Frankenreview: Cingular 8525

The Cingular 8525 (HTC Hermes) smartphone is unimpressive at first glance, looking remarkably similar to its predecessor, the Cingular 8125. In a day when even Blackberries are getting cosmetic surgery and going organic, the 8525 keeps pounding Krispy Kremes and Whopper Jrs. Despite the persistent odor of onion rings and special sauce, you might just fall in love anyway.

Aside from Windows Mobile 5, push email and WiFi, the 8525 is the first UMTS/HSDPA smartphone in the US. Think of it as a double-decker, hi-speed data sandwich with the potential to clock 14.4Mbps downloading, while allowing you to transfer voice and data simultaneously from around the world. (EV-DO RevA might be faster, but will not allow dual pipelines). Is that a Cingular 8525 in your pocket, or are you...let's just go with the Cingular.

Check out our stunning 3DD graph, and hit the jump for a trans fat-laden edition of the Frankenreview. We eat the veggies so you can just suck out the jelly and call it a day.

Frankenreviewer Says:

Design

Frankenreview: Cingular 8525

"...the device is on the heavier side at 6.2 ounces, so you may grow tired of holding it up to your ear after a while..."
"Closed, it is almost exactly the same size as a Palm Treo 700p, but it opens to reveal a large, comfortable QWERTY keyboard, while allowing for a large 2.8-inch screen..."
"The slide-out QWERTY keyboard has large flat keys that are easy to hit with your thumbs, even if they don't provide the best tactile feedback."
"All too often, keystrokes didn't register as we typed, requiring multiple strokes and making for numerous typos."
"More notable is the BlackBerry-style trackwheel, located on the left-hand side..."
"The wheel also doubles as a volume controller while you're on a phone call."
- Why would you get so much right, only to screw up the keyboard?

High-Speed Network

Frankenreview: Cingular 8525

"The 8525 is the first global, high-speed smart phone, able to tap into mid-speed UMTS or high-speed HSDPA networks in more than 50 countries, including most of Western Europe."
"While UMTS enables streaming video and broadband Internet access with transfer speeds around 2mbps, HSDPA improves upon that performance with the potential to hit up to 14.4mbps."
"Over a couple weeks of testing, the 8525 averaged very good throughput of 872 Kbps using the HSDPA connection..."
"...in fact, HSDPA performance was even better than 802.11g."
"As for voice features, the Cingular 8525 is a quad-band world phone, so you can use it almost anywhere in the world."
"EV-DO phones make you choose between voice and data: HSDPA gives you both, simultaneously."
- This dual pipeline is just screaming for some killer apps.

Productivity
"...designed to be a workhorse for the power user and is equipped with all the features to do so..."
"...allows push mail from POP3/IMAP accounts, and the Clearvue PDF reader to top off the office suite..."
"...the e-mail experience was excellent..."
"As with reading e-mail, the generous screen real estate makes editing Word docs more pleasant than on smaller phones..."
"While the 8525 did a great job preserving the formatting of our documents, we found zooming in and out to be a hassle, requiring numerous taps on the menus..."
- Zoom or not, Excel will always scare the hell out of me on a smartphone...and off.

Multimedia

Frankenreview: Cingular 8525

"...2-megapixel camera isn't great, but at least it's higher-res than previous models..."
"...more impressed with the photo quality as the images boasted sharp lines and bright colors..."
"Sharing shots is simple; just click or tap on the envelope icon and you can send images via e-mail or MMS."
"We were able to stream video without a hitch, though the quality wasn't the greatest. Music playback was decent via the phone's speaker..."
- Wear headphones, for your sake and ours.

OS: Windows Mobile 5 PocketPC
Network: GSM/GPRS
Bands: 850/900/1800/1900
Data: UMTS/HSDPA
Processor: 400-MHz Samsung
Memory: 64MB RAM/128MB ROM
Expansion: MicroSD
Display: 2.8 inches (240 x 320, 64,000 colors)
Camera: 2MP
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 2.0
Talk Time/Standby Time: 5 hours/220 hours
Size: 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches
Weight: 6.2 ounces

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