The HTC P3300 is one of the latest Pocket PC's and offers features like no other in its class. The P3300 has Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC with AKU 3. The phone has built in GPS, Wi-Fi, GPRS and EDGE. The best part about the phone is that it comes with TOMTOM navigation version 6 preinstalled. TOMTOM is known world wide for their GPS programs and it is nice to see that it comes preinstalled with the phone. A new exciting feature on the phone is the built in mouse. Like the Blackberry pearl, the P3300 has a little trackball but can also be used to control the onboard mouse. The HTC P3300 is also known as the HTC Artemis, O2 Orbit and MDA compact III. Although the phone offers an extensive list of features, how is it overall? Is the mouse really necessary? What's the GPS like? READ ON TO FIND OUT!!
The P3300 looks awesome plain and simple. The phone has a dark grey finish and chrome side panels. The microphone is located on the top and contains two LED lights. When the phone is charging or you have a missed call the light is orange and when the charge is complete is turns green.
The keypad layout on the phone is excellent. There are six keys in total, starting from the left is the green talk button and directly under it is the GPS navigation hot key. Then we have the left soft key and under that is the windows key which is the same as clicking the start button with your stylus. We then have the trackball and scroll wheel which will be discussed further a little later on. On the right side we have the right soft key and under it is the ok button to close programs. We then have the red end button and under that is the Internet explorer button. You can change the hardware buttons to your own preference by going into settings, personal tab then buttons. There are also buttons located on the sides of the phone. On the top right hand side is the power button which turns the backlight on/off or turns off the device if held. On the bottom right there is the camera button. When you hold the camera button the camera application is launched and once in the camera mode the same button takes pictures. On the left side of the phone is the voice dial button. You can also change this button to work with Microsoft Voice Command.
The stylus is located on the bottom right hand side of the phone and fits perfectly. HTC has done an excellent job in making the stylus secure. This was a big problem in past devices where the stylus gets very loose and eventually falls out.
The P3300 has all the basic features that Windows Mobile has to offer. You have basic calendar functions with appointments, calculator, PDF viewer, tasks and a lot more. The P3300 also comes complete with Microsoft Pocket Office which includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. With Word and Excel you can not only view documents but edit them too.
The P3300 has a lot of advanced features like a 2 mega-pixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, GPRS & EDGE, FM radio, Mouse and more.
The P3300 has built in GPS and comes with TOMTOM navigator 6 preinstalled. The GPS chipset is the new SiRFSTAR III which is currently one of the best chipsets on the market. Although the TOMTOM navigation comes preinstalled, it does not come with any maps. The phone offers you one free city download when you first turn on the software but I had no luck in finding the city I was looking for. The maps of Canada and USA cost 80 Euro which is around 100 dollars US. You will also need a big memory card because the maps alone are nearly 1 GB in size. After purchasing the maps, the preinstalled software works like a charm. You can select various voices, Point of interests, addresses and what ever else you expect from a GPS device. The back of the P3300 has a rubber cover that says ?GPS? on it. If you lift the rubber you can insert a GPS antenna. I don't see the point in the GPS antenna because I never had a problem catching a signal in the car. The phone also comes with a small application called QuickGPS. This program uses your data connection to find your position faster. You can also download through Active Sync when connected to the computer. Without this application GPS sometimes takes a while in finding your exact location.
The camera is 2.0 mega-pixels and is located on the back of the phone. It is too bad that there is no flash, maybe because it would ruin the looks of the phone? In the camera options you can select which type of picture you want to take. You can select sport for fast moving pictures and you can also select features like exposure compensation, white balance and self timer. The camera interface has been completely redesigned and offers more options but overall cannot compete with Sony Ericsson and Nokia camera phones.
The P3300 comes preinstalled with a FM radio program. The radio can only work with the headphones plugged in because they are used as an antenna. Once the antenna is plugged in you can also listen aloud with the speaker. The program has a nice layout and you can set up presets for all your favorite radio stations. The trackball is used for changing radio stations and the scroll ring is used for volume control. Sometimes you cannot get all the radio stations and sometimes there is a lot of static. Overall the radio works well but in my opinion Sony Ericsson phones have better Radio capabilities. Another downside is that you can only listen to FM and not AM radio.
The P3300 is the first phone/PDA to have a built in mouse. The mouse resembles the trackball on older computers and works the same way. The trackball is similar to the one in the Blackberry Pearl but has more functionality. When the trackball is in use it glows blue. Around the trackball there is a scroll ring which turns both clockwise and counterclockwise. The functionality is similar to a trackwheel found on other devices. When the mouse mode is off, you can better control the device. When you scroll up or down with the scroll ring you can press down on the trackball to select. When the mouse is on you would have to select it with the mouse pointer. Overall I love the idea of a mouse on a PDA and it works better than I thought. In future devices I would like to see the scroll ring have more functionality. In the future if the scroll ring was a button too it would function a lot better because you could select with the ring and still have the mouse mode on.
There are a couple of software applications that are a must on the P3300. Microsoft Voice Command is one of the most important programs on Pocket PC's in my opinion because at times it gets hard to dial numbers without a keypad. Voice Command works great when you want to dial contacts or numbers and the best part is that you do not need to pre-record anything. Voice command version 1.5 does not work with the P3300 and you will need to upgrade to the new version 1.6. Another excellent program for the P3300 is SPB Pocket Plus. With this program you can have a home screen plug-in with all your programs, system information, and battery life. The phone only lets you rotate the display left, you cannot rotate the display right. Pocket Plus gives you the option to do so and in my opinion web browsing is a lot better when you have the mouse and scroll on the left and hold the stylus with your right. SPB Pocket Plus also closes your programs instead of minimizing them which is key feature that Windows mobile is currently missing. Another key program is the SPB full screen keyboard. With this program you can have an on screen keyboard and use either your fingers or stylus to type with. This is a must have program since the P3300 does not have a built in keyboard and the Windows keyboard is a bit too small.
