HTC P3600i

Decent performance, GPS and good connectivity are a plus for a handset with yesterday's heavy-set PDA aesthetics.


7.1
CNET Rating
5.7
User Rating

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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Design
2007 ushered in the inevitable shrinking of smartphone design. PDA-sized handsets have been shunted aside, with BlackBerry's Pearl and HTC's Touch Cruise leading the way with slim, chic profiles. The P3600i is a bit like a dinosaur in this respect, a throwback to yesteryear. Its thick PDA shape and smooth curves seem rubenesque compared to the wafer-thin designs we see more readily these days.

When we took the P3600i out of the box we thought, for its size, it must be a slider phone with a hidden keypad, like HTC's TynTN II. It's not a slider however, it's just a hefty little number. This isn't suggesting the P3600i is uncomfortable to hold and use, on the contrary, the handset isn't heavy and it fits in the hand well, but it's not a phone you want to slip in your skinny black jeans before a night out.

The body of the phone is covered in piano-black plastic which soon becomes finger-smeared grey. The P3600i is primarily a touchscreen device, but has a five-way nav button and side-mounted jogwheel to offer alternatives for selection and input. Its 2.8-inch display offers ample screen real estate for using the touchscreen, but didn't seem as bright and vibrant as the newer HTC handsets we've reviewed.

Features
Windows Mobile phones -- if you've seen one, you've seen them all. The P3600 is no exception to this rule, being part of the generation of HTC phones before those which incorporate the "spinning-cube" TouchFlo interface shell. Without the shell, the interface is dull to look at, but practical, giving quick access to messaging and the standard range of WM applications, like Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office document readers.

Like the TyTN II, the P3600i has built-in GPS and comes bundled with CoPilot 7 mapping software. We took the handset out for a test drive and were happy with the results. On average we had a solid GPS signal in about five minutes from start-up and the CoPilot 7 interface is easy to read and navigate with a clear, simple interface and large onscreen buttons. This version of the mapping software also includes turn-by-turn voice guidance.

The P3600i is HSDPA compatible (3.6Mbps) and as such Web browsing and instant messaging is a painless experience. There's also Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) support, Bluetooth and USB for charging and connecting to ActiveSync on your Windows PC.

Performance
We've seen a range of Windows Mobile PDA phones recently and have seen differences in performance ranging from the blisteringly fast i-mate Ultimate series, to the sluggish, but usable, ASUS M530w. Running on a Samsung 500MHz processor the P3600i falls on the better side of halfway along this same scale.

We did experience some minor lag when applications load, and decreased performance when multi-tasking, probably due to the 64MB of RAM as opposed to the 128MB we have been seeing in the competition.

Using the touchscreen to access the various menu items is smooth and very responsive, however, full touchscreen input is not for everybody, particularly when you need to type a great deal. Punching out long e-mails or using instant messaging is much slower without a keypad, and selecting long strings of characters using the onscreen keyboard and stylus will seriously test your hand-eye coordination. We also found the handset heats up to nearly being uncomfortable to hold, another reason to keep your messages short.

Call quality is good, we didn't notice much in the way of distortion or interference, although we would have liked the internal speaker to be louder as some of our conversations outdoors on busy city streets were difficult to hear.

We found the 2-megapixel camera on the back of the handset produced surprisingly good photos for a PDA-phone. We're not talking 5-megapixel camera-phone quality, and the lack of flash definitely limits its usability, but for pics on a bright, sunny day we saw good colour and sharp focus. This would be perfect for a salesperson to snap off a few quick photos of a property or a used car to MMS to a prospective buyer.

HTC estimate four hours of talk time using 3G services, and 180 hours of standby time. During our tests that included calls, messaging and Web use we enjoyed two days between charges.

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willba95 posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:Good WIFI and media player

The Bad:Touch keyboard is not that good

I got the phone last week really like it easy to use and good wifi. 8 out of 10

uanmi
10
Rating
 

uanmi posted a review   

The Good:none

The Bad:Terrible performance, hangs all the time, mp3 bounce and failure

Bad performance, hangs, does not play mp3 well

Gordon Land
2
Rating
 

Gordon Land posted a review   

The Good:not many....

The Bad:Heavy, underpowered, MP3 does not work correctly, all over performance is just too bad. Service of HTC is at minimum 6 weeks for a basic guaranty repair. Shiny surface is full of fingers.

Chocking bad in performance. MP3 - Media Player stutters on and off. Just not up to standard. Slow in performance and underpowered. Battery charge is not sufficient. I had two of the items and none of them lasted longer than 3 months before a repair was needed. Just stay away from this PDA.

mpkrishna
3
Rating
 

mpkrishna posted a review   

The Good:becuase i bought it, LOL.

The Bad:Poor performance, frequently hanging of the OS, very poor performance in regards to MP3 playback and Bluetooth, very poorly designed earphones, the left cable is far too short, the microphone - remote part is upside down mounted and totally wrongly designed. & my battery dies in < 2 days.

100% agree with "gordonland"

gordonland
2
Rating
 

gordonland posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Handy and light, good touch screen, GPS works fine and is reliable.

The Bad:Poor performance, frequently hanging of the OS, very poor performance in regards to MP3 playback and Bluetooth, Finger Magnet housing that drives you mad, very poorly designed earphones, the left cable is far too short, the microphone - remote part is upside down mounted and totally wrongly designed.

I had two of the HTC 3600i. Both of them have been an total failure in regards to MP3 performance and over all performance. The MP3 payer skipped all the time and often did not work at all. This may be the poor performance of Mobile Windows 6. Previous Mobile Windows 2003 was much better on my HP Jordana. But this is typical for Microsoft each time some new OS is coming out problems are present and furthermore it is mostly not as good as the version before with the exception of make up (Just see XP and Vista. Most computer manufacturers are giving free XP Professional to their Windows Vista users.) However the first HTC 3600i was overheating dangerously and was exchanged after one weeks usage. The second HTC 3600i had the stutters if it was used for MP3 playback. It had to be frequently rebooted as it hung. No, I am off this model and I gave it back for a well deserved credit. Maybe HTC should try Sybian instead of Windows, this could be the clue against all the evils. HTC being a batch manufacturer should have had plenty of experience with PDAs, however both of the two I tested were rather sour lemons. Thumbs down.

toms
7
Rating
 

toms posted a review   
Australia

The Good:price

The Bad:buil quality,bulky.no keyboard considering the size,low quality sound

A low price PDA with decent performance. feature packed

Jas
10
Rating
 

Jas posted a review   

The Good:GPS

The Bad:Nothing

Best Phone i've had




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User Reviews / Comments  HTC P3600i

  • willba95

    willba95

    "I got the phone last week really like it easy to use and good wifi. 8 out of 10"

  • uanmi

    uanmi

    Rating10

    "Bad performance, hangs, does not play mp3 well"

  • Gordon Land

    Gordon Land

    Rating2

    "Chocking bad in performance. MP3 - Media Player stutters on and off. Just not up to standard. Slow in performance and underpowered. Battery charge is not sufficient. I had two of the items and none..."

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