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HTC X7510 Advantage Review


As we mentioned earlier, Advantage is based on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, we know from most HTC phones. To a great extent, this determines its capabilities, which cannot exceed the ones of a smartphone with the same specifications. Since you’re probably familiar with the OS, we will not discuss in detail the standard features like phonebook, organizer and messages.

On the homescreen, you have the HTC Home personalization, which we first saw in Touch, the TouchFLO pioneer. There are tabs for the system information, favorite contacts, weather, shortcuts and most frequently used settings. It is definitely more convenient than what the OS offers by default, but the same display with TouchFLO 3D (on the Touch Diamond) offers a lot more.

To activate the dialing pad, you have to press the left soft key, since the “send” key is missing. In the contacts list is where you will see the second interface personalization: a letter column on the right. Everything else is fully standard for Windows Mobile 6.1.

The lag is also standard for the OS; apparently, no matter how much HTC optimizes it, Windows Mobile doesn’t want to part with that characteristic. Almost all devices based on it are at least slow. We did not expect that from the Advantage, which uses a powerful Marvell PXA270 processor with the impressive 624 MHz, but the fact is that even a large, extremely potent and expensive business-oriented device is not adequate enough for simple operations.

As in every other phone running on this OS, the email setup is very easy if you are using a popular server. The only thing you have to enter is the username, password and the name from which the mail will be send. All other settings are automatically acquired. In case you have to configure another not so popular web server, you will need to enter the settings manually, but that’s relatively quick, too.

For text input you have the standard Windows screen keyboard or the hardware one. The personalized versions present in Touch Diamond or the previous Touch generations have not been added here. Of course, you have the handwriting recognition options.

The slower version of HSDPA (1.8 Mbps), supported by the device, also allows high-speed data transfer and receiving emails with large attachments is not a problem even if you are not in an area with a Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) network. Since it is equipped with a quad-band GSM and tri-band UMTS module, Advantage X7510 can be used in any GSM network. Due to patent conflicts surrounding the Qualcomm MSM6275 chipset, at least for now, X7510 will not be offered in the U.S.

At first, we were happy when working with documents, but at the end, we were left with mixed feelings. Although it’s not fast, Advantage X7510 is powerful enough and is able to open really big files. Viewing Adobe PDF is a pleasant experience; the pages change quickly, and if you are interested in a particular item, the Search feature will easily guide you toward the aim. Opening a small-sized Word file (10 pages) will make you wait for half a minute, but since in contrast to the PDF files, the document loads fully, there is no lag when you change pages. If the text has a normal size, a 50% zoom will get you the best results.

Nevertheless, the exact zoom level is hard to figure out when opening a large Excel document with long text in the columns. Simply the 640x480 resolution is not always enough and seeing a very small part of the contents optimized for computer, you’ll have to scroll constantly. If you have to edit a specific field, you’ll get in trouble since the input line is rather narrow as well. We are not happy with that. We were also left with mixed feelings from the opening of PowerPoint presentations: medium sized one (28MB) could be viewed, but loading pages took some time, and some effects were annoyingly choppy. It’s ОК for personal use, but if you show the presentation to other people (on a monitor or via a projector), it is far from professional for a presentation to be choppy.

When you need to use Internet, you’ll be happy to discover that alike Touch Diamond, Advantage is equipped with Opera Mobile 9.5. We are very impressed with the browser: it loads pages very well and is extremely-user friendly. It’s a pleasure viewing pages visualized on the 5-inch screen, especially with such a good browser. The only thing it lacks is the ability to load flash objects (videos for example) and you won’t be able to see them.

Besides the standard Windows Media Player (WMP), we find the Audio Manager, seen in Touch. It is more convenient for listening to music, but it’s not good for video. Basically, WMP has the role of a video player, but here, it is unusable since it doesn’t support any popular codecs (H.263, H.264 videos don’t play even in QVGA resolutions).

Advantage X7510 doubles the available memory in contrast to its predecessor and now has 16GB, which should be enough for numerous documents (and multimedia). In addition, we have a miniSD card slot and a regular USB (on the adapter), to be easily able to plug in external memory. The USB slot can also be used for devices different than flash memory, but you’ll need the drivers for them.

While the adapter is plugged in, you can connect the phone to a monitor or a projector via VGA, composite or S-Videoconnectors. In such mode, the i-mate phones’ displays turn black and act as a touchpad, from where to control the mouse finger. In HTC Advantage, it remains operative and doubles the other one.

X7510 has a 3-megapixel camera built-in; this is a business phone and its idea is not to make family pictures (it wouldn’t perform well either). It is more of a tool to record information by photographing it instead of rewriting it; such bits of information could include business cards, documents, product specifications, and magazine or newspaper pages. Most of the time, the results are good but if the light is weak, you’ll have to use the LED flash, which could be too bright if taking a picture from a very short distance. In a well-lighted environment, you’ll get very good detail in close ups.

We accept the picture quality for the purpose, but we are not happy with the interface. There are not many options (no need for such anyways), but the problem is the lag and often, we had to press the button repeatedly after taking a picture for the camera to “wake up”. Then it advances to shooting the next one right away even if you didn’t want it to.

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