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HTC Ozone Review of New QWERTY Smartphone from Verizon

HTC Ozone... new Windows Mobile smartphone from Verizon WirelessThis week, spurred on by two developments, I decided to pursue my personal tech dream: a

1) mobile blogging device I can fit in my pocket
2) with photo, video, and sound recording and posting ability
3) on the internet with
4) javascript and flash functionality so that I can use blogging applications like WordPress, and
5) a QWERTY keyboard on which I can effectively write
6) on a Verizon wireless plan, since I’m moving to an area where only Verizon has decent coverage, and that
7) I can afford, not having much money to burn.

The two developments enabling the pursuit of my dream:

1) My current 2-year cell phone contract just expired, and
2) The HTC Ozone, a new smartphone fitting the bill, just emerged onto the market through Verizon.

The HTC Ozone works from a Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, which means that its Internet browser has the javascript and flash functionality I need to access online blogging software (check). At 4.5 by 2.5 inches, the phone can certainly fit in my pocket (check), but nonetheless has a full QWERTY keyboard and 5-way navigation so that I can write (check). A 2 megapixel camera for photos video is sufficient for online presentation (check). A sound recorder package is included and software to record phone conversations can be obtained (check). Did I mention that the HTC Ozone is cheap? At a price of $50 after mail-in rebate, plus a $50 credit at the end of a previous two-year contract, after a mild amount of hassling a customer service rep to get the billing right I got this smartphone for free with my new contract (check-o-rama).

On paper, then, the HTC Ozone looked like it would fit my needs. How has it worked in my hands?

Physical Interface.
Keep in mind as you read this that my previous cell phone was actually just that — a simple cell phone, and that I’ve never used a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone before. I’m not used to typing on a tiny keyboard, and the other little keyboards I’ve tried out in my quest for the perfect device have driven me nuts. Don’t even get me started on the “touch screen” virtual keyboards that are so slow and inaccurate I might as well write by smoke signal.

This time, I’m in love, or at least deep like. The HTC Ozone QWERTY keyboard has rounded keys with little spaces in between so that even my big lug fingers can manage to hit the right keys. In the space of two days, I’ve gotten to be reasonably adept at typing on the Ozone, quickly enough to post some of the articles you’ve read here while I’m on the road. No, it’s not as fast as writing on a full keyboard, but it’s fast enough to work. I appreciate that the keyboard has a “special symbol” key to press for odd or infrequently used symbols, like the greater-than or less-than symbols, that are nonetheless crucial for writing html code.

The HTC Ozone is not a touch screen device, and I’m happy it’s not. No, I can’t swish or flick or do a twofinger thingamajig to bring up some new screen, but hey, I’ve borrowed an iPhone and I can testify to the frustration when one’s flick isn’t on target. You know what the 5-key navigation system does? It does exactly what I want it to do. Every time I press the right key. Style, schmyle. Hip, schmip. This navigation system does what I want it to do. It consistently works.

Some more details about the hardware of the HTC Ozone:

  • The Ozone has access to a 3G network, although you have to purchase a data plan for $29 a month. This is for unlimited data use, including e-mail.
  • WiFi! You can connect to your home, library, university, or coffeeshop internet access point as well.
  • The phone has a pretty high-capacity battery. I’ve been able to noodle with the phone on and off all day, leaving it on in between my sessions, and after 12 hours the battery is still half-full.
  • There’s a MicroSD slot in the phone into which you can put up to a 16 Gigabyte removable memory card to store all your music, photos, documents and so on. The little MicroSD card fits into a bigger SD adapter, and then can be stuffed into your regular computer for transfers.
  • There is included sync software on a CD for my computer, which is a Windows Vista machine, and it works in a straightforward fashion with an included USB cable which you won’t lose, because the cable is part of the regular AC wall charger.
  • The HTC Ozone doesn’t just connect to Verizon’s American CDMA network, but also can connect to the GSM networks that populate the rest of the world. This is very handy if you’re a traveler. Also handy: included in the Ozone box are multiple power cord adapters for various electrical systems around the world.
  • I find phone call audio to be crisp and clear. The included 2 Megapixel camera takes shots that are resoundingly OK; this is a cell-phone camera that will produce web-standard, glossy-catalog-awful photographs. Below is a photo of a backyard sunflower I took with the camera. Look at the pretty thumbnail, then click on it to see the somewhat smudgy full-size results.
  • Update: click here for my comparison of HTC Ozone’s video capture quality compared to the Flip Mino and a Canon Powershot A560. By my eye, the video is of novelty-only quality, not ready for Prime Time or even the discerning YouTube viewer.

