Thank you CowBell Fever
for this review
Launched on October 25th of 2006, the T-mobile Dash was more or less an "upgrade" of the SDA, offering a full qwerty kepad,
while still running on the familiar Windows Mobile OS. Also known as the Excalibur, this phone is manufactured by the Taiwan
based company HTC, known for data device, and smartphone manufacturing. Originally loaded with WM 5.0. the Dash now comes with WM 6.0.
For those of you that are still running 5.0, there is a free upgrade for the OS available on T-Mobile's website. Here are
those specs for ya'.Specs
Weight: 4.6 oz.
Dimensions (inches): 4.4L x 0.5D x 2.5W
Screen Size (pixels): 320x240
Screen Dimension (inches): 2.4 diagonally
Battery Type: Lithium Ion
Battery Life: 5 hours talk time, 125 hours standby
Internal Memory: 128 MB
Expandable Memory: MicroSD up to 2 gigabytes
Keyboard: Full QWERTY
Frequencies: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900
Camera: 1.3 megapixel
Blutooth Class: 2.0
Email: Microsoft Exchange and POP3/IMAP/SMTP
Audio Out: Proprietary USB plug, Stereo bluetooth
Media: MP3, WMA, WMV, midi, amr, awb, AVI
I use my Dash off and on, switching between phones. I find it friendly to use, and I like the options available when
viewing files like Excel and Word. The internet connection is better than what comes on the BlackBerries, and it is easier
to tether to my laptop. It also has some really cool features i will discuss.Battery Life
The battery life on this phone is kind of sketchy. The listed specs are not completely accurate. The two things I have
noticed that will kill your battery faster are the email and internet. The email push on this phone works much like
Microsoft Outlook does. Every so often, on timed intervals, your phone will receive any emails you have recieved in your
inbox. When you set up the account, you can choose how often it checks for mail. This can have a dramatic impact on your
battery. I started off with every 15 minutes, but switched to every 30. I can't tell you how many customers have come
in to my store complaining about the battery. They needed to receive emails ASAP, so they had their phone set to check
every 5 minutes or so. This will EASILY drain your battery in a day or less. Even at 30 minutes, I could only go for about
a day and a half between charges. The internet usage also impacts the battery, but not to the same level as the email.Keyboard
I love the full QWERTY keyboard, but the buttons are tiny! Not only that but they are really close together. Whenever I
am typing a text or email, I constantly have to go back and correct my grammar. I do love that this phone has dedicated
period and comma keys. This is not too common in the QWERTY phones, and certainly not for BlackBerries.
I will include the volume strip in this section, even though it is on the side of the phone. To be honest, the touch
sensitive strip is nothing less than annoying. It is incredibly easy to accidentally change the volume on your phone while
in a call. Pretty much everyone I know with this phone has turned the volume strip off in the settings.Call Quality
The reception on this phone is average. There is nothing out of the ordinary either way on the phone. Don't expect anything
amazing just because it is a quad band data device.
The Internet service on this phone is much better than that available on any BlackBerry. With full HTML browsing, you don't
need any extra applications to view a website. The Wi-Fi is a nice add on, and it is easy to use. The browsing speed is
significantly faster when doing this. Just type in the network key if needed, and browse away. As far as tethering goes,
it is a breeze. There is an icon to share the internet, pretty simple. This is the phone I take with me on a road trip so I
can have the internet on my laptop.
Email is mediocre. I dislike the setup and the battery drain (read about that above). You cannot manage your inbox from the
phone, however it has HTML viewing. Email is flat-out better on the BlackBerry, especially when BB OS 4.5 comes out.
The phone is easy to sync up with your computer, and a quick data transfer will back up anything you like. This is
a great feature. I love the ability to save everything from the phone from my contacts to appointments on my desktop.GPS
Just like on the Wing, The Dash does not come with internal GPS, although an external GPS source can be tethered to the device
via bluetooth or USB.
3rd Party Applications
I have not come across too many that I find useful. There are a lot, but most are junk. My favorites are SMS bubbles (this lets
you view the SMS messages on the homescreen) and Vtap. This program lets you search out video files on the internet and
view them on the phone.Media
Hmm...a 1.3 megapixel camera on a high end device. Come on HTC, you can do better than that! It is not very clear, and the
images are somewhat fuzzy around the edges. The media player is nice, and it is easy to catalog video and music files. Plus,
with the stereo bluetooth, you can listen to your media wirelessly. I do this all the time with my Motorola S9 headset.
Only reading up to a 2 gig microSD card, the media capabilities are somewhat limited. Don't throw away your ipod just yet.
Okay, I love some of these neat little features. You can set the phone to announce the caller (it can actually say the name
of the person calling if you have the number in your phonebook). The coolest thing though (at least to me
) is that the phone
can read you your text messages. It will read the subject if any, as well as the entire content. I do this all the time
when I am using a bluetooth. The audio only routes through the headset, letting you know who is texting you without ever
touching the phone.
The phone is fun to use occasionally, but it is not my favorite. I think there are a lot of better data devices out there
that have better features. Play around with a demo at your local T-Mobile store before you buy it.