Windows Mobile fans, your ship as finally come in (a few days early to boot)! The Windows Mobile 6.5 update has officially gone live a few days early with AT&T’s launch of the HTC PURE (Touch Diamond2) and HTC Tilt II (Touch Pro2), both powered by Microsoft’s more finger-friendly WinMo update.
The AT&T PURE is everything you’d expect to see from a lightly-branded HTC Touch Diamond2 (check out our review here). AT&T’s version of the Touch Diamond2 sports a glossy black finish, accentuated by a metallic strip along the backside that highlights the 5-megapixel autofocus camera. As for the guts, the AT&T PURE features a 3.2-inch WVGA touchscreen (resistive, but much improved), 3G data, GPS, WiFi, accelerometer, light sensor and microSD card slot – basically what you get in the HTC Touch Diamond2. We were impressed by the HTC Touch Diamond2 when it was powered by Windows Mobile 6.1, so the PURE’s WinMo 6.5 underpinnings are sure to impress.
For those that need a super-big display and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the AT&T Tilt II should come in handy. The Tilt II sports the 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen (resistive) and slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard that won our hearts as the best business smartphone in its class. Inside the Tilt II, sports the much the same feature-set as the AT&T PURE. The Tilt II camera packs just 3.2-megapixels (compared to 5-megapixels on the PURE), but makes up for it with a dual-speaker/dual-microphone speakerphone for noise-cancelled conference calls.
As for Windows Mobile 6.5, expect to see a revamped Internet Explorer Mobile that’s built on the same code that runs the desktop version of Internet Explorer. The Windows Mobile 6.5 interface has been refreshed to make touch inputs easier and more accurate – icons and buttons are bigger and thoughtfully laid out. Windows Marketplace for Mobile was expected to go live on October 6th, alongside Windows Mobile 6.5, so it’s not clear if the Marketplace is ready to rock. The press release mentions that Marketplace will be available “in 2009.”
Want an AT&T Pure or the Tilt II? Be ready to plunk down $149.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate) for the PURE or $299.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate) for the Tilt II, but only when you sign up for a 2-year contract with at least a $69.99 monthly plan. The AT&T PURE is available at AT&T retail store and online now, the Tilt II will be available in the coming weeks.