Test Center review: AT&T Fuze sparks Windows Mobile
The AT&T-branded HTC Touch Pro smartens up the Windows phone with an expansive touch display, full keypad, and 3-D interfaceFollow @infoworld
Unlike the renowned Apple iTunes experience, I found it confusing to get music from the AT&T Mobile Music service and to sync my local music library. Granted, for business users these points may not matter. Conversely, video playback (as might be required for a training session) looked great on the large screen.
Image and video quality from the 3.2-megapixel camera is very good. Photos shot outdoors, even on a cloudy day, were clear and showed broad color range. The autofocus locked in fast, but there's about a 1-second delay in taking shots. You can scan through photos with TouchFlo 3D, view as a gallery, or create a slideshow.
My biggest gripe with the Fuze is all the software AT&T adds (much of which can't be removed) at the expense of keeping the user experience enjoyable. In fairness, that's usually the case with locked devices from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, or what-have-you.
GPS is a perfect example. You can pay $9.99 a month to use the preloaded AT&T Navigator software. But to use Google Maps, I had to download and install the application. And even then, I needed to go into the heart of Windows Mobile and futz with the GPS settings to make it work. In contrast, free GPS functioned without any of these steps on the HP iPAQ 910c and Palm Treo Pro.
Nevertheless, TouchFlo 3D is a very good attempt at isolating users from Windows Mobile. When combined with the well-designed HTC Touch Pro hardware, it represents the current pinnacle of a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone for anyone needing a big screen and physical keyboard.
I feel that AT&T's Fuze incarnation of the Touch Pro is packed with too much demo and extraneous software. But with a significant price discount on the hardware compared to the unlocked version, I'd bet many users will put up with this inconvenience.