Last week, Dopod officially released the Dopod 818 Pro which is based on the brand new HTC Prophet (manufactured by Taiwanese HTC) and during last weeks MÃƒÂ¶bius conference in Seattle, I had my first contact with the Prophet.
The HTC Prophet is the true follower of the HTC Magician (better known as T-Mobile MDA compact, O2 Xda mini, i-mate Jam) and unlike the HTC Charmer (which is on sale exclusively by T-Mobile as MDA compact II) the Prophet not got Windows Mobile 5.0 only but also a new case, a new camera, built-in W-LAN and more.
Based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU 2 the Prophet comes in a sleek
metallic finish and supports quad-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE. In addition it
supports Bluetooth 2.0 and since it will be released with Windows Mobile AKU 2,
it will also supports the Bluetooth Stereo Headset Profile (A2DP). Unlike the
forerunners Magician and Charmer, the Prophet has built-in WiFi capabilities
with dual support of 802.11b and 802.11g aka WiFi b and WiFi g. Last but not
least it still has an infrared-support.
Similar to the Magician, also the Prophet still has a 2.8" QVGA touch screen
(only), supporting 65,536 colors but now featuring a 2 megapixel camera with an
Unfortunately, also the Prophet doesn't has - unlike the Universal (which is the
only HTC device so far) - a photo
light. So indoor shots with weak light conditions isn't the strength of the
Following the latest trend, HTC continues to use the TI OMAP 850 CPU which
provides - on one hand better stand-by times, on the other hand the OMAP 850 is
working with 200 MHz only. While these 200 MHz are not comparable with Intel's
Bulverde 200 MHz CPUs but way more powerful, it's still weaker than an Intel
Bulverde CPU with 400 MHz.
The Prophet reminds pretty much on the current Magician ID but as I said, it's a
complete new design, even if it is still as small as the Magician:
Also, HTC modified the navigation pad, the hardware buttons and added two
hardware buttons for better controlling Windows Mobile 5.0. Gone are the
Contacts and Calendar buttons but these buttons were replaced with a Start and
ok buttons. Together with the two soft-buttons, the Prophet supports way better
one hand navigation.
On the backside you have the camera above the battery cover but around the
camera, you have a ring now which you can switch from normal to macro mode.
Still there is the mirror for self-portraits but no photo light.
On the left side of the device, you have on top the camera button, in the middle
the volume slider and bellow a new button which gives you a fast access to a new
Communication Manager (but already known from the HTC Universal and Wizard)
which let's you control your wireless features like GSM, Bluetooth and W-LAN. On
the left side you still have the power switch as well as the infrared eye.
As all of the latest HTC devices, also the Prophet has a mini USB plug for
charging and synchronization. Unfortunately also the Prophet only has 2.5 plug
for the headset which means you still need an adapter if you want to use your
high-quality stereo headset to listen your music.
On the top of the device, the SD/MMC (SDIO-enabled) card slot is back. No more
miniSD as used with the HTC Wizard.
The current prototypes features (like the HTC Magician) a 1200 mAh battery but
thanks to the TI OMAP CPU, the standby should increase significant (if it isn't
taken from heavy W-LAN use on the other hand).
The following photos clearly shows that the Prophet and the Magician shares the
same size in terms of length, width and height. Also, the design is quite
similar and all connectors (antenna, mini USB, headset jack) as well as the
camera, infrared port and side-keys are on the same places. However, even if the
stylus has the same length and overall design, it's slightly redesigned but not
a telescope stylus as used for the HTC Wizard:
Compared to the Eten M600, the HTC Prophet still stays smaller in terms of
length and height while both devices are similar width.
While the M600 - unfortunately - misses the hardware buttons to support Windows Mobile 5.0's
soft-buttons, it has a photo light for the camera (which is nevertheless 1.3
On the left side, both devices have the camera button and the volume slider and
the (originally) Notes button of the M600 can be re-assigned to be used for
something different (like the Communication Manager since Eten put something
equal on the M600). Additionally, the M600 has the headset jack, protected by a
flap, on the left side as well:
Both devices features a SDIO slot on top while the Eten unfortunately has a
propriety sync and charge plug on the bottom:
The Prophet I've used for this review had a newer ROM already, than the ROM I've
used first time last week. The latest ROM already includes Microsoft's AKU 2 for
Windows Mobile 5.0 which means the Prophet will be definitely released with
Bluetooth headset (see my full
review here) support also (not sure if the Dopod 818 Pro already supports it
but there will be a ROM update available for sure):
The 2 megapixel camera support photos up to 1600x1200 pixels and bellow you can
find two sample shots I made with 1280x1024 pixels resolution (click to open the
Not bad at all - for a Windows Mobile device.
During the past 2 weeks, I had the chance to test two different
versions of the HTC Prophet and what I've seen looks more than promising. It
doesn't makes me wonder, that the Prophet is already on sale by Dopod since
both, the hardware as well as the software is rocking solid already. While I
doubt that the Dopod 818 Pro is already released with AKU 2 for Windows Mobile
5.0, I can confirm from several talks, that the Prophet will be released world
wide early next year and then it will has AKU 2 included for sure.
Beside the Bluetooth Stereo feature, I was also impressed by the W-LAN functionalities
which basically works as good as you might have used with other HTC devices
already. Nevertheless, the Prophet is the first Windows Mobile device by HTC
which also supports WiFi g (which should provides you gross speed up to 54
Mbps). While I don't see the need for this speed (most or our DSL connections as
well as public hotspots backbones are way slower) it helps in terms of
compatibility or streaming within local networks. For pure Internet access, WiFi
b is already good enough.
Unfortunately the Prophet isn't a UMTS device but features GSM, GPRS and EDGE
only. Nevertheless, EDGE is already good enough for wide area network access and
supports an average download speeds of 70 - 135 Kbps with burst speeds up to 200
Kbps. This is more than three times the speed of GPRS and nearly twice the speed
of CDMA 1xRTT! Unfortunately not too many carriers supports EDGE, many skipped
it and upgraded from GPRS to UMTS and left EDGE.
However, in Europe as well as Asia and even North America some carriers supports
it and since the Prophet is a quad-band device, it will fully work in North
American GSM networks (like T-Mobile and Cingular).
In terms of general device
speed, I'm positive surprised, especially because it's running a TI OMAP 850 CPU
with 200 MHz only. But it reacts fast and snappy, even snappier than the
Universal which is running with 520 MHz so it looks HTC made some major
improvements. From my point of view, it shouldn't be a major disappointment,
especially because it provides improved battery lifetime.
So yes, if you still
have an HTC Magician, you don't need a keyboard or UMTS and you can wait with an
update, the Prophet is worth to wait for! However, I'm not sure yet if it is
better, equal or worse than the O2 Xda Atom or M600. I haven't tested the Atom
yet and as far as I can say, the Prophet is equal to the M600. Both devices have
Last but not least I don't know (yet) which carriers or OEMs might plan to
introduce the device, but I'm sure some of the typical operators will pick it up
for sure as well as the typical OEMs (beside Dopod).
Cheers ~ Arne