New Toyz Section - images enlarge in a new window. You must allow pop-ups for this page (if blocked) to view
Love at 2nd or 3rd sight...
I don't do smartphones. I've had several, tried many, including the iPhone, and nothing would budge me from my treasured iPAQ PDA phones... until now, that is. I still have my old reliable, iPAQ hw6915 and will keep it as my PDA and spare GPS unit, but it sits in its cradle most of the time now. My unlocked HTC S630 Cavalier is my new main squeeze and she goes everywhere I do, save for the shower and the beach (for the beach and amusement parks I usually take a cheap, extra "dumbphone" because of my devices' water & sandophobia.)
I finally found the smartphone that kicked my PDA phone addiction which extended back several years. How I came about to consider changing platform and choosing the S630 is another story, but I'm sure glad I ignored the overwhelmingly underwhelmed reviewers and must-have "fad" phones I read about and followed my instinct. This dark-skinned little alphanumeric number had me hooked within 20 minutes of unpacking.
It ain't what you'd call sleek - the iPhone is sleek. It ain't sexy: not in the normal sense of the word, anyway, but there was something about the Cavalier that made me keep going back to the shopping page and looking (HTC's site doesn't even show updates or pictures of the S630 as of this writing; it still only shows the S620; I guess they're too busy selling boatloads of their Touch phones to bother updating their product pages!) Some may criticze its looks, but it's real beauty is in its subtlety of design, as well as being in the eye of the beholder because I think she's beatiful. Just about perfect ergonomics and "feel" make this a work of utilitarian art. Besides, I think for myself and I know what I like. It's gorgeous to me. Pics don't do her justice, and I wouldn't trade her for an unlocked iPhone, even if I got it for free.
Let me count the ways...
It's not rubberized, but it's easy to grip and has a uique, subtle non-slippery texture. The aluminum bezel is a light, gun metal tone. She's realtively tiny and fits in a shirt pocket without weighing it down.
Where'd I leave that damn HTC S630??!!
Oh, mostly right under these fake sugar packets!
The JOGGR scrolling apparatus on the S630 which has been unceremoniously mocked and dismissed by every review I've seen, is actually an outstanding implemention in so many applications, for me, anyway. I think it's too bad that so many reviewers say they just deactivated the JOGGR because I don't think they don't know what they're missing. Helpful hint: run the tutorial (Settings>JOGGER>Tutorial.) It takes about 30 seconds to go through it. With very little practice, it became indispensable to me.
The light sensor works eerily well and knows exactly when to backlight the cool, green and white characters on the QWERTY keyboard. I'm not sure if my fingers are average sized or not, but the shape and layout of the keys, along with the JOGGR, make thumb-typing and navigating a sheer joy for me. The layout of the soft and dedicated keys are completely intuitive, thoughtful and handy. From the COMM key, to the IE key, to the keyboard lock, everything just works.
The phone radio is the strongest I've had since my Samsung T-509 (which was very strong at pulling in GSM signal), voices are heard Lima/Charlie and it can pull in a bar or two in my home office which is located in a notriously poorly covered area of Simi Valley, California.
Bluetooth is a breeze and also very strong. I can forget that I have my matching HTC BT headset strung around my neck and wander pretty far and between a few walls and I still can answer my phone and talk whithout losing my BT connection.
WiFi is in a class by itself. Since I don't like data plans and resort to use dial-up in a pinch, WAR driving and finding open signals when I'm at the park with my kids or out and about is like Christmas morning to me. The S630 can find and capture more networks than any device I've owned, and that's been quite a few. Just yesterday at a park near a residential tract, the S630 discovered over 2 dozen networks, 2 of which were unsecured and with usuable strength. I had my ASUS F3F laptop in my bag and when I compared, it only sensed about half or so of the networks, and neither of the unlocked ones. I was floored and happily went about Googling and downloading the city park PDF map my wife to view.
Of course, battery life takes a hit with all this horsepower, but the Cavalier hasn't left me stranded even after hour-long conversations, constant BT connectivity with my headset and WiFi throughout the day. Just remembering to plug it in every night or 2, depending on my usage, I have yet to see the battery bar go below 2 (out of 4) bars.
Running a Samsung 2442 processor at a blazing 400MHz under Windows Mobile 6 Standard is sheer joy. Apps and screens open in a snap with 64 MB of RAM and 128 MB of FLASH storage capacity. The display is a stunningly bright and crisp 320X240; that, coupled with the powerful CPU makes browsing websites almost tolerable, as well as viweing large PDF files or pictures. Expandable storage is rounded out by a Micro SD slot.
The HTC Cavalier S630 probably isn't for everyone and it probably isn't the best at everything it does, but it's the best WM6 device for me and I look forward to lots and lots of time spent with my new honey.