Backyard Sunflower, July 4 2009

Backyard Sunflower, July 4 2009

Other than the camera, two minor problems mar the design: the screen smudges easily, and there’s no 3.5 inch headphone jack, only a mini USB headphone jack. Eh. I wish these features were better, but I won’t lose sleep at night over them.

Software.
I’ve heard complaints for years about the “awful” Windows Mobile smartphone operating system, but folks, I have to tell you I’m quite happy with it. Within 24 hours of the FedEx fella handing me a package and no previous experience with Windows Mobile at all, I downloaded, installed and used the correct applications to get worldwide satellite photos, a full Facebook interface with photo and video upload, mobile blogging software for when I don’t want to use a browser, and RSS reads of the BBC, New York Times and Washington Post. It took me — I kid you not — two minutes to configure my phone to receive my Yahoo Mail and Gmail. I’m all set up not only with Microsoft Office editing programs but with full Google Docs access.

To satisfy the curiosity of those interested in the browser wars, I have downloaded Opera Mobile version 8.65, the latest for non-touchscreen phones. Keep in mind that you have to actually buy the Opera browser for $24 after 30 days, which means that if I’m going to keep Opera it’s got to be a fair chunk better than the included Internet Explorer. I’ve used the Internet Explorer for the HTC Ozone and found it to be just fine in terms of download time. I don’t find Opera Mobile to be appreciably faster, although I’ve heard some including the folks at CNET rave about Opera’s speed. Opera has the advantage of processing every web page through its own server to try and shove each website down to a smaller width. Opera has the disadvantage of scrolling not across and down a page, but leapfrogging from link to link, which means that on some wide pages I can’t center on the column of text I want to read. Since I’m interested in reading more than surfing links, this is frustrating. The included Internet Explorer browser does not have this disadvantage.

What really impresses me is that the software for Windows Mobile 6.1 not only exists, but works and does so intuitively without a steep learning curve. To give you an indication of how easy it is to master these applications, I can tell you that 12 hours after I first turned on my HTC Ozone, I was at a dance club in Columbus, taking photos and videos and posting them to Facebook with commentary in the time it took my wife to head to the bathroom and back.

I’m having a blast with the HTC Ozone and I recommend it to anyone else who might be looking for an inexpensive but highly functional mobile blogging device. You can find it on the web from Verizon.

86 comments to HTC Ozone Review of New QWERTY Smartphone from Verizon

  • I feel the same way about my Nokia E63. Great QWERTY and no touch screen, it just does it’s job and that’s that.

  • Cathy

    I’ve also been looking for a reasonably priced Verizon phone to replace an ancient, simple little phone and when I read about the HTC Ozone I thought it might be a good candidate. I haven’t found any reviews yet from places like PhoneArena, so I was interested to read your experience with the Ozone.
    Could you answer some other questions for me?
    Did Verizon require you to purchase a data plan in addition to the regular monthly calling plan?
    Have you downloaded Opera Mobile in lieu of Internet Explorer? How fast does the phone render Web sites?
    How is the call quality, and image quality for the camera/video?
    Does it sync well with your computer? I use a Mac and I think there is some third-party software to sync Windows Mobile phones with the Mac.
    FYI, I looked online and learned there is an HTC 3.5mm Mini USB Stereo Headset Adapter that allows you to connect an HTC PDA phone to any 3.5mm headphone. Here’s one place I saw it: http://www.talkietech.com/htcti893mius.html
    Thanks for your info.

    • Jim

      Hi, Cathy. I’ll add my responses to the post itself, since those are really good questions and I think some others might be interested in them straight-up. But here they are as well:

      * Yes, you have to purchase a data plan for $29 a month. This is for unlimited data use, including e-mail.

      * Yes, I have downloaded Opera Mobile version 8.65, the latest for non-touchscreen phones. You have to actually *buy* the Opera browser for $24 after 30 days, which means that if I’m going to keep Opera it’s got to be a fair chunk better than the included Internet Explorer. I’ve used Internet Explorer and found it to be just fine in terms of download time. I don’t find Opera Mobile to be appreciably faster, although I’ve heard some including the folks at CNet rave about Opera’s speed. Opera has the advantage of processing every web page through its own server to try and shove each website down to a smaller width. Opera has the disadvantage of scrolling not across and down a page, but leapfrogging from link to link, which means that on some wide pages I can’t center on the column of text I want to read. Since I’m interested in reading more than surfing links, this is frustrating.

      * I find call quality to be just fine for what I want, which is web use. It’s a 2 Megapixel camera, so you won’t find a snap appearing on the cover of Photo Illustrated, but shots are clear in daylight, and at nighttime the camera adjusts to take in more light (although no flash). I’ll upload a photo of an image to this post (obviously I couldn’t take that picture of the HTC Ozone with the HTC Ozone.

