Back in May I had the chance to check out the GSM HTC Touch Diamond2 and this weekend we saw AT&T jumping the gun and selling their new HTC Pure device that is the US version of the Diamond2. I won't go into all the details that I did back in that review since the specs are the same with a very similar form factor. I will instead focus in this post on some things specific to the HTC Pure on AT&T. You can read about my take on the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system that is preinstalled on the HTC Pure. I put together a small image gallery and a video of the HTC Pure so you can see what it is like.
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.
Microsoft officially launched Windows Mobile 6.5 this morning and with all the leaks and AT&T releases the information has been out for over a day already. I've had the chance to use both an AT&T HTC Pure and Pharos Traveler 137 running Windows Mobile 6.5 and I have to say Microsoft disappoints me greatly with this release. We have seen more leaked than what was released today so maybe there will be some upcoming updates, but I am disappointed by the lipstick Microsoft gives to us with WM 6.5. The thing is, the beauty isn't even skin deep on this release and I think using Spb Mobile Shell 3.5 gives me a better experience on the Touch Pro2 than Windows Mobile 6.5 ever could.
It has been pretty sad over the past year to see every mobile operating system coming out with mobile software stores while the company with one of the oldest mobile operating systems couldn't deliver. Microsoft had the opportunity to be the first with such a store years ago and missed the opportunity. Today we finally see the store available on new Windows Mobile 6.5 devices and they continue to blow it by not officially providing the Windows Marketplace for Mobile for every WM 6.0 and 6.1 owner as a simple CAB download.
I have several posts planned for tomorrow's release of Windows Mobile 6.5, including hardware, the new operating system, and services. The Windows Marketplace for Mobile link has been on the devices I am testing for a couple of days, but the service wasn't turned on to try out, but the switch has now been flipped on the Microsoft servers so I can try it out. Microsoft will include the new on-device store, Marketplace for Mobile, on Windows Mobile 6.5, but they are passing up the opportunity to get the store into millions of existing Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 owners. They may have some valid reasons for this, but I would think they would want to help developers and get this thing finally kicked off with a huge rollout across all available platforms. Thankfully, the community is providing you with the opportunity to get the Marketplace for Mobile on your existing device.
T-Mobile no longer has the exclusive market for Android devices in the United States with Sprint coming out with a real winner in the HTC Hero that passes up both of T-Mobile's offerings. The HTC Hero from Sprint is the US CDMA version of the Hero that launched on GSM networks overseas in a form factor more like the T-Mobile myTouch 3G. I've spent over a week with the Hero and can say it is the best Android device I have used yet and my statement about the Hero meeting both user interface and functionality needs in a single device looks to be quite accurate.
You may have seen my review of the Samsung Behold feature phone last December. I received an email from my T-Mobile contact today announcing the Samsung Behold II (SGH-t939) and I almost discarded it as just another update to a good feature phone. However, as I read down further in the press release I quickly noticed that this isn't just a feature phone update, but a whole new device powered by the Google Android operating system. Yes, the Samsung Behold II is a Google Android device and this will be the fourth Android device available from T-Mobile with the T-Mobile G1, myTouch 3G, and Motorola CLIQ rounding out the lineup.
AT&T jumped the gun a bit and today announced the HTC Pure and Tilt 2, both running Windows Mobile 6.5. I have an HTC Pure here in my hands under evaluation, but cannot post my full review until early Tuesday morning when the embargo on Windows Mobile 6.5 lifts. In the meantime, you can check out the official press release and even visit your local AT&T store as I understand many of them are actually selling the HTC Pure now for just $149.99 after $50 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract.
Last week we heard the news that BlackBerry Desktop for Mac was coming soon and then a few days later RIM download this new Mac client. BlackBerry Desktop for Mac supports syncing contacts, calendar, tasks, and notes with your BlackBerry running OS 4.2 or later. The Mac applications it works with include iCal, Address Book, Microsoft Entourage and others. BB Media Sync is also included for iTunes syncing functionality.
Last week we spent the entire show talking about Windows Mobile and we did not start recording MobileTechRoundup show #184 with the intent to again focus on just one topic, but the Sprint HTC Hero that James and I are playing with is an amazing device and Kevin, James, and I just couldn't get off the topic. One thing I mentioned was the Exchange experience and I posted an article on this functionality just a short while ago. The Hero is a compelling device and if there was one on T-Mobile USA I would be all over it right now.
One of the reasons I keep going back to Windows Mobile devices, like my T-Mobile Touch Pro2, is because the Exchange experience has always stood out from the pack. The iPhone and Palm Pre offer Exchange clients, thanks to licensing Microsoft EAS technology, but there are still a couple of capabilities lacking (meeting with attendee creation for one) that keep me going back to a WM device. I am testing a Sprint HTC Hero (review will be here Monday) and discovered that the included Exchange experience on this device is better in some respects than what a Windows Mobile device can offer, but a few key capabilities still hold it back. As I stated back when I was trying to figure out if one device could meet our desire to have a slick UI and all necessary functionality I chose the HTC Hero to be that devices and now as I get more and more hands-on time with it my statement seems justified. Let's take a look at why I think the Exchange experience is better for many people on the Hero than on other mobile devices.