LCD display, Windows Phone Mango and our hands-on preview

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HTC Radar hands-on
HTC Radar hands-on

The second of HTC’s two new Windows Phones announced today, the mid-range HTC Radar comes equipped with a 3.8-inch Super LCD display, a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon SOC, 8GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1,520mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor paired to an f2.2 lens for camera duties. Its external design is intentionally tailored to match that of HTC’s 7-inch Flyer tablet, with one single aluminum shell wrapped around the electronics inside. The Radar will come in white and silver variants when it launches in October, a white and a silver option, though be forewarned that neither of them will have a user-replaceable battery. The particular physical design of this phone looks to have made that a necessary sacrifice.

HTC has informed us that it’s aiming to price the Radar somewhere below the typical $199 on-contract levy, however we’ve no word yet on which carriers will be picking the phone up when. Europe’s getting it in October, presumably right alongside its bigger brother, the Titan.

As with the Titan, Windows Phone Mango will be the shipping OS on the Radar, augmented by HTC Watch and a few updates to the HTC Hub.

The Radar immediately reminded us of the 3.8-inch HTC Trophy with regards to specs and styling (albeit, with a front-facing cam, beefier battery, and 1-mm thinner chassis). And like the Trophy, the Radar fits perfectly in the hand thanks to its softly contoured exterior. Unlike the Titan, the Radar’s display isn’t a standout feature — although it’s Super LCD, it’s not laminated like the Titan’s screen and there’s a mildly noticeable air gap between the glass and LCD that detracts from the overall solid quality of the panel itself. Such is the burden of the mid-range phone.

Software-wise, it’s Mango, albeit with some mild HTC customizations. HTC Watch and HTC Hub are pre-loaded, and HTC’s tweaked the camera software a little — there’s a nice panorama mode now, for example. Overall the Radar feels like a nicely-executed device, but we’ll reserve our final judgement for the review unit.