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Review of HTC's Touch Pro for AT&T - the Fuze

Review by Ricky Cadden on Wednesday December 10, 2008.

htc fuze · at&t · wm reviews · smartphone reviews · htc news · wm news · smartphone news · ricky cadden

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The HTC Fuze is the latest Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional-powered smartphone to arrive on AT&T's shelves with a full QWERTY keyboard, and it brings a handful of other great features, as well. I've spent a few weeks with the HTC Fuze and I've put together this review to give you an idea of where this particular smartphone excels, and where it's not exactly as 'pro' as its name implies.

Physical Aspects

The HTC Fuze from AT&T is a slick-looking smartphone, clad in high-gloss plastic and glass for an extremely fingerprint-laden look. The Fuze has a really large look and feel, but it's no bigger than most other smartphones on the market. It is pretty hefty, measuring in at 164.4g (5.8oz), and feels rather solid in your hand, as it should at that weight. The body is a chunky 103mm x 51.5mm x 19.5mm (4" x 2" x .8"), which makes the phone feel slightly uncomfortable in a tight pocket. Despite the large plastic case, the Fuze feels well built, with no creaks or or squeaks to be heard. It certainly feels the part of the high-end smartphone.

The front of the HTC Fuze is made up of two solid panels, the top one covering the large 2.8" VGA-resolution (480x640 pixels) touchscreen display, and the bottom one covering the navigation cluster with the d-pad cut in the center. Despite the lower panel being a solid piece, it is used to activate one of 8 buttons, including the four directions on the d-pad. The top left corner is the Home button, while the back button is top right. On the bottom left corner is the dedicated 'Send' key, and the dedicated 'End' key is on the bottom right. The center d-pad button is a circle cut in the middle of this bottom panel, with the four directions (up, down, left, and right) positioned around the edge. While this single panel design looks great, it suffers greatly when trying to use the d-pad, as I found myself constantly pressing the wrong button when trying to press left or down on the d-pad.

On the top edge of the Fuze, you'll find the lone power button, positioned off to the left a bit. Down the left side is the volume rocker and PTT (Push To Talk) key, for use with AT&T's PTT service. The Fuze's micro-USB port is located on the bottom edge of the phone, with a small indicator light to show if headphones are connected. There are no buttons on the right side of the phone, but the stylus is found at the bottom right corner. The tip of the stylus is magnetized slightly, so that it snaps in and out of place in its slot, securely. The stylus, while somewhat short, is very sturdy and easy to grip.

The QWERTY keyboard slides smoothly out of the left side of the phone, automatically rotating the display to landscape mode at the same time. The keys look as though they are all on a single membrane, but are in fact separate from each other. This results in an extremely easy to use keyboard, with each individual key offering a very distinct and satisfying click. There are also a host of shortcuts on this keyboard, which is actually one of its drawbacks. The main letters are printed in white on top of the black keyboard, with secondary functions printed in a rather light blue color. There is a top row on the keyboard, though annoyingly this is reserved for symbols, rather than the usual number row. The Fuze's keyboard also has a set of arrow keys and looks very much like a regular laptop keyboard, but then confuses you by sprinkling the symbols all over the place.

The HTC Fuze's 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera and LED flash are located on the back of the phone, with the loudspeaker close by, hidden well in the sharply-angled design of the backplate. The battery door consists of the entire back panel, and beneath it you'll find the SIM card slot and the microSD slot.

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Katie @ 12:49:01PM EDT on Thursday August 6, 2009

The HTC Fuze is one of the best phones money can buy these days! and heres a hint for all you haterz! the battery will last twenty times longer it if u turn down the brightness and turn the volume down when u dont need it to be loud! its a great phone it just gets a bad wrap when people dont read the MANUALS!!!!!

yeehaa @ 3:56:03PM EDT on Monday October 19, 2009

HTC has released a ROM update that can be found here:
The ROM allows you to remap the PTT button to anything else (e.g. camera), adds FM radio application, and best of all, you slide to answer or ignore the phone :)

About the author

Ricky Cadden
Former news editor Ricky Cadden runs Symbian-Guru.com. Ricky is based in Texas.

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