Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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May 28, 2007 • Reviews

The HTC Advantage X7500 So Far…(a serial review)

I’ve been using the HTC Advantage for five days, which is definitely not long enough time to pass true judgement on the device, but it is enough time?to talk about some of my likes and dislikes.

Ready?

The screen is glorious…absolutely fabulous. 5″ of diagonal goodness that is clearer, and easier to read from, than any other available Windows Mobile Device. If a lot of screen isn’t important to you because you aren’t reading eBooks, editing documents or entering data in a spreadsheet, then you will most likely be turned off by the overall size of the device.

With the keyboard covering the screen?and wrapped in its included brown leather case, the Advantage measures exactly 5.5″ tall x 4.1″ wide x 1.2″ thick and weighs one pound 0.4 ounces. Yeah…I said one pound!

Frankly, it doesn’t bother me. I carry it in my bag and?I don’t see this as a mobile phone replacement; I see it as a mini-laptop with wireless capabilities. I could make a call from it in a pinch with a BT headset…but is that very likely? Not so much.

geardiary htc advantage 02

The keyboard is “okay”. I would not want to tap out a novel (or a 3000 word review for that matter), but it is more responsive and better overall than I had?first thought it would be. If the buttons could have been a bit more raised, I would have been more pleased…but you can’t always get what you want. I’ve had questions as to whether or not the device feels top-heavy when holding it and tapping with my thumbs, the answer is a possibly surprising “not really.” The base stabilizes the top very nicely, and the magnets have such a tight grip that I have not yet had a fear that the entire package might topple over. Tapping the keys on a tabletop is certainly easy enough, too, but this is not really something I would want to use to do a bunch of texting, emailing or any other things that I do without thinking on my Treo 700wx’s thumboard. It just feels awkward, for lack of a better word.

geardiary htc advantage 01

The clear plastic ring around the joystick (in the upper left hand) corner glows orange while charging, and green when complete. Since I don’t have the Advantage plugged in for these photos you miss that glow, but you can see how the “OK”, Start Menu, and Internet Explorer buttons have a lovely orange glow.

But do you see anything missing here? Right – the keyboard is not lit up at all. Although the screen does cast a light?glow on the keyboard, it is barely enough to type by.

geardiary htc advantage 03

Here is a left side-view showing the volume slider, speaker, VGA Out, miniUSB sync & charge port, and earphone jack. Instead of a volume slider, I wish this was a scroll-wheel, which would make reading and other one-handed uses so much more convenient, especially when using the Advantage in tablet mode without the keyboard.

geardiary htc advantage 04
Notice how the case automatically adjusts to accomodate the Advantage in “laptop” mode?

This is the right side-view showing the stylus in its silo, the camera button, speaker, voice recorder button, and power button.

geardiary htc advantage 05

The brown pebbled leather case is really wonderful – it has a metal plate sewn in between the layers which the keyboard’s magnet?strongly grips against.

geardiary htc advantage 06

The Advantage?almost looks like a favorite leather-bound travel journal, doesn’t it?

geardiary htc advantage 07

HTC and its logo is embossed on the side which holds the Advantage; a cutout allows the use of the camera when in the case.

geardiary htc advantage 08

As you can see in this photo, the Advantage is held in place by three black plastic clips.

geardiary htc advantage 09

It looks like the keyboard is just lying on top of the leather flap – and in essence it is, but the magnets are keeping it very secure.

geardiary htc advantage 10

The keyboard can also be removed if you would prefer to travel without it, or use the PDA mainly in portrait mode.

geardiary htc advantage 11

This is generally my favorite way to carry it…so far.

geardiary htc advantage 12

But since the Advantage will primarily be seen by many as a landscape oriented device, I’ll start with screenshots reflecting that…

geardiary htc advantage 13

This is a view of Gear Diary in?the included Opera Browser…

geardiary htc advantage 14

…and Pocket Internet Explorer.

geardiary htc advantage 15

This is the landscape view when reading a book in eReader. It’s an absolutely amazing reading experience because the screen is so large and clear. I’m quickly becoming spoiled, except for one thing…turning pages. :-(

geardiary htc advantage 16

The itty-bitty?joystick is the weak link in all of this: turning pages in landscape mode is easy enough, but in portrait mode it is rather awkward; I guess it is too much to?ask for a proper scroll-wheel or even a usable D-pad.

