HTC Tilt 2 Review

HTC Tilt 2 Review
We have published a detailed review of
 the European version of HTC Tilt 2. Check it out here

Being fashionably late to the dinner table may not be such a bad thing for HTC Tilt 2, but it completes the penetration of the HTC Touch Pro2 variants to all of the major wireless carriers in the US. Priced at $299 on contract after rebates, it's definitely not as inexpensive as Verizon's version, but does make for a better buy than what Sprint is offering. There's one thing that separates the HTC Tilt 2 from all the others – you'll find Windows Mobile 6.5 loaded right out of the box. With Microsoft's latest mobile platform on board from the start, there's very little to say about everything else.

The AT&T Tilt 2 retains the style and look of the original GSM version with its chrome outer bezel. Its overall size and weight remains the same – it'll be noticeable in the pockets. Unfortunately there's no 3.5mm headset jack to be found whatsoever, instead it reverts back to the miniUSB port that's found on the bottom for all of its connections. The dedicated power button is located all by itself on the top edge while the volume rocker and push-to-talk button is situated on the left side. Other than that, it remains true to the originals industrial design.

The rear cover retains the same look with the speakerphone grid encompassing most of the back panel – it forgoes the original’s color in place of a gunmetal finish. The chrome outer bezel and rear gunmetal finish compliments each other very well – something we preferred over T-Mobile's complete brown plastic finish. You'll find that the 3.2-megapixel camera and mute button for the microphone in their prospective locations just like before.

Up to this point, we have to admit that all the variants had an excellent keyboard layout and feel. Buttons are well-sized for even the largest of fingers while spaced out enough from one another to prevent mis-presses. We can understand attempting to be unique, but the rearranged layout on the HTC Tilt 2 is just uncalled for. First of all, you no longer have the top row of keys used for numbers – instead they placed punctuation and symbols while the numbers have been relocated to have that keypad layout. When trying to type numbers, you will now be forced to hold down the function key – making it a lot more stressful than having a traditional layout. Fortunately you'll have a plethora of input methods to choose from; especially the touch screen options that were responsive for the most part.

AT&T held out long enough from releasing their version of the HTC Touch Pro2 because Windows Mobile 6.5 was on the horizon. You still get HTC's own TouchFLO 3D which still masks the underlying aging mobile platform that veteran users have been accustomed to using. Windows Mobile 6.5 brings some new enhancements – new Start menu, Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft's My Phone backup service, and Internet Explorer. Being able to find apps for a Windows Mobile device could've required some extensive perusing, but Windows Marketplace is the centralized hub for all you needs – it's quite useful and organized. Now we didn't say that Pocket Internet Explorer was packed on, instead we're finally provided a decent browsing experience with Internet Explorer – although the HTC Tilt 2 still does come with Opera Mobile. The decision will be yours to choose between the two, but we were impressed by the usability and snappiness of Internet Explorer, especially having in mind our previous experience with that browser. It did a better job rendering pages as you scroll through a site with little time required for pictures and text to pop up. Unlike Opera Mobile, Internet Explorer does not modify the text length to reduce horizontal scrolling. Finally the original start menu interface has been replaced with finger friendly sized icons to launch your applications, arranged in a honeycomb manner. TouchFLO 3D has similar interface in its shortcuts tab that allows quick access to the most widely used programs, so using the start menu can be another alternative. The Tilt 2 manages to bring the tried and true form of the original HTC Touch Pro2 we've all come to love – minus its miss with the keyboard. Even though the other versions will most likely get an update to Windows Mobile 6.5, the Tilt 2 will attract new owners to the platform while bring back old ones thanks to the latest mobile platform on board from the get-go.

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