Pros: Brilliant VGA touchscreen; TouchFlo 3D UI; Full QWERTY board with good response; 3G and WiFi; Opera Mobile 9.5 Web browser
Cons: Very thick and bulky; Single mini-USB port for charging and headphones; I still don't like Windows Mobile
The HTC Fuze is AT&T's variant of the Touch Pro, a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY board. Like the Touch Diamond (essentially the same device minus the QWERTY), Fuze features a 2.8" touchscreen with full VGA resolution, HTC's TouchFlo 3D user interface, and the potent combination of the Opera Mobile 9.5 Web browser backed by 3G and WiFi data connectivity.
Fuze's display is friendly to both stylus and fingertip, and HTC's done a bang-up job with the TouchFlo 3D user interface, which is far prettier to look at and easier to use than the WinMo 6.1 OS it masks. You can't use TouchFlo for everything, but you can use it for quick access to missed call, weather and messaging status, music player and photo browser, and a customizable application launcher. And while I'll continue to complain about the clunkiness of Windows Mobile, it does offer access to thousands of user-installable applications.
HTC also pre-installed Opera Mobile 9.5 on Fuze, and it's one of the best mobile Web browsers on the market today. While the 2.8" VGA resolution display means you have to do a fair amount of panning and zooming in order to surf the Web, Opera Mobile runs brilliantly on Fuze's hardware, and said panning and zooming is generally quite smooth and easy to deal with. AT&T throws their own Push To Talk, MobiTV, Navigator (location based services), and streaming audio/video into the mix here, as well.
While Sprint gave their version of Touch Pro a cosmetic makeover, AT&T left the Fuze in line with the original, retaining HTC's all-black design and "faceted" battery cover. Fuze is a thick, bulky device, and I wish it had a standard headphone jack instead of HTC's mini-USB based accessory port, but if you don't mind these industrial design choices, it's also one of the best Windows Mobile phones currently available.
Verdict: Thumbs Up