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back to article O2 XDA Orbit 2 smartphone

What we have here is basically a traditional Windows Mobile smartphone loaded to the gunwales with Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3.6Mb/s HSDPA, quad-band GSM/GPRS/Edge, three-megapixel camera, FM radio, 8GB-capable MicroSD slot and a touchscreen. Under the hood the Orbit is driven by the same 400MHz chip as the Touch Dual, and comes …

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Yee gods...

Flat battery in just over 2 hours... I remember the roasting the N95 got when it first came out, I even had my carrier trying to talk me out of it as an upgrade option because the battery life was supposedly so poor, but not even on the early firmware which was a bit juice hungry, could you murder it that fast!

Guess that's the joy of windows... So can Windows Mobile join botnets?

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Anonymous Coward

yeah, but what about Bluetooth

My two XDAs were completely useless with Bluetooth, and required specific and different versions of Active Sync, is this one any better, can it use any bluetooth devices other than a hands free unit.

I have to swap mine for by trusty Sony Ericsson T630 when I want to use the traffic and mobile feature in my car.

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Stop

Why bother - just be patient a month or so and get the HTC Diamond

The HTC Diamond wins hands down against the Touch Cruise/Orbit 2.

to name a few:

smaller dimensions - just 11mm thick

640x480 VGA screen

faster processor

new generation TouchFlo

4GB of built in memory

infact, AFAIK there is only one point to the Orbit 2 over the forthcoming HTC Diamond - the Orbit 2 has a memory card slot.

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Linux

XDA Orbit

I currnetly have the XDA Orbit and when I went to the O2 shop to check out the XDA Orbit 2 it had a slide out keyboard. Also you can get a better deal at Orange for the HTC TYTN 2 than at O2, and at least they don't talk down to or about geeks, the way O2 has.

How short your memory is Reg to allow this bit of fluff to make it to press after the way they talked about your readers.

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Why bother - just be patient a month or so and get the 3G iPhone ...

... 8-)

Seriously though, what appears to let this one down is the Windows Mobile OS user experience and the depressing battery life. Both these seem to have been fixed by Apple. Apple just need to get the pricing right (i.e. lower) and have a wider choice of carriers (or unlock) ... and all that appears to be on the way.

I think that August would be a good time to review the state of the art with smartphones as a new iPhone will be out and in use and the competitors (HTC, RIM, Nokia) should have their "up-gamed" lovelies also widely available for a true comparison.

I think this Autumn we will see the real smartphone showdown ready for a big consumer splurge at Xmas'08 !

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Power off button plz

I'll never get an XDA again.

You can't turn the buggers off! I've spend the day using the WiFi hard and my battery is almost out. With a normal phone, you'd perhaps turn it off, and turn it on again if you need to make a call.

With a Windows based XDAs - no can do. You can put it in standby, but that battery life is still trickling away. Taking the battery out makes no difference - your phone is now almost useless until you take it back to your docking station.

Am I the only one that thinks this is a serious problem? Or has this been fixed?

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Paris Hilton

As an owner of an Orbit 2...

The Orbit 2, does not have a slide out keyboard. The TyNT 2 does (XDA Stellar). Otherwise, they are very simliar phones.

More shocking than that, and I'm surprised TheReg did not mention this, is the fact the the Orbit 2, like other Polaris phones, has a GPU but HTC have yet to release drivers for this - as a result, graphics acceleration blows on the Orbit 2. This doesn't just effect games, but also video playback. Having said that... allegedly, drivers are on the way for the TyNT 2, and that uses the same GPU, so someone from xda-developers will hopefully have a fix soon.

PH... cause she like the Orbit 2, is pretty to look at.

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easily get round the limitations

"Sadly, O2 has seen fit to have dispense with the HTC home screen."

Theres a whole community out there dedicated to modding these phones, they'll have this fixed in no time, just google for xda developers and ye shall find.

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Battery life

I don't know what you guys were doing with the battery (probably safest not to ask) but I can easily go from 5pm Friday evening to 9am Monday morning without charging mine. Granted, I never leave bluetooth or WiFi on (no need, I have profile switchers that turn them on and off when I need them) but still, 2 hours compared to more than 60 hours is a bit of a difference!

Anyway, it's a brilliant device and I would highly recommend it to anyone without a bluetooth car kit. As someone mentions above, MS stick to the bluetooth standards (weird or what?) which means their devices don't support any of the Nokia or SE customisations required by lots of car kits.

As for the Diamond - pah! 4GB? I have an 8GB card in my device and it's already full. 4GB is pathetic in a high-end phone these days. Surely they should be increasing the memory, not going backwards!

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Why bother? Why not wait x and get y?

Diamond/3G Iphone/Android/whatever. You can wait for the rest of your life and there'll always be better technology.

Personally, I can't see anything with the O2 Orbit 2 that's better than the TyTNII, so why would anyone go for the former?

As for the guy who said Orange do a better deal, I hope you don't want to download anything - have you seen their data rates? :-o

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Boffin

Re; Nicholas Wright

Probably a bit late now, but if you press and hold the power-button on a WM device, you get the option to reset or power off. That's ANY wm device - including the original XDAs.

