154 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HTC Arrive Is A Quality Handset With A Unique OS
DISCLAIMER: This is an in-depth review, if you want a simple thumbs up or down review, this is a huge thumbs up. If you have time to spare, I'm long-winded so bear with me.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I own the HTC Arrive which I purchased through Amazon Wireless (full blog review + images + video coming soon) I also have extensive hands-on experience with Windows Phone 7...
Published on March 19, 2011 by Brad Groux
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars HTC Arrive Hardware Review
So this is just my comments on the phone itself not Windows Phone 7, I'll leave it to you to make your own decision on that. Honestly this phone already seems a bit dated. The 1Ghz snapdragon works well with WP7 but its getting to be an older chip, I don't know how well it will hold up in the long run when apps get more intense.
The screen is just flat out boring. I...
Published on May 16, 2011 by Nardz
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice phone, but not for me.,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I got this phone about a week ago now. It's a nice phone with some pretty awesome features. The camera works pretty well. The keyboard is laid out very nicely. I don't like the virtual keyboard as much because they changed the location of a couple of buttons between the two, and it's easy to get confused. Specifically the backspace button. On the hardware keyboard it's at the top right, but on the virtual keyboard it's near the bottom on the right.
There are a few things that bug me on this phone. I expected the Excel app to be a little more intuitive, since it's on windows' operating system. You can't disable touch feedback (The vibration that happens when you click something), and I don't really like that. The Facebook app isn't as nice as I thought it could be. I don't like that you can't expand the memory on the phone, and that you have to do all your data transfers to Zune.
You also cannot at this point download your own ringtone. You have to use the ones that come on the phone. I also haven't found a way to change my background, but you can change the wallpaper that shows up when your phone comes out of sleep.
Overall, I'm just not ecstatic about this phone. I just checked on Amazon Wireless' return policy, and you can't return a phone that has been used. With how good Amazon's return policy normally is, I'm shocked that I'm stuck with this phone for two years unless I want to pay a ton to replace it. I would have rather spent the extra money at the store and been able to change my mind.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great QWERTY smartphone that makes use of powerful Microsoft cloud services,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)IN SHORT -
Hardware - 4.5 stars
Software (WP7.5 "Mango" as experienced on the Arrive) - 4.5 stars
* Great battery life, by current smartphone standards
* Clean, attractive, unique design, and overall pleasant and user-friendly interface.
* Great text handling for SMS, notes and Office (Word), with basic functionality for Excel too. Together with the keyboard, the main reason I wouldn't give this phone up for any other.
* Great voice quality
* Good cloud interfacing through Skydrive, Office 365, and OneNote, allowing storage and sharing.
* Keyboard (and hardware in general) is solid, attractive and a pleasure to use. Well laid out, rounded keys and clicky response, cursor arrows. On-screen keyboard is also quick. This review was 90% written on my Arrive.
* Social integration in Mango is the best out there.
* Limited Google integration (though Gmail works great)
* Bing: search should take fewer clicks and flow better into contacts/web/maps
* Few customization options, plus a few areas where form trumps function
* Not 4G
In the middle:
* WP7 is unique but more like iOS than Android. MS has chosen design consistency and stability (with some associated limitations) over an open, customizable (but buggy/malware prone) environment.
* Marketplace is smaller than Android or iOS, but clean and apps I have used have been good quality.
* Free/cheap apps mostly provide adequate integration with Google services.
* SkyDrive online storage is free and powerful, but some features are unintuitive and confusing. Recent updates to Skydrive have improved the service. MS is clearly throwing resources at improving its cloud services.
* Bing: search and maps are powerful and visually appealing. This is not to say they surpass Google in every way - they don't - but the quality of Maps in particular came as a pleasant surprise. Bing search is not "universal search" the way WebOS search was - it won't search your contacts, for example. Thus it takes a press or two more to make a simple phone call than I would prefer.
Who must have this phone? Anyone wanting a physical keyboard, planning to do any level of document creation/review/manipulation/sharing from their phone. Anyone wanting simplicity and seamless design for all of the basic smartphone functions.