Here are some screen shots in portrait mode, which I think help illustrate why I am willing to deal with doing whatever it may take to make scrolling pages work…look at the screen real estate!

geardiary htc advantage 17

geardiary htc advantage 18

So that’s it for now…any questions? :-)

Related Entries:
Unboxing the HTC Advantage X7500
HTC Advantage On Order

46 Responses to " The HTC Advantage X7500 So Far…(a serial review) "

  1. Mitchell Oke says:

    It looks awesome!! That screen is just so big, really is like a tiny tablet PC!!

  2. Chris Magnusson says:

    Not too big really. I just got out my Vaja Morpheus IV case (the one thing I kept when I sold my iPaq 5550 and all its accessories) and it’s almost exactly the same size as the Advantage in its case.

  3. Elo says:

    It looks amazing! I completely fell for the leather book style and feel. If this is a glimpse of things to come with the Shift, I am thoroughly excited!!

  4. TrvlngDrew says:

    Wow! I do love the screen! Still trying to figure out whether to sink my dough into it.. Looking forward to the data throughput part of your review.. Very exciting!

  5. GreatDay says:

    My burning question is, when will this become part of the famous Judie Giveaways….(pant, pant, pant…..) */*

  6. Jerry Raia says:

    Ok, I was pretty skeptical about this thing. Now that I have been playing with Judie’s for a while, I WANT ONE! Thanks a lot hon!!

  7. […] Check out some of Judies likes and dislikes here at Gear Diary […]

  8. The HTC Advantage X7500 So Far...(a serial review) - Pocket.Net - Mobile 2.0 says:

    […] Check out some of Judies likes and dislikes here at Gear Diary […]

  9. Experience Mobility » Blog Archive » The HTC Advantage X7500 So Far…(a serial review) says:

    […] Check out some of Judies likes and dislikes here at Gear Diary […]

  10. jobdejonge says:

    is using this machine as a cell phone really so hard as it looks?

  11. @ChrisMagnusson – I totally agree on the size. I used to carry an iPAQ with DUAL PCMCIA sleeve. That was a brick. 😉

    @Elo – Yeah, I am really amped about the Shift, too. Just concerned about battery life and price. Hopefully neither will be too disappointing.

    @TravlngDrew – more later!!

    @GreatDay – I wish. I had to lay out the $1200 clams for this baby, and I can’t afford to give it away. :-(

    @jobdejonge – No, you can totally use it as a cell phone, but it is automatically on speakerphone so holding it up to your head would not only be awkward, but impractical. However, it is the Pocket PC Phone Edition that so many of us are familiar with, and it is certainly easy to use. :-)

  12. alese says:

    I’m still very sceptical about this device.
    Yes it has great HW features for WM device, but aside for beeing very nice reader and I guess GPS, what other uses are there.
    Judie, what are you using it for (aside for reading)?

  13. Alese – I am skeptical about it, too. It is definitely a cool doo-dad, but I am trying to decide if I like the Advantage because the larger screen is more practical for me, or if it is simply because it is a shiny new gadget and I am suffering from “magpie syndrome”. That’s why I want to really use it for a while before passing any true judgement. In the end, I don’t want to pay $1200 for an eBook reader that doesn’t turn pages as easily as I would like, knowwhatImeanvern?

  14. alese says:

    Judie, that’s exactly my problem with the device. A $1200 eBook reader is really too much, so I would need to find few other “excuses” why it is good to have it before putting down that much money.
    But the problem is, that whatever I come up with, can be done just as easily (or better) on UMPC for basically the same amount, and you don’t have to make as much compromises on the UMPC…

  15. Don't Panic! says:

    $1200 clams is a bunch of money. Thanks for laying it out Judie.

    How’s your internet connection data speed? Is it verizonwireless CDMA-like without using Wi-Fi? Which mobile carriers support this device in the US?

  16. @Don’t Panic, I’ll talk more about data speeds in another post, but basically either T-Mobile or Cingular can support the Advantage in the US.

    In the meantime, here is a quick rundown: HSDPA/UMTS Tri-band 2100 MHz and 850/1900 MHz, GSM/GPRS Quad band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

    I am not in a high-speed area, so my speeds are similar to dial-up (or yes, Verizon’s CDMA) quite frankly – unless I am using WiFi. People in high speed areas should be pretty thrilled. :-)

  17. Don't Panic! says:

    I’m in a uber-urban area Judie. I can get GSM/GPRS on my t-mobile devices and CDMA from my VZW and Sprint (USB Modem for laptops and UMPC devices] in Boston, MA. I’ve found CDMA trumps both of the t-mobile services available in my part of the world. Haven’t used an EDGE device yet though. [sighs]

  18. Chris Magnusson says:

    @Judie: 100k people in your community, and not even Edge? 😯 And I thought the Canadian carriers were bad. :/

  19. @DP, I should probably clarify: I feel that the T-Mobile GSM/GPRS data speeds I get in San Angelo, Texas (population <100K and in the middle of nowhere) is similar to the 1x speeds I get from my Sprint Treo’s data plan. We don’t have HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE or even EVDO here. However, slow wireless is better than no wireless, and when I travel I get to take full advantage.

