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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2011
Windows Phone 7 takes some getting used to, but it's been great so far.

As for the phone itself, it is a little weighty, and thicker than some other smartphones, but it feels solidly built. The physical keyboard is comfortable and the screen is sharp. The speakers sound great as well.

I use the Zune service to get music anywhere I go, Xbox Live to play games (mostly the free ones), and I can even watch Netflix on this phone, which is something my last phone couldn't do.

If you're on Sprint, and you're getting a little tired of Android, this phone is a great way to go.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
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 was a little disappointed in the size after seeing all these 4"+ phones out and the colors are very bland, especially compared to my Samsung Epic screen.
The keyboard however is where this phone gets its points back in my mind, I think it works really well. Its the closest I've seen to my old Touch Pro 2 which had the best keyboard I've ever used on a phone, so if you want a WP7 with a physical keyboard you're looking at a great phone.
Last I'll touch on the price, if I had paid the retail $199 or whatever I would have returned this phone. The hardware just doesn't compare to the Android offerings for the same price. But at the $0.01 or $49 I've seen it for here on Amazon I think its worth a look.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2011
Phone is sleek and stylish. HTC makes fantastic phone hardware. The phone is very responsive. Love the camera and flash. I came from a windows mobile 6.5 phone (Touch Pro2). This phone flat-out blows that one away. The new Windows Phone 7 OS is so un-Microsoft. It actually takes a while to get used to it's simplicity and naturally rich feel. I love this phone. For a first-gen OS it's very polished, IMO. I can't wait to see where this platform goes. Even my iphone friends are jealous. I HIGHLY recommend this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
I love this phone. Windows Phone is so much farther ahead than iPhone and Android and I use all of them regularly.
I was originally going to go for an EVO Shift as I thought it would work better with my Google and app driven life, but I was sorely mistaken. I've had this phone for more than a few months.

The Windows app store is missing some apps found on android or itunes but you wont be without plenty of very high quality apps from major companies. I have everything from news and weather to store apps to music to games and more. Don't forget the best calender and email I have seen - and I use gmail and google calender - What's up with that Google? I have MS office on my phone as well which I use endlessly.

As for the hardware of the Arrive. The keyboard is great, but the onscreen input keyboard is high quality like the Iphone and better than andriod. I use both, but the keyboard is easier if you are typing a lot(I even take notes with it in office). The phone is fast and you never have to close programs and task switching is easy. It will go a full day on medium use with lots of apps, or a bit longer if you turn off the wifi and use it mainly for calls. The battery life is about average for a modern smartphone. The display is crisp and clear and the camera button is amazing(and required by microsoft.) If you want to take a picture, you just hold the button and up comes the camera, regardless of whether it is locked. Press it again to take a picture. This makes it nice for those quick times you want a camera. The flip open and close maneuver for the keyboard takes a bit getting used to. It's not spring loaded, but it feels sturdy and once you get used to it, you can fling it open and closed with ease.

Don't look past a windows phone cause it's not mainstream. Those of us that have it know we have the best phone OS available. Look at the reviews here and try one out before you let a sprint sales rep tell you people hate it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
I don't' like that they removed the option to set reminders for yourself, similar to outlook tasks. I actually hate that this phone doesn't support that. I didn't know this or I would have thought twice about buying it, but oh well hopefully in the next update they will allow something like that.

Its very fast, responsive and more than anything it's a great looking phone. I have received more than 2 compliments on it since I got, of course that always nice :)

The feature that I like to most is the Camera, the image quality is not DSLR quality obviously but it holds its own, the camcorder has to option to have the flash on while your recording so that came in handy already :).

The people hub is awesome, automatically syncs all your contacts with pictures.

I already had a Zune Pass, Xbox Live and Netflix so making use of these features on the phone was just extras. I don't' play a lot of games but I do love music so the zune pass comes in handy, I can download or play right of there, except for those times that I find a song that is not in there catalog.

A hidden feature that i find really handy and EXCEPTIONAL is the Wireless Sync option. All the music pictures that I want to syn I can just add them to my device and it doesn't have to be connected. Its awesome because if you have videos or music that needs to be converted it will do it over night for you. you don't have to leave your phone plugged in to the comptuer all night, just turn on the wifi and make sure you are in the same network and come the morning all of the stuff is already in there. :) LOVE THAT.

Office and one note are awesome too, i can create notes in my phone and view them on my computer seamlessly :) I normally write down Bible Scriptures from our church sermons so it comes in really handy

There is quite a good selection of apps, I'm not an app kind of guy but I have found myself buying a few good games and apps.

If you're not a geek and just want a phone because it works this phone will work like a charm for you....if you want to be able to change every single option of your phone and make your life more complicated you might be better off with a WM 6.5 or Android phone (been there done that moved on, too much work and time to customize)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2012
Phone = 4 stars, Win 7.5 mobile = 5 stars

The phone itself is fine, has a good camera, nice screen, fold-out keyboard, good processor, etc. Everything you really need in a smartphone. Knocking off a star because the fold-out keyboard isn't as smooth as some other phones (it's quirky, but the tilt feature is nice), and there is no place for expansion cards.

The operating system on the phone, however, really has me amazed. Details are beyond the scope of this review, but basically, a few days into it and I'm still being surprised at how flexible and simple it is. Warning (not specific to this phone): be prepared to install Zune on a computer and download updates, even if you don't use it for music. This could take half an hour, but the updates are worth it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
This is best smart phone that you can get on Sprint currently. It's battery life is reliable. The web browser is a smooth experience, and all the apps run smoothly. I had Samsung Android phone, and android has so many bugs, and android phones are not reliable. This phone has less features than android, but each feature is better quality. I would recommend this phone to any one who wants to get smartphone. I enjoy the spacings of the keyboard. The Xbox Live gamers are awesome graphics. The speaker of the phone is loud, and is awesome with the zune. The zune supports bluetooth audio which you can listen to in your car without wires!! I think Sprint has an awesome phone, and I will enjoy using it for the next two years.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2011
IN RESPONSE TO "S. Colon "WOLFBANE" (BROOKLYN, NEW YORK United States) "

This Phone is not out yet and you returned it before the 15 days ???????
come on dude, give up,
windows phone 7 is a very good mobile phone operating system.
its sleek and fast, over 10,000 apps in a few months and more are coming day by day..
i've never owned an android phone, but ive used one . and it was a slow wanna be Iphone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
IN SHORT -

Hardware - 4.5 stars

Software (WP7.5 "Mango" as experienced on the Arrive) - 4.5 stars

Pros:

* 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.

Cons:

* 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.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2011
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.
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