The display on the P3300 is outstanding. The display goes very bright and has an excellent resolution. Even on the lowest brightness the screen seems too bright. The resolution of the display is 240 x 320 pixels. The screen displays 65,536 colors and is touch screen. It is always a good idea to get a good screen protector for touch screen phones because they tend to get scratched when using the stylus.
All the new HTC devices have excellent speakers which is a necessity for music lovers. The sound goes very high in volume and at the same time does not get distorted. The phone comes with Windows Media Player and works great for listening to music. If you want to watch movies or videos and do not want to be limited to file types, I suggest getting a program called TCPMP. The P3300 has stereo over Bluetooth built in and works seamlessly with Windows Media Player. You can also use TCPMP for stereo over Bluetooth but cannot change tracks with your headset (if your headset supports it). Since the Bluetooth is version 2.0, the sound quality is excellent and the range has also improved. You can get a 2GB micro SD card for expandable memory so you can store more then enough music. The phone also comes with stereo headphones which are excellent quality. The headphones have a built in microphone and a button to make/receive calls.
If GPS, Wi-Fi and FM radio doesn't keep you entertained then you may want to download some games and applications. The best thing about Windows Mobile is that you can have all sorts of games and software for free. There are so many freeware and shareware games available that you will not have time to try them all. A good website is http://www.freewareppc.com/ where all program are free. There are also a lot of Video Game Console Emulators available on the internet in which you can play Nintendo games and many more.
The P3300 has built in Wi-Fi, GPRS and EDGE. Wi-Fi is great for when you have a wireless signal and runs very smooth. Although Wi-Fi does drain a lot of battery, you can go into Wi-Fi settings and adjust the Wi-Fi to best battery or best performance or in between. Wi-Fi works best when it's in best performance and is not only faster but has better wireless signal too. The phone has internet explorer which works great and you can also download other web browsers if you like. The P3300 does not have 3G or HSDPA built in.
The P3300 has 64MB RAM and 128 MB ROM. The phone has expandable memory too in the form of Micro SD which is also known as Trans Flash. Currently there is 2GB micro SD available on the market and retail for around 100 dollars. One aspect of the phone I did not like was the memory card's location. The memory card is located not only underneath the battery but underneath the SIM card. This means that there is no hot swap capability. For those who pull out there memory card a lot to use with a card reader will not like the idea of where the memory card is located but I have a solution. There is a free program available on the internet called ?WM5torage? and basically it turns your phone into a card reader!! When you turn on this application and plug into USB, your memory card turns into a mass storage drive.
The P3300 has built in GPS, Wi-Fi, EDGE, GPRS, Bluetooth and a mini-USB port. The mini-USB port is used for the headphones and AC power charger. The Bluetooth is version 2.0 and there is a built in program called Bluetooth explorer. It is basically a file manager over Bluetooth. Once connected to a Bluetooth device, you can select which files you want. I like the idea of the program but it does have a lot of bugs. Sometimes the program freezes and sometimes it just does not turn on. I love the idea but in future I hope the bugs are fixed.
The P3300 is built very solid and is very high quality. The phone is prone to scratches with its color and chrome side panels, so it is a good idea to always have it the carrying case that is provided. The display is the most fragile part of the phone and you need to be very careful. Make sure you buy a screen protector to prevent scratches. Overall the phone seems very durable.
A downside for many is the fact that the phone does not have a built in keyboard. I would tell people to try the SPB on screen keyboard before complaining. I agree it is not as good as a built in keyboard but it does do the job. Another downside to the P3300 is the processor that HTC has incorporated in the phone. The phone only has a 200 MHz OMAP processor. It would have been much better if the processor was a 400 MHz or at least a Samsung or Intel 200 MHz, but then again the price may have been higher too. Although the phone only has a 200 MHz processor the GPS and Wi-Fi work fine and only big ?Power Users? will find it slow when running a lot of programs simultaneously.
The overall battery life is very good but it's hard to compare. The battery life solely depends on what you are doing on the device. Wi-Fi and GPS drain a lot of battery but if you?re having problems with battery life here are a couple of suggestions. If your using GPS always have a car charger plugged in. If you?re using Wi-Fi always leave it on best battery in the Wi-Fi settings. Keep the phone's backlight on the lowest option, even though it is still very bright it does save battery life. The battery is a Lithium Ion 1200 mAh. Standby the battery lasts up to 200 hours and talk time is around 4 hours.
What's in the box? The phone comes with leather carrying case which says HTC on it along with their logo. The phone also comes with the standard software CD with Active Sync and Microsoft outlook and data cable. You also get a TOMTOM CD which comes with TOMTOM software and SPB GPRS monitor. Stereo headphones are also included and have a built in microphone and a button for making and receiving calls. The phone also comes with a stylus and an extra in case you loose the original.
Overall the P3300 is one of the best GPS enabled Pocket PC's currently available on the market. The fact that the P3300 has GPS and Wi-Fi built in and is still so small in size is remarkable. The mouse feature is also great and fun to play with. The mouse is very useful because you don't have to keep pulling out the stylus. If you?re planning on buying a new phone and need features like GPS and Wi-Fi, look no further. The average price is 700 dollars but will drop very soon. This is cheap considering a good GPS device alone cost 500. There are currently 2 different packages of the P3300 being sold. One comes with the maps preinstalled, car cradle and an external GPS antenna. The price of this package is more but if you?re going to buy the extras anyways then it is a good investment.