  20. Mitchell Oke says:

    Yeah UMTS and HSDPA are really great. I love HSDPA on my BlackJack for both on-device surfing and BT tethering, and the speed is awesome. Standard UMTS on my Universal is pretty good too, definitely a bit step up from EDGE. I feel for you that you can’t get it :(

  21. Do a carrier search for 76901 some time, if you want to see what decent coverage at SLOW speeds looks like. 😛

  22. modernrocko says:

    I’m really looking forward to this. Is the date of release announced yet?

    Also, any idea on the differences between the X7500 and the X7501? I compared their individual product details on the HTC mainsite but there doesn’t seem to be much difference, apart from slight cosmetics.

    Also, first time posting here. Nice to find a tech review site with informed and interesting reviewers. :)

  23. Mr_Gadget says:

    Wow, absolutely fantastic review that I’m sure will help many people looking into this device.

    I’m waiting for this or the Dopod U1000 version to hit our fare shores…

    Thanks again.

  24. PeterNorman says:

    Thank-you for that! The device looks fabulous as a note-taking/ebook reading solution. Its amazingly expensive for just those uses, though; its only $100 cheaper than my MacBook!

    The screensize of the device must make it a dream for OneNote Mobile.

    How is the connectivity with Vista and XP, given that its Windows Mobile 6? I’m guessing the upcoming WMDC update will be necessary to answer that question fairly, though.

    Thanks again!
    Peter

  25. Solidus says:

    I have a few questions about the unit. I’ve previously owned an HTC Universal and though it had good functionality, it’s performance was rather poor when playing games and movies. I don’t really intend on playing games with this unit (that’s what my NDS is for), but I do have some performance-related questions.

    I own an Axim x50v, and thus far I am convinced it’s the best performing “Pocket PC” in the world as it doesn’t suffer the pitfalls from WM5. However, this is the first WM5 PPC Phone I’ve seen with a 624Intel. How snappy is the device? Does it experience slow spurts. I’d assume you’ve taxed it quite well with all that on your Today screen.

    Have you tested the unit with movies? I tend to play decent sized (300Mb) XviD ones using TCPMP (a video player far superior to the default Windows one), and it plays really well on the Axim (crystal clear). With the specs (ATi graphics chip and rather GLOSSY screen) this one has, I’d expect it to do better.

    I’ve been hankering to get a dependable PPC Phone that I can effectively type with, and not suffer the performance pitfalls other PPC devices have. Also, does it have WM6 and internal GPS? The HTC site advertises the GPS, but that it had WM5. I’m not sure if there’s a real big difference between them, other than the possibility of WM6 performing better.

    Thanks for your review and advice!

  26. Elo says:

    I had to come back and give my impressions. I own an Axime X51 and it has served me well. I recently bought a Dopod 838 pro to replace my X51. I have been using the Dopod for the last 2 months. Last night, I picked my X51 and checked my email with it… the screen was huge and nice! I had a perfectly usable nice screen all this time and I didn’t know it! The Dopod has a 2.8″ screen and the X51 a 3.5″ and it makes all the difference.

    I started thinking about the HTC advantage while I was checking my email at a coffee shop this morning on my Dopod… I was thinking that life at 2.8 just doesn’t cut it. I have to admit the Advantage now makes sense to me. I regret buying the Dopod, seriously, and would go for the Advantage if I could. So Solidus, in a way, my comments are also meant to give you my opinion. If you loved your Axim, you won’t like to downgrade to a smaller screen but you will appreciate more screen space. I think you are a good candidate for the Advantage. I know I would be.

  27. Guys, I have been lamenting the shrinking PDA screens for quite some time now. The last big screen contender, since I didn’t own an Axim, was the iPAQ 4700 with its 4″ screen. I was sorely missing that beauty every time I started an eBook on my Treo, but even the difference between the iPAQ’s 4″ and this 5″ marvel…seriously, I wish I still had the 4700 just so I could show you how much bigger this one is. I am truly getting spoiled. :-)

    Now, to attempt to answer all the other questions:

    How is the connectivity with Vista and XP, given that its Windows Mobile 6? I?m guessing the upcoming WMDC update will be necessary to answer that question fairly, though.

