The days of this HTC Touch Pro 2 are nearing its end. It is a wonderful piece of hardware with a great screen and great fit and finish. The thing that kills it is Windows Mobile 6.5. It always needed a complete reboot every few days to clear its buffers, but lately, its been choking on simple smartphone activities like web browsing mobile versions of websites, checking email, and answering phone calls. Knowing Verizon support, their answer was to reload the OS and reset to factory settings. This is not tolerable.
Every Windows Mobile Phone I have had since 2005 has had this issue -its inability to stay stable beyond the first few weeks of use. This coupled with the lack of a decent app store (Verizon Apps! Handango!) all pointed to another phone. But rather than wait for iPhone on Verizon with this loser, I’ve chosen to move on and try Droid 2, which appears to be a decent upgrade. Droid X is still a month’s wait in line.
It raises serious questions for me: first, is HTC serious about making good stuff? Are they just commodotizing the category of smartphones by releasing a new phone every month, just to see what sells? I think so, and it is shoddy and wasteful.
Microsoft -where do I begin. I give them my money, and I can’t complain because they weren’t holding a gun to my head. I just get fooled into believing that maybe this time, they’ll have gotten the damn thing to work. I have no doubts that Windows Mobile 7 will sell briefly and will have its adherents in those who hate Apple and Google, but I am not holding my breath. They don’t understand how to put out good software that is mission critical -like running a space station or a heart lung bypass machine, none of which I would trust if they ran on Windows.
While we wait for AT&T to get better, we’re stuck with waiting for iPhone to show up on Verizon. Til then, I guess Droid 2 it is.
As someone who has suffered from almost a decade of desperately mediocre Window Mobile devices, it was with a specific reason I chose to switch out of iPhone to Verizon’s HTC TouchPro2 last fall. There is a program called Walking Hotspot which turns any WinMo device into a Wifi hotspot and I felt that it would support my iPhone and future devices like the current iPad the best.
The phone turned out to be a load of turd as far as smartphones go, but I blamed it mostly on Microsoft and not HTC. HTC puts a skin called Sense UI on all of its Android devices and a similar skin called TouchFlo on Windows devices, and I turned it off several days ago after finally just being unable to deal with the screen lags and freezes. Lo and behold, underneath all the TouchFlo cosmetics was the outdated and ugly Windows Mobile 6.1, which ran pretty well on this latest and greatest hardware.
So it was a no brainer for me to try the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade offered by Verizon. I saw several warnings on blogs that it would slow things terribly, but I sensed that it was the TouchFlo skin and not Windows Mobile. The upgrade went well, and lo and behold, turning off the beautiful TouchFlo skin resulted in a spiffy windows 6.5 smartphone that actually works. The screens snap and the device really does alright with Wifi and Bluetooth, things that it was gasping at before. The browser still sucks compared to Safari on iPhone, but borders on usable to where I no longer use iPhone for email so much.
Which leads me to this conclusion: Microsoft spent a decade missing the opportunity to grab and dominate the smartphone market by creating a horrible interface (6.1 and prior) and then allowing third parties to skin up the phone to copy iPhone without regard to performance or battery life. If 6.5 is any indication, Windows Phone 7 will be a formidable entry to the market, more so than Android which is already confusing because of the plethora of skins, form factors, and OS versions.