htc_fuze_black_lMy new HTC Fuze phone from AT&T is really sweet.  I found out about its release on Tuesday of last week and spent FOREVER on the phone that day trying to get someone to sell me one at a decent price.  The next day, on the way to dinner with the fam, we stopped by an AT&T store and they not only had them in stock, but told me everything I wanted to hear in terms of price, features and rebates!  I was able to get out of the store with a new Fuze for very much less than retail price (thank you Microsoft!) and can now proudly display it around town.

The phone is an AT&T customized version of the HTC Touch Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1 PocketPC Pro.  It includes the HTC TouchFlo interface, and (of course) all the stylus-oriented features that you’ve come to love about Windows Mobile.  It’s slightly smaller overall than my former device (a Blackjack II) but slightly thicker and slightly heavier.  Features include a full touch screen, slide-out keyboard, radial dial, mini-USB charging jack and a 3.2 MP camera. 

I’ve been looking forward to this phone for a while – the touch screen is really nice, the OS is nice a zippy, and it has all the key features that I need:

  • Internet Connection Sharing (a.k.a. Phone Tethering)
  • Exchange Mail Support with Exchange Push
  • Internet Connection Sharing (a.k.a. Phone Tethering)
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Bluetooth
  • Internet Browsing
  • Touch support with “screen flicks”
  • Support for multiple email accounts
  • Speakerphone

I was particularly interested in WM6.1 for it’s enhanced support for corporate Exchange Address Books.  When you have as many contacts as I’ve got, the auto-complete features in email authoring is a real handy helper to keep complexity down and productivity high.  Additionally, I find myself travelling quite a bit, and sometimes am in places where there is no public internet available (like right now, as I’m writing this post).  In those cases, I can!very simply “tether” my laptop to my phone and piggyback off the data connection on my phone.  This gives me an anytime connection anywhere I’m sitting!

One thing that did surprise me was the OOB internet browsing experience – instead of defaulting to PocketIE, the default web browser is Opera Mobile.  I’ve found the Opera Mobile experience to be pretty good – it’s a little slow, but offers a “real” view of the web pages you browse to instead of a mobile-ized version, or a feature-reduced WAP version.  And, the only thing that I don’t like about this phone, is the stupid Push To Talk (PTT) button.  I am forever pressing that when trying to hold the phone in my left hand.  I need to find some registry setting that will disable the PTT button and allow me to reprogram it like I could on my old 8525.  Once I get that taken care of, the phone will be perfect :)

Overall, I’ve been really impressed with this phone. If you’re interested in trying one out, head over to your local AT&T store and ask them for a test-drive.  Last time I was there, I got the only one they had, so it looks like it’s a really popular phone right now.  You might want to call ahead and see before you head over there, but it’s definitely worth the trip…  The retail price for an unlocked version of this phone is pretty high, but if you can catch one at contract renewal time you can save a LOT of money…