    Well, it is actually a WM5 device at the moment. I am waiting for the WM6 update, which should hopefully be coming soon. Otherwise, I have had absolutely no issues when syncing with Vista. I don’t have a box running XP anymore, but I suspect it would sync just fine.

    I?ve previously owned an HTC Universal and though it had good functionality, it?s performance was rather poor when playing games and movies. I don?t really intend on playing games with this unit (that?s what my NDS is for), but I do have some performance-related questions.

    I totally agree about the Universal’s gaming performance, but the Advantage has been surprisingly zippy in that regard. Of course, the difference is the Universal had a 520 mhz Intel Bulverde Processor, and the Advantage has a Intel PXA270 624 MHz with ATU Graphic Chip W2284. Yes, I have a lot of Today screen plug-ins and yet I don’t feel that there is much of a lag. Don’t get me wrong, clicking an icon in Resco’s launcher will still take a moment before the program opens, but it is a few seconds – not the forever it has seemed in the past.

    Have you tested the unit with movies? I tend to play decent sized (300Mb) XviD ones using TCPMP (a video player far superior to the default Windows one), and it plays really well on the Axim (crystal clear). With the specs (ATi graphics chip and rather GLOSSY screen) this one has, I?d expect it to do better.

    My expectations have been met, and then some. I transferred my 599MB
    rip of Jarhead over to the Advantage’s 8GB hard drive, and was impressed by the smooth playback – and the size of the viewing screen. The Advantage is perfect for watching videos, and the device can totally keep up. An added bonus is that it accepts a regular 3.5mm headset, not some crippled mono or proprietary headset size.

    I?ve been hankering to get a dependable PPC Phone that I can effectively type with, and not suffer the performance pitfalls other PPC devices have.

    Okay, this is the one weaknesses of the device. As much as I want to love it, the Advantage’s keyboard really makes me miss the one that was on my JasJar. Don’t get me wrong – it works, it’s not painful to use, but I don’t like it nearly as much.

    Also, does it have WM6 and internal GPS? The HTC site advertises the GPS, but that it had WM5. I?m not sure if there?s a real big difference between them, other than the possibility of WM6 performing better.

    As I mentioned above, it comes with WM5 installed, but there is a promised WM6 upgrade. It also has built-in GPS. I think that the Advantage is the device that the HP iPAQ 5915 wanted to be. 😛

    If you loved your Axim, you won?t like to downgrade to a smaller screen but you will appreciate more screen space. I think you are a good candidate for the Advantage. I know I would be.

    That’s exactly what it boils down to. If you want to be able to read the stuff on your PDA’s screen, to really use it to surf, edit office documents, etc., and have a place to park an extra SIM card, then this is the device for you. If you want a small phone with a little screen, look elsewhere.

  28. Elo says:

    Darn it, I want to sell my Dopod so bad right about now!

  29. Darn it, I want to sell my Dopod so bad right about now!

    do it do it do it do it

    Sorry, I am not helping am I? 😛

  30. Elo says:

    Judie, no you are not helping.

    If only there were some trade-ins program! I hate Ebay! I need to go change my mind or something before I really decide to sell it.

  31. Solidus says:

    Thanks for your rapid reply. From what you say, it’ll likely prove to have great performance, although that keyboard will probably take getting used to. Is it easy to use without setting it on a table? Obviously, it won’t be as manipulatable as a blackberry, but do you feel it’s awkward to use on the fly?

    Thanks to your review and advice, I’ll probably get one… when it’s price finally cuts in half. $1k is a little too much for a PPC.

  32. Is it easy to use without setting it on a table?

    Absolutely. I plan on doing a series of short videos soon, and that will be one of the topics. I think it will be easier to show than to try to describe. :-)

    Obviously, it won?t be as manipulatable as a blackberry, but do you feel it?s awkward to use on the fly?

    It is absolutely not a device to use one-handed or what I would consider for “on the fly” use. This is a mini-laptop, there is really no other way to look at it. 😛

  33. Mitchell Oke says:

    Or a mini-tablet 😉

  34. TrvlngDrew says:

    AARRGGHH! Reading all of this is driving me crazy! I’m headed to the US in a couple of weeks and will probably order one.. Based on the following criteria..

    1. All the radios are available, GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, Quadband, GPS

    2. the HUGE Screen, I too lament the passing of my HP 4700

    3. The adjunct nature of the PPC versus a tablet PC or a UMPC. I don’t have the forbearance to administer yet another PC with software licenses backup etcetera. I need something that synchs with my work PC and extends my work capability as well as does the multimedia stuff.

