The VX6800

So, previously, I wrote about my new VX6800 phone mostly based on my experiences with Windows Mobile 6. That’s stuff that’s wrong or quirky or positive with my phone that Microsoft can take most of the credit for. But what about the phone itself?

Both this one and the Samsung don’t have enough RAM, which the 6900 fixes.

The phone keyboard is very nice. I like how its bigger than the Motorola Q. There’s no way I could think about getting the VX6900 (HTC Touch) because having a keyboard is just too handy.

It feels a little speedier and sleeker, either through better software or just a slightly faster CPU, than the Q. It still slows down on occasion, which I’ve heard is probably the fault of HTC (who really made the phone) for not bothering to get drivers together to take advantage of the video acceleration in the chipset.

The guy at the store said that the i760 was a better phone device and the VX6800 was a better data device. Since I’m an avowed data user, I opted for the VX6800, but the phone functionality is OK. I feel the biggest bug is not necessarily the audio quality but that the dialing buttons are a little too small for a full finger and thus require a fingernail.

It is fairly easy to put the VX6800 into a battery-sucking-mode. See, my specification for the battery life of a phone is fairly loose. I do not demand 6 weeks of standby time. I demand 1 day of reasonable usage, which probably includes a few phone calls, some twittering, some texting, some misc web surfing, etc. And at the end of this, it should still show a decent amount of battery, so that I may feel comfortable that if I needed to make a really important phone call or if my family or my best friend called that I’d not be worrying about getting them off the phone quickly. I found a few occasions where it ended the day at 20-30% battery power, which is totally uncool, but that seems to be related to really stressing out the web part of things or turning on wifi.

I had the phone reset itself to factory config and it looks like what you have installed changes the battery life.

The camera is 2 megapixels but no better than the 1.3 megapixel camera on my Q in terms of image quality. Also, there’s not any really useful set of EXIF information. I have a vague dream of a camera that includes just enough EXIF information (shutter speed, ISO, and aperture) that I could use it as an exposure meter.

The user interface for the camera tries very hard to be useful, but it deeply sucks. It uses the roller button to change modes, which is too easy to trigger when I hand the camera to somebody. It also is set up so that the user interface works best with the camera in landscape mode, but pictures are always stored in portrait mode. And it’s got tons of different modes, most of which are probably useless.

The other part that’s totally obnoxious is that it refuses to kill other applications. Built into Windows CE is some calls that will leave applications running but provide a way for you to kill other background applications to free up some memory when you need it. They even get a message to save their current state so they can resume themselves just as you had left them when you run the application again. It doesn’t work great, but HTC seems to have decided to not bother using this facility, so I have to manually kill other applications.

My wife has phone-envy. She sees what I can do with the VX6800 and wants to be able to do that herself, although she also has iPhone envy.