HTC Arrive Review
Windows Phone 7 is new and beautiful and minimalistic, but it isn’t all that customizable. The user can choose what tiles are displayed on the home screen and the order they are in, but in terms of manufacturer customization Microsoft has shut the door (for now.) HTC offers the HTC Hub app, which brings some feel of Sense to the device, but this has to be launched as an app and overall all WP7 devices feel the same.
For those unfamiliar with the Metro UI we’ll keep it basic; the WP7 homescreen is a collection of tiles that are capable of delivering information, such as unread texts, calendar events or the weather, or just play neat animations from time to time. Much like Android, your home screen can consist of Live Tiles (tiles that deliver info, like widgets) or app shortcuts (tiles that simply launch the app) but since they are all either 1x1 or 2x1, the look is pretty monotonous. The Zune-style menus feature overreaching graphics and text that runs off screen, which makes for a very cool and modern interface. It takes a few minutes to orientate oneself to this new OS, but to any experienced smartphone user the overall navigation shouldn’t be too perplexing.
One major element of WP7 is integration, so there is a People app instead of your traditional phonebook. Yes, the People app has a phonebook element to it, but it also has a What’s New section, which gives you a Facebook feed for your contacts. The Music and Video app is a player for your downloaded music and videos, but also a home for any music or video related app you download from the Marketplace. Elements like this show us that Microsoft gets it this time around, and WP7 is in a very good position to succeed if given a chance.
The HTC Arrive features the newest version of WP7, which includes an improved Marketplace search, faster load times for apps and most noticeably copy and paste. The copy and paste feature is probably one of the best implementations we’ve seen on a smartphone; simply tap the word you want and it is highlighted. You can then drag the slider bars on either side to select more words and finally tap the icon that sits above the highlighted area to copy. Since it is so easy we actually found ourselves selecting words when we didn’t mean to, but there is no downside to this so it was a minor issue.
For those wanting a more detailed look at the operating system, see our Windows Phone 7 walkthrough.
The Arrive runs the OS flawlessly. Microsoft learned an important lesion from Windows Mobile and is now requiring minimum hardware specs to ensure a smooth performance. Menu transitions are fluid, there is no lag and when you press something it reacts. Just how we like it!
1. derp (unregistered)
Im sure the OS is far better than Android, but really it just looks like a slightly reworked KIN OS. Too ugly for me.
2. snowgator (Posts: 3015; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
They were not impressed with the Email, integration, lack of ability to customize it, thought the camera was only fair, didn't like the Zune, and people said it was one of the worst devices they tested on calls for some time. It got an "8". Hey, I am a HTC fan myself, and am starting to warm up to WP7, but if this phone is an "8" after that review, what would it take for Phone Arena to pan a HTC smart phone? For it to implode upon touch?
3. eatlotacheese (unregistered)
I have had this device for a week now and I can say I love it. The phone's feel is sturdy and a little heavy. The layout is smooth the only problem is with the touch buttons sometimes getting tapped during games. The keyboard is very responsive and easy to type on. The screen is gorgeous, movies and pictures are crisp and clear. Its touch response is precise. Windows phone 7 OS is still new and lacking in some features but this update goes beyond copy an paste. The app switching and loading is smoother and less buggy. I have read a review saying the copy and paste was hard, its not. The phone's drawbacks are in the software's lack of landscape mode. It draws back from the phone's keyboard. My other issue is the flimsy feel of the slide mechanism. It feels like it could break if it got caught. Other than these an WP7 lack of some features its a great phone.
5. eric12341 (Posts: 6; Member since: 04 May 2011)
shows how inexperienced some of these tech bloggers are. I had no problems whatsoever getting all my music on to the arrive.
7. trumpet116 (Posts: 27; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
And he showed off the copy-paste incorrectly at first...at least he fixed his mistake when he went to messaging...
6. KidZoom (unregistered)
It is the best mobile device I have ever seen.
My first venture in mobile communications was a mobile phone bolted in my trunk that you could fry bacon on (unless CB radio counts as mobile communication). Win7 is a step in the right direction and with live.com, outlook connector, or Windows Office 365, the user will find an email/ calendar/ business contact system.
The fast transition between screens and apps is amazing. Apps do not start randomly or devour battery life. No need for app killer or midday charging. Apps are limited to the realm of useful even though there are a bunch of games (no interest to me). This is a positive, I want a device to increase productivity, not waste time.
The interface is customizable enough, think Windows OS since 3.5, you could change the entire appearance, but most PC's I see are very similar in configuration. Why create "stuff" people will not use?
Has limited version apps of MS office. Handy for tweaking work product when you are caught in down time without your laptop. Yes you can access all the files you care to store on live.com or your Office 365 exchange through OneNote or Lync. Your entire office is literally at your fingertips.
Internet, search, and navigation functions are clean and easy to use. Links, phone numbers, and address are recognized by the device and can be accessed immediately. For example, you can tap search button, Bing search for desired location, the device brings up local info on the subject, with options to view the Web or news related to subject. Tap the address and navigation will get you there.
Much, much more!
HTC and Win 7, this is a 9.9 just because there is no such ting as a 10.