    Judie, if you decide you don’t want the Advantage in the next coupld of weeks let me know 😮

  35. Sorry Drew, so far it is a keeper. 😉 If you can wait until it is actually released in the US later this summer, you might be able to save $400 – $500…

  36. TrvlngDrew says:

    Glad to hear its a keeper! :-)

    I’m only in the US a couple of weeks so we’ll see..

    I’ll definitely stay tuned :-O

  37. jkOnTheRun: Gear Diary reviews the HTC Advantage says:

    […] like a laptop replacement for the true road warrior.  Judie has followed that video up with a good review written after five days of usage and has some really good insights into the Advantage.  Check […]

  38. […]   L?s hela testet p? HTC X7500 Advantage Athena h?r » […]

  39. […] Dopod U1000 / HTC Advantage X7500 Review : From GearDiary Gear Diary is one of my favourite gadget sites and Judie has done a superb pictorial review on the Dopod U1000 / HTC Advantage X7500.For those looking at the ultimate in portable converged technology at the moment, it’s a must read.Labels: dopod u1000 review, htc advantage x7500 review […]

  40. […] Gear Diary First Impressions Of The HTC Advantage Posted by Nurhisham Hussein @ 10:00 PM “I?ve been using the HTC Advantage for five days, which is definitely not long enough time to pass true judgement on the device, but it is enough time to talk about some of my likes and dislikes. Ready?”Following on from the unboxing we saw last week, Judie Hughes gives her impressions of the Advantage in daily use. As a geek, I’ll admit to having severe gear-envy here, but some of the gotchas are putting me off (that is, apart from the price). As an avid ebook reader the lack of a scroll wheel is a bummer, and I’m really dubious about the keyboard. On the other hand, having virtually every spec I want in one device is really tempting. Anybody else have a different perspective? Discuss this story [4 replies] Permalink Print […]

  41. Today’s Review » Blog Archive » The HTC Advantage X7500 Review says:

    […] data in a spreadsheet, then you will most likely be turned off by the overall size of the device. Read Full Review Here Review By Crowdedbrain Moving on its spec continues with the introduction of a 20 Channel GPS […]

  42. New HTC 7501 is a great machine - AT&T/Cingular (HTC) - Wireless Forums from AT&T says:

    […] I just got my HTC Advantage 7501 Friday. I’ve had an 8525 since November and liked it. As soon as ATT coughs it up I’ve ordered a Tilt for my wife to replace her Treo.I’m data centric and the Advantage is great if you need the features. I’ll try to answer any specific questions but please RTF the data sheet if you just want to know the basics. Here is a review:http://www.geardiary.com/2007/05/28/the-htc-advantage-x7500-so-far/ […]

  43. […] Advantage???????????? ?? The HTC Advantage X7500 So Far??(a serial review) ????Gear […]

  44. […] rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn Hola!!rnrnSi necesitas telefono y camara, tienes que descartar los tablet pc o los UMPC…..si quieres una PDA, las actuales, todas tienen una resolucion de 240X320 de pantalla, con mucho la gran limitacion y para eso, creo que te puede interesar mas un N95, que tiene la misma limitacion de pantalla, pero a cambio tienes un GPS, editor, etc, etc…una camara de fotos de verdad de 5MP y de video 640Z480(30fps) y por supuesto un movil con 3g, bluetooth, wifi y realmente para symbian encuentras todo; no obstante, comprandote una tarjeta de yoigo, los dias que te conectes, tienes tarfa plana por 1.2EUR al dia y desde inet hay cada vez mas servicios online para hacer todo usando solo el navegador…respecto a leer, ebook mas o menos puedes leer, comics no.rnrnCreo que lo que tu buscas es esto:rnrnhttp://www.mobile-review.com/pda/rev…ntage-en.shtmlrnrnhttp://www.ppccool.com/index.php?sho…&mode=threadedrnrnhttp://www.mtekk.com.au/Articles/tab…00-Review.aspxrnrnhttp://www.geardiary.com/2007/05/28/…-x7500-so-far/rnrnActualmente es el unico "todo en uno" de bolsillo, buena resolucion, incluso puedes navegar, camara de 3mp con calidad, gps WM ultima version…en fin, lo tiene todo. rnEso si, compratela de segundamano, a veces salen por 500EUR o asi; el unico fallo, seria el que no graba video a 30fps, al menos antes, pero hace fotos decentes.rnrnhttp://www.mobile-review.com/pda/rev…age-3-en.shtmlrnrnAunque esto es una review de una maqueta, habra mejorado algo la calidad de las fotos y no se si del video.rnrnrnSalu2rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rn rnrnrn […]

  45. […] look forward to seeing what Vaja will create for the HTC Advantage, with or without the sterling silver […]