Pros Beautiful VGA touchscreen
5 Row QWERTY keyboard
Pre-loaded with Opera as the default browser
FM Radio + TV-out
Cut & paste
HTC has a cult following
Cons Fingerprint magnet; wish the back wasn't so glossy
AT&T bloatware preloaded (can be easily fixed)
1340 mAh battery is insufficient for more than one day of casual use
Summary It's a great phone out of the box, but in the hands of a knowledgeable person it can be made so much better through tweaks and customizations. It supports all of the smartphone features that pros need (Blackberry connect, push email, outlook, office, even a business card scanner!), yet it comes with cool toys that would make even iPhone users jealous (higher-res screen, QWERTY keyboard, more media support).
One of the biggest pluses is the fact that HTC phones are easily tweakable. HTC users can simply head over to xda-developers dot com to find tons of tips, tweaks, and software to make their phone better. Want to run Quake3 on your Fuze? Want to get rid of that annoying message whenever you hit the PTT button (and remap it to something actually useful)? It's possible.
While there's nothing comparable to the "App Store" for Windows Mobile phones, there are thousands of free (and really useful) applications and games for this phone.
Highly recommended accessories:
- Micro SDHC card (8gb cards are ~$20)
- Spare battery ($5 on ebay)
- Screen protector (one comes with the phone)
- TV-out cable
Pros The 480x640/640x40 resolution is great!
With the opera internet client you can actually read real websites without a great deal of frustration!
There are some very nice add-in programs that ship with it.
The Touch Flo is OK, but has problems.
Cons If you don't have headphones on dealing with voice mail systems is almost impossible!
Reception is good, not great.
Sucks batter like a starved vampire if you are actively using the device.
Summary If you don't have headphones on dealing with voice mail systems is almost impossible! When a call starts it blanks the screen. So, to press 9, 5, 3 0 You need to press power/Show Keyboard/digit FOR EACH KEY. You can slide the keyboard out, but that makes the phone awkward to hold. You still can't see what you are pressing on the screen. If you have a headset on it does not blank the screen and you can press the 9 keys required to get to a live human.I forgot to mention that this phone is slippery! Get a case for it and/or absolutely, definitely get the $5.00/month insurance. You WILL drop it 3 times in the first day, guaranteed! I've already seen people on various sites requesting an aftermarket back plate. The all gloss black body looks nice, but a somewhat rubberized/textured, less slick feel to the back would be very helpful in keeping the thing in your hands.
The screen resolution combined with the Opera client makes this a very practical way to use the internet for moderately long browsing. The zoom circle (whatever they call it) is very useful for zooming in and out on a web page.
The touch flow interface has good and bad points. It is nice for things not too touchy (like the bottom menu slider). However, for going through your contacts it is very difficult. You can flick through the contacts, but if you don't handle this just right it ends up calling/selecting someone you didn't want to call. On my contacts list (yes, I'm just starting using this, but...) it can take 3 or 4 tries to scroll down to the person I want without it selecting someone I hadn't intended to select.
The included Sprite backup program is very useful. I've had to pay for that in the past, and its very nice to have it included.
The Text Messaging screen is ... wierd. If you have a MM message and you click on the message to see it, it doesn't go to that message, it brings up a list of every message you have from that person and then you can view the media file.
Unless you plan on using PTT, the PTT button is a real pain. Every time you turn around you've accidentally pressed the thing. There doesn't appear to be an easy way to disable it either. Maybe there is, but I didn't see it. Finally I did a registry hack to disable the thing. I guarantee that if you don't want PTT you'll want to do that too.
The Sling Media player works great on this phone! The video is very clear and smooth as long as you're in a 3G area.
The WiFi is OK, but 3 feet from a router is still only shows 60% signal strength. This is strange, but it shows the receive bandwidth at 1M, but the transmit rate at 54M. You'd think it would be the other way around if anything. Why I can't get more than 1M down at 3 feet I don't know.
This did not ship with the FM radio application, but you can easily find it on the web. However, using it requires a wired headphone since they use the headphone wires as an antenna. To do that you need to plug in the ExtUSB adapter (included, but a pain to keep track of).
I don't want to sound too negative, because overall I like the phone! I might not like it as much without the 480x640 screen, but with that I'd recommend it. I may get used to the the annoying things, but at least I have another 22 days to find out.
