Friday, May 26, 2006

Cingular 8125 (HTC Wizard) Revisit (Day 1 - Day 2)

I have been using the Cingular 8125 (aka HTC Wizard) for about a week. The overall experience is great. The following is a short journal of my 8125 usage within these 7 days:

Day 1:
I skip the procedure of charging the phone battery for 8 hrs before usage. Come on. The battery is Lithium Ion and it is no memory effect. I really don't believe the myth about the 8 hrs charging. I just want to use my phone!!!

I skip the details about all the basic setup procedure. I'm sure you can find million of articles by google on the web. For me, I ran into an issue as what the other Mac users experienced. How can I sync the Windows CE Windows Mobile Phone with my Mac? I goto the easiest way: Use a Windows XP machine to sync!!! Well, we have to use the right tool for the right thing sometimes, right?

However, how can I import/export my Mac address book to the other machine's Outlook? After fighting for hours by using all the available solutions from the web, I still have no success. In order to save time, I turned on my "old" Nokia 6680 without sim card (in flight mode) and turned on Bluetooth. Goto the phonebook, select all the contacts, and send via bluetooth. Wala!!! All my contacts sent to my newly Cingular 8125 (Note: I receive millions of pop up boxes to ask me I want to accept the incoming contacts or not. Why don't have the "Yes to all" button!?!?)

After imported my 400+ contacts to my 8125, I synced it with my XP box. Open Outlook, tweaked the Last name/First name format and synced all the contacts back to the phone. It's 2:30am. I have all the contacts in my phone. At least, I can use it just as a phone for now. Sleep... z z z Z Z Z Z

Day 2:
Woke up in the morning @ 7:30am and I have 100% charge on my 8125's battery. Took a shower, ate some breads for breakfast, got inside my car, turned on XM Radio Channel 222 (Los Angeles Traffic), and I was ready to start my 40 miles drive to go back to work. Picked up my 8125, WTF? The battery level dropped to 95% already. 5% of the charges were gone within 30 minutes? And I recalled why I hate PPC a lot, PPC likes to eat up battery. After a 2 hrs drive, I arrived my office. I pulled out my phone and the battery indicator showed it has 93% of battery left. Ok, I admit I live next to the hill side and I have very bad signal all the time. May be that's the reason why the battery drain so fast. However, IT IS UNACCEPTABLE for a mobile phone. It should be smart enough to turn on/off the radio in bad signal area. Nokia does a very good job about that. Man... I start missing my 6680.

Around 5:00pm, I checked with my 8125 again. The battery dropped to 55%. Oh yeah, I forget to mention that I have pushed email enabled (Cingular's Xpress Mail Personal Edition). Probably the GPRS/EDGE connection drained the battery. Luckily, 8125 uses mini-USB for sync and charge. I opened up my gadget bag and pull out a USB cable. One side I plugged to my Powerbook USB port and the other end I plugged to my 8125. What? Nothing happen? I got a bad cable? No way... I pulled out my Playstation Portable and plugged into the cable to the PSP's mini-USB port. Hey, the cable works!!! What is the problem? I recalled my Motorola RAZR (V3) had the similar problem before with that cable. So I pulled out my gadget bag again and found the "L" shape adaptor that comes with the V3. I plugged the adaptor to the cable and connect with my 8125 again. Now, everything works just fine.

After I back to home that night, I tried to remove the Xpress Mail client from my phone because I can't see the real benefit of pushing email technology. The phone needs to be online all the time by using push. I decided to use IMAP with my email server (Luckily, I have my personal email server in the data center). After fighting for more than an hour, I gave up.

According to some articles on the web, it is better to run the 8125 in clean version, which means no Cingular's customization. 8125 can do a hard rest by running "Clear Storage" under the System tab within Settings. Once the phone's memory is cleaned and it will automatically reboot. Now, I have the brand new phone again. After finished the initial setup, the customization screen appears. I simply do a soft reset and I skip that Cingular customization procedure. Now, I have a clean version of 8125. Wait, a 8125 without Cingular's customization. Can I call my phone HTC Wizard for now?

Without Cingular's customization, all the GPRS/EDGE settings are not exists. Some of the registry hacks are gone (e.g. There is no E icon with my GPRS/EDGE connection status icon). I spent like 3 hours to google the web and find out tons of useful information about how to setup the clean version 8125. I will go over that for my next post. However, if you are interested, you can goto Howards Forum. It is the biggest mobile phone forum in the internet.

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