As it was foretold at CES, Windows Phone 7 has achieved CDMA nirvana. And given Verizon's recent comments about Microsoft's nascent mobile platform, it's no wonder the first CDMA WP7 handset to hit shelves comes from Sprint. Fortunately, the HTC Arrive makes a fine first impression.
In addition to all of the standard WP7 features - Xbox integration, flashy hubs - Arrive features a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 3.6-inch 800x400 WVGA display, 5MP camera and 720p video recording, 16GB of internal storage and a pretty standard $US200 price tag on-contract.
But most exciting - since the hardware is solid but not blowing the shingles off of any roofs - is that Arrive arrives with the long-promised first major WP7 update in tow. That means copy and paste right out of the box, a small but significant improvement that Microsoft has sorely needed to elevate its game.
I do wonder, given the vertical orientation of the WP7 hubs, if that horizontal slider will be frustrating to use over time. But probably no more so than the awkwardly weighted, vertically sliding Dell Venue Pro. Looking forward to finding out for myself in less than a month.
First Windows Phone 7 Device for Sprint, HTC Arrive, Available Beginning March 20 for $199.99
New Windows Phone 7 phone brings the Start screen to life with Live Tiles for a glance-and-go experience; offers Xbox LIVE and Zune integration with Microsoft Office Mobile
Starting today, customers can pre-order HTC Arrive at any Sprint Store; For more information, visit www.sprint.com/arrive
Available from Sprint on March 20, the HTC Arrive™ smartphone (announced by HTC globally as HTC 7 Pro) offers the Windows Phone 7, glance-and-go experience combined with an innovative design that features a sliding full QWERTY keyboard and tilt-up display. Its unique Start screen with Hubs gives easy access to the user's most valuable content and customizable Live Tiles come to life with real-time updates from the Web.
Depending on the app, the Live Tiles might show pending messages and appointments, news and weather, or game notifications and friend status – all continuously refreshed. It also lets the user customize people, apps, playlists, pictures, and other favorites to the Start screen, so they're available at a single touch.
Windows Phone 7 Hubs bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view and offers quick and easy access to the users' most valuable content. The six Hubs are built on specific themes, including: • People Hub brings together relevant content based on the person, including photos and live feeds from social networks. People Hub provides a central place from which to update status or change profile pictures across multiple social networking sites. Skim Facebook®, Windows® Live feeds & photos, then call, text or post to friends and get directions to their place. • Games Hub is an on-the-go arcade and the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone. Play solo, or use the free Xbox LIVE service to match wits with friends wherever they are and view player avatars, profiles and achievements. • Pictures Hub houses your entire collection and makes it easy to share pictures to a social network in one step. It can also bring together a user's photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view an entire picture and video collection, including photos saved to the phone and pictures friends posted on Facebook or Windows Live. You can even send favorites to friends, or post them to Facebook or Windows Live, all from one place. • Music + Videos Hub is an anytime entertainment center. Play a music collection – synced wirelessly from a PC – or stream or download new tunes. There's even a built-in FM radio and high-resolution screen that's perfect for watching TV shows, movies or your own video clips. Add an optional Zune Pass subscription to get millions of songs for one low monthly fee. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. • Marketplace Hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games. • Office Hub brings the familiar experience of the world's leading productivity
software to your phone. With access to Microsoft Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents.
HTC Arrive key features include: • Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon Processor • 3.6-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch capability • Full HTML Web browser with Bing Search and Maps for turn by turn directions, address mapping and even street level views via voice search or typing • Windows Phone Marketplace offers a single view to showcase apps, games, music and premium Xbox LIVE games • Corporate email (Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync®), personal (POP & IMAP) email and text messaging • 5MP camera with flash, autofocus and digital zoom and 720p HD camcorder. The camera button will snap photos fast, even if the phone is locked. • 16GB internal memory for storing pictures, videos and large files. With an additional 25GB of storage in the cloud at no additional charge using a Windows Live ID. • Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g/n)
HTC Arrive will be available beginning March 20, for $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $100 mail-in rebate (taxes not included) in all Sprint retail channels, including the Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1).
Beginning today, customers can pre-order HTC Arrive at any participating Sprint Store with the purchase of a $50 Sprint gift card. Customers who pre-order HTC Arrive will have their name added to the Device Wait List and be contacted to set up an appointment to complete their purchase beginning on Sunday, March 20. Through the pre-order process, customers will have peace of mind knowing they are able to get the device they want and receive the full retail experience, including Sprint's Ready Now customer service experience.
Sprint customers get more with unlimited data plans on the Sprint Network. Sprint offers real simplicity, value and savings versus competitors, making it easy for customers to get the most out of their phones without using a calculator to tally up costs or worrying about how much data they've used.
HTC Arrive requires activation on one of Sprint's Everything Data plans, plus a required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones. Sprint's Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited Web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint network, starting at just $69.99 per month plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge – a savings of $39.99 per month vs. Verizon's comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and Web (excluding Verizon's Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).
Sprint Everything Data plans qualify for automatic enrollment in the Sprint PremierSM loyalty program1. Existing Sprint customers can switch to an Everything Data plan without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.