TheONbutton Durham Computer Services

Remote IT Support and Computer & Technology Help in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC

AT&T Fuze / HTC Touch Pro P4600 review

Last year I wrote about the HTC TyTN, which was later superceded by the TyTN II (AT&T Tilt) as the daddy of all productivity smartphones.  Since then HTC has moved on with its Touch range which aim to turn up the style, which was a bit lacking in the TyTN series.

HTC Touch Pro KeyboardOf the three new Touch models (Diamond, Pro and HD) the Pro is the closest successor to the TyTN range with its slide out keyboard.   I will make comparisons along the way to the Samsung Epix, which does a similar job in a very different style.

Picking up the Fuze is an altogether different experience to the Tilt it replaced.  HTC has taken everything good about the TyTN range and made it sleeker.  The all glass look is smart and the back cover has the beautiful angled surface first seen on the Touch Diamond.

One backwards step compared to the Tilt is the reduced number of buttons on the front of the Fuze.  Whilst instant access application buttons are present on the keyboard like the Samsung Epix, the Fuze makes you either slide out the keyboard or use screen presses like the iPhone.  Whilst this is not a huge problem it does make the Epix feel like a quicker phone to navigate.

The other significant change from the Tilt is that the Fuze loses the tilting screen, which seemed like a fragile but useful feature on its predecessor.

TouchFlo 3D Music AppThe Fuze feels mightily more petite to hold than the Tilt, but still a tad chunky in its depth to accommodate the keyboard.  Overall it looks smaller than the Blackberry Bold or the Samsung Epix but the Fuze’s 6oz weight makes the 4.4oz Epix less bulky in a pocket.

The Fuze has a more useful keyboard than the TyTN series and most other smartphones.  There are now five rows of keys, which reduces combination presses to a minimum.  The keys also have a positive feel, which aids typing speed.

For those who like to work outdoors, the Fuze’s screen is far brighter than the Tilt’s.  I’m writing this outside in full-on New York bright winter sunshine.  You don’t get much color contrast, but at least you can see what you’re doing.

The Fuze’s big screen advance is its resolution which, at 640×480, is simply spectacular.  The only comparison worth making is to the Blackberry Bold, whose screen is of similar quality.

HTC Touch Pro BackThe TyTN series packed a powerful punch for its time and the Fuze hits even harder.  The Fuze has a whopping 0.5GB of ROM for Windows Mobile to play around with.  Pair that up with a 528MHz processor and you have a device which flies along.  At one point I had 15 applications open simultaneously and the Fuze just kept going.  Operating system navigation is very responsive and AT&T’s Cellular Video streams well, as long as you have good 3G coverage.

There is also a MicroSD card slot which can handle cards up to 32GB to satisfy your thirst for videos/music/photos/applications.  MicroSD cards are now pretty cheap, I saw an 8GB card recently for $18.  However the Fuze loses brownie points for hiding it’s card slot under the back cover, unlike the TyTN which had exposed access on the side of the phone like the Samsung Epix.

The Fuze comes with Opera Mobile as the default browser.  This does a good job and offers multiple tabs and good finger control, but still plays second fiddle to Safari on the iPhone.  This is partly due to the iPhone’s larger screen and also because Safari renders pages better overall in my opinion.

HTC has enhanced its TouchFlo interface to ‘3D’ status with the inclusion of some nice widgets which make navigation very finger-friendly.  The email and music screens look good and scrolling through text messages and photos is great as one item is swept away to make room for the next.

HTC Touch Pro Exposed BackBattery life on the Fuze is only average, with a charge required on a nightly basis following moderate usage.  Regular video streaming eats battery time, as does constant surfing although I did find that a full day of battery life is realistic with sensible usage.

The Fuze ships with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, which means you get Office Mobile, Windows Media Player and Windows Live.  In addition to Messenger the phones also have IM clients for AIM and Yahoo and you can install third party applications to give access to more services.  Google Maps, AvantGo and Skype were one-click installs.

Overall the Fuze is a great smartphone.  In day to day usage I can’t decide if I prefer the trick TouchFlo 3D interface, sleek looks and amazing screen of the Fuze over the faster front panel key and mouse navigation of the Samsung Epix.  There is a popular perception that touch is the way foward, but if reactions to the iPhone have told us anything it’s that people still want keyboards.

If you’re looking for a Windows Mobile smartphone then the Fuze does a great job, however if you prefer buttons to fingers it’s worth checking out the Samsung Epix too.

Neil Berman

www.theonbutton.com

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Jan 4, 2009 - Posted by | Hardware, Mobile, Reviews, Video Features | , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. hello
    request for help
    i apply to get some information about my htc p4600
    1-how to change the language as im in algeria i want to use it with french language
    2-how to access to internet
    i look forward to hear from you
    thank you

    Comment by Arezki | May 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. i cannot connect on my wifi. what is the problem of my phone?

    Comment by dongba6 | Jun 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. hola tengo htc p4600 soy dominicana y quiero ponerlo en español porfavor y grasia

    Comment by griselda | Nov 5, 2010 | Reply


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