AT&T HTC Pure

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INTRODUCTION

    The AT&T HTC Pure was one of
the first phones to be released with the new Windows
Mobile 6.5 Professional operating system. The device
was designed by HTC and is basically the same as their
Diamond2, just with a different body style. It's
another "slab" full touch-screen device with minimal
hardware buttons and all touch input. Since AT&T never
carried the original HTC Touch Diamond, the Diamond2
is a welcome addition to the AT&T line up. Read on to see whether you should choose the Pure as your next smartphone!

WHAT’S HOT

    The HTC Pure has a Qualcomm MSM7201A processor running at 528MHz. It has 512MB ROM, 288MB RAM, and has a microSD/HC expansion slot for added memory. The resistive touchscreen is 3.2" and is WVGA 480×800 resolution. It’s a quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900) phone with dualband UMTS (850/1900) with HSDPA and HSUPA. It also has assisted GPS, WiFi b & g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, USB 2.0, and an accelerometer for screen rotations in Opera Mobile and while viewing the photo gallery. The rear camera is
5MP with auto focus and no flash. Powering all of this is
the same 1500mAh battery found in all HTC devices
released this year.

Device
Size (inches)
Weight (grams | ounces)
4.44" x 2.47" x 0.52"

132 | 4.65
4.44" x 2.27" x 0.63"

156 | 5.61
4.74" x 2.63" x 0.43"

157 | 5.53
4.33" x 2.09" x 0.59"

117 | 4.12
4.66" x 2.48" x 0.47"

130 | 4.58
4.56" x 2.33" x 0.67"

188 | 6.63
4.64" x 2.36" x 0.48"

129 | 4.55
3.96" x 2.34" x 0.67"

133 | 4.76
4.68" x 2.44" x 0.67"

188 | 6.63
4.58" x 2.42" x 0.47"

120 | 4.20
4.56" x 2.33" x 0.65"

178 | 6.28
3.92" x 2.41" x 0.60"

137 | 4.83
4.24" x 2.09" x 0.53"

117 | 4.12
4.17" x 2.00" x 0.85"

151 | 5.34
4.41" x 2.24" x 0.49"

122 | 4.30
4.57" x 1.70" x 0.64"

140 | 4.94
4.88" x 2.44" x 0.53"

130 | 4.56
4.21" x 2.20" x 0.55"

120 | 4.20
4.53" x 2.47" x 0.47"

146 | 5.15
4.63" x 2.19" x 0.67"

158 | 5.57
4.35" x 2.07" x 0.67"

158 | 5.57
4.56" x 2.41" x 0.51"

125 | 4.41
4.44" x 2.36" x 0.55"

133 | 4.69
4.01" x 1.98" x 0.55"

124 | 4.37
8.28" x 4.67" x 1.08"

640 | 22.5
4.48" x 2.52" x 0.59"

154 | 5.43
4.17" x 2.38" x 0.68"

147 | 5.18
4.01" x 2.00" x 0.71"

165 | 5.82
4.41" x 2.24" x 0.49"

122 | 4.30
4.41" x 2.28" x 0.73"

140 | 4.94
4.01" x 2.00" x 0.45"

110 | 3.88
4.56" x 2.36" x 0.70"
200 | 7.05
4.30" x 2.40" x 0.60"
120 | 4.23
4.20" x 2.30" x 0.60"
136 | 4.79
3.70" x 2.30" x 0.60"
126 | 4.44
4.48" x 2.39" x 0.51"
116 | 4.09
4.60" x 2.60" x 0.50"

134 | 4.70

4.10" x 2.10" x 0.60"
150 | 5.30
4.40" x 2.32" x 0.75"
190 | 6.70

WHAT’S IN
THE BOX



    The Pure comes with a USB sync cable, AC
adapter, screen protector, software CD including ActiveSync
and a trial version of Microsoft Outlook 2007, extensive full color
manual, Getting Started guide, plus an audio adapter
for 3.5mm, 2.5mm headsets, and two ExtUSB ports. In case you missed it, check out the unboxing video above.

THE DEVICE

 

 

The Pure's looks like your
average black slab touch screen phone.

