Review: HTC Freestyle
The Freestyle can access AT&T's AppCenter for BREW-based applications. The AppCenter looks a heck of a lot better than the disastrous app repositories that are available to AT&T's other feature phones. Once it loads, the user interface is fairly attractive and easy to navigate. The AppCenter is mostly icon-driven, rather than the lousy text menus available on other AT&T feature phones. The categories make sense, and the AppCenter performs quickly. The paid applications are billed to your monthly account, according to the disclaimers that jumped up at me on the screen. Some of the titles I saw available included familiar ones such as iSkoot, Loopt, Where, Shazam and so on. Disturbingly, many of the paid apps cost $2.99 and $3.99. I didn't see any apps that cost only $0.99 or $1.99. There were only a handful of free apps.
The Freestyle runs Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and it supports stereo Bluetooth. Pairing with mono and stereo headsets was a breeze. Phone call quality through a headset was pretty bad. The headset amplified that intrusive hissing sound nearly to the point of pain. Listening to music via stereo Bluetooth wasn't a terrible experience, but you're much better off using your favorite pair of wired headphones.
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The Freestyle doesn't have quite the same awesome clock support that HTC's Android phones enjoy, but it's still good enough to replace a watch. A quick press of the lock key, and the phone lights up with that good, old, huge clock that we're all familiar with. It can't be customized.
The Freestyle has AT&T Navigator, AT&T Maps, and AT&T FamilyMaps on board ('cause, you know, three apps are better than one). Navigator and FamilyMaps require monthly fees to use. Thankfully, the basic Maps application can be used for free. Maps is powered by TeleNav, and it functions just like the Navigator app, minus turn-by-turn directions. The Navigator app offers turn-by-turn for $10 per month.
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