It WAS in the manual and, in fairness, is the same process used by any Nokia or SE phone I've ever had so could hardly be described as obscure.

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Anonymous Coward

Battery life - its the GPS

I have a bog standard Orbit 1 and without GPS I get a good 3 days of [admittedly fairly light] use out of it, whereas turn on the GPS and the battery lasts just 2.5 hours.

To be fair though, were I hill-walking etc. I would get a proper ruggedised, waterproof, dedicated GPS receiver (or a couple of spare batteries). In my car I just plug it into the cigar lighter and so far I find battery life in this configuration to be pretty much unlimited........

If you press and hold the power button on the standard Orbit it shuts the thing down right proper.

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Linux

No power off

I have a O2 XDA Orbit and I can turn it off by holding the stand-by button for about 5-10 seconds at which point a window pops up and asks if I wish to turn the phone off. No issue there.

I just wish that either this XDA Orbit 2 or the TYTN 2 was able to come with a Linux install instead of Windows. Would be a lot more willing to do an upgrade and get a new contract then.

Windows Mobile phone, Windows XP Pro SP2 workstation at work, Windows XP64 SP2 at home, Windows XP Pro SP2 at home, and a Linux box. Only machine to recognize my phone when plugged in through USB is the Linux box unless I install some extra software. Yeah for MS compatibility.

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Where's the drivers?

Dissapointed that the Reg is still rewarding these samey HTC devices with glowing reviews, when essentially the current range are (a) all the same phone, and (b) all seriously lacking in the driver department. Every review of one of these 400mhz Qualcom based phones needs a big disclaimer at the start - VIDEO NOT INCLUDED.

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Jobs Horns

OK...

I'm an idiot :(

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Re:be patient a month or so and get the 3G iPhone ...

'Apple just need to get the pricing right (i.e. lower) and have a wider choice of carriers (or unlock) ... and all that appears to be on the way.'

What they actually need is the vast array of software that is available for the Symbian and MS phones. Although I no longer use it as my main phone, I would be lost (literally) without my 4 year old MDA with TomTom and MemoryMap loaded. If you are happy with the 'out-of-the-box' iPhone then go for it, people who prefer to customise/extend their phones will look elsewhere. My contract is up in a few months and this is looking seriously tempting. Not keen on switching to O2 though...

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Paris Hilton

Re: James Basset

Just got home and checked. Nope XDA IIs won't turn off. Holding down power button enables/disables backlight. Holding down "end call" will put in sleep mode, but there's no way to turn the device off.

Never seen a popup asking to turn device off.

Looks like the new Orbit has had at least one improvement made to it ;)

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Happy

Video / Tim Cook

I am not so sure that the majority of Touch/TytnII users are really going to give too much of a toss about the whole lack of video acceleration. OK, some users may find it helpful if all HTC's MSM7200 and MSM7500 Qualcomm based handsets actually had the ATi Imageon hardware and drivers but at the end of the day HTC have never said their handsets do come thus equipped and I for one can't wait for the folks (folk?) at htcclassaction.org to try to sue HTC for not including something they have never claimed to include in the first place.

As for going before the beak to define the phrase "a rich multi-media experience" as used in an advert, good bloody luck.

Let's face it is, if hi-def video is your bag why the hell are you buying a handset with such a frankly very, very average screen as the Touch family?

Reading htcclassaction you would thing the lack of video acceleration and drivers makes the handsets unusable - does it cock, nothing wrong with my TyTn II. Hard not to come to the conclusion that the lads at htcclassaction need to get our more or maybe find a girlfriend, or maybe both!

If you buy an HTC handset and think the video playback is shit just take it back, get a refund and buy something else. Simple.

Fair play to the Reg if HTC actually claimed their handsets had wonders and shit miracles video drivers I guess they would have mentioned their absence -I'd love my TyTn to add 6 inches to the length of my knob, but it doesn't - not HTC's fault though.

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@Nicholas Wright

From page 6 of the XDA 2 user guide;

"Power button - Press to turn off the display temporarily. To turn off the power, press and hold for about 5 seconds. For more information, see “Starting Up” in this chapter"

Found here;

http://www.my-xda.com/pdf/quick_user_guide/Detailed_XdaII_UserGuide.pdf

The orbit 2 works in an identical way, as others have already said.

God knows why you're having such trouble.

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Linux

Love my Orbit

As Nima stated want photos by a digi cam. The boys all talked about the N95 great camera. I got the Orbit instead, bought a EOS400D for pictures.

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Gildas

Nice tirade, surprisingly lengthy for someone that professes not to care about such things, but naturally you've missed the point. This was never about "high resolution video" (to borrow that clever phrase from HTC's press release), it's just about getting plain old video working at least as well as it did on their older handsets. It's also about basic performance in other tasks and applications, including essentially anything that displays on screen.

HTC have seemingly done a good job of convincing cretins like you that we're all being unreasonable, and that's a shame. They've cut their costs substantially by producing a crippled range of handsets, without paying for the drivers required by the hardware they're using, and you're bending over to thank them. It's an odd position for any customer to take, but I can only assume you're no stranger to it.

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