 

There are only four hardware
buttons on the front of the device: call send, Start
menu,
back, and call end. I wish there was a D-pad, some soft-key hardware buttons,
and maybe a few customizable application hardware
buttons. You've also got a zoom slider area. Slide
your finger from left to right to zoom in using
Opera, Photo Album, or Google Maps. 

 

On the top is the light sensor,
speaker grill, and LED light
indicator along with the HTC and AT&T branding.

 

 On the left side, there are
volume up/down buttons.

 

At the bottom, you'll see the ExtUSB
connector, a microphone hole, lanyard hole,
and stylus silo. The ExtUSB
connector is used for everything including Audio,
Charging, and Syncing. This comes in handy when
connecting to your car stereo since you only have to
connect one adapter for audio and charging. The
plastic flap covering the port can be annoying
though

 

The right side includes a
speaker grill.

 

The top end has the power
button.

On the back is the 5MP camera (no
flash) and battery cover.

Here's a closer view of the back
battery cover. In the light, you can see a nice
sparkly blue paint job.

 

Here you can see the MicroSD card
slot under the battery cover near the stylus silo. The SIM
card slot is under the battery.

  

From top to bottom: HTC Touch
Diamond, AT&T Pure, HTC Touch Diamond2, HTC Sprint
Hero. The original Touch Diamond remains the
smallest.



Here’s a tour of the hardware.

Click onto the next page where we’ll cover the software on the Pure.

SOFTWARE

The new lock screen on Windows Mobile 6.5 looks
great with AT&T's blue background image.

The Pure uses a four column layout of program icons in
the Start menu as opposed to the three column layout
seen in some devices.

By default the Pure uses HTC's Touch FLO 3D home
screen interface, but you can enable the Windows
Mobile 6.5 default Today Screen above in the options if
you want.

TOUCHFLO 3D

 

The Pure's Touch
FLO 3D interface theme looks great in blue even with
the AT&T logo in the background. 

 

The background image in ATT's TouchFLO 3D design is
propagated throughout all tabs. Very nice touch.

There's a custom
AT&T brand tab that gives you access to AT&T's
bundled programs and services. This is similar to
the Programs tab, except it is not user
customizable.

 

The calendar tab offers a month and
day view. The day view shows your appointments in an
agenda-style list.

 

The Internet tab on TouchFLO 3D does offer the
Push Internet features found on the unlocked
European version of the Touch Diamond2. This
area uses Opera Mobile as the default web browser,
but the new Internet Explorer is also included.

Unlike the
European version of the Touch Diamond 2, the AT&T
Pure still has a Programs tab in the TouchFLO 3D
interface. You can add/remove your favorite
programs in this list and flick scroll through them. 

BUNDLED
SOFTWARE

Since the Pure is from AT&T, you're going to get the
usual AT&T bundled programs. Here's a look at what
you get.

The "App Center" brings you to the online AT&T
"Media Mall"

The AT&T Music folder gives you access to some
interesting programs.

mSpot Music Sync lets you access your home PC's
music collection and download songs on the fly.

MobiVJ is a trial program that lets you watch
streaming music videos over the internet.

The Pure also comes with a nice Music ID program
from Shazam. This software will listen to music
playing via the phone's microphone and try to name
the title of the song and artist.

The XM Radio software is another trial program that
costs an additional monthly fee to use, but if you
do subscribe, you can stream XM radio stations to
your phone.

AT&T Navigator is included if your subscribe to it.
Launching the program for the first time requires
that you enter a PIN number.

The AT&T WiFi link should let you download a program
that will allow you to access AT&T WiFi on the Pure.
Instead, it just goes to the above web page even if
you are connected to AT&T's 3G and not a WiFi
network.

The Apps folder includes a number of useful little
programs and widgets.

The version of NewsBreak included has not been
altered for finger-friendly usage, but it's still a
nice RSS reader.

MobiTV is included, and yes you have to pay extra to
use it for more than the trial period.

WikiMobile is a Java based Wikipedia application.
Again, this is a 1 day trial.

Even the Weather Channel widget is a trial that you
have to purchase in order to use.

In the "Tools" folder we have some normal Windows
Mobile and HTC added programs. It's nice to see
Remote Desktop there as well as the FM Radio
software.

