By Brandon Miniman | October 19, 2009 2:27 AM
The AT&T Tilt 2 comes with just basic accessories: a wall charger and USB plug, a converter plug to use your own headphones, an extra stylus, screen protector and some software. Not included is a case, which is a shame considering that the Tilt 2 is a high end device and deserves some protection.
The tilting screen of the Tilt 2 is fantastic. It makes it easy to watch movies, to navigate in the car with GPS, or to get a correct viewing angle while typing an email or SMS. The screen tilts about 40 degrees, which is a bit less than the original Tilt.
Those of you upgrading from the Fuze or Tilt can rest assured that the upgrade is significant. The screen is larger and higher resolution (plus it has a higher level of sensitivity), the keyboard is far improved, and it brings a professional-grade speakerphone that features two speakers and two microphones.
To enable the spearkphone, you place the phone on its face while you’re in a call. The button in the center will turn green to indicate that the speakerphone is on. Tapping the button will mute the call, and to indicate this, the button will turn red. The quality of the speakerphone is better than any phone we’ve tested. The device uses dual microphones for noise cancellation.
The device exhibits terrific build quality and makes use of metallic paint and brushed metal pieces. The camera on the rear is 3.2MP with autofocus but no flash. The Tilt 2 is running with a 528MHz Qualcomm CPU, the same that is used for all current generation HTC devices. The screen is a large 3.6″ and has 800×480 resolution, the highest that Windows Mobile can support. It has 288MB of RAM, 512MB of ROM, WiFi, aGPS, Bluetooth, and FM Radio.
The screen is completely flush and uses resistive touchscreen technology. While it’s not as sensitive as you’ll find on an iPhone, it’s sensitive enough to where you don’t need to use the stylus. Compared to the Fuze and Tilt, the screen on the Tilt 2 is probably 50% more sensitive.
The keyboard layout is in an offset pattern, unlike the Fuze and Tilt which used a grid layout. This allows for more comfortable typing, similar to what you would find on a standard keyboard.
The keys on the keyboard have enough “give” to let you know that you’ve hit a key, but they’re firm enough so that they don’t feel mushy. The top row is dedicated for symbols, unlike other versions of this device that have a number row at the top.
In terms of software, the Tilt 2 doesn’t have the most recent version of TouchFLO 3D with the weather clock. That said, the version included is well optimized for the widescreen resolution of the Tilt 2. There’s an extra tab for AT&T promotional stuff, which can be disabled.
Beyond that, you get the usual Windows Mobile software on the device, plus the new stuff that comes with version 6.5 of the operating system like Marketplace and widget support. You also get an updated version of Internet Explorer mobile which has flash support, though we still recommend using a browser like Skyfire if you want faster page loads.
Performance on the Tilt 2 is much improved over the Fuze and certainly the original Tilt, but compared to the European Touch Pro2, the Tilt 2 has less program memory. This may be attributed to added AT&T software that uses background processes.
The Tilt 2 is an incredibly unique smartphone. The combination of the large, tilting screen with solid performance, excellent build quality, and a robust feature set makes the device a true winner, and a fantastic upgrade from the Fuze or Tilt. For those also considering the iPhone, you’ll enjoy the supreme usability of the slide-out keyboard on the Tilt 2 which makes messaging super easy.
The battery life is fantastic for a smartphone of this caliber. With moderate usage, you’ll get through two full days without a charge. With heavy usage, expect one day. And with light usage, you may not need to charge the Tilt 2 until 3-4 days pass.
Currently the device is being sold for $299 with a new two year contract on AT&T’s website.