HTC Imagio XV6975 Review
One area where the Imagio is different from other HTC smartphones for Verizon is that it is more of a multimedia device. This is evident with the inclusion a kickstand and media services like VCast Video, Music with Rhapsody, and Mobile TV. With the VCast Mobile TV service, powered by Qualcomm’s FLO TV network, you can view live and prerecorded TV shows on the device. Even though there is currently only a small selection of channels available, it is cool to be able to watch TV on your phone. You can view the video in standard 4:3 format, or stretch it to fill the width of the screen. The only downside to this service is in regards to the video quality and compression. When watching on a 3.6” screen you can easily see block-pixelation, which would be less noticeable on a smaller screen, but the only solution would be for the video to be broadcast at a higher resolution.
The standard VCast Video service shows only pre-recorded clips, and those are at even lower resolution than with the Mobile TV service, as they are streamed over Verizon’s EVDO Rev A network.
There is also a built-in FM tuner, but it requires you to connect 3.5mm earbuds, which are used as the antenna. The radio can be played through the earbuds or through the phone’s rear speaker, but not via Bluetooth (like the normal music player). There are arrow icons on the screen to scan up and down for strong stations, or you can manually tune to weaker stations. There is also the option to store 20 presets. We like having an FM radio included, as it doesn’t cost extra to use and can be listened to in the background.
The music player hasn’t changed much and still categorizes the library into now playing, artists, albums, playlists, genres, and all songs. There is also a link to the VCast Music Rhapsody store. Unfortunately, sound quality through the tiny rear speaker is lacking, so prepare to use wired or Bluetooth headphones.
We were able to use the HTC Media Player to playback our own H.263 and H.264 encoded MP4 videos files with resolutions from 220x96 up to 720x306 and with bit rates from 128kbps to 1524kbps, but the higher resolution files at 720x306 were more sluggish and dropped frames. We also installed the DivX player and had no problem using it to playback DivX and XviD files, but wish HTC had it integrated with their own player, similarly to what Samsung did with the Omnia.
The HTC Imagio XV6975 is currently the 3rd Verizon device to come with a 5MP camera, after the Casio Exilim and the Samsung Omnia. The interface is basic, but it does allow for a variety of settings, such as the resolution, ISO, and white balance. Since there isn’t a physical shutter button on the phone, you have to press the on-screen shutter icon to capture the image, which in turn takes a total of 4 seconds to focus, capture and save the image. Pictures taken outside are crisp and a bit sharper than the usual, so the level of details is just fine. Color representation is accurate, though bright white areas are overexposed. Unfortunately, things begin to go downhill when you move indoors, as images start to look blurry in low-light conditions. Since the Imagio doesn’t include a flash, we would only recommend it for taking pictures outside during the day, but it does a far better job at capturing 5MP images than the Exilim. We are interested in seeing how the Samsung Omnia II and Motorola A855 Android phone stack up to the Imagio, as both of those should also include a 5MP camera.
Videos can be recorded in H.263 and H.264 formats at CIF 352X288 resolution, and in 3GPP2 and MPEG4 formats at VGA 640x480 resolution. Between these choices, we found that MPEG4 at VGA resolution produced better looking videos than 3GPP2, but the quality is still blotchy and isn’t anything to write home about.
HTC Imagio XV6975 sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution
1. bluehorseshoe (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Jun 2009)
How can you give it a 9.5 if there is an issue with call quality? Bells and whistles are great, but these are phones nonetheless. That's at least a point or so in my book.
3. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
Under normal conditions the call quality was fine. The only issue was the faint background "hiss" that could be heard through the earpiece, which sounds like "white noise" (some phones have this while other don't), and if you turn the volume up all the way you'll hear some speaker distortion. But we found that having the earpiece volume set below medium is still plenty loud, and there is no distortion.
13. honoldng (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
One could just as easily argue that this is a portable multi-media/computing/camera/etc. device that happens to make phone calls. If you are more worried about phone call quality, there are thousands of basic cell phones available. People who are looking to buy this type of device are clearly looking for more than just phone calls.
2. ErikSax (Posts: 20; Member since: 20 May 2009)
Can you please show examples of the MobileTV service on the Imagio? That is the feature everyone needs to see demonstrated and evaluated. You only showed VCast Video, which we have all seen before.
4. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
The Mobile TV service is shown at the top of Page 4, it is not VCast Video. The label will be changed. -Thank you.
5. AvtoExport (Posts: 15; Member since: 02 Jul 2009)
What the DivX player you are installed ? I wont to... Please provide me Name and Web site to download ?
6. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
It can be found on the Divx site:http://labs.divx.com/MobileDow
nloadClick on the Windows Mobile 6 Professional link, download, copy all the files to your smartphone and run the CAB file.
