HTC Arrive Review
Messaging is pretty much as you would expect it to be, and the onscreen keyboard is a quite good compliment to the excellent physical one. SMS/MMS is threaded, and email works much like it would in Outlook. On the email front we feel WP7 is a bit lacking, but then again we’re used to the great features Gmail offers. Email just feels a bit dated, and attaching files is a bit frustrating. From the email itself you can only attach pictures. To attach an Office document, for example, you’d have to send it from Office and you can only attach one at a time, meaning multiple emails if you have multiple attachments. Hopefully this will be something Microsoft addresses in future updates, but since Hotmail is still pretty low-tech we don’t have high hopes. Still, for all but the most advanced emailers the app works just fine.
Speaking of Office, it is one of the featured elements of WP7. Again, we won’t go into much detail since we’ve covered it before, but simply put it’s the best implementation of Office on mobile. Even though WP7 is focused on the younger, tech savvy consumer they have a very strong play at the corporate market with the Office offerings. The phone of course syncs with Outlook just fine, but these days more and more users turn to Google for contact and calendar management. When we signed into our Gmail account contacts came through the People app just fine, but Google calendar information was unfortunately not synced.
Other included software is pretty basic- things like a calculator, calendar, etc.,- but there are now over 10,000 apps available in the Marketplace. This number pales in comparison to the App Store and Android Market, but it’s a good start considering RIM is right there with them, and Palm- er, HP- is still thousands behind.
Xbox live is a huge coup for Microsoft and WP7. You can sign in using your existing gamertag and access information like your achievements. To make it clear this is not Xbox on your phone, but games are pretty high quality and are often integrated with the Xbox arcade. For the hardcore gamers this makes WP7 a big draw.
Like the Metro UI, the browser is fast, well laid out and minimalistic, but it lacks Flash support which hurts it. Hopefully we’ll see the Mango update sooner rather than later, but in the meantime we’d love to see Skyfire come out with a WP7 browser like they did with Windows Mobile (and later other smartphone OS’s.)
The HTC Arrive is a 3G CDMA device running off Sprint’s EVDO Rev. A network. It also has GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR with support for the HSP 1.1, HFP 1.5, PBA, A2DP 1.2 and AVRC profiles. GPS locks were quick and Bing Maps works very well. The Arrive runs on the Qualcomm QSD8650 Snapdragon processor at 1GHz and has 512MB of ROM and 576MB of RAM. The user has 16GB of internal storage, but as with most WP7 phones this is not user accessible and cannot be upgraded. It should be noted that all of these memory stats are greater than the Arrive’s GSM brother, the HTC Pro 7.
Camera and Multimedia:
We’re not a big fan of the multimedia sync option on WP7 because you have to use Zune software and there is no true manual control of the phone. It does not show up as a removable drive so you’re forced to use the Zune software, which is decent and offers Wi-Fi syncing, but it doesn’t always work. For example, we couldn’t load any music onto the Arrive. The process is supposed to be simple, the user simply drags the files they want to sync onto the phone icon when in the music tab in the Zune software, except that when we did that we were told that nothing could be dropped there (or anywhere in the software, that we could tell.)
The 5 megapixel camera was also a bit of a disappointment. Images frequently turned out blurry and flat. Colors were good, but with both indoor and outdoor lighting the images just seemed off. Focusing took a few seconds and the shutter is not extremely quick, so there can be a delay of up to 5s between pictures, slightly longer when using the camera from a cold start. The only real options offered are metering mode and flicker adjustment, as well as resolution. The video camera was similarly flat and the recording volume was quite low (there was music playing during our test video, but it was not picked up by the Arrive.) All-in-all there is some work that needs to be done.
HTC Arrive Sample Video:
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.