Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 10 with the HTC Desire HD: Handheld Browsing and more on Battery Life

Handheld browsing. I never really got into browsing WAP sites. It never appealed to me. My Sony Ericsson P990i was a very decent phone for web browsing, but my first carrier supplied unit displayed would have an "XML parsing error" and numerous websites. The replacement Sony Ericsson P990i displayed the same problem. The second replacement was thankfully a Nokia E61i, which had an excellent, for its time, web browser. The Nokia Mini-Map browser. After a month of using it to browse the web. While it 2.6-inch screen was large by the standards back than, I found it too small, and found navigating the web with a D-Pad uncomfortable.

With the HTC Desire HD and its 4.3-inch screen I can enjoyably surf the web for long periods of time, and not miss my laptop so much. The larger screen and the higher 800 x 480 resolution help a lot. But even more is the ease of navigating with a touchscreen interface combined with how the text on websites auto-fits into the boundaries of the screen leaving you only needing to scroll up or down. This auto-fit feature is not new. But it is just so seamless in the HTC Desire HD.

With the HTC Desire HD, I doubt I will be getting a tablet.

It seems like so long ago. A bit of nostalgia, and just to show how how far we come, I got this excerp from a post I wrote almost four years ago. 

The Nokia E61i was acquired to be used as a hand-held browser as much as for its other functions. No discussion of the phone would be complete without looking at its web browser and connectivity features. The E61i, like most N and all ESeries Nokia phones comes with the Safari based minimap browser.

In Nokia's own words this browser is designed to allows you to "Experience true Web" by bringing "desktop-like Web browsing experience to mobile devices." The Nokia Mini Map Browser render pages exactly the same way they would be rendered on a desktop or laptop computer. Rather than trying to get the whole page to fit within the narrow horizontal confines of the screen, Nokia gives you a more convenient way to navigate a web page which cannot fit on the screen. Since the Nokia Mini Map Browser displays that page in a the same way your desktop would, you will only see a small section of the page on the cellular phones screen. This means you have to do a quite a bit of vertical and horizontal scrolling to see navigate the page.

The Nokia Mini Map browser allows you to do this in an easier fashion. Press the Function Key + "8" key and a mini map of the entire page is displayed on your screen. A red box shows you where you are on that screen and from this mode you can scroll vertically and horizontally to the part of the page you want to see in greater detail. You can also zoom in or out of a page by pressing Function Key + "*" and Function Key + "#".

Battery life. In the local forums, I have read that battery life of the HTC Desire HD improves after several charge and discharge cycles. And I find that observation to be accurate. My initial use showed that the battery life would be about 24 hours with the data connection enabled. Now it is looking more like 24. Another thing I might suspect is after the initial "newness" or the device wears of, users might spend less time marveling at the screen. Given that the display accounts for a large fraction battery usage (right now mine is reading 75%) this factor might also account in the reported increases in battery life. 

Signing out for now.

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