In the Games folder, you've got some extra games
besides the normal Bubble Breaker, Solitaire, and
Teeter that usually come with HTC devices. Ms.
Packman, Diner Dash 2, Collapse Chaos, Monopoly, and
Ferrari GT Evolution are just demos.

If you turn on the accelerometer support in the
Ferrari GT Evolution game, you can steer the car by
tilting the phone.

Of course, the Windows Mobile Marketplace is
included so you can download more programs very
easily.

An interesting find in the All Programs menu is the
"Disable Proxy" option. If you have problems
accessing certain sites or network services, this
command might help.  A "Restore Proxy" command
is also in this list.

The Pure supports the same Facebook integration as
the other HTC Touch FLO 3D 2.1 devices.

The Pure uses special finger-friendly menus created
by HTC. These can be disabled by disabling Touch FLO
3D in the Today screen options.

 

Luckily, the Pure uses Microsoft's standard
Bluetooth software, so you can expect all of your
bluetooth programs and peripherals to work.

Microsoft Voice Command 1.6 is included for premium
control over your device using voice recognition
with text-to-speech interaction.

There's an AT&T Software Updates control panel in
the System Settings area.  This will
theoretically allow AT&T to update the device's
firmware over the air just like Windows Update.

It's also nice to see a control panel that allows
you to change the Text messaging layout between
threaded or classic listing layouts.



Here’s a look at some of the software on the Pure.

CAMERA

 

The AT&T Pure's camera software is unchanged from
other HTC devices, but it includes a 5MP camera.  Click the above image for a full
resolution sample.

BUGS AND
WISHES

    The Pure is very stable
and finger-friendly since it has Windows Mobile 6.5.
However, that also means you have all of the new
disadvantages of Windows Mobile 6.5. For example,
multi-tasking has become much more difficult since there
is no easy-to-use Recent Programs listing in the Start
menu anymore. It's just a big offset grid of icons now.
Modeling the Start menu after the Windows Seven/Vista
Start menu would have been much smarter.

     Like all Windows
Mobile Professional devices, you get a number of
different on-screen input methods and keyboards.
HTC's XT9 predictive QWERTY and T9 Phone keyboard
work well, and are exactly the same as their Android
versions, but I miss the "Compact QWERTY" that HTC
used to include on other devices like the Touch
Diamond. I'm not sure why it was removed from the
Pure, but it is missed. For real text input without
having to concentrate so much, I go for the Letter
Recognizer which is great for no-looking
handwriting input. Or for faster typing, I had to
install FITALY.

BATTERY LIFE
     The battery life on the Pure was quite good. With moderate usage, I got through a full two days without a charge, which is above average for a smartphone of this type.

PURCHASING

    The Pure is now
available on AT&T for about $149 when
you sign up for a 2 year contract or $349 without a
contract.

PROS

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 included
  • Browser supports Flash
  • Cool sparkle blue paint job
  • High resolution display
  • 5MP camera
  • Solid call quality
  • Some nice bundled apps from AT&T
  • Includes Microsoft Voice Command

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 included
  • Browser supports Flash
  • Cool sparkle blue paint job
  • High resolution display
  • 5MP camera
  • Solid call quality
  • Some nice bundled apps from AT&T
  • Includes Microsoft Voice Command
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 included
  • Browser supports Flash
  • Cool sparkle blue paint job
  • High resolution display
  • 5MP camera
  • Solid call quality
  • Some nice bundled apps from AT&T
  • Includes Microsoft Voice Command

CONS

  • Bigger
    than its Touch Diamond predecessor
  • No headphones included
  • Lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Weak speakerphone
  • Very few
    hardware navigation buttons
Value
Ease of Use
Features

Overall

What do these ratings mean?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

    The Pure is a great device for a number of
reasons, but doesn't really offer anything
outstandingly new… other than Windows Mobile 6.5. 
It's not smaller or thinner than the original Touch
Diamond. It doesn't bring anything innovative like the
Verizon Imagio's FLO TV network. It doesn't have a
fantastic keyboard or cool speakerphone/conference
calling features like the Touch Pro2.  The
camera is a higher resolution 5MP, but the
sensor is small and grainy with low image quality just
like on all other cell phone cameras.

   
Overall, I'm not terribly impressed with the Pure. 
However, for $150, it is a pretty good price for a
solid Windows Phone on AT&T.

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!