      * There is included sync software on a CD for my computer, which is a Windows Vista machine, and it works in a straightforward fashion with an included USB cable which you won’t lose because the cable doubles as part of the regular AC wall charger.

      • Sonam

        Good review, is it worth signing another 2 year contract? How does the tethering work…performace wise and is it worth the extra $15.

        • Jim

          Sonam, I haven’t paid for the tethering option, so I can’t tell you. (“Tethering” is the act of using your cell phone as a modem for your computer.) Anyone else out there who has done the tethering and can provide their personal experience?

  • qs

    I need a pda, but idk which to buy.

  • Cathy

    Hi, thanks for your response. I really didn’t want an additonal data plan, but on the other hand being able to sync a phone with your computer is a plus.

    I’ve read good things about another alternative, free browser for Windows Mobile, called Skyfire. Do you have any experience with that one?

    I forgot to ask you before, but am I correct in thinking any data transferred over wifi would be free in that its Mbps don’t count against the plan you’ve purchased?

  • rc

    Cathy
    Heres a little hint for you..Call customer care at *611 and ask if you get a work discount on your bill..where i work we get 17% off our monthly bill plus we get 20% off the data plans and we get a 25% off any accessories..now i heard some big corps like mcdonalds,burger king ,walmart etc get 25% off everything so i might go get a job at mickie ds for like 5 hours a week to reek the awesome discounts..hope that helped

  • rc

    cathy
    forget to put in the examples my bad
    if u have a $50 plan it would get reduced by whatever your work percentage is like mine is 17percent so that would be
    50-17%=$41.50
    data plans are 30 than see if u get a discount like mine is 20%
    30-20%=$24 a month
    well hope it helps cut some costs down espically with the economy the way it is

  • Adam

    Dude! Thank you SO MUCH for this review! I’ve been jonesing for the Ozone since I first saw it, I’m just waiting for my contract to be up. It seems like your needs are the same as mine, so I’m very VERY glad to hear that the Ozone does exactly what you need it to do. Thanks again, and keep up the great work on the blog!

    http://www.livingwithanerd.com/Blogs

  • Chey

    If the HTC can pick up wi-fi for free, why is the data package needed again?

    • Kev

      If you opt for a less than “unlimited” data plan, you can use the wifi to access the net for free, Also, if you are in a wifi spot, and you can access it, my understanding is that the phone uses the wifi before going Over The Air. I opt for the unlimited and I love my Ozone. Just wish there were more aftermarket apps available for it, but it’s still early on in the Ozone’s life.

    • Kev

      Oh, to answer your basic question, you need the data plan when getting any smartphone through Verizon. It’s a way to save you money (believe it or not)and not to have to deal with people calling up mad, demanding to know why they just got a multi hundred dollar bill. Obviously, you can buy an Ozone for full price and use it as a PDA, but if you want cell phone usage, you’re gonna have to get a data plan.

  • Mike

    Thanks for the user review. I’m thinking of upgrading to a smartphone, and this one looks great. A couple of things in response to other posters:

    1) I wouldn’t even be thinking about this if I didn’t get a company discount through Verizon for the data plan.
    2) Yes, you have to purchase a data plan, even with a wireless device. I cannot tell you how many forums (including the Verizon message boards) have been lit up by this topic. It’s a relatively recent thing, too, but I think it’s here to stay.
    3) For the person who is seeking to sync the Ozone with a Mac, there is user who’s posted a blog on just that–he’s a new Ozone user with a Mac, and is taking a day-by-day look at his experience so far. http://web.me.com/scottyent/HTC_Ozone_Review/Welcome.html

  • Tommy

    Excellent! I’m actually a newly acquired VZW employee (through the Alltel merger) and now that I have the employee discount I wanted to try a smart phone.
    I’ve had the Ozone for less than a day and I feel like a pro already, so easy to use (probably helps that I’ve played with smart phones for about a year now at the call center…)
    We’ll see how my wife fares tomorrow when she sets hers up! Point is, this phone is amazing with a streamlined exterior and (with a slight learning curve) pretty easy to navigate. Definitely the phone to get if you’re thinking about jumping to a smart phone from anything else, or if you want an alternative to a BB Curve.

    Also — about the data discount.. most employers only have deals off voice plans, not data. Definitely call in and ask before you go thinking you’ll get the discount on a data feature only to see the full 29.99 on your next bill!

    • Jim

      Tommy,

      Thanks for your own thoughts on the Ozone. It probably does help that you’ve been playing with smart phones for a year, but it’s nice to know that this particular one didn’t have a steep learning curve for you.

