My Advantage is Back!

htcx7500One of my first posts was on the HTC x7500 Advantage. It became my wife’s cell phone when I bought the HTC Touch Cruise, the subject of my very first post.

Well, my wife had some issues with the Advantage. First, it is big, so it’s just not that easy to hold up to her ear. Second, it has no true phone speaker. Instead, you either use the speaker phone function or a Bluetooth device. My wife doesn’t like the feel of a Bluetooth device in her ear. Using the speaker phone function is not very private. This is a particular problem for her since she may use the phone in her classroom (she is a computer science professor at a local community college). Third, back to the Advantage being big, she has to stow it in main pocket of her purse, which makes it difficult for her to retrieve when it rings. (I think some day they’ll find Jimmy Hoffa somewhere at the bottom of her purse.)

I’ve mentioned before here the ancient Chinese adage that it’s a good idea to please someone who can kill you in your sleep. Accordingly, we swapped devices. She now has the Touch Cruise, and I have the Advantage back.

The Touch Cruise fits the bill for her. It is loud enough so she can hear without it being in speaker phone mode. It certainly is small enough for her to hold and to stow in a purse pocket where it will be easier for her to retrieve. The TouchFlo technology also makes it easy to use, finger swipes working for horizontal and vertical scrolling. 

The only downside for her of the Touch Cruise is its 2.8″ QVGA screen obviously is not as easy to see as the Advantage’s 5″ VGA screen. But it is good enough. And the Touch Cruise is still a very up to date device, with even a Windows Mobile 6.1 OS courtesy of xda-developers.

I plan to use the Advantage more as a mini-tablet than as a phone. Indeed, I’ve already forwarded all calls to my Advantage’s phone number to my BlackBerry 8700c, which hopefully will be replaced soon by the BlackBerry 9000. Indeed, I may also change my data plan from phone + data to just data, but that’s a story for a future post after I figure out the ramifications.

In the meantime, I’m going to update my Advantage with a new ROM, again courtesy of xda-developers, and then update the software.

There is a newer model of the Advantage, the x7510. However, due to legal issues, it may not be sold in the U.S, except I guess through importers. Anyway, the x7510 doesn’t seem to be enough of an upgrade to justify buying it and dumping the x7500. According to this excellent review on the Mobile Gadgeteer, the significant changes are (1) a 16GB flash drive rather than a 8 GB microdrive, (2) a different keyboard, and (3) Window Mobile 6.1. The third difference is a non-issue for me. I can get a Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM courtesy of xda-developers. The jury is still out whether the different keyboard really is much of an improvement. That leaves the 16GB flash drive rather than a 8 GB microdrive,Yes, that is an improvement, but not enough to justify buying an expensive x7510 (> $1000 currently) and dumping the x7500 on eBay for comparatively very little money.

More on the Advantage after I update it. Stay tuned!