I bought this phone because I wanted a phone with a large screen, lots of memory, and a fast processor. I didn't particularly care about the sliding keyboard. Overall, this is a good phone, but it has some things to watch out for. For my purposes, I replaced the stock interface with SPB Mobile Shell... More
I bought this phone because I wanted a phone with a large screen, lots of memory, and a fast processor. I didn't particularly care about the sliding keyboard. Overall, this is a good phone, but it has some things to watch out for. For my purposes, I replaced the stock interface with SPB Mobile Shell 3, which is excellent and easy to use. I also added SPB Pocket Plus, which allows for customization of the buttons, Internet Explorer (adds tabs), and other functions.
- Very nice screen. It is vibrant and clear. When the keyboard is slid out, the screen can be tilted, which would be useful for watching a video or doing a lot of emailing.
- Performance is fairly good, although I would recommend going to [...] to download a couple of tweaks that will make it run faster and use less memory.
- The sliding keyboard is actually quite useful. Although it lacks an OK button, you can generally use the ENTER switch for this purpose, especially on the Web. Touch and feel is excellent, and the keys are well spaced. There is a dedicated row of numbers as well. Overall, I think this is probably the best hardware keyboard ever on a Windows Mobile device.
- The phone has a light sensor, so that it adjusts the backlight to the ambient lighting. This both saves power and results in more appropriate backlight levels.
- The phone has a proximity sensor for use when you are making calls. If the phone is close to your ear, the screen shuts off. This prevents inadvertent activation of the screen buttons.
- The control for unlocking the phone and for answering an incoming call is to move a virtual slider to one side or the other. This eliminates the problem of having a flat screen - which would otherwise automatically unlock or answer the call. Unfortunately, the reminders DO NOT have a slider - see the "con" below as to the effect his has.
- All of the menu options are optimized for touch screen - they are large and easy to hit. The only time you need the stylus is when you are operating in the original Windows Mobile applications like settings screens and so forth. Speaking of the stylus, when you remove it, the screen is unlocked.
- The phone comes with the Mobile Office package, and the standard email programs. There is a handy setup email icon that walks you through setting up your emails. It has standard settings for the most popular web mail programs like gmail and yahoo. An associated program is installed to allow you to present Powerpoint presentations, presumably using the special TV-out features. I didn't check the output, although the program did read a PPT file and showed it on the device.
- There are built in applications for Facebook and twitter, if you are into those sorts of things. It also includes some other programs like Bing, Adobe Reader, a very nice calculator (changes to scientific in landscape mode), a custom COMM Manager to manage the radios (WiFI, etc), Internet sharing (allows one to use the high speed network as a computer modem - I haven't tried this), several IM clients, MSN Money and MSN weather, Remote Desktop (to access the device from the desktop), Windows Live, the WM media player, a YouTube player, a Quick GPS application (to synchronize the GPS location - speeds up the satellite acquisition), and the TeleNav application to provide voice guidance. I don't need most of this stuff. I am using a stand-alone navigator (Iguidance 2009) for navigation.
- Also included is MS voice command, which works very well for voice dialing over Bluetooth.
- The phone has an accelerometer, so it knows when you turn it sideways, and will support programs written to take advantage. The device comes with a nice (if simple) game that uses this feature.
- Web browsing is via Opera (default standard browser), or Pocket IE. You can go into IE and set it to detect the default browser - that that IE can become default. Since I find IE with tabs to be fine, I use that one.
- There is a handy zoom slider right below the screen. So far as I know it only works in the two browsers, but it is handy and easy to use - just slide the finger to the right to zoom, the other way to shrink.
- HTC has a special feature (found under the memory settings) that allows touching the "X" button to actually close the program, rather than minimize it. I recommend that you turn it on - assuming you can find it (see firmware update below).
- The device comes with a screen protector, case, wall adaptor, earbuds, and USB cable. There is also a (huge) dongle to connect the proprietary USB to a standard headphone.
- The device is capable of outputting TV, but I didn't check that function. It requires another adaptor.
- The speaker phone is adequate, and it has a nice feature in which when you are on a call you just flip the phone upside down and lay in on the table to enable the speaker phone. There is also a mute button on the back for use when in this mode.
- The phone features dual speakers and microphones. Noise reduction is very good, and I had no problems hearing or being heard during both normal and Bluetooth headset calling.
- The phone supports a micro-sd card which is SDHC compatible. I have an 8 Gb card in mine. You have to remove the battery cover (but do NOT have to power down the phone) to change the card.
- You pay for those nice physical features. This is a large phone, and pretty heavy. I don't mind this, but you should be aware that it will weigh down a pocket. If you want small and thin, this isn't it!
- The only external connector is in the format of a mini USB, but it is a special format. You either have to use the supplied headphones or the 2 inch long dongle that adapts a standard 3.5" headset. Since the Sprint version of the TP2 has the standard 3.5", I'm surprised that T-Mobile retained the USB. However it does sound good.
- The camera has good specs: 3.2 MP with autofocus, but there is no flash and I'm not overly impressed with the photo results. They are "OK", but not exceptional.
- I do not like the touch flow interface. I find it to be limiting, and not that intuitive. Also, with the updated Windows Mobile 6.5 firmware, T-Mobile (or HTC, I don't know which) has removed all access to the original Windows Mobile screens. I could not find any way to access even the "Today" settings screen in order to change the theme! Also missing was access to the detailed settings, including the information on the device. When I went over to Mobile Shell, I found a program called "HTC Settings" which contained all of these icons, but I cannot find any way to see it in the Touch Flo interface. So if you want to fully control your TP2, you may not want to use the built in interface. If you don't go behind the scenes, perhaps the stock interface is OK. It isn't for me; I want to be able to control my device.
- If you want to upgrade to the latest Windows Mobile 6.5, you can do this at [...]. This provides an update to the entire phone.
- This phone has a totally flat front, except for the four small buttons at the bottom. What this means in practical terms is that when a reminder goes off, it almost immediately gets silenced, because the main touch screen touches the carrying pouch. Also, I find that I need to be careful, especially in landscape mode, because I find myself gripping the screen - and accidentally touching the soft key. In my opinion, the slightly recessed screen format is superior. One interesting note is that what is labeled as a "back" key on the phone is actually an OK button.
- The default snooze on the reminders is fixed at 5 minutes. There is a way to get past this by modifying the registry, but that is a clunky solution to the problem.
- Battery life is abysmal if you are using the high speed internet, WiFi, or GPS. Basically, you should plan to charge this device daily if you use these features a lot. And head for the hills if you use more than one radio at once! I do find that I can make the battery last more if I turn off the 3G connection when not in use. I have mapped my phone "END" key (the right hand key) to shut off the 3G modem connection. Without any connections I expect it will last a couple of days in general use. There are aftermarket batteries available that will provide over twice the charge of the OEM battery, but the larger ones require a custom back, and the device is already large and heavy.
- The phone will get somewhat hot if any of the radios are in use. The manual says this is normal, but it runs hotter than any Windows Mobile device I have ever owned.
- I can't say if it is my SPB Mobile Shell or just the device, but the memory leaks like a sieve. I start out after a reboot with over 100Mb of memory, and by the end of the day it has lost about 40 Mb of that amount. Plan on a reboot every other day.
I like the phone overall, but I would recommend using a different interface than the Touch Flo. This is a very capable device that will work well for the informed user. I would recommend it for two types of users: those who know very little about Windows Mobile (and might be OK with the interface), and experienced Windows Mobile users (who will be able to tweak the device to do what they like). I'm not sure that people in between those extremes will be entirely happy. Less