Cingular Unleashes the 8525 and The Reviews Are Here (Verdict: It's Pretty Darn Good)

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This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Cingular today announced the release of the 8525 smartphone and the reviews are already here. Laptop Magazine got its filthy hands on it and gave it a good rub down. The overall impression the mag walks away with is a good one. For starters, the 8525 is the first device in the U.S. to feature HSDPA wireless broadband and the first 3G device in the U.S. to have international 3G capabilities. What this means is that high rollers and other people travel around the world frequently will find the 8525 particiularly useful. Other highlights include built-in Wi-Fi, and BlackBerry-like scroll wheel on the side and 2-megapixel camera. More insight after el jumpo.

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

For all its pluses, the 8525 does have some rough spots, the review found. For starters, the number of places where you can actually use the HSDPA broadband capabilities in the U.S. is somewhat small, right now at 120 markets. (For comparison, Sprint and Verizon, which both use EV-DO, have 220 and 212, respectively.) The inclusion of Wi-Fi sort of nullifies that, but if HSDPA is your big selling point, it better damn well be supported in my house in Nowhereville, U. S. and A. Pusk-to-talk isn't supported yet, even though the button is there; expect to see that supported sometime in 2007.

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So by the looks of it, the 8525 is a good get. It combines the barely-even-deployed HSPDA standard with the familiar Windows Mobile environment quite well. It is a little on the expensive side, carrying a $400 price tag, and that's with a two-year contract. Could it top the Dash as the premier Windows Mobile smartphone? Giz reports, you decide.

Cingular 8525 [Laptop Magazine]

Cingular 8525 Rides Wireless Speedway [Cingular]

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DISCUSSION

Neight (and Gizmodo editors),

Although the sizeeasy site is very nice, if the device isn't an exact shoebox, it very well may not tell the whole truth about how a device feels in your hand or pocket. Going back to the sk3 vs 8125 example, the front face of the sidekick is flatter than the back, so combining that with what I mentioned earlier about the ends of the sidekick tapering in both width and height, the sidekick feels significantly sleekier than the 8125 despite being fairly similar spec-wise.

There's a lot more to a form factor than just listing the 3 places on the device where the dimensions are the largest.

And re: the 8125 vs 8525, even using the strict dimensions:

8525 is 58 x 112.5 x 21.95 mm

8125 is 58 x 108 x 23.7 mm

So the 8525 is 1.7mm thinner, but 4.5mm longer... hardly seems like a drastic change, though I will admit that the decreased thickness probably makes it feel significantly smaller despite only being 1.7mm change.