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I have had this phone for over a year now and i must admit, it is a good, small phone. It does have a slightly girly look (!) esp in some coulours, but the small size was a good feature.
It is a plasticky phone, with some metal-look trimmings. The buttons are solid and useful - on/off at the top, green and red phone, 4-way d-pad and an ok button. There are also volume up/down on the left. The reset is unfortunately under the back cover and needs the stylus to press.
It is capable of running Windows Mobile 6.5 and there are a number of custom ROMs available on sites like XDA. I immediately switched to one of these having been a Windows user for a while and was able to understand the issues that revolved around Hard-SPl etc. The custom ROMs improve performance and functionality no end.
Some may like the customisability of the Windows OS (and believe me it requires a lot of customising with third party programs and registry edits) and some will not. It fford you all the finctions of a PDA and a phone with Activesync/device manager allowing for easy PC sync. The inbuilt memory is pretty pathetic and I woudl recommend a 2- 4GB SD card to install all non-essential programs and save files. Pocket iexplore is slooow, so I use Opera 10 installed on Sd card so that the momory does not get used up with teh internet cache. The 3g internet browsing is fairly trouble free and Opera allows you to zoom in and out easily.
The screen is not capacitive and thus involes a bit of force to activate and feels a bit bouncy but on the upside, allows you to use a stylus for fine pressing of buttons. The battery life is a good couple of days with moderate use, as long as you have a prog or change settings to switch off 3g after 2 mins of non-use.
The camera is 3.2Mp but fixed focus, so is limited in usefulness. The 500Mhz processor is fine for most basic tasks.
I have recently been upgraded on my work phone to this model, the HTC Touch 3G. This is now the standard phone for managers in my organisation as it enables you to stay in touch with your work email easily and have your outlook calendar to hand, in this respect it is very useful and makes my job easier when I am away from the office.
However, on the whole I find this phone not particularly user friendly and the battery life is frankly shocking. It looks and feels great in your hand but to my mind I would rather have a more basic and easier to use phone for work.
It is sleek and lovely, smooth on the back with a large screen and only three buttons, one of which is a navigational style centre key and the other two are basically a green and a red button for starting and ending calls quickly.
On the very first day I got this phone I was completely mystified as to how to get the stylus out. It is very stylishly hidden on the top right corner of the phone, however, it is so flush to the corner that removing it is not exactly easy and requires fingernails at the very least.
Even though I do have nails (god help anyone who does not) it is still tricky to extract the stylus and requires a certain 'knack'. For the first few weeks of using it I found this rather embarressing in meetings and would simply use a pen or whatever was to hand instead, rather than fighting with the phone in front of an audience.
The completely rubbish battery life has amazed me. I literally have to charge this phone every night the minute I get home if I have any hope of using it successfully the next day. If you only use it for calls it is less rubbish, admittedly, but considering the whole purpose of this phone is to access emails etc it seems poor to me that if I answer an email and let it connect to send I can fully expect to almost immediately lose one third of the battery life.
The camera on it is pretty standard and has 3.1mp which is more than sufficient on a phone where I do not actually need a camera. I have tried it out and the picture quality is pretty good, plus it has a multi-shot function which takes three pictures in quick succession, this is quite a nifty feature and one I would like on my personal phone as it makes taking pics of moving things easy.
It took me an age to figure out how to actually use the phone and despite having now had it for about 2 months I still feel I am using it by trial and error. For instance, my contacts are linked directly to my outlook contacts which does not help me when I want my phone contacts (some of whom are not on my outlook contacts). The user guide for this phone is absolutely massive and so far has not provided any help whatsoever on what are probably considered far too basic to bother with queries like this.
I was told by our IT department when I got the phone that it was very simple to change the 4 digit log in code (which you have to enter every time you use it) however I am still using the default pin I was given as absolutely nowhere in the user guide does it even mention this pin, let alone how to change it. At some point I will have to contact IT and let them know what a doofus I am and get them to walk me through it. I have, for the record, been through every single settings option on the darn thing to try and find where the pin is set but to no avail.
I find that the volume control on this phone is inconsistent, sometimes I cannot hear the caller very well and have to crank the volume right up and then the next caller absolutely deafens me. On speakerphone it is consistent in being remarkably quiet no matter how loud I have the volume, to the point that the speakerphone function is rather pointless in my opinion, especially when driving as it is completely drowned out by road noise.
It is very useful to have my outlook emails on hand and I love the fact that I can respond quickly via email. The options for the keypad are quite useful and I choose the qwerty option with the stylus (when I can remove it) and have become quite quick at typing with it, there are three size settings for the keypad but I like to have it as small as possible so I can see what I am typing.
I rarely use this phone for texting but it is fine when you do although again it is a case of stylus and keypad, the prediction on texting makes this quicker though.
So far I have had no problems with synchronization and it is always very quick to update the calendar and emails when I have made changes on my PC, I do think it is reliable and this is a major plus point on a work phone.
The capacity on this phone for storage is sufficient for my needs and I am not using it with an extra memory card at the moment although there is a slot to use one, for me I do not tend to open documents on this phone so it is not necessary but the option is useful to have.
The Opera browser for the internet is quick, the wi-fi has consistently worked for me and it is fairly straightforward - however, the battery life problem will rear its head if you stay online for any length of time.
