HTC Arrive: Sprint's First WP7 Smartphone


Of the six smart phones on the market that run Microsoft's latest phone OS, Windows Phone 7, HTC designed and manufactures three of them. It's latest, and most expensive, is Sprint's first-and currently only-WP7 option, the HTC Arrive and it arrived at Sprint just last month. Meanwhile, prices on WP7 phones from AT&T and T-Mobile have recently been drastically reduced. (You don't have to pay more than $100 for the other HTC phones or the Dell Venue Pro, and can pick up a Samsung Focus or LG Quantum for as little as $49). Yet, Sprint still wants $199 for the HTC Arrive and that's with a two-year contract.

That said, the HTC Arrive offers a combination of Microsoft's latest and easily most impressive handset OS to date, along with a slide-out backlit keyboard and HTC's unmistakable design quality.  So there's at least a bit of differentiation to the product to pique the interest of thumb-texters looking at a WP7-equipped device.

We wondered if the Arrive was worth its price premium. So, in the pages that follow we'll answer that question, and delve into all of the phone's strengths and weaknesses, but first we'll note that we were surprised by how much we generally liked this phone. The Arrive we tested was running the updated version of Windows Phone 7, known as NoDo, with copy and paste capability at the ready.

HTC Arrive Windows Phone 7 Smartphone
Specifications & Features

With a Snapdragon 1GHz processor and high-quality capacitive touch screen, we found the phone to be quick and responsive. We didn't find it to be as simple to use as Microsoft's advertising would have us believe (and we'll document that more in the upcoming pages), but it certainly wasn't bad. Tasks such as connecting it to e-mail accounts, including Gmail, were extremely easy to setup, for instance. But finding features in various applications (particularly some of Microsoft's included applications) had us scratching our heads. That aside, the overall experience of the new HTC Windows Phone operating on 3G or WiFi was ... fun. One of our teenagers, after playing with the device for a few hours, likened it to a cross between an iPhone and an Android.

Click to enlarge.

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