Join Date: Jan 2006
For some of us, there’s just nothing like getting a new gadget—the unboxing, the unwrapping, the manuals, the accessories, the plugging in the battery, the charging before use (and waiting like a kid on Christmas night who knows what’s under the tree waiting for him)—it was the usual ordeal, which I’ll sum up this way.
The boxed HTC TP2 includes, besides the phone, one battery, an extra stylus, a USB-to-mini-USB cable, a US-standard wall plug that you can plug the USB end into, and a number of international plugs which, if you’re lucky, you’ll actually get a chance to use before they get lost or thrown away. The TP2 accepts a Micro-SD card, installable by removing the back cover to expose the slot. Exposing the slot revealed that there was no card included with the device, so you’ll want to get your own to provide some extra storage space. (I was actually surprised at this, since it seems every other device provides a 1- or 2-GB Micro-SD card standard. But it’s just as well, since I knew I’d be putting a larger one in, and now I don’t have to worry about one more 1-GB card I won’t use.) The box also includes a manual, a quick-reference manual, a quicker-reference poster, the usual disclaimer paperwork, and two CDs with ActiveSync and other programs for your computer (none of which I needed, as my existent PDA programs worked just fine).
Phone phreaks will love this: Once I had the phone, I couldn’t activate it! See, I live in a valley with lousy cellphone reception, and couldn’t get a connection to activate it. That had to wait for the train ride to work the next morning, where I ran through a phone recording prompting me to select the phone by its ID number, verify the phone number and my social security number, agree to the alteration on my plan, and watch as Verizon did the work for me. Then I went through the rest of the menu, pointedly not setting up e-mail, voice message, yada-yada-yada… I figured I could go through those later.
As I’d hoped, the interface was very familiar, a combination of Windows Mobile in a touchscreen environment, slightly altered to mimic the finger-control conventions that the iPhone has introduced to the market. The device had no trouble reading the Micro-SD card I pulled out of my PDA… though I’ve discovered that some apps do not read folder hierarchies at all, they just read folders alphabetically. So I went through the folders and renamed them to keep them in proper display order (fortunately, my folders don’t drill in too deeply).
Also, the screen and text quality was bee-yootiful! My device came with the ClearType setting already on: ClearType adds a bit of blur to the edges of text, taking away that jagged edge that tends to upset eyeballs. Though everyone’s eyes are different, I advise everyone using a Windows-based PC, phone, PDA or what-have-you to use the ClearType setting… it makes a huge readability difference. I found that screen text was readable even at sizes that strained the legibility of my HP PDA, which also had ClearType, and which I could read from all day long (and often did).
Outside use was a mixed bag: Direct sunlight could easily overwhelm the screen; but I discovered that finding adequate shade, or choosing your viewing angle in relation to the sun, usually solved the problem nicely. My best results came with my back to the sun, allowing the screen to reflect off of my shaded chest, to provide a bark background for reading.
Best of all, the TP2 had a much-superior web browser than my former phone, and the easy screen-size-adjustment slider, physical keyboard and on-board stylus made navigation much quicker and easier. I immediately put this to good use by checking out some of my favorite websites, and was pleasantly surprised at how much better the experience was. I presently added the Skyfire browser, which reads Flash, and allowed me to access YouTube, Hulu and my local commuter train tracking map.
The primary reason for me to get the phone having been satisfied, the second thing I did was to access the web to download some e-book reading apps.