On either side are call start and stop buttons, home and back keys plus two soft keys for the Contacts list and the Windows menu. The four-line keyboard is nicely done, and though there are no spaces between the keys in each line, the rounded shape of the buttons makes them easy to distinguish under the thumb. We found it just as easy to use with one or two hands.
A good, messaging-friendly keyboard
We'd have liked to be able to get symbols by holding down the appropriate key, which is how our Nokia E71 works. Instead, you'll have to use the FN button, requiring two presses to put a number into a text message. Shame.
There are shortcut keys for messaging and Windows Messenger, as well as Inner Circle, a utility that prioritises emails from your most important contacts. You can add anyone to your Inner Circle list, and when you press the dedicated key on the keyboard, emails from anyone on that list come to the fore. Unfortunately, there's only one Inner Circle, so your most important family members will be bundled in with your most important work colleagues, but it's still useful if you've got a bulging inbox full of trivia.
HTC has improved on the Windows UI...
The Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard edition user interface hasn't had the same extensive overhaul treatment as HTC's touch screen devices such as the Touch Pro 2. There's a basic HTC menu which allows you to flick between the main apps such as messaging, calendar, settings, video, music player, web browser, weather etc, but the Windows menu brings up the OS' standard clunky layout. If HTC plans more Windows Mobile Standard devices, we'd like to see the interface brought up to the standard of their touchscreen brethren.
...but it's as big an overhaul as the Touch phones' UI is
POP3 email accounts were easy to set up and you can arrange for your inbox to be checked automatically at five minute intervals or less.
You do know why right? Opera Mobile 9+ doesn't work without a touch screen! The enrite control system is designed for touchscreen phones.
From Poor-man's iPhones to Poor man's Blackberries
You've got to love HTC. After fighting Samsung, LG and the rest in conning people into buying something which looks vaguely like an iPhone but lacks the support, the features or the apps of the iPhone platform, they're now trying the same trick with Blackberries. Having owned numerous HTC phones before I owned a blackberry 8800 and numerous iPhones, HTC have little innovation, they copy. Badly. Their devices feel cheap and insubstantial often decently specced, but always always let down by ridiculously antiquated software. Even if you don't intend to install third party apps on the device and go back to the year 2000 in OS usability with windows Mobile, the HTC software is simply outdated.
That and you'll very rarely get updates if their current behaviour is like their previous, they aren't even up to the standard of Blackberry updates regularity, let alone approaching Apple. New week, new model is the way it is. Windows Mobile seems great on paper, until you try to use it. Tmakes you glad a certain company innovated, or we'd still be stuck using Wimo!
So pretty much an E71
But with Wincephone software.
I am not even sure the hardware looks as nice...the E71 is almost perfect in that regard.
I think I will stick with tried and trusted S60 thanks...it has it's flaws but at least it tries to be a phone first. Every wincephone I have sampled (various HTC devices up to the Touch Diamond) have had horrible stalls, crashes, out of sync sound events and massive usability issues
About the only thing that will get me giving up the 71 is when Orange wake up and start offering an Android phone.
@ Robert E A Harvey
Why bother reading the article then?
Said it before - not interested in winphones.
Why is the same hardware not available with a choice of OS?