HTC P6500



This is a device you’re definitely not going to lose in a coat pocket. The HTC
P6500 isn’t the smallest of devices by any stretch of the imagination. It looks
like the Pocket PC’s of old and weighs nearly a quarter of a kilogram, yet
there’s a more modern feel to the design.

To show you exactly how big this phone is, I’ve taken a couple of comparison
shots below..

Here it sits next to my HTC Touch Dual, reviewed earlier.

   

In the box there’s
an extra stylus, a cover, charger, sync cable, manuals and headset / hands-free
kit.

The rugged handset gives 460 hours (20 days) of standby on CDMA or 407 hours
(nearly 17 days) of standby on GSM. This equals out to around 284 minutes
(nearly 5 hours) of solid talking on CDMA and 464 minutes (nearly 8 hours) on
GSM.

As for the specs list, it’s pretty decent, with GPS, WiFi, a speedy CPU and
plenty of memory to hand…

Windows Mobile 6 Professional
Qualcomm® MSM7200TM CPU running at 400MHz
Memory ROM: 256MB + optional 1GB (or up to 2GB/4GB) flash
RAM: 128MB SDRAM
Dimensions 137.4 mm (L) X 72.9 mm (W) X 20.5 mm (T)
Weight 220g with battery
Display 3.5-inch QVGA touch screen
240 X 320 dots resolution with 65,536 colors
WCDMA/HSDPA: 850/1900/2100 MHz
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Device Control 5-way navigation control / Jog wheel
Interface HTC ExtUSB™ (11-pin mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0
Full-speed)
2 SDIO slots (SD 2.0 compatible)
Fingerprint sensor
Connectivity Bluetooth® 2.0 with EDR
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
GPS plus antenna connector
3 megapixel CMOS color with auto focus
Audio Built-in microphone and speaker
1,500 mAh rechargeable Li-polymer battery


 

Up front some solid meaty buttons are well spaced out and therefore easy to
find. The fingerprint reader sits at the bottom and you’ll need to quickly swipe
one of your selected fingers over this to unlock the device. In practice this
actually wasn’t bad – even if your fingers are sweaty you can still get into the
device. This is easy to setup and use – it’ll prompt you all the way and you can
select which finger you want to scan and store – ideal for left and right-handed
people.

Above it the navigation pad is again reassuringly chunky and
well prepared for even the harshest of environments. The softkeys, to the left
and right, along with the call drop / answer and Windows / OK keys may look
small but they’re not hard to miss.

At the top the large earpiece has two network / Bluetooth / battery activity
LED’s so you know what’s happening plus two quick-keys to access your email and
Internet Explorer browser.

The top of the handset has SD card-slot number one. The rubber
flap will protect the card from dust or anything else that may creep in. There’s
also a slot for the speaker and another at the back.

Looking at the back there’s a large section of the handset taken
up for the 3 megapixel camera and flash – you also get a GPS logo above. Just
below that is the unlock / lock slider for the 1500mAh battery.

The left-side of the handset has a full scroll-wheel and OK
button. I’m always a big fan of these wheels, it makes navigating a lot easier
and lets you go through menus quickly. The addition of the OK button means that
one handset operation is a little easier. At the bottom of here you get a loop
to affix the device to a neck or wrist-strap.

At the bottom the miniUSB port is always welcome – charging,
sync’ing and audio connections are made through here. Just above and to the left
you can see the reset button which you can press in with the stylus if things go
wrong. To the right of the miniUSB port is the microphone.

The right side of the device has the second SD card slot, again
covered with a rubber flap. The SDIO capability gives room for expansion and
extra peripherals like credit card readers etc. There’s also a "you can’t miss
it" camera button along at the bottom plus a WiFi and power button towards the
top.

This handset is designed for working. You can imagine it being strapped to a
cart full of snacks or drinks as you board a train or plane, or perhaps the
local meter reader may produce one – it’s a strong, resiliant handset designed
for tough environments whilst still maintaining the security of the data on
board. It’s built well too – the metal casing resists knocks and scrapes whilst
the chunky buttons are easily pressable even with gloves on.

Now, although we’ve just given you a look around the handset, it’s always good to see it for “real” – in video. The video below shows how the fingerprint sensor is used to access / unlock the device. When the device is locked you can’t access the unit, even via ActiveSync..



Inside

Windows Mobile 6 (Pro) powers this device and there’s the HTC Home screen system
to give you quick access into heavily-used apps, weather forecasts, contacts and
ringtones. The TouchFLO system isn’t present, although Opera 8 has been
installed along with QuickGPS to help you get a sat-nav lock quicker. We tested
this with Google Maps and it was very quick indeed.


Other useful tools such as Zip, Voice Dial, Messenger, Adobe PDF reader and the
HTC Audio Manager are included along with the full mobile Office suite for
editing, creating and viewing all those important documents you need on the
move. The included WiFi and 3G connectivity are a welcome addition and the
battery gives a very respectable usage time for your wire-free working.

  

The CPU operated quickly and the ability to encrypt your documents using your finger-print (shown above) is a great idea.

Camera



As previously mentioned the camera quality is good. Low-lighgt situations are assited with the flash, plus the images look great once you’ve grabbed them from the device. The auto-focus lens helps to snap shots, plus it responds quickly. The actual preview image does look a little misty due to the resolution of the screen, and I presumed most of the images I’d taken had come out worse than they actually did when uploaded to my PC.


We’ve added some images direct from the phone below. Just click on the preview thumbnails to open them up. As usual our cat is the star :)…




Conclusion

The only thing that slightly disappointed me about this device was the 320×240
pixel screen. Compared with HTC’s flashy small handsets running smaller higher
resolution screens, this had a "stretched" feeling to it. The 3 megapixel camera
did produce quite respectable images, but when viewed on the screen they looked
perhaps worse than the final photo. I was also half-expecting a QWERTY keyboard
given the size of the device, however – this is the phone that will be replacing
those old iPaq handsets you still see being used by researchers, warehouse
workers, engineering and manufacturing operatives.

The specs are good, the 400Mhz CPU holds up well, the handset is solid and it’ll
do the job it was designed for. Sure, it’s not for the the teenage trend-setter,
this is a big, easy-to-use handset for shopfloor and industrial use.

 

Link – devicewire.co.uk (Currently £528.99 without contract, but check back for the latest prices)

 

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