IN DEPTH -
I have owned this phone for 9 months. Like the 6/9/11 reviewer and probably quite a few WP7 converts, I had a Palm Pre for 2 years and didn't want to wait another year just to see whether WebOS would survive (it didn't) and/or come to Sprint. While I am a mobile tech junkie, at heart I am an end user looking for a well-designed experience rather than a tinkerer seeking open source/customization, and "purity" (which MS is not). The Arrive is that phone that was never quite the tech blog darling in terms of its specs, but has the power, design and build quality to be the phone I will actually will love owning for a couple of years. Mobile tech inevitably gets bigger, faster and more advanced (and already the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus are setting the new standard, with no Windows Phone response in the U.S. market, yet). Though now a step back from the latest and greatest, this is a phone that, as a full-time companion, will treat you well through your contract term.
Speed. This is worth a note because every generation of phones brings more processing power, with dual-core processors now moving into the norm. In this race, Android phones have the fastest processors, but the Android OS is also the least efficient in most applications and at managing resource use in general, so it is often a wash. Hence Android is known as the "laggiest" OS. Meanwhile, these big chips require more battery power. The 1 GHz Snapdragon chip in the Arrive, running under Mango, is extremely snappy, with animations running smoothly and applications showing little or no lag. The result is a smooth, fast experience combined with excellent battery life.
Voice quality is excellent, clear and loud on both earpiece and speaker.
Keyboard: Good layout, rounded keys and clicky response, cursor arrows. This is the best physical keyboard I've used, and is worth the extra physical weight. I pull it out for anything over a few words, and wonder how physical keyboards have gone by the wayside so quickly in the race for the thinnest slab phone. I expect to see some reversal of this trend as phones continue keep becoming more omnifunctional. The on-screen keyboard is also quick.
WP7 Office is a simple-enough, versatile-enough, nothing -in-your way affair that asserts MS's historical dominance in this realm. Together with the superb keyboard, Word makes the Arrive the writer's phone - with "writing" including (a) notes and lists, (b) any work requiring a longer process - drafting, editing, saving; and (c) regular correspondence. For the electronic notepad, good for a sparse transcription of thoughts when out of the home/office or in the middle of the night, I would rather have this than an iPad. For these uses, the marriage of good software with the keyboard, ergonomics, weight and balance of the phone, make text handling a pleasure.
Cloud. If you care about cloud/document-sharing, that alone makes the Arrive (and Windows Phone) worth a serious look. MS is clearly building a framework for serious cloud computing, not surprisingly since this is a pillar of the game plan for Office. The Skydrive and OneNote integration result in fast, clean, sharable files and notes and have been a very nice surprise that I use constantly for "sticky notes" of all kinds as well as "real" documents that thankfully remain in their regular Office format as they get bounced around the web. Note: MS owns an awful lot of properties which aren't very distinct from one another: Skydrive, OneNote, Office 365, SharePoint, etc. Google has had the good sense to give everything a name describing its function, like Docs, Reader and Voice. MS is catching on, kind of. Bottom line: Microsoft cloud properties are more powerful and less user-friendly than Google's, so it's a matter of need and taste.
Visual design. The aesthetic of WP7 is part of the identity and value of this OS. Among other things, it says "look how integrated I am!". There is a tradeoff in customizability, but I think that where most users are concerned, MS has hit much closer to the sweet spot than Android, and in a way that I prefer to iOS. However, there are just a few places where the aesthetic is distracting, like the email inbox, where the sender's name is in WP7's trademark giant sans serif font, but the subject is displayed in a diminutive grey font 1/3 the size. Overall, the use of screen space allows a lot of features to be on screen or one (intuitive) swipe away, while never feeling crowded. That's a feat.
Speaking of which, customization of the UI is not high. MS has chosen the theme, you get swap out tiles on the home screen, pick a color and ringtone, and not much else. But in return, you get polished design and an extremely stable, worry-free OS on the market, even at version 1.5. Note that in its most recent iteration even Android shelved its "anything goes" design mentality and put unity of design to the forefront.
Speaking of which...Google integration. Not surprisingly, this is not a high point of WP7. Accessed through IE, Gmail is bare-bones (but nice and fully functional when accessed through the phone's email client), and Docs, Voice and Reader are oddly formatted and not quite a joy to use. However, I do all of my voicemail through Voice via Gmail, and this has worked perfectly, so most of what counts, works. Most Google-related deficiencies in the browser are addressed by decent third-party apps, but for the heavily Google-reliant, these don't quite match the unified front of Android. As mentioned above, MS has some nice web-based services, but switching to them is a commitment and not for everyone. In some cases, it was for me and my buying the Arrive ultimately made me a Live/Skydrive user. If you love Google products, buy the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (though I recommend waiting for the price to come down first!)
