HTC x7500 Advantage

HTC Advantage X7500This is my wife’s cell phone: The HTC x7500 Advantage. It’s really a mini-laptop.

The screen is big (5″) and beautiful (VGA). So unlike many cell phones, it’s very easy to read.

The keyboard is separate. It attaches to the screen magnetically! The connection is very solid. Since the keyboard and the screen have the same length and width, the keyboard stores in a case right on top of the screen. Since the keyboard is very thin, it adds very little thickness when carrying the unit around. The keyboard has been criticized for lack of tactile response, and is being revamped in the next iteration of this unit.

The processor is very powerful (624 MHz), with ample ROM (256 MB) and RAM (128 (MB). There’s also plenty of storage. In addition to an SD card, the unit has an 8 GB  micro-drive. Yes folks, that’s gigabyte, not megabyte, and indeed soon to be increased to 16 GB in the next iteration of this unit!

Since it is a 3G device, if you have a data plan, you can access the Internet or your email at high speeds. You also have connectivity via WiFi or Bluetooth.

Downsides? Well, it is big. You can put it in a large pocket, but it certainly is not as pocketable as your normal cell phone. This is not as big an issue for Devvie as it is for me (the first owner of this device) since she puts her phone in her pocketbook rather than in her pocket.

Also, the Advantage is not a great phone. Since it’s big, it’s a bit hard to hold. Also, in a somewhat surprising omission, it doesn’t have a phone ear piece. You either use a wired or Bluetooth headset, or use the speakerphone and be heard by those around you.

I’ve used the advantage as a laptop replacement, particulary for short trips. Its being a Windows Mobile device has pros and cons. Windows Mobile devices are superior to Windows devices for quick boot up, longer battery life and superior display on a small screen size. The primary con is it doesn’t run Windows applications. However, the Advantage does a fine job with email, instant messenging and web browsing, and has Windows Mobile counterparts for Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel and other applications such as Adobe Reader.  Oh, and did I mention it has GPS? So you can mount it in your car as a GPS unit!

I’m not the only one who thinks the Advantage could be used instead of a small laptop such as a UMPC. The Mobile Gadgeteer recently published Is the HTC Advantage the Ultimate UMPC?  So unless you’re reliant on a particular Windows application that has no Windows Mobile counterpart, the Advantage might replace your laptop in your gadget bag for your next road trip!