There are basically two types of smartphone users: those who like physical keyboards, such as those found on BlackBerrys, and those who like virtual ones. While today’s market would have you believe that most of us fall into the latter category, it is refreshing to see a quality slider coming from a favorite manufacturer.
The HTC Arrive on the Sprint network has a truly solid slider mechanism that, once extended, allows users to tilt the screen to a 30-degree angle, which is perfect for texting and for watching videos once placed on a table. Also perfect for texting, at least in dimly lit situations, is the backlit QWERTY and the dedicated keys for emoticons. What’s not cool with the screen when the QWERTY is extended is that the start screen won’t switch to landscape mode. The ruggedness of the design comes at a price; however, as the HTC Arrive measures 0.6 inches thick and weighs 6.4 ounces. That’s not exactly pocket-friendly if you’re not wearing a belt.
The sliding mechanism on the first CDMA Windows phone isn’t the selling point, which is twofold: First, the HTC Arrive is Sprint’s first Windows Phone 7. Second, it comes equipped with a copy-and-paste function built in. Simply touch a word in a document or on a Web page and you’ll get some tags that enable you to drag it. Highlight the word and a copy icon will appear, after which a paste icon will appear when you’ve selected an appropriate field.
The 3.6-inch TFT LCD WVGA capacitive touchscreen (800 x 480 pixel resolution) isn’t as stunning as a Super AMOLED, but it’ll do. The screen itself is bordered by a glossy, dark gray paint and the body of the HTC Arrive has somewhat rounded corners with a brushed stainless steel back with an industrial-looking decorative screw. A quick survey of the phone will reveal three touch-sensitive buttons (for back, home, and Bing) below the screen, a big volume rocker and Micro-USB charger port on the left edge, a camera button on the right, a power button along with the 3.5-inch headphone jack up top, and a camera lens with flash on the back.
The HTC Arrive doesn’t have 4G support, which is somewhat of a shortcoming in 2011. If you’re familiar with Windows 7 phones, you know the tiled look and what the Windows Phone Hubs have to offer, but here Microsoft deserves some special recognition for merging your contact information from various sources, such as e-mail and social network sites.
The 5-megapixel camera on the HTC Arrive isn’t anything to get overly excited about. It does, however, have a flash, a 720p HD camcorder, and various editing features.
Additional features on the phone include Xbox LIVE syncing, alarm clock, calendar, calculator, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bing Maps, music and video hubs, voice navigarion via TeleNav, Windows Marketplace, the HTC hub, and the Sprint Hub.
Undressing the HTC Arrive
The 1GHz Qualcomm processor on the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) HTC Arrive is pretty quick and speedy. The 4.6” x 2.3” x 0.6” phone doesn’t have a card slot for expanding memory, but it does come with 16GB onboard and users have access to SkyDrive for an additional 25GB of online storage.
The 1,500-mAh lithium ion battery should give you 6 hours of talk time.
The HTC Arrive uses Sprint's 3G EV-DO data network and after a $100 mail-in rebate, it’ll cost you $199.99 with an "Everything" plan and a new two-year service agreement.