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Review: HTC Arrive

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When held side-by-side with any other Windows Phone 7 device, there are virtually no changes to the way WP7 works on the Arrive — except for a few minor details.

Pressing the lock key wakes the display and shows a lock screen. From the lock screen, users can see the time and date, as well as the number of missed calls, text messages and emails at the bottom of the screen. Swipe from the bottom to the top to unlock the display.

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There are three permanent navigation buttons that will appear on every WP7 device, and they must appear in the same order: Back, Home, and Search.

The WP7 home screen makes use of live tiles for all its systems and content. Flicking up or down lets you scroll through the tiles. The tiles can be dragged to different places, or deleted altogether.

Swipe the screen to the left to access the full, main menu. The main menu displays a huge, long list of all the apps and features, single file. Again, you can flick it quickly up and down to find what you need, as well as pin any of these apps to the home screen.

WP7 also makes use of Hubs. The Hubs are for large collections of content, such as Pictures and Music/Video. Once you've opened a Hub, you keep swiping to the left to drill down deeper into that Hub.

As with the other WP7 devices, the Arrive has limited support for landscape orientation (this really needs to change!!!). For example, turning the phone on its side from the home screen does nothing. The menu doesn't reorient itself. It's the same in many other apps. Landscape support is inconsistent and it takes time and patience to learn which apps and screens support it and which don't. What's worse, opening the keyboard won't automatically re-orient the screen — you need to be within an application that can handle a screen switch, such as the browser, or email program. For a phone that has a keyboard, this is a critical error and major cause of frustration.

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