      I’m interested in the whole “streamlined exterior” thing. I hear a lot of people referring to how phones look, and not just on the street — in reviews, people will give thumbs down to phones because they look “clunky” or go on for a paragraph about how wonderfully “sleek” a phone looks. I’m surprised by the extent of this, maybe because I remember back when I was a kid and you rented your phone from the phone company and there were three colors and either a desk phone or a wall phone so nobody much cared.

      As someone who works at a cell phone call center, do you think most people put the look of a phone high on their list of priorities, Tommy?

    • FWIW, I know my employer DOES have a discount (20%) off data plans in addition to voice, so my net (considering I usually use 3-4 Mb of Mobile Web a month right now on my non-smartphone) monthly increase to go to this is only about $15.

  • Dave

    Hey Jim. Thank you for your review using HTC Ozone from Verizon. This past weekend, I had purchased the HTC Ozone from Verizon. Since this is my first smart phone, I am not sure what to think just yet. When I was shopping for a new phone, there were several functionalities that I was wishing for on my new phone. Most importantly viewing and reading PDF documents, gaining access to my on-line class rooms for University of Phoenix, and then being able to listen to a radio. Samsung has a phone that has a built in FM tuner, which is cool. Blackberry has access to Iheartradio for internet radio on the blackberry. Unfortuntely, I have been unsuccessful at locating an internet radio app for my HTC Ozone. Are you aware of any radio apps that I can use in my HTC Ozone. I will feel a lot better about my purchase if I can find a radio for my phone. I listen to a radio more than my MP3. I like not having to carry two different devices around where ever I go.

    I would appreciate you advice.

    Dave.

  • Jim

    I haven’t used such an application myself, but it appears Windows Mobile apps for internet radio are common. See here and here to start. Bon chance!

  • Yukiko

    Thanks for the great review. I did purchase the Ozone as well as soon as it was available online, before it was in the stores. My previous phone was the Motorola Q9m. I find the Ozone to be a fantastic and comparable tool. Since the layout is very similar to the Q it almost feels like just an upgrade or newer model of the same phone! The OS is a little different, but very easy to adjust to. I love that setting up my email was super simple and fast and that I can receive my emails regularly during the day so I’m not hit with a bunch of emails when I sit down at my PC at night. Connecting to FB is a snap as well.

    One very little thing that bugs me is the silly “comm mgr” that comes on (while txting) when I accidently hit space after typing in numbers before turning off the function key!

    I also use my mobile device as a media player as opposed to an mp3 player. I had been looking for an internet radio site that is compatible (pandora.com was not with either phone), so thanks for the previous post. I’m using it right now and it’s excellent!

    So far, I have found this to be a super sweet phone and haven’t had any problems or regrets yet!

  • jeremy

    thanks for your review. i too have an ozone and i do like it a lot. for what it can do, and for the price i paid (tax), it’s totally cool. except, i’m not used to paying an extra $30 for data and am debating whether or not to keep it.
    regarding the gsm capability, have you been able to successfully unlock the phone so that it can accept any sim? i tried calling them and they couldn’t figure it out. then i got a call back later saying that i’d have to get in touch directly with htc (or call vzw back) when i actually have the sim for the country i’ll be in. but that doesn’t make much sense, practically, if you think about it.

  • Karl

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for an excellent review.I have ordered my Ozone and your reviewed helped make my decision much easier.

    I, too, question the data plans. The $29/month provides email and browsing which is terrific but Verizon also provides a $49/month plan for unlimited downloads. I wonder how much it would cost on th $29 plan to download an occassional pdf attachment?

    Thanks again!
    Karl

  • Jason

    1. When you add your Yahoo account to the phone, it only checks every 5 minutes at most. How do you make it a dynamic mail connection? Does it have to go through Outlook?
    2. Are there any apps that will provide more flexibility for a home screen? I want to be able to have like IE, tasks, etc?
    3. Does anyone elses battery run out in less than 24 hrs? I dont use WiFI, no bluetooth, and the battery just drainnnns
    4. How do I switch applications when I have multiple things open? do i have to go back to start and then reclick the app?

    • Jim

      1. You need to check your e-mail more than once every 5 minutes? Wow! I have no idea how to make a dynamic mail connection, mostly because I personally am not that important.
      2. Here’s a start at modifying the home screen.
      3. My battery lasts about two days; sounds like you got a lemon (unless you are on the phone constantly). Call Verizon and pester them about a replacement battery.
      4. The HTC Ozone is not a multitasking device like the Palm Pre. It’s a single-task sequential device. So yep, you have to go back to start and then reclick the app.