Updated on Nov 18, 2008
Pros Really feature-packed smartphone:
<li>640x480 display resolution--gorgeous hi res graphics
<li>Full QWERTY keyboard
<li>Windows Mobile 6.1
Cons <li>Surprisingly heavy and bulky--it's uncomfortable to keep in the pocket of my jeans
<li>Touch screen scrolling really inconsistent between apps
<li>HTC TouchFlo app is more annoying than helpful.
<li>Goofy adapter required to
Summary I've been using a Motorola Q for the last two and a half years, and while it was pretty annoying in some ways, it worked great as a phone with Exchange-synched email, calendar and contacts. I also liked the full QWERTY keyboard.I've discovered several more things that I like, plus several I dislike about this phone. Getting very close to exchanging it...
My contract expired about the time the iPhone came out, and while I love just about everything about the iPhone, it's Exchange integration is really weak. Thus, I've been holding out for a Windows Mobile device that was more iPhone-like.
I bought the HTC Fuze device because I thought it might fit the bill. Aside from having a 640x480 VGA screen and a full QWERTY keyboard, it seemed to have some of the iPhone bells and whistles, like a touch screen and good multimedia support.
But alas, after 24 hours I am simply annoyed. The HTC TouchFlo app looks really nice but is difficult to use and, frankly, annoying. Some examples:
<li>Scrolling between the tabs demos but in practice I find it somewhat difficult to use, especially compared to scrolling on my wife's iPhone. I have to move back and forth a couple times to get where I want to go, and if I don't put my finger on the currently selected tab, chaos ensues.
<li>The mail tab displays messages in a skewed semi-3D mode that looks kind of nice the first time you use it but is totally impractical for reading email.
<li>There is no way to get to your inbox from the mail tab--you can only read the one message that you're looking at, and scrolling to other messages is not an efficient way to scan your mail.
<li>The favorite contacts list seems to have no connection to contacts speed dials, so you need to manage your contacts in two different apps.
Overall, I'd like to turn off TouchFlo and just use pure Windows Mobile. Haven't figured out how to do that yet.
<li>The headset adapter is a ridiculously big dongle that hangs out the bottom of the phone. I don't see how I would ever actually use it, since it looks goofy and makes it impractical to put your phone in a pocket. I'll have to get a set of bluetooth headphones if I want to use the device as a media player.
<li>The touch screen is fickle. I feel like I have to press too hard for basic operations, yet the touch-scrolling requires a more intermediate level of pressure.
<li>Touch scrolling is very inconsistent across apps. It works in Outlook, for example, but only if you're careful not to press too hard, in which case you'll select messages or text. This is clearly an HTC add-on feature that is not well integrated with Windows Mobile.
<li>This device is a brick. It's small and narrow yet surprisingly thick and heavy. It's heavier and thicker than much bigger devices like the Q, iPhone and Samsung Epix.
I'm gonna stick with the device a bit longer but I'm very close to exchanging it. I dislike HTC's poorly integrated custom software. I think I want something that's more fully integrated, like a pure WM device or an iPhone.
Updated on Nov 13, 2008
On the good, the web browsing is snappy, and the pages look great on the VGA screen.
On the bad, I find the controls very cumbersome. There is an iPod-like directional control that you can use to click left/right, up/down. You can also zoom in on web pages and email messages by circling your finger around the enter button in an iPod-like way. Good concept but flawed execution. I find that when I try to press the left and right arrows to navigate I often end up unintentionally zooming in or out. It's very distracting when I'm trying to read email.
I've also discovered that I dislike not having a keyboard on the outside of the phone (like the Moto Q or Samsung Blackjack & Epix). I can no longer quickly look up a contact to call using just my thumb. Making calls is much harder.
Updated on Nov 16, 2008I just read some of the other early reviews and most of them seem to be shameless plugs.
I've learned that this phone is virtually impossible to use one-handed, which I'm sure is fine for anyone who uses it while sitting on a train or something. But I'm finding it exquisitely difficult to do even the most basic things.
An example: try searching for a contact one handed or with the keyboard closed. Blah.
I'm also just really frustrated by the controls. Half the time I try to press the right arrow hard key, I inadvertently press the "back" hard key. That's very disruptive.
