A look at my Windows Mobile history

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I recently bought an AT&T Fuze, the latest Windows Mobile powered device in the US.  It is in the mail right now and should be here next week some time.  When I get it I plan on doing a full on Fuze vs. iPhone comparison.  But before I get it, I just wanted to give a look at the history of the WM powered phones I’ve been using for the last 4-5 years and what made me decide to get another, even while around a year ago I wrote that it is broken beyond repair.

My first was the Cingular 8125 (HTC Wizard).  It came with Windows Mobile 5 and I loved it at the time.  It did everything and did it decently.  When Windows Mobile 6 came out it was an excitting time, getting the latest hacked WM6 roms for the Wizard and all that entailed.  Over all I really liked the 8125 and I still believe that it was a BETTER device then the 8525 is.

The only issue I ever had with my 8125 is the screen drift issue, where you had to align the screen about every 2-3 days.  I eventually cracked the screen on it due to my own stupidity/anger at the drift issue.

I bought an AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) after that…. and this device has really turned me off of windows mobile in the last year or so.  Couple that with the fact that my work phone is an iPhone, I really had a hatred growing inside of me for WM.  I still believe in the post I wrote and that Windows Mobile is broken beyond repair.  What I mean by this is that if Microsoft wants to compete seriously with the iPhone, all WM base needs to be thrown out and they need to start over.

I don’t know what went wrong during the hardware design phase of the 8525 but someone some where really screwed the pooch.  This phone has really been nothing but problems with me since I first got it.  The device has always seemed to run SLOWER then my 8125 did, and it always seems to be having issues, ESPECIALLY lately.  Most recently the phone is locking up ALL the time on me and some days I’ll miss multiple calls and text messages because of this.

I believe part of the issues with the 8525 compared to the 8125 are due to the 8525’s under powered single processor.  The 8125 actually had 2 processors in it.  1 for the OS related tasks, and 1 that managed all the phone’s radio related tasks, like calls, data, and text messaging.  The 8525 does both OS and radio tasks on 1 400 mghz Samsung processor, and I believe this is where the 8525’s shit-factor really comes in to play.

The AT&T Fuze (HTC Raphael) has a single processor as well, but it has some major differences.  For one thing, it’s a 528mghz Qualcomm processor, and from my experience Qualcomm powered devices have ALWAYS seemed to run better.  I don’t know what it is, but I’m guessing Qualcomm simply has a better architecture.  It also has 288mb of ram, dwarfing the 8125 and 8525 ram amounts, and in WM ram was something that was always drastically lacking in the previous iterations.  The Fuze also sports a 640×480 (yes, that’s right, full VGA), resistive touch screen.  While I wish HTC would get the hell away from resistive and move to capacitive touch screens (Resistive = pressure.  Capacitive = electrical signal, iPhone is capacitive and it’s why it’s touch screen is so amazingly accurate and sensitive), the Fuze’s design will be MUCH better because the screen is not recessed inside the device like previous phones.  It’s flush and smooth like the iPhone.  This will make all the items on the edge of the screen easier to press.  It also has built in GPS which will be nice, because I won’t have to screw with my Bluetooth GPS receiver any more!

So anyway… why did I buy ANOTHER Windows Mobile device when I have an iPhone, know it’s glory, and have ranted about WM in the past?

Well… there are several reasons.

1) Cost.

8gb iPhone from AT&T = $199 w/ 2 year contract

AT&T Fuze = $349 w/ 2 year contact.

AT&T Fuze, ebay’ed = $352, no contract.

It might seem at first that I did this backwards… but here me out:

I could get really detailed here on data plans but I’ll skip it and just give an over view.

I bought a phone with no contract, so my current billing rate at $62/month with unlimited data, 500 rollover, unlimited NW, 1500 SMS and 200 MMS will NOT change on me.

Had I bought the iPhone, to get any where CLOSE to a similar plan (which I do require for my usage), it would cost at minimum $90/month.  Add in tax and fees and I am sure it would be more then $92/month.  So I would have been looking at a $30/month INCREASE just to use an iPhone… which I already have through work.  Multiply out that $30 increase over the mandatory 2 year contact and that is $720 in additionaly billing for the iPhone.  So, that $199 iPhone would actually cost $919 due to the mandatory iPhone rate increase.

Jesus christ, fuck that.  AT&T can go fuck itself with it’s bullshit iPhone-inflated rate plans.

2) Windows Mobile is more powerful, and more customizable then the iPhone will ever be. (GPS)

Sure, the iPhone is sexy and has an amazing web browser in it… but even jailbroke, the iPhone is locked down.  There is also no built in turn-by-turn.  I rely on Windows Mobile’s TomTom multiple times a week for work and other things, and the current iPhone has no chance of getting it because from what I have learned, the iPhone’s GPS is not any where close to being accurate/sensitive enough.  I have to have TomTom and the Fuze having built in GPS is absolutely perfect.  There is NOTHING close to TomTom on the current iPhone.

On top of that, the sheer number of roms and other things you can do on the WM platform is astounding.

3) Why get another iPhone when I already have one I use daily. It didn’t make sense to own 2 iPhones.

4) Bluetooth tethering. I need to tether my WM phone to my laptop.  iPhone can’t do this.   Jailbroken, you pay money to do it. It might in 3.0 but even then, rumor has it AT&T will charge a premium for access to it.  With WM you can tether with zero additional cost.

5) I’m a nerd and I always need to tweak things. Windows Mobile satisfies my need to tweak, hack, and play. Jailbreaking the iPhone was fun, but it gets boring quick.  In Windows Mobile it seems there is always something to try out. 😎

So… in conclusion that is why I went for a Fuze.  I’m looking forward to getting it and testing it’s limits.  I’m sure it’ll be better then the 8525 and I think it will be better then the 8125 as well.  I may be able to like WM again 🙂

I’ve already gotten excitted doing research on what rom I want to flash and radio version I want to use.  I have my files all picked out, downloaded, and ready to run for when I get the Fuze in my hands.

Keep an eye out for my full on Fuze vs. iPhone post, probably coming next weekend, assuming my Fuze will get here next week!