      • David

        1. You need to use an Exchange account for push email.
        4. What you said is completely not true. Windows Mobile Pro and Smartphone are both fully multitasking. You can download free 3rd party apps to assign a hotkey to cycle through all your open apps.

  • dumb_phone

    Great phone! Even survived an accidental flushing on day 5 of ownership!
    notes:
    *bigger than conventional phone. might fall from pockets… unexpectedly * buy equipment protection if accident-prone * remove battery immediately, dry with rubbing alcohol, store in hot well-ventilated place if accidentally …wetted.

    * 20% employee discount applies to data plan making it $23for email & browsing. do i pay by the mb for downloads????????
    * see notes above about flushing.. some people might be too dumb for these things but….. apparently they can swim

  • Jeff

    Question regarding wi-fi.
    I have a co-worker who can use the wi-fi from his phone to connect to the wi-fi access points at work and he is able to place calls across the network. Do you know if this is something this phone can be configured to do? I don’t get any cell reception in the office I am in, but we do have wi-fi access.
    Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Since the HTC Ozone can connect via wifi, and since it can place calls via a Skype application for Windows Mobile, Yed! You can make calls with wifi even if you don’t have cell coverage in a location.

  • Rajiv

    I’ve had my HTC Ozone for about 5 days and its been great except there are a few complaints I have about it.
    First does anyone use Mobile IM on this phone? I used AIM about twice and it worked fine but recently, I couldn’t open AIM (it just freezes up and sticks) and when I do try to sign in, a message appears saying that it could not connect to the IM server. However my internet connection was fine and running. What seems to be the problem?

    Secondly, even though the Web Browser works, the VSW homepage does not. whats up with that?
    Also I added some music (About 18 songs) from my computer to my Ozone through ActiveSync and recently I’ve been getting Adobe Alerts about insufficient disk space or something like that…and I think that is slowing down my phone. Does anyone know how much memory the Ozone comes with and how can I find out how much memory I have left?

    Thanks.

  • Skipper

    Just got one today. Not bad for free. Haven’t dug deeply into it yet, though.

    A few bugs(?) – when you’re in a text “conversation”, and you receive a new text, the “New message” indicator on the home screen and LED will show having a new text until you move the cursor to that new text; even responding doesn’t clear the “new” indicator(!) – really annoying if you’re banging texts with a friend back and forth. Also, I got sort of locked up trying to work the wi-fi, the right soft menu (forget what menu) was stuck on screen, and I could only hit home or end, couldn’t shut the phone off, had to pull the battery.

    “Fn-space” is brutal for typing (I type lots of numbers), and basically that’s what I yelled at it. :p It is nice, though for accessing the wireless settings.
    And, compared to my old (4th – 3 died) Q, the space bar is a bit less lengthy and off-centered. It got me a few times when I left thumbed a “#” in there. It would be nice if the [FN] numbers were lined up also.

    Overall, all that stuff is minor to me – except maybe the “Fn-space”. For the price, well worth it.

    The Ozone also fits nicely in my old leather Q case.

    Now if the Verizon guy would have tried to stop selling me accessories …

  • Leslie

    I cannot get my mobile IM to start. any suggestions?

  • DDove

    I got this phone yesterday after reading many reviews including this one and I love it. I had a PPC6700 with Windows Mobile that had a touch screen and slide out keyboard, but the Ozone beats it IMHO. I don’t miss the touch screen at all.

    Only problem was when I ordered the phone I got the “essential package” that included an auto charger, case, etc. Well the auto charger had a mini-usb connector instead of the propriatory connector for the Ozone….

  • John

    I bought the Ozone on the 15th – 2 days after it came out in a corporate store. I too had an XV6700 for 3 years, upgraded from an XV6600, so by now I was literally sick of the touchscreen mania and battery yanks, etc. I just wanted a phone that works, with standard PDA functions and the ability to always sync with my laptop.

    For those who want to use the unlocked GPS there is a free app called Amaze (just Google it) that works just like VZ Navigator, and you do NOT have the monthly subscription fees. I’ve also loaded Opera for smartphones and can’t decide if I like it or not. There’s an alternative to both IE and Opera that is free – it’s called Iris (again, just Google it). It’s pretty big, so I installed it on my storage card.

  • Skipper

    Tethering with PDAnet (junefabrics.com), as usual, works like a charm. Better that ($34 one time) than the money VZ wants ($15/mo) for tethering.

    • Dan

      I think the PDAnet solution may be what I’ve been looking for to save money on internet-enabling a laptop. Verizon has so many plans that I’m confused on which is the cheapest plan I get get by with and still have it work with PDAnet. Anyone know?

