The Weather tab still amazes with its beautiful graphics. You can check the weather in up to 7 locations and you can flip through them with a finger sweep. You can also get a 5-day forecast for these locations via the first context key. The second context key allows you to manage the locations for which weather data will be retrieved.
The next tab is Settings and it lets you control various system options and replaces the old and confusing Windows Mobile Settings page. There are some new additions too, including customizing tabs, contact card, mail setup and finally, accelerometer options and calibration.
The two context buttons give you further settings - that is to say those innumerable confusing WinMo options - and the Advanced page lets you select wireless or Bluetooth devices.
First of all, the Settings tab allows you to set the ringing profile, volume level and ringtone all from one central place, which is really handy. Even pressing the volume rocker brings up a fancy custom-made fullscreen slider instead of the usual WinMo mini-sliders.
With the customizing tab option you can re-order and, if necessary, hide some of the Home screen tabs.
You also have access to the HTC custom Communications manager, which handles all on-board transceivers.
HTC have replaced the System status screen too. When you touch the icons on the top of the Home screen, you'll bring up the notifications area where you can check missed events, operator messages, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections and more. This idea is most probably borrowed from the Android notifications, which do the same.
The first time we pressed the Start button, we thought we'd done something wrong because it opened something similar to the old customizable application launcher. But it turns out we weren't wrong at all. Forget the old not particularly user-friendly menu; instead you now get a slightly upgraded app launcher with more icons, some of which are configured by default.
Once you get past the Home screen with all the fancy finger sweeps and animations, you are still left with the rather clunky and touch-unfriendly Microsoft OS. We are not against Windows Mobile by any means; however, having to poke around your device with a little stylus is so 1990s.
HTC, however, have made some efforts to tweak the core Windows usability too. Some of the most commonly used system settings, contacts management, and the messaging department have all benefited, likewise image and web browsing.
HTC may have left in some of the old WinMo layout, but they did at least do something about the context menus. They are completely redesigned and you'll never have to meet the old ones. They are now with bigger sections and fonts, rounded edges, pretty backgrounds and most important - touch-optimized.