Pros Well thought out keyboard layout
Hardware performs as expected
Easy to customize and configure - not locked to any look, feel, or UI
Cons As with any Windows Mobile device, requires some acclimation
A little on the thick side
Summary I've gone through my share of phones (yes iphone included) and this one is the best for MY needs. I don't know what all the fuss is about Windows Mobile being crap. It must be all the Apple fanboys who buy into the commercials because I think that anyone who has used a Windows PC (pretty much any grown person who has had a job) should have no problem learning how to navigate through ANY WM phone.Why don't you do some web searching to customize the phone to work for you? That's the beauty of WM phones - I'm 99.9% sure you can load an application that will give you 1or 2 touch access to texting. Also, using the built in "People" tab, it takes 2 taps to send a text or make a call. Store your frequently dialed/text contacts here and they are 2 taps away. Finally, go online and READ THE MANUAL - this phone is brilliant but it takes some getting used to. Many of the subtle advantages are not apparent out of box. Asking some 19 year old kid at the store is not the most reliable method either - they do work on commission after all...
Good - push Hotmail actually works so I can get emails from both my work and personal emails whithout having to constantly hit send/receive. Touch Flow 3D is an amazing UI once you actually read the manual to understand how it works. The auto focus camera takes great snapshots. Using Opera mini browser is a great experience but again, YOU MUST READ THE MANUAL to take full advantage of the zoom and scroll functions built into the phone. The touch screen, though resistive as opposed to capacitive, is very responsive. It works EXACTLY like it's supposed to as long as you are not treating it like an iphone. There are seemingly limitless custom apps available if you just do some web searches. You can basically re-write your entire phone's software or just add/remove little features to your liking. Finally, the qwerty keyboard is the deal breaker - simple text messages are fine using the touch keypad however when it comes to actually emailing, I need physical buttons.
Bad - there is a learning curve to this device. Again, go online and READ THE MANUAL. I promise your experience will be 1000x better if you understand all of the features built in to this phone. In that respect, it is not as easy to use out of the box as the iphone but it is a much more powerful and practical device. As I stated before, this phone is a tad thick for my taste. I'm looking forward to the day when I can get a qwerty keypad in the thickness of an iphone. Finally, if you are expecting this phone to be as easy to use as your old Nokia 5100, don't buy it. If you are ready to dedicate some time to playing around with it, searching for and trying new software (which is usually free BTW), and not falling for the iphone hype; this could be a great phone for you.
Overall, if you are comfortable with using Windows (best for the geeks and nerds), then this is probably a better option for you - especially if you need a solid business device. If you are comfortable with Apple OS and/or using the capacitive iphone/ipod touch screens, then be prepared for a completely different experience. I recommend you stick to Apple. Someday everyone will get tired of all the hype and move on to the next cool brand. Then we can all join forces and talk non stop trash about the new "it" item.
Updated on Dec 15, 2008
"Does it all"on by littlemisfit679
Pros +solid metal sliding mechanism
+every radio imaginable (wifi, 3g, edge, gprs, bluetooth)
+long battery life (for a smartphone): 1+ days with 3g and bluetooth on, nearly 2 w/out bluetooth on
+syncs with microsoft exchange server
+touchscreen + QWERTY
Cons -for those with big fingers, the stylus is a must
-screen protector is REALLY hard to put on right
-no TVout cable in box
-no docking station available in the US
-hard to find silicon case
-mute button on screen during call is right where cheek hits
Summary Having had many phone in the past (recently and iPhone 3g, Moto Q9h and Sidekick Slide), I really appreciate the large buttons on the keyboard and the responsive touch screen. As we all know, Windows mobile has both pros and cons, but for me, I need direct syncing with my Microsoft Exchange Server, so it is a must. The phone does attract fingerprints/smudges galore, but what touch screen doesn't. Also, the white indicator lights could be brighter.
Overall, this is an extremely strong performer for those who need a business-oriented smartphone. The $299 sticker (after MIR) on AT&T is likely to scare off many consumers, but for business folks it is an acceptable price. I looked at both the Blackberry Bold and this AT&T Fuze, and was impressed by the screens and keyboards on both, but wanted native Exchange support, so the Fuze was the winner. The Fuze has a nice heft to it, big enough to house a great screen and feel solid in your hand, but light enough to put in a pocket without it weighing you down.
The TouchFLO interface takes a bit of getting used to, but once you customize the phone to suit your needs and programs, it is nice way to navigate the ugly Windows Mobile operating system. Although, it is a bit annoying that you can't allow homescreen plug-ins that many programs have built in. Also, the default themes don't really suit the phone, the colors should be reimagined a bit.
Overall, this is a solid messaging phone with zippy processor. It has a great shortcut to task manager in the upper right hand corner. It is a great investment for the Microsoft Exchange user and with a few tweaks can offer a great browsing experience.