This phone is a touch screen and uses 'Touchflo' software which personally I think is a bit rubbish. I have seen and used the iphone and on that the touchscreen is very responsive and quick, not so much on this. You can 'scroll' left to right and up and down but personally I find it is difficult to control this, it either does not respond at all or whizzes by so fast you end up going backwards to find where you want. Again, it is not easy to use.
Overall, this phone is not ideal but it looks and feels good and when using emails it is very useful to have with me. I like the calendar access too, the microsoft windows software is the main selling point for me.
However, the battery life is very poor if you use the email function or the internet, you are beholden to carrying the charger with you at all times and this is annoying. Also, the touch screen function is not all it should be and the phone as a whole is not user friendly. I am no technophobe but this phone has been a bit of a pain in the backside to figure out.
Had this phone now for over 6 months after upgrading from the HTC Touch, and so far I have been impressed. The phone itself is quite sheek and fits perfectly in your hand, however it is a bit smaller both phone and screen wise from the old HTC Touch. The touch screen is pretty responsive (i can use every feature of the phone without using the stylus) and is of good quality. I would say it is slightly better than a standard LCD screen, but not quite HD.
The phone comes with HTC's touch-flo system installed, which is a great improvement over the HTC touch. The basis of the phone is now built around this feature which makes it so easy to use just your fingers to access your mail, texts, internet browsing, photos etc. Its not up there with the iphone, but is responsive and intuitive to use.
As a phone it works as well as any other ive had or tried. The sound quality is good and clear. However, when moving to speaker phone the sound quality drops significantly and the mic doesn't pick up your words as well either. The in built opera browser is brilliant for surfing, especially with the inclusion of tabbed browsing. Opera renders web pages well to fit the screen allowing easy reading of news and sports sites. Scrolling is made easy by running your fingers down or up the screen (i.e. You don't need to use the scroll bars). There is also the option of windows internet explorer which comes with the phone. However this is vastly inferior to the Opera Browser. e.g. Rendering is not of good quality, and you really need to use the stylus in order to browse.
In terms of text input into the phone this can be done a number of ways. There is a full qwerty keyboard which takes up roughly 1/3 of the screen (which is what I currently use), a compact-qwerty (which has 2 letters assigned to each key), Normal phone button layout and also a transcriber. I found the transcriber options not that useful, they often transcribe letters incorrectly, although this may just be down to my writing ability with the stylus.
The phone also comes pre-installed with windows media player, which i find is great to use as an MP3 player using either the speaker phone or the supplied headphones.
As this is a windows Mobile device, it comes pre-installed with the Windows OS and basic mobile office applications, including outlook, windows live messenger, Word, Excel & Powerpoint. Which are all used in a very similar way as you would on your PC. As with other Windows mobile 6 phones, other applications can be installed simply with the same method as you would your home windows pc.
Email is easy to set-up too. I have both my Hotmail, and Gmail set up with synchronization. Setting up your Hotmail, or any windows live email, is easy and straight forward and uses Microsoft direct push so you get your emails instantly as they arrive to your inbox. You can also set-up other email servers such as Gmail, however push email is not supported but the synchronization mode can be set to as low as 5 minutes.
The camera on the phone is really your bog-standard 3.2mp camera. There's a few options, such as single shot, multi shot & video as well as some gimicky frames. I personally find multi-shot to be the best. This takes 3 shots straight after the other. Which I find great when try to take moving objects as the auto-focus isn't the best around.
The internal storage of the phone is far greater than the HTC touch and comes in very handy if you ownload alot of content. Especially as the phone likes to download to the phone RAM before moving it to a micro-sd card (which is inserted in the back of the phone under the battery, not in the side like the HTC touch).
The phone comes with bluetooth and wifi (as well as upto HSDPA phone connection) however the wifi can no longer be used seperatly from the phone connection, they are merged together in a 'unique' connection, which uses both wifi and phone connection to connect to the internet. This works well if you move in and out of wifi and good phone coverage as you don;t have to manually switch between, but I found it quite annoying whilst having a bandwidth limit on my contract. I can never be sure if the data is coming from my phones bandwidth, or through the wifi. The only way to be sure (that i have found) that the phone is using wifi is to turn off the phone connection then turn on the unique connection. Thus only allowing wifi. The battery life on this phone is pretty good.
When using it as a bog-standard phone it will last well over a week. However, if you browse the internet alot (espeically with wifi turned on) it uses juice very quickly. I currently have bluetooth on constantly and have 30 min updates on emails and browse for about 30 mins a day and it rarely lasts more than 2 days without need recharging. The phone does have one glaring weakness, and that is the tendency to crash and run slow. If you are running alot of simultanous features the phone does grind down to a halt, also messaging can be slow if you have a lot of text's or emails stored on the phone. Also the phone does randomly crash. Either by restarting itself spontaneously, or by beomcing unresponsive. This is more liekly to do with the Windows operating system rather than the phone, as I have had similar issues with other windows phones. But, as their is no way to change the OS on the phone, this must be taken as a Reliability problem wiht the phone itself.
Overall I would say this phone is easy to use, has a lot of features with a good quality touch-screen (both in terms of responsiveness and picture quality) and is a great low price option if you want a mobile PDA. But it does have a low battery life when using it as a one and has a tendency to crash.