And the secret device is- HTC Shift, US version with Sprint EV-DO


Cimg0416I know I teased you with word I was testing a device that I couldn’t talk about but since Amazon blew the embargo HTC has lifted me from mine.  The past week I have been evaluating the US version of the HTC Shift UMPC with SnapVUE.  This is news because the US version is a Sprint-branded device with EV-DO and not GSM like the European versions you’ve seen reviewed lately.  I am not prepared to do a complete review because I didn’t think the embargo was going to be lifted until next week but I can share some photos of the Shift taken very quickly.  They are after the jump.

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Logan M

Hehe, I was right!! Does that mean I get a prize?? Ooh, you could give me that shift when you are done with it. =P

Gavin Miller

‘Next Gen please!’

But if we kept saying that we’d still have our 30lb devices! ;-)

The Shift is a very small device so has a very small battery (it also has a teeny charger, bonus!). Maybe we’ll see an extended battery but who knows. I believe HTC are offering buyers in the US a second battery for $50.


The idea of marrying these two technologies (Windows and Windows Mobile), is I think a win… but not in this incarnation.

I have an Advantage and the U810, but I don’t carry both around with me at the same time. However I miss the features of which ever device I have left at home.

The trouble is, as Mike and HG say, that this has come a bit too late. Devices have developed such a long way in the last 12 months and along with that so have our minimum expectations for these products.

OQO and Sony get away with crappy battery life because they can shout about speed and power to the consumers, but they are being squeezed as well.

This is close… but makes too many compromises. It is not a real pocket PC and it is not real UMPC competitor.

Next Gen please!


Two hours of battery life makes this a portable device, not a mobile device.


The HP2133 is an attractive machine, but the processing speed and large footprint will not fit my needs. It also lacks the level of availability I was seeking.

Mike Cane

Sorry, but this thing is not just so last year, it’s so year BEFORE last year.

Now if you had actually gotten an hp2133 …

Gavin Miller

Great comments guys.

The developer/hacker community is hard at work adding back in all sorts of hidden functionality. It has been confirmed also there is a live GPS in there. Ideally I would love the ability of instant on, be able to read attachments sent to me and make use of GPS functionality all in the low power Windows Mobile side. As regards Eee comparisons I have both and would say that this is a different device really, touchscreen tablet , smaller with a better (imo) screen. Like I posted before full WiMo makes this feel like one of the old Psions which were great little productivity machines with long battery life and good keyboards.


Gavin Miller & kamikun: Sounds like there are at least three people in the market for a PDA-PC. After looking at UMPCs and smart phones, I decided to go with a Fujitsu P1610. Outlook with Contact Manager provides PDA features, sleep mode emulates instant-on capability, swappable 6-cell batteries provide all-day computing, and the 8.9″ display is extremely practical. Plus it’s a configurable PC with a tablet interface. The downside: it’s more expensive and about 1 lb heavier than a SHIFT-type device. The P1610 has shortcomings, but it’s a workable solution that’s available today. (The P1620 is a better product, but the P1610 is only about $800 now.)


Gavin Millersaid: “The value proposition is better if it’s a full WiMo PDA with instant on, long battery and a usable keyboard along with a full Vista UMPC for when you need a ‘proper’ PC.”

THIS! (Like the kids say these days…) I said before that without full WM functionality this machine isn’t really any more than another me-too UMPC in the market. With WM it becomes a real workplace and in-the-field alternative!


It doesn’t compare very well with the EEE IMO. Look,

screen: same size and rez but inferior to the 9″ model
keyboard: smaller than the EEE
size weight: narrower than the EEE and weight 15% less but both need very similar type of bag to carry (manpurse)
connectivity: has bluetooth and 3G but nothing a $10 and a $100 USB module can’t fix.
power: A110 is probably less productive in running XP programs than Celeron, plus you can overclock the EEE
battery: slightly longer than the EEE, probably not much more
price: double that of the EEE, at least!

If you bother to hack an internal bluetooth to the EEE, I don’t even think its an overall inferior UMPC, regardless of the price! That’s not very good.


This device would have been a great device last year. The reason is there is more umps, for a lot less than the HTC Shift. Also battery life is a concern for some; been that you get 2hrs. I get Shrs on my Fujitsu U810 which is very nice. I can actually almost get by, using the standby in between for what I use it. I also have a Samsung Q1P that has 800X480 and I like the 1024X600res better. What HTC needs to do is upgrade it to the specs of the Fujitsu P1620.


I think I saw a review of this not to long ago. The battery life is about 2-3 hours with Vista running, but is much longer (like 7 days?) if it has just Windows Mobile running.

On the review I saw it said this isn’t meant to be used as a phone (with voice) but I wonder if you can pair it with a blue tooth headset and talk that way.


The price is a bit much, but I’ve never really let that get in the way.

Two hour battery life, huh? That’s a bit troublesome.

Gavin Miller

Well, there is the 2 hour battery life! I’ve picked up a Tekkeon Mypower 3450 for long trips. Plus it is still quite pricey but I saw it as a very versatile device so took the plunge!


Damn. I’m trying to figure out reasons to talk myself out of wanting this thing.

Gavin Miller


It’s probably the best of the UMPCs. It’s not as good as an Eee keyboard but then as a device this is a fair bit smaller. Reminds me a bit of a Psion 5 which is a good thing! It’s certainly perfectly usable.


How is the keyboard on this thing?

It looks like it’s almost the size of a Redfly/Eee keyboard. But, for some reason, this device looks so small, I find this hard to believe.

Any comments on the keyboard, Gavin or James?

Gavin Miller

Should have mentioned, using my Shift now as I sit in my hotel room in cold but sunny Manchester!

Gavin Miller

James, I was thinking along the lines of battery life and the ability to run some of the Windows Mobile GPS progs like TomTom or similar.

If I am stuck somewhere travelling it will be convenient to rattle off quick bursts of text in Word mobile for reformatting in Word later.

Look forward to your full review.

James Kendrick

Gavin, personally I have no desire to create a 7inch WM device. SnapVUE the way it’s implemented does a good job providing push email without firing up the Vista side and I see no advantage to installing a full WM PDA on the Shift. To do other work just tap a button and go into Vista like it’s designed to do.


Hrrm, don’t you mean that you’ve been “evaluating the US version of the HTC *SHIFT* UMPC with SnapVUE”? It’s all right, it’s been a long day =)


YIKES !!!!


After endless posts about Verizon, and me…sitting here with my Sprint account seeming
older and older. Nothing interesting…(of course, I still love my Treo). And now! Can’t wait for your evaluation. Hope the Shift will run Slingbox.

Gavin Miller

Hope you haven’t hacked snapvue into full WiMo 6! It’s a real shame ‘licensing’ issues stopped the full implementation but thanks to the guys at XDA Developers we can unlock our shifts and reinstall mobile office, opera etc. Once they get access to the SD card and GPS functions this will be a very exciting UMPC!

The value proposition is better if it’s a full WiMo PDA with instant on, long battery and a usable keyboard along with a full Vista UMPC for when you need a ‘proper’ PC.

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