      • Dan

        …and will it be as fast as it would be with dedicated mobile broadband?

        • Jim

          PDANet continues to be offered as an option to use with phones on the Verizon network, but it is important to note that it is not condoned by Verizon. The experience of Palm Pre users who got to use iTunes on their phones UNTIL Apple blocked them from doing so should be cautionary. PDANet works for now on the HTC Ozone, but Verizon could act to block PDANet in the future and since tethering isn’t covered in your data plan you’d be left high & dry. For this reason, I’ve shied away from PDANet as an option.

          If you are less risk-averse than I am and go for it, I’d love to hear about your experience with PDANet, Dan.

  • Craig

    Just bought my Ozone. Verizon retail said I must have 29 / mo. email plan. I strictly use wifi as my data needs are minute. Went back home and set about beating them at their own game, having had a similar experience with past smart phones. Online rep was obliged to agree that the service would continue unchanged on the Ozone no problem if I bought the 29 plan, and dropped it after a month or so. We’ll see, should work. Good luck

  • I love you post. I have been wanting to purchase the Ozone, but I sure wish it had speaker phone. It is something I would miss. :( Although this phone is the closest to what I am looking for in a smart phone. I really don’t want a touch screen.

    • Skipper

      2.5 In-Call Options
      Your phone gives you various options when you are in a call. Note that some options are only available depending on the Network mode you are in (CDMA, GSM, or Global).
      Turning the speakerphone on and off
      During a call, press and then press to turn the speakerphone on or off. The speakerphone icon () appears in the title bar when the speakerphone is on.
      WARNING! To avoid damage to your hearing, do not hold your phone against your ear when the speakerphone is turned on.

  • Jason Peel

    All,

    does anyone know if the Ozone has ‘visual’ alerts/reminders. e.g. flashing light or something so i can look over at phone and ‘see’ there is a message waiting. like BB’s have? or perhaps reminder tones/vibs, such that a message is not missed, if phone is out of hearing distance?

  • MIke

    Hey Jim, nice review. I have had mine for about a week now. and love it. The only thing I can’t do so far is save pics from a web page. My ATT Tilt I had not problems but can’t seem to find a right click or menu option. have you or any of your friends figured out how to save a graphic from a web page?

    • Jim

      I haven’t seen the option from the Internet Explorer browser I use. But you should be able to use any number of browsers, and perhaps there is a mobile browser that has this option.

      Has anyone seen such a browser?

      • Skipper

        I dunno, but I’ve downloaded both Iris and Skyfire…I have limited usage on both as I’m still “tricking out” my phone. I’ll post back “soon”. :)

  • Skipper

    One for me…

    Can anyone figure out how to integrate the MRU program list into the HTC Home screen?

    I tried a copy/paste and tweak of the code to no avail…

    I need this code:

    to fit in between the panels and the icon bar, but this setting:

    is messing me up. I tried changing the 266 height spec lower, but that didn’t work (sort of)…I get to see the MRU list then the “in use” home screen panel covers it up.

    Thanks!

    • Skipper

      Oops…the code got filtered…

      Note I am using percent sign as opposed to angle brackets (less than/greater than) so you can see the unfiltered code.

      I need this:

      %plugin clsid=”{79EFB752-CB70-446d-B317-499723482B3D}” name=”startmru” height=”30%

      %mru y=”1″ icon-size=”16″/%

      %/plugin%

      to work with this:

      %plugin clsid=”{E9267CAB-02EE-4f37-8216-6BF6A8FF5A71}” name=”HTC” height=”266″%

      %Plugins Order=”CClock;HTCVOICEMAIL;CAppointments;HTCEMAIL;HTCSMSMMS;HTCWeather;HTCFavorite;Settings;CWelcomeCenter” CPRFileName=”HTCSlidingPanel” %

      %!– Example: Creating a new Custom Registry-based Plugin –%

      %CustomPlugin Name=”HTCWeather” LocName=”HTCWeather” GUID=”{F0A1B246-6E64-40cd-8E15-347D29FF6F18}” %

      Like I said above, I tweaked the height setting, but that didn’t work (I tweaked it lower)…maybe it needs to go up?

      Note that the MRU plug-in tags are between the iconbar and the HTC plugins.

  • Eeshan

    I have heard that you can buy the HTC Ozone and then cancel the data plan after one month. Will the phone work after this? Can you still use the wi-fi after this? I basically want the smartphone calendar and threaded texting features but can’t justify the data-plan.

    • Jim

      One person leaving a comment here says so. The thing for you to do will be for you to call Verizon and ask them, point blank, whether the wi-fi will continue to work if the data plan is cancelled. They will try to dodge the question two or three ways, but keep asking it. I’d love to hear how Verizon answers your question, Eeshan.

