The HTC Hermes (AT&T 8525): The Perfect Mobile Phone for Businessmen on the Go ~ GAMES AND GADGETS

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

The HTC Hermes (AT&T 8525): The Perfect Mobile Phone for Businessmen on the Go

By: Philip Silva

The HTC Hermes also known here as AT&T 8525 is my trusty Pocket PC phone that I got while traveling abroad and thus, thankfully, unlocked. I fell in love with the AT&T 8525 not because of its looks coz let's face it, when compared to the iPhone, the 8525 is like Ugly Betty that had one too many Big Macs, but rather I fell in love with the features. The AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) is UMTS / HSDPA compatible which is beyond 3G and I would delve into that topic much more later. The AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes)is also Wi-Fi compatible, has micro SD expansion slot, 400 MHz processor, 128 MB of ROM with 64MB of RAM, Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC Edition, has Bluetooth 2.0 and a 2 megapixel camera which unlike the iPhone, can actually record videos. Most of all the AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes)has a Pocket Office Suite included that lets me edit Word and Excel files and view PowerPoint Presentations. You can also add other third party applications that would further juice this baby up.

Form Factor

Like I said, the AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) cannot hold a candle to the iPhone when it comes to looks. It's a lot more bulky and heavier, weighing in at 6.2 ounces. But it has a nice polished look to it and has a 2.8 inch screen that has a standard 320 x 240 resolution. Although the screen is standard to any pocket pc, it does deliver bright and sharp images. Oh, I forgot to mention that the AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) has a touch screen although I don't recommended doing any finger swiping on the phone since that's what the stylus is for. However, you don't have to always take out the stylus since the phone has a handy scroll wheel like that of the Blackberry that allows you to scroll through menus and press it to select items. At the bottom of the AT&T 8525's screen are two soft keys, the call and end button and the start button that lets you easily access the start menu as well as the ok button to easily close a window. In the middle of these buttons is a five-way toggle button.

What's very cool about the AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) is that when you slide the screen, you will see a full QWERTY keyboard, perfect for typing emails or editing documents on the go. The QWERTY keyboard is okay since it has large, tactile buttons which is very easy to use.

What I like

For me, I think the best thing about the HTC Hermes is that this is a UMTS / HSDPA phone. HSDPA is a 3.5G technology, the successor of 3G. Although that feature is pretty much rendered useless because carriers here in the US is still not delving into the 3G technology, I was able to make full use of these features when I traveled to Asia which surprisingly, has much more advanced 3G technology than in the US. HSDPA brings high speed internet access to your phone that is perfect for video streaming, video calling or accessing the internet through the phone. Although some might say why the need for HSDPA when you have WiFi, it's still nice to know that you can always be connected even if you're nowhere near a hotspot.

The Microsoft Office Mobile Suit is very useful specially for editing Word and Excel documents. I don't like lugging a laptop with me when traveling so the HTC Hermes is perfect for me as it allows me to easily make articles for Associated Content when inspiration strikes. The HTC Hermes also has the Mobile Outlook which is very useful for businessmen who wants to check their corporate emails. The HTC Hermes supports A2DP Bluetooth profile that allows me to use stereo headsets.

The 2 megapixel camera can capture clear and crisp images which was kind of a surprise as camera quality from HTC phones usually sucks. It has a self-portrait mirror and, a flash as well as a switch near the camera lens to change from macro to portrait mode.

I was able to download several useful applications for the HTC Hermes that lets me use the phone's full capabilities. Video playback on the Hermes is superb as I was able to download a useful app that lets me watch Divx and Xvid movies.

What I hate

I guess what I really hate about the AT&T 8525 (HTC Hermes) is its operating system. I sort of have a love-hate relationship with Windows Mobile. I love how there are so many third party applications out there for the Windows Mobile and that, given an intelligent programmer, virtually any PC application can be ported to the Windows Mobile operating system. But I hate the fact that from PC to Mobile, Windows will always have an unstable operating system. Rest assured that you will find yourself resetting the phone because it hangs on you, much like an ordinary Windows PC.

The Built-in WiFi connectivity also takes a long time to get a WiFi signal, plus I'm a really heavy user of the phone and I always find myself recharging every night. However, when I don't use the phone at all, the battery usually last up to 3 days. What I really don't get about this phone is its use of a mini USB headphone. There's only one USB connector so I can't really charge and put on the headphones at the same time, I think that's one of the real downside of this PDA. Another downside is the memory. Like I said, I'm really a big user of third party applications and sometimes I have a lot of open applications in the background and as memory is only 64MB, the HTC Hermes' performance is usually affected.

Bottom Line

The HTC Hermes is a featured pack PDA phone. If don't mind lugging a bulkier phone than the iPhone and you're a businessman on the go, the HTC Hermes (AT&T 8525) is the best phone to meet your needs.

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