Browser (Internet Explorer) - speed is good, and IE plays well with most sites, including sites in desktop (non-mobile) mode. I had some major complaints about limited and labor-intensive browser navigation in WP7.0 (especially in landscape mode), but they have virtually all been remedied in Mango to good effect.
Maps - different from Google Maps, but awesome. Tracking yourself by GPS on the map (e.g., along a marked route with directions to a destination) is smooth and fast. Aerial (photo) view is stunning and detailed. Basic functions such as getting/resetting directions from current location, or toggling between route details and full map, are efficient and intuitive. I'm not a turn-by-turn fan to begin with, but it came with the Mango update, and works.
Also on the Google comparison: I have long felt that Google services represented a major evolution in seamlessness and usability, and for free. However, after using Office online, Google Docs and Calendar seem functionally limited and not as miraculous in their shareability. With Office, the docx and xls most of us use can be edited on web, (WP7) desktop or mobile. These files can then be shared between these formats on Live or synced to the web).
Camera. The camera (including video) is of mid-range for an early 2011 smartphone. Its usability gets good marks for the dedicated camera button, and the Pictures function is superb for its ability to neatly pull in pics from all of your social network connections, sync photos to Live or easily share them via email, SMS, or social.
Battery life. Low on this list but of high importance, the Arrive easily gets through the day with juice to spare (often 50% after a normal work day). I need to be able to go on the road or leave the house without a completely full charge, without having to worry about where the next electrical outlet will be. Closing the deal on its other strengths, the Arrive does very well here, and makes this the phone you want to bring home to mom.
Apps in general - Windows Phone has a much smaller software ecosystem than iOS and Android, but I have rarely run into apps that I wanted that were on Android/iOS but not yet on WP7. However, know that every app out there is not going to be on WP7 at this point. The apps I do use are high quality, and searching for apps is painless. Games - XBox Live is a good source for quality games. There are probably good casual games in all of the major mobile ecosystems, and MS holds its own here. Most of my favorite apps are getting regular updates so there is a sense that developer support is robust, and that bugs get fixed promptly.
Miscellaneous features (which are not my personal priorities). Voice search and text dictation works for simple things - more than a novelty but not earth-shaking. Music/Zune - I am told this is maybe the best music player out there all things considered. I like it; I don't like having to use the Zune software to move music and videos on and off the phone but understand why. It beats using iTunes.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mangoes are sweeter than apples and blackberries!,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)Windows phone 7 completely blew me away. It is fresh, new, fast, and exciting!
The interface is smooth and has tiles which update, and animate to let me know if I have any emails or messages.
The facebook integration is amazing. I touch a contact, I slide over, I see all their status updates.
I can hold my camera button while my screen is locked and it automatically goes to camera mode. Plus every picture I take is automatically backed up to a 25 gb cloud called skydrive which I can access from any computer with internet! No other phone does that.
The web browser is smokin' fast! I put it next to my manager's dual core processor android, and beat him loading a web page. Hands down.
There is also an update coming out soon called mango. Mango brings over 500 new features, including multitasking, audible text messages, and visual voicemail! This phone will be able to read your text messages out loud! I know I'm going to use that while I'm driving!
Simply put: Windows phone 7 is beyond what any other phone can do. It is unique and fast. It's app market is growing exponentially. It's got so many cool features that will blow you away! It's SO easy to use too! This phone is AMAZING. I absolutely LOVE it.
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 and only,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)This was the one and only Windows Phone 7 cellphone Sprint had ever released. 100% better than Windows 6.x. Best cell phone I have ever had. I wish Sprint had an updated Windows operating system like Windows 8 or even 7.8
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Phone still one of the best phones on Sprint,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I have had this phone since 03/20/2011. This is a great phone and I also have an Iphone4s with Sprint but continue to gravitate to the Windows Phone OS. I have the Zune Pass and its great to have practically any song I want. Bing search is great with the music search "Shazam like" capability built into the Bing search engine, being able to pin just about anything to the start screen is nice. Over a year later, this phone remains as one of the best phones on Sprint. Looking over the Sprint Website, this is the highest rated phone with the exception to the newly released HTC EVO LTE. Quite an acomplishment given all the androids and latest iPhones to compete with. Too bad sales never translated since no reps pushed this phone.
