The HTC Wizard is a brilliant Pocket PC with advanced features and capabilities. The Wizard is made by High Tech Corporation (HTC). Although HTC makes the phone, it is branded by many other companies. The HTC Wizard is also known as the Qtek 9100, I-Mate K-Jam, o2 XDA , T-Mobile MDA etc. Although it is branded by different companies the actual phone is the same, but the branded OS may be different. For example, in this review I used my I-Mate K-Jam, which has I-Mate branding software.
The Wizard has an exceptional design that looks like any other Pocket PC, but what makes it different is what is hidden beneath: a full QWERTY keyboard. The Wizard has an amazing horizontal slider keyboard. When the keyboard is extended, the screen also rotates to give you a widescreen landscape view. The 240 x 320 touch screen is excellent for viewing web pages, watching videos, or just using it to view your Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. The Wizard is far more than just a cell phone, it is a mini computer with a 200 Mhz processor, WIFI, Bluetooth, expandable 2 GB memory and much, much more.
The Wizard's design is exceptional, an innovation built on top of phones with sliding capabilities. The older version is the HTC Harrier, which also had a QWERTY keyboard but was not practical at all. The phone's keyboard would slide out vertically like all other slider phones. What makes the HTC Wizard so magnificent is that the QWERTY keyboard slides out horizontally which makes it easier to hold, easier to use, and much better for viewing web pages. Also the screen rotates as the keyboard is out which makes viewing on the Pocket PC that much more convenient.
The phone has hot keys everywhere and most of them can be assigned to your preference. There is a button for text messages and if you keep pressing it toggles through all your email, POP3 accounts, MMS messages etc. Adjacent to the message button is the Internet Explorer button, which comes in very handy when you need to access the web and do not want to pull out the stylus. On the left side of the phone there is a Comm manager button which lets you access the WIFI, Bluetooth, ActiveSync and toggle between vibrate and ringer. The button on the opposite side is a voice dialing button and when held can be used to close programs. Overall the design of the Wizard is brilliant, and it took a lot of thorough planning.
The Wizard supports mp3 and wav ring tones which are very loud when coming through the dual speakers which are located on each side of the phone. Other than the dual speakers the Wizard also has WAP internet. The Wizard supports the quad 850/900/1800/1900 GSM bands so it will work flawlessly any where around the world where GSM networks are accessible.
The HTC Wizard has 1.3 mega-pixel camera with flash which does an excellent job capturing those Kodak moments. You can record long video's, as long as the memory does not run out. The Wizard also has Bluetooth version 2.0 which works great for wirelessly syncing with Microsoft's ActiveSync. This Pocket PC also has WIFI technology built in which works seamlessly when connecting to nearby wireless networks. All the wireless names are stored in a list and the phone toggles through and connects to the strongest signal.
Although the built in voice dialing system works, you have to program your contacts into the phone. In my opinion, it is a must to buy the Microsoft Voice Command version 1.5 software for this phone because it works flawlessly. For voice command you do not have to input your contacts you just have to say them. Also you can ask the phone ?what are my missed calls?. ?What is my battery level?, ?What is my signal strength? and it will tell you. Also you can tell the program to dial a number and play songs using Windows Media Player. The HTC Wizard comes jam packed with advanced features and applications and you can always find more to download
The Wizard has an outstanding color display. The display is touch screen and supports 65,000 colors.
For such a small phone the display is fairly big, it is 240x320 pixels. The display is mostly meant to be used with the stylus; however you can still utilize hot keys for the programs you use the most.
The Wizard supports mp3 files using the built in Windows Media Player. It works seamlessly when listening to music. You can also play many other types of audio but .mp3 are the most practical. One of the good things about Windows Mobile phones is the countless applications. A must have program for Windows Mobile phones is a program called TCPMP formally known as Betaplayer. This is a free program that has many more capabilities than Windows Media Player. Some features include: watching Divx and other kinds of video, making play lists within the program etc. The Wizard's sound is superb quality, and has dual speakers on both sides of the phone.
Windows Mobile phones are great when it comes to entertainment. You can play real computer like games, listen to music, watch movies, surf the internet virtually anywhere. People might think it is unpractical to use a phone for these things, but it is more practical then having to carry a laptop, cell phone, PDA organizer and mp3 player!!
The HTC Wizard has both WAP and WIFI. The pocket Internet Explorer works amazing. When you have the keyboard out the screen is in landscape mode, which makes it a lot easier and more practical to view webpage's. Another good thing about the built in WIFI is that you can download software straight to the phone at fast rates. A must have program for this phone is Orb. Orb is a program that uses the internet to access the files on your home computer quickly and wirelessly. It is a free program, and you can use it to access photos, music, videos that are stored on your home PC. If you do not like the restrictions of pocket Internet Explorer, there are many other internet browsers as well. Opera is an excellent one, also Minimo made by Mozilla Firefox is also good, but I found that it is a bit too slow for me.
Another good thing about Windows Mobile phones are the push email capabilities that were just released. Microsoft's push email is a direct competitor to RIM's push email for BlackBerry. The biggest selling feature of RIM's BlackBerry is the excellent push email service, rather then it's looks or other features. Now that push email is on its way for all new devices, I think Microsoft will take over the BlackBerry market as well. The only downside to the Microsoft push email is that it is not completely ready for all devices, but you can upgrade you ROM for free when it is available.
The HTC Wizard has 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM storage. Also you can get up to 2GB of external memory via a mini SD card. A friendly tip for users to free up space: Go to Internet Explorer and click on menu then tools then options and finally memory. Click delete files and then click delete cookies and then click delete cache. There is also a way to keep these stored on a memory card but it is more complicated and involves registry tweaks. If you are an expert go to the following website* for more registry tweaks, my favorite is enabling the voice command feature using a Bluetooth headset.
The Wizard has both GPRS for WAP browsing and also has WIFI built in. In my opinion WIFI is much faster and better but you cannot use it everywhere like you can GPRS. There are pros and cons for both features. The pocket Internet Explorer works great and you can view web pages as if you were on your home computer. Also you can download other web browsers, some good ones are Minimo from Mozilla and another good one is Opera. The Wizard also has Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect a headset or sync with ActiceSync wirelessly. Although you cannot send files via Bluetooth, you can download an excellent file explorer called Resco Explorer to enable Bluetooth file transfer.
The Wizard design is very precise and includes a lot of features in a small package. The Wizard is also very high quality and is built to last. The display however is very sensitive like all touch screen phones but the case that is provided helps keep it safe. The phone is also very durable and can go through some serious falls. Although all phones are bound to fall, with this phone you have to be extra careful because of all the sensitive material inside.
One major downside to the design is the loose stylus. I have heard many people who have this problem with the Wizard. It is true, after a while the stylus becomes very loose and you might loose it. I did loose one of mine but good thing it comes with a spare. For most this is not a big deal because a replacement stylus is only a few bucks on the net, but for some it is very annoying!!
The Wizard is one of the most elegant Pocket PC's on the market right now. Now consumers can enjoy this phone for a lot cheaper than retail because T-Mobile has branded the Wizard under their own name. The T-Mobile MDA is currently less then $300 dollars with contract from T-mobile U.S.
The best thing about Windows Mobile phones is that the possibilities are endless. There are countless programs for everything you can imagine from business tools to games. The reason there are so many programs for these Pocket PC's is because making new applications is similar for both mobile and PC's, thus providing a large pool of potential developers. In conclusion, the HTC Wizard is a must have device because: