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Windows Mobile 6.5: Worth Upgrading?

Updated Look and Feel

There are plenty of new phones launching with Windows Mobile 6.5, including the HTC XXX Leo with the first iPhone-style capacitive screen. But for the first time in Windows Mobile history, you don't have to get a new phone to get the operating system. You won’t be able to upgrade every Windows Mobile phone, but compared to the spotty availability of upgrades for previous versions, things are looking much better. Indeed, you can upgrade many recent phones and you won’t have to wait too long to do it.

Yes, a Windows phone is still a Windows Mobile phone. Yes, this is a relatively minor release–and one that has taken rather longer than perhaps it should have. But Microsoft has been using the time since it finished Windows Mobile 6.5 back in April to get operators, developers, and phone manufacturers on the same page, ready to launch this month for new phones and upgrades.

We upgraded both of the big-screen Windows Mobile phones we looked at recently with the 6.1 operating system, using publicly available updates from HTC and Toshiba. The feature list includes a new user interface, the Internet Explorer Mobile 6 browser, Microsoft My Phone and the Windows Mobile Marketplace services, and tools that allow you to record your phone calls. If your phone has a shell from the manufacturer or network, like HTC TouchFlo, you get an updated look for that, too. Look for extras, like being able to draw on screen to open the browser or dial a favorite contact.

  • I upgraded from windows 5 last week to the HTC Touch 2. Even though there isn't alot of hype at the moment there will be. My contacts, photos, calendar, sms's automatically copy to the net a few times per day. This happens even though i am on prepaid with no internet plan. I go into a secure myphone website put in a password and everything is there. If i copy the contacts from the computer they also automatically copy to the phone.
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  • nerdherd
    I think is a step in the right direction. I've been using WM 6.5 for several months now and I like the changes that were made. That being said, it's still nowhere near as polished as the iPhone, or the Palm Pre. The real beauty of Windows phones is the work that the makers put into customizing the software. HTC does a great job and the Leo looks absolutely fantastic. Samsung's Omnia II looks to be a killer phone also. The real upgrade is going to come once Windows Mobile 7 comes out...
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  • papasmurf
    Of course you should upgrade IF your phone manufacturer offers it. If not there might be an unofficial rom thats been cooked up for your phone too. I'm running an unofficial 6.5 build 23069 on my lg incite, and it works great. This is more current code than any official upgrades. The only thing that's been driving us crazy is the accelerometer driver from 6.1 does not work well with 6.5 and causes a lot of issues, so we're crossing our fingers on an official release from lg so that we can grab the newer drivers out of it and incorporate it into our cooked builds.
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  • mrk_80
    how do you call phone number from within appointment OR record phone convesation, I do not see that anywhere.
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