8. se7en11 (Posts: 10; Member since: 05 Oct 2009)
Thanks for the great review. I've been waiting for this phone to come out for a while and was really looking forward to purchasing it. That was until the big press conference where Verizon and Google announced their two new Android phones. Anyone know how the HTC Imagio is going to compare to Verizon's HTC Hero?
9. j.as.on (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Oct 2009)
You talk about the quality of the keyboard. Any chance we can get some video of it in action?
11. martycota (Posts: 28; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)
13.5 hours standby? How is that a good battery life? Considering my Touch Pro claims 350 standby hours and it barely makes it 2 or 3 days in good signal area, and you rate this as having a good battery life?
12. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
It should read "The 1500 mAh battery is rated to provide up to 5.3 hours of talk time or 13.5 days of standby time on a full charge." It will be corrected -Thank you.
14. brikz4real (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Dec 2008)
Your review left out one very important feature; one that will make me send back my Touch Pro 2 (well within 30 days) to get it: The fact that it supports VCast w/Rhapsody. Gotta have my music .... and this will be the first WinMo device to support Rhapsody "subscription" service as well as downloaded music.
15. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
We have it listed on the top of page 4: "...media services like VCast Video, Music with Rhapsody, and Mobile TV" The upcoming Samsung Omnia II is also expected to have VCast Video and VCast Music with Rhapsody, but not Mobile TV. -Thank you.
16. brikz4real (Posts: 173; Member since: 24 Dec 2008)
Rechecked it....you're right. It's right there. My bad. Just wish Verizon had that feature in the TP2 as well.
23. WarBear (Posts: 1; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
Just want to add a note since you have an interest in streaming media. I have had this phone since Oct 7th and instantly installed my Slingplayer Mobile w/ no monthly fee on the device using the 3g data package and NOT WiFi. Works outstanding! Full screen capable and even flips the screen to the side. Quite a nice picture, some blocks, and some frame rate issues....but overall extremely watchable quality. Watched my dolphins beat the jets last night since I was in an area with no internet, only the 3g :) On a side note it is capable of tethering using pdanet's software w/ no monthly fee. I was going to mention something else, but I forgot what I was gonna say....oh well.
30. usmc7898 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)
understand that you were able to load and us sliingplayer mobile on the Imagio, i'vve been using it on the xv6900 for the past year, but just recently my phones screen cracked.. Ipurchased the Imagio and loaded slingplaye rmobile, it boots up, but the controls at the bottom dont activate. any ideas???? your help is greatly appreciated.
18. Elysian (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Oct 2009)
I'm frequently outdoors during the winter and I need to know if the touchscreen is responsive to cold/gloved fingers?
19. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
The Imagio has a resistive (pressure sensitive) touchscreen so it should be OK to use with gloves.
20. ryguy (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2009)
Does anyone know if Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro will support Cisco IPSec VPN?
21. tringuyen82 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2009)
PhoneArena - I am considering this phone or Sprint's Hero. how does the touch/use compare using only the finger? Obviously, its resistive vs capacitive (sp) but I thought the resistive on Imagio was suppose to be quite good. I'd prefer capacitive, but would like to hear your thoughts. PLUS the screen on the Imagio looks a bit cheap. Glare? Thanks a bunch. Need the info, b/c I cant get a hold of the Imagio til Oct 20/21.
27. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
The resistive touchscreen on the Imagio is very responsive and sensitive. We didn't have any problem using a finger and not a stylus with it. Glare is only an issue if you are outside and the sun angle is reflecting on the screen, but any phone will do this.
22. ryguy (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2009)
Phonearena, can you please comment on the HTC Imagio's responsiveness switching between applications on this phone? According to some of the reviews on the Verizon Wireless website some claim the HTC Imagio is "sluggish" when switching between applications. Also, have you tested remote desktop on this phone, if so, what do you think of it?
26. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)
The Imagio seems to be faster than the Touch Pro2 when switching between applications. This might be because the Imagio has Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Touch Pro2 has 6.1. We have not tested Remote Desktop.
24. dialtone (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2009)
My days with a stylus are over. But thanks!
25. angelsman (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Oct 2009)
hello i am thinking of getting this phone i have heard great things about the htc imagio should i get one? please help
31. Memo (unregistered)
Can this phone use the GPS without a data plan? Or does it have to be online to work?
32. justlearning (unregistered)
I have an imagio xv6975, I am new to smart phones. I locked my phone, and now can't get it to unlock. I would appreciate any help, thanks
33. 0mundu (Posts: 2; Member since: 30 Oct 2011)
Hi guys could any one help me install or activate SIM Toolkit on this phone.Its standard on WM 6.5 but cant locate it on the Imagio
34. carolsue (Posts: 1; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
Can you use any sims card t mobile a t and t with the HTC Imagio?On the droid 2 globals you can only use verizon approved.I do not like that.thanks.