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Windows Mobile 6.5: My review


I’ve had 4 cell phones in my life, 3 of which were Nokia phones. Two of those ran Symbian S60. My latest phone is the HTC Touch Pro2, which runs Windows Mobile. 4 years of using Symbian based Nokia phones moulded me in how I came to view phones. Using any other type of phone, I felt lost. Such was the case when I first used the Touch Pro2.

The Touch Pro2 came with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional on it. It was partly covered up by HTC’s Touch Flo 3D applications, which helped to ease me in, but underneath it was still Windows Mobile. Raw power, but rather unpolished I felt. Certain logical places for applications or settings were not there, and as a result I felt a bit lost.

Still, I persevered and grew to like 6.1. It was pretty stable, and I had only just got into finding out about the tons of applications that run on the platform. I could multitask much better than on any of my old Nokia phones. Into this mix however, Windows Mobile 6.5 was released.

On release day, I downloaded the ROM from HTC’s website. Before I flashed it, I had to find a way to back up all my stuff on the phone. Here again I ran into a brick wall, as unlike Nokia’s PC software, there is no easy way to back up a Windows Mobile phone. Eventually I discovered and used Microsoft’s MyPhone service, which while working, felt very disjointed.

Flashing the phone took roughly 10 minutes for the actual flash, and about 7-8 for the phone to do its first boot procedure. I was greeted with an updated version of Touch Flo 3D, and various other screens had been updated, but underneath precious little really had changed from 6.1. Most of the screens had been changed to make input options slightly larger, so as to make it more finger friendly, but in the end the stylus is still a necessity.

Windows Mobile 6.5 includes some extra applications like Microsoft’s Facebook application, the Windows Marketplace and so on that were previously separate downloads. Unfortunately I’ve seen memory usage go up, which can make the phone feel sluggish at times. I’ve also run into a bug where downloading weather data will cause the Last Battery Charge information to be deleted.

Overall, I feel like HTC didn’t spend a lot of time polishing this update. I hope that they will release more updates to help speed up the phone.

To add to the chaos, I read an article on GSMArena that stated Windows Mobile 6.5.1 was being worked on, which had a lot of proper new features. Now I am actually hoping that HTC will release that for us instead. I’ve read that the real focus of Microsoft is bringing out Windows Mobile 7 next year, which is fair enough, but I do hope that they won’t forget us still out there using current versions.

In summary, I have to say that Windows Mobile 6.5 as it stands now feels like a pretty weak release from Microsoft. It’s designed to just keep us hanging on until Windows Mobile 7 launches. Time will tell how history judges 6.5

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