      • Jo

        I called my local Verizon Store and asked about not getting the data plan. The reply was the plan is mandatory. Soon as the phone is activated, it will see what kind of phone it is and will add the data plan. No way around it.

        I then called the general Verizon customer number and selected Tech Support. I told her that I was thinking of getting the Ozone but I don’t need the data plan. Was there a way to do it? Again I was told that their system will add the data plan because of the type of phone. I then asked, what if I cancelled the data plan after getting the phone? Will the phone continue to work? I didn’t get the answer but she tried something. She tried to order the phone and cancel the data plan with the order. The system would not allow her to place the order without the data plan. So in her eyes, even if you buy the phone, you won’t be able to cancel the data plan. Their system won’t allow it.

        Great customer service from Verilynn. She was wonderful and certainly was patient and tried to see what can be done.

        So I’m still curious to hear from Craig to find out if he was able to cancel the data plan and how he was able to do it.

  • Zach

    I’m sorry if this has been answered before but can you use the WiFi for free like you can on an Ipod Touch? Or would you still have to pay the data fee for the phone plan?

  • Lisa

    Hi,

    I’ve had the ozone for two weeks and when I try to send email from my outlook folder on the device it just stays in my outbox, same with invites to attendees in calendar. These items won’t leave my outbox until I active sync with a USB cable to my desktop computer. Why don’t these items just go like on a Blackberry when you send them without having to sync? Is there a way to do that with out

    • Jim

      Lisa,

      Instead of using the USB sync, use your wireless data plan to access e-mail instead.

      From your Home screen select getting started, then set up e-mail, then click on this link to set up an email account now.

      You’ll be sent on to a series of screens that pretty intuitively take you through the options to set up access to an e-mail account, either through a service like Gmail or Yahoo, through Microsoft Exchange, or directly through a domain.

      For the last two, you may need to look up the same information (outgoing mail server and the like) you needed to set up Outlook on your PC. To find that information, start up Outlook and select Tools, then Accounts, then Properties.

      I hope this helps!

  • Lisa

    having to sync such as when you are traveling and aren’t near your desktop to sync.

  • John

    How do you download facebook and those kinds of apps on the phone? I have tried and i can’t seem to figure out where to go to do this. Please help :)

    • Jim

      You visit the appropriate web page where the link to the application is. Click the link to download. Then you ought to get two options: Save and Open. Open it, don’t save it, and you’ll start to install the application.

    • ken

      on your phone, open IE, open Verizon home page, there is an icon “connect”, which has preloaded things like twitter, facebook, myspace.

  • Sue

    WOW – lots of really meaty info here on the Ozone. I have one – sooo coool. Altho – you guys are more nerdy than I -lol – and Ok – I’m jealous. I knew it could do aLOT ..but like most of my phones I’ve had – I rarely ‘drive them full force’ ….there’s soo many features I never actually utilize. I’m hoping ‘not’ to do that with my Ozone. I arrived at this site tho – not searching for anything real technical – in fact I feel like a goon – not knowing this answer – I can’t decipher the answer in the manual. It’s this simple – is call waiting enabled when I’m in “Global” mode? I thought the manual said you had to me in CDMA mode – and that Global does do the same thing CDMA does – only more…. (ok – now you know I’m rrreally a goon, ….I soo don’t understand all that stuff) …I just want to know if my call waiting is working, …can someone help?? …thanks!

  • harv

    Sue,

    Yes, 3 way calling is enabled in GSM mode depending on the carrier’s network for who you are roam of course. Vodafone, VZW’s parent company does allow this on their mobile network you will however be charged roaming for both call extensions. When you are in the U.S. Verion will typically not allow you to roam because they will not enable the GSM feature which has to be activated by using your embeded sim and placing it on your account…so don’t leave the country without telling your carrier…, besides that point Verizon is the largest communications company in the world when teamed with Vodafone and when on the Vodafone network you will be given preferred roaming rates.
    Hope this answers your question. Oh to make a 3way call just dial the number you want to call while in your current call and hit the send key, to link the calls just hit the send key again when the other line begins to ring; this works in CDMA and GSM mode.

  • Jo

    hi jim,

    thanks for your review. any updates on how living with it the last 3 months have been? i’m a little concerned that the case is plastic.

    • Jim

      I’ve taken it to blog from protest marches, I’ve walked around woods and up mountains and into town with it, and I’m not seeing any deleterious effects yet, Jo. I’ll be sure to let you know if there are.

