While Windows Mobile fans like myself are very pleased with the HTC Touch Pro2 there hasn't been as much excitement around a Microsoft smartphone as we have seen with the HTC HD2 for quite some time. People are enthusiastic about its release due to the 1GHz Snapdragon processor, capacitive display, large 4.3 inch 480x800 high resolution display, multi-touch support in the browser and photo viewer, and Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system. We also know that the HD2 will eventually be coming to a major US wireless carrier, but who that carrier is going to be remains to be seen. I have been using it as my primary device for the past week and wanted to give you some more details to enjoy over the Thanksgiving weekend as I now have experiences with many of those topics I mentioned in my first impressions article.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
One of the VoIP applications I have loaded on several devices is fring and I was pleased to read today that Skype and fring video calls are now supported on select Symbian S60 devices. fring video is currently supported on the Nokia X6, N97 mini, N97, 5800, N95, N95 8G and N82 devices. I have an N97 mini and will have to load up the latest version of fring and test out this new capability.
Earlier this summer I posted on the release of CoPilot Live 8 for Google Android and loaded it up on my T-Mobile G1 to evaluate for a full review. A ton of new devices came shooting across my desk and I never had the chance to finish my review of this excellent GPS navigation solution, although I did use it successfully for a couple of road trips and found it to be an excellent solution on the Android platform. Last week I received an HTC HD2 device to evaluate and found that CoPilot Live 8 was preloaded on the device. The software was loaded with a 14-day trial and I quickly learned I could transfer the review license from my G1 to the HD2 and quickly set up the account on the HD2 and downloaded the 31MB map for Washington State. As you can see in my image gallery containing screenshots of the application and video of CoPilot Live 8 in action (thanks to my new teenage daughter taking the wheel), the software is fantastic and with that large, fabulous 4.3 inch 800x480 pixel resolution display you can't find a much better portable GPS navigation/mapping solution available.
Regular readers here know that I am a fan of the Windows Mobile operating system, even though that is not necessarily a popular opinion since it isn't the flashiest and newest OS. I have talked about the strengths of Windows Mobile quite a bit and was pleased to see my friend and MoTR cohost, James Kendrick, post a fair comparison article between Android and Windows Mobile. James takes a look at multi-tasking, available apps, user interface, and computer desktop integration. It was refreshing to see James award the advantage to Windows Mobile in 3 of 4 areas with the last one being a tie.
I understood that Windows Mobile 6.5 was going to be a fairly minor update to bridge the gap between WM 6.1 and 7, but as I stated in my Windows Mobile 6.5 review I found too many things still missing from the update that I expected to see even with this understanding. Given the experiences I had with 6.5, I was expecting the same issues on the HTC HD2. I was pleased to discover that HTC didn't just settle for Windows Mobile 6.5.0 and took it to the next level with several optimizations to make the experience better.
One of the benefits about writing about mobile phones is that I get the opportunity to play with a LOT of cool devices for a few weeks at a time. Years ago I was a regular attendee to the monthly Puget Sound Handheld User Group (PSHUG) meetings, but life as a coach and dad has consumed many of those Tuesday evenings. Thankfully, my schedule opened up this month so I will now be showing them off and giving people a chance to play with them next Tuesday, 24 November, from 7 to 9 pm on the Microsoft campus.
I spent a couple of days at the Microsoft Mobius event here in Seattle, but couldn't share much of what was discussed on MobileTechRoundup show #190 due to NDA agreements. However, each attendee did receive an HTC HD2 from HTC so I shared a few thoughts about that device. As people try to figure out a good label for these latest generation smartphones Kevin brought up that we should go back to calling them Pocket PCs. James and I chatted about our pleasure with the Verizon Wireless MiFi and how useful of a tool that has become. Kevin also shared a new technology that he will be teting out soon in his local area. The Google Chrome OS was showed off this week and Kevin helped educate me about this latest "cloud" system.
I posted a quick first impressions of the HTC HD2 yesterday, but as I was commuting home on the train I had a chance to spend more time with the media capabilities of the device and wanted to share a few thoughts and a video with you. As you can see the weather animations alone will turn you into a fan of tracking the weather, the photo viewer rivals the iPhone, and the HTC media player blows away the lame Windows Media Player Mobile application.
I took a look at the Samsung Behold last year and as you may recall this is a high end feature phone with a high resolution camera. When I initially heard that T-Mobile was going to launch the Behold II in the Fall I didn't think much about it since I just thought it was some kind of minor update to a good feature phone. I then read more about the device and learned it was actually going to be powered by the Google Android OS and my interest was instantly piqued. The Samsung Behold II launched a couple of days ago on T-Mobile USA and is T-Mobile's fourth Google Android device, making them the US carrier with the most Android smartphones.
We wrapped up the Mobius 2009 event last night and since we spent most of the time talking about topics under NDA there isn't much of anything I can share with your at this time. I recommend you check out Jason Dunn's post on his new Windows Phone Thoughts site for coverage of what could be shared. HTC was kind enough to give each attendee an HTC HD2 device to evaluate so I wanted to post some first thoughts after spending the full day with it as my main device. I posted a video on YouTube with a short walk around the device and will post a full review early next week after a few more days with it. There is a ton of excitement about this device and after showing it to an iPhone owner here at work he said, "So this is what the next generation iPhone may look like." HTC pushed Windows Mobile to the extreme with this device and it shows in an amazing product.