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I don't know how S. Colon "WOLFBANE" (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK United States) - was able to review the HTC Arrive, when they have not even been released yet??? Any way I have not had one but I have had a friend who rights reviews and recieved his. It was a great experience, one of the best user interfaces I have used on a phone. I can't wait until Sunday when I can finally get one for my self. Yes, there are a few minor set backs, but this is still a new operating system and needs to evolve a bit. But it is a great phone and operating system!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best mobile phone experience I ever had.,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I went out on a limb and dropped my android for a windows phone. I will never go back. This is the best mobile operating system I have seen. (Ive had much experience; im a former Sprint employee). Give this phone a try for a day or two and you wont go back.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect Phone!,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I love this phone... this one has to be said!
I had a Blackberry for 2 years and was always one of a message-guy...After my blackberry I was so used to the keyboard, that I could not imagine to have a phone without one... After a lot of searching on the internet and not knowing which phone would be my next (my blackberry was really "used" and it was a matter of time before it would stop working...), I found the Arrive in a local o2-Store. I really liked the keyboard, but couldn't imagine to use a Windows Phone... So after a while of thinking about it, i bought it...The price was the biggest pro-point for me... So I had a Windows Phone and just hated it...yes, its true...i hated it... But after a few days I realised how much fun WP7 can be and started to like the operating system... Days passed and started to love it...
So now more than 4 months passed and I love this phone more and more!
The keyboard is awesome and the sliding mechanism is still working like on the first day!
I really do love this phone and the WP7 way of working. I use it for almost everything (Calendar, SMS/Messages, Internet-surfing, chatting on Facebook, Facebook, listening to a LOT of music and so on...)
Would never think that I would ever say this, but Windows Phone rocks! :)
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only everything in life were this great!,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I have had my HTC Arrive for about 10 months now. This is the first consumer electronics product that I have owned that I enjoy using every single day.
The Sprint plan has been exceptional with excellent connectivity in my area. I feel like the cost of the plan is reasonable. I have been a long-time sprint customer, and their service and customer service have always been great, including refunding a $200 overage charge from my mistake.
The HTC hardware is exceptional. I have dropped my phone several times (as in "yard-sale" with the battery, battery cover and phone scattering over the floor), and it even went for a full cycle in the washing machine. I let it dry for 24 hours, and it survived without an issue. I'm fine with the on-screen keyboard, but I still like the slide-out keyboard option that comes with this phone for long emails.
I like everything about the phone, but my favorite part has to be the Windows 7 operating system. It's incredibly smooth, fast and intuitive. I love the xbox game integration, and so does my 4 year old son. The phone is so intuitive, there was almost no learning curve. I would recommend this phone for any level of experience. My son has figured out basic navigation to get to the games. It's simple enough that I'd recommend it to my parents. And I'm a software engineer, and it meets my needs.
The Bottom Line:
I wish the phone had Skype and Pandora, but I assume that will be fixed within the next six months.
Regardless, this is an exceptional phone with great OS and great hardware on a great carrier.
Final note, if you don't choose to buy this exact phone, do try a Windows Phone. I really think you'll love the OS!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Used them all - this is the best,
This review is from: HTC Arrive Windows Phone (Sprint) (Wireless Phone)I've worked for an electronics company for 11 years and I've had almost every type of phone/smart phone. This is easily the best thus far.
Android phones are far too fragmented and you never know if the phone you buy will be eligible for the next version. The manufacturer or the carrier could just decide to stop supporting it, even if its only 6 months old. If you root an Android, to put your own OS on, chances are it will work spotty at BEST (or not at all at worst). Then you have a very fancy brick.
iPhones are WAY too restrictive, expensive, and have a terrible time with the most basic tasks - making phone calls. They cost a LOT for what you're actually getting. They are not good with people that need to stay productive and they charge for everything. Even updates that make their equipment better, which should be free.
Windows Phone 7 all of the things that the others aren't. Live tiles are amazing, games (with Xbox) are better, support and updates are free, and they help to keep you productive with out the need for third party apps. They have it all cooked in, natively.
The HTC Arrive is a great piece of hardware, too. Slide out/tilting keyboard is a godsend. Its fast, smooth, and hardy. It's the right size - not a small tablet, but easy to read. Camera works great with a dedicated button. Believe this - it makes CALLS. I know, it's hard to believe, but it makes calls where my Android or iPhone couldn't.
Only drawbacks - no front-facing camera for Tango or Skype calls and it's not 4G speed (however, I don't really consider the 4G a drawback).
If you want an amazing experience, buy this phone!
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