  • kaimbri

    i have had the ozone since it first came out and i love it.. but i have some minors questions..

    does your email update automatically or do you have to refresh it?
    my mobile im worked amazing for about two weeks and then just quit.. hows yours?
    and the back of my phone was loose and eventually fell off, can i get just a new back.. or would i have to replace the whole phone?

    • Jim

      Hi, Kaimbri.

      Yes, my e-mail updates automatically on my HTC Ozone. Simply head to “getting started,” select “set up e-mail,” and enter an e-mail address. For my yahoo and gmail accounts, that’s all I needed to do. Other e-mail addresses (for your own particular domain) just need a bit more information in follow-up dialogs. Now I get automatic updates and little notices when a new e-mail comes through.

      My messaging’s fine, and the back of my phone’s still on. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble. For both issues, it sounds like a call to Verizon customer service is in order.

  • Josie

    I’ve had my Ozone about 3 months and I LOVE IT. I bought it to replace my old Palm T2, my Mp3 player, and update my phone. And let me tell you, it has exceeded my expectations, and I know I’m only using it for about 25% of what it can fully do. HOWEVER, in the last 2 weeks, it has froze up on me 3 times, and the only way I can get it to work is to pull the battery out, and I really don’t like doing this. I don’t run too many apps at once and have emptied my cache a few time. Any suggestions on how to get this to not happen, or at least not happen as much?

  • Nevil

    I was thinking, if i had a smartphone and then decided to go back to a flip-style or basic phone, would my smartphone capabilities still be usable, just without a phone service? Essentially this would now be a PDA, i am guessing that i would still have the smartphone features of WinMo still usable as well as the new Android OS (like Office Mobile, or the Google Docs suite)? Also, if i did this, would I be able to use wi-fi on this phone which is no longer connected to verizon service?

    Thanks.

    • Jim

      I believe those capabilities would still be usable on an off-network HTC Ozone, and others have indicated that wifi would work with a phone having no service, but I have to be clear that I can’t be sure until I try it, and being in a contract I can’t try it.

      The answer may be completely different for a smartphone using a different operating system (like Android OS).

      Has anybody tried this with an HTC Ozone?

  • Jimmy

    I am a Verizon cellphone customer but want a smartphone that can also access the internet through by wifi. Questions:

    –Can anyone tell me if their smartphones aren’t manufactured with wifi or if it is just turned off?

    –If their wifi is just turned off, is there a way to turn it back on?

    –If they don’t have wifi manufactured in, is there some sort of wireless adapter for Verizon smartphones that will get me on wifi at hotspots?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Jim

      Verizon doesn’t make the smartphones. Verizon supplies the cellular network. Different manufacturers (like HTC and Samsung and Motorola) make the phones that go on Verizon’s network, and those different manufacturers put different capabilities on different phones. So the answers to your questions will be different for different phones.

      The answer for the HTC Ozone phone is that it does come with wifi capability, which the user can turn off (to save energy) or on (for faster data transfer when wifi is available).

  • kacey

    I just got the Ozone today, to right click on a link, double click it and then it will ask you what you want to do.

    • Jim

      kacey, in what browser does the HTC do this? Not in the default IE browser, and not in the Skyfire browser. Not in other programs or the Home Screen, either. In all these contexts on my HTC Ozone a double click does the same thing as a single click.

      To access a contextual menu of options that is like a right-click on regular windows, try hitting the right-hand side bar button just underneath the screen on the HTC Ozone.

  • I got my Ozone a few days ago and so far I love it. I use skyfire mobile for a browser, which is free. The only complaint I have is that the windows mobile office doesn’t have a fully functional Word and you can only view and edit them. It’s a small complaint though….you can even upload your own ringtones!

  • If someone has Mac like I do, you can buy sync mate and you’d be surprised how good it does. You download CAB apps and most of the time, it’ll install stuff on the ozone.

  • Frank

    How do you get the keyboard to stay lit during a call at night? Mine goes black after 10 seconds.

  • Nick

    Where do you find ‘Main Memory’ on the phone? It’s probably realy obvious, but I just don’t see it.

  • Patty

    I’ve had mine for 6 months now and am happy with it. I do pay the $15/month for tethering plus the data fee. Tethering is just as fast as our cable connection was. You can use the phone while you’re tethering. It does, however, tend to disconnect often when moving it around.
    Two questions I have: How do I turn the keyboard light on? It doesn’t happen automatically and you can’t see it in dark places. Also, why do my speed dials get wiped out every time it synchronizes?

  • renee

    I hated my ozone nd just got a new phone yesterday can anyone tell me how to get my pictures off that stupid thing?

  • bob

    how much is the ozone WITHOUT the contract?

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