Looks like the Cingular 8525 (aka HTC Hermes) is getting close.
I can’t upgrade until August 2007, but let’s see if I’m going to start looking at my 8125 in disgust when the 8525 is available within the next month or so.
The 8525 has a 400 MHz Samsung processor, while the 8125 is 200 MHz TI OMAP. Apples and oranges. Can’t tell anything from that. Like comparing Intel to PPC. MHz is just a number unless you’re talking the exact same processor, but it’s probably faster. I’m getting used the speed (or lack thereof) of the 8125. They both have the same RAM/ROM (not enough). Same operating system (Windows Mobile 5 Phone Edition).
The screen appears to be the same resolution. The 8525 is slightly wider, but a tad thinner. Little difference. The default battery is slightly more powerful in the 8525.
The big selling point of the 8525 is the networking. While the 8125 connects to the Internet using GPRS/EDGE, the 8525 uses UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system) to go over the new Cingular HSPDA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) network. Cingular’s trade name for it is 3G, designed to compete with Verizon’s EVDO. Think of the GPRS/EDGE that devices currently use like the old dial-up modem, and 3G/EVDO is like a cable or DSL modem. Yeah, one can (and they are) nitpick which is better/faster…EVDO or 3G. But that’s the same silly cable vs. DSL argument. Both are much faster than the older way.
The catch is that like broadband modems were circa 1997, it’s only good if you can get it. Cingular’s 3G network is still rolling out, mostly to metropolitan areas. No Trenton or Philadelphia on the list, so I’d be out of luck locally. If you live in a more remote area, the new networking isn’t going to make a difference in your life and you’ll pay for something that may take years to get to you. There hasn’t been any official word as to how much Cingular’s 3G costs on a phone since there are no phones out for it yet, but unlimited 3G laptop plans (using a PC card) start at $60/month with a voice plan. Yikes.
Looking at the picture, it looks like HTC/Cingular made some functional improvements over the Wizard/8125. The keyboard has the number keys in a more logical layout (over the Y, U, I, H, J, K, B, N & M keys…like on an external keyboard). My 8125 has them only across the top row of keys. Typing a lot of numbers is a royal pain. Also, there is “Start” and “OK” buttons on the d-pad. I have a hack for that now.
So bottom line…I don’t think my gadget envy will get me on this one.