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Rogers HTC Dream mini review

Rogers White HTC Dream

Rogers White HTC Dream

Android, Google’s Open Source OS for smart phones has finally come to Canada in the form of the HTC Dream (T-mobile G1 in the USA). Roger’s Android phone features some changes from the default Android 1.5 (Cupcake) OS that makes it unique to Canada, most notably, built in support for ActiveSync, allowing you to get push email from a Microsoft Exchange server.

There are some caveants, the most important being, if you want to use your Rogers HTC Dream with an Exchange Server, it must be running Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1 applied. In our testing, we discovered that HTC has formatted their https commands differently than the iPhone, and other ActiveSync devices causing a “Sync Protocol Error” to be displayed on the phone.

Overall, I quite like the device, and I am quite fond of its ability to run an SSH client full screen, and allowing me to use the 5 line qwerty keyboard to control servers and routers that I need access to remotely.  Web browsing is also nice and fast thanks to built in HSPA 3.5G support (7.2Mbps download, 2Mbps upload).  The built in mail client is very similar in operation to the Apple mail client that comes with the iPod touch, and iPhone.  I really like the built in Calendar’s ability to sync with Google Calendar, as well as exchange, showing the events in both calendars in different colors. This allows me to keep my personal calendar separate from my work calendar.

As expected, all of the Google apps really shine on Android, Maps, Talk, Youtube and Mail all work seamlessly with Google, and are activated with the very first setup screen when the phone is started up for the first time.

The Rogers version of the HTC Dream comes with a 2GB micro SD card already installed in the phone.

So far, I’ve only had the phone for 6 days, I’ll be posting a more detailed post on the phone after I’ve had a chance to use it for work for a month.

Post a comment if you have a question that you’d like me to answer.

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  1. Ben
    June 10th, 2009 at 07:24 | #1

    I upgraded my blackberry curve to the HTC dream on jun.6 and I have been loving it ever since! I love all the applications that are already on the market and there’s more to come! Also this phone really shines when the WiFi is enabled, too bad it drinks power like crazy. I had to charge my phone twice in one day, but that’s because I kept my WiFi on the whole time.

  2. June 10th, 2009 at 21:42 | #2

    I agree with your statement about the battery! Its a power hog, but its not a huge deal, I got in the habit a long time ago of charging my phone every night. When I first enabled active sync, I told it to sync 7 days of mail, and to download attachments, it kept my phones data connection pinned all day long! I had to keep my phone plugged in via usb while it synchronized.

    Its nice to see apple having a serious smartphone competitor, and it looks like blackberry will be hit pretty hard this summer as users upgrade to newer phones from other manufacturers.

  3. R
    June 10th, 2009 at 21:58 | #3

    Does this phone have the capability to attach to a bank site for trading stocks… the ability to get quotes and do actual trades??

  4. JamesD
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:35 | #4

    Thanks for the useful info. It’s so interesting

  5. June 11th, 2009 at 10:41 | #5

    Hi R-

    I’ve been able to log into my brokers website to get quotes, and it looks like I should be able to make trades without issue.

  6. Gabriel
    June 19th, 2009 at 12:26 | #6

    HTC Canada website reads that the HTC Magic comes pre-loaded with PDF and MS Office files viewer. What about HTD Dream? Also, can the Dream’s browser load Flash?

  7. June 19th, 2009 at 14:47 | #7

    @Gabriel
    HTC dream has a PDF and MS Office viewer installed, I havn’t tried the office viewer yet, but it looks like it should work. I can confim that the PDF viewer works well.

    Currently, the Android platform, much like the iPhone does not support flash. At the recent Google IO conference, the number one question posed to the Android developers was regarding flash support. Google engineers called it a nightmare, and said that the G1/HTC Dream hardware couldn’t handle it, and the Magic may be able to handle it.

    I’m not holding my breath for flash support.

  8. June 30th, 2009 at 09:20 | #8

    Thanks for the review, was just considering it, now I am sold. Its the ssh that does it for me, not to mention the still nascent android store.

  9. Shannon
    July 4th, 2009 at 18:18 | #9

    Do you know if it’s possible to stop receiving text messages everytime I have a missed call? I am sick of receiving them. If there is no way, it’s not like it costs me money, it’s just irritating. Please help!

  10. July 8th, 2009 at 22:24 | #10

    After about a month of heavy use, I ended up switching my phone to an iPhone 3GS, I posted about it here: http://www.apeman.org/2009/07/08/240/

    I still have access to my HTC Dream, so I’ll try to answer questions posted here. Its not that I didn’t like the phone, it just didn’t suit me.

  11. Gabriel
    August 4th, 2009 at 06:03 | #11

    I have also been using the HTC Magic for a month now. While I like it more than my previous Sony Ericsson K790, I think the iPhone 3GS might be better. The Magic is OK but I find it slow sometimes. Not when performing tasks that have been already running in my phone, but when I switch programs, the response time is slow.

    I see it the most in the dialer application. It takes some time to get the last number called/received to show up as the first number. Also, when entering the number, you may be entering the number and then there’s a delay with them showing up in the dialing line.

    Then there’s the delay for the keyboard layout. It takes some time for it to switch form vertical to horizontal, or the way around. I had read about this but didn’t know it was that slow.

    The keyboard itself is also sometimes slow. It’s got the same problem as the dialer, you may be inputting the letters but it takes some time to get it on the screen. The issue is that sometimes you are even prevented from inputting the data. So you keep pressing the letter/number just to figure out that you’ve entered it several times (you never know whether you’re punching correctly or it’s the phone which is delayed).

    The search in the Contact can only search by first and last name, or as you entered it in such fields. That means that you cannot search by organization while in Contacts. You can search by organization in the Dialer, but once you find it, it adds extra time to get a contact edited.

    There’s no speed dial. I used to be able to dial any number in my S-E and it would dial the number I had assigned. There’s not such a thing here. You need to add a shortcut to the home screen, thus adding more steps for speed dialing.

    I use my phone for note taking quite a lot, so its slowness wrt keyboard is annoying. I also use it to dial a lot, so its slowness in this area is as annoying.

    I love the concept. I like my Magic much better than my S-E. I just think HTC needs to refine it. I’ve played around with my friend’s iPhone 3GS a couple of times. The response time is much better. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with the Magic for another year, unless I am prepared to spend another $500 for the 3GS.

  12. Gabriel
    August 4th, 2009 at 06:07 | #12

    as well, the Maps application is slow…I mean, really slow. I wasn’t expecting same functionaly as that of a stand-alone GPS device. But common…I have a BlackBerry (for work) and its map runs much faster. The Magic sometimes won’t give you a rendering of a specific region in the map, making it annoying.

    And finally, I agree HTC needs to add separate mini jack capability for earphones. The way it is right now, the only USB serves as charger input and audio output. So you can’t use it in your car to listen to your songs and charge it at the same time.

    I won’t give up just yet (specially since I can $$$, lol), but there are improvements to be made.

  13. August 5th, 2009 at 18:07 | #13

    @Gabriel
    Thanks for your comments, there is a lot of work to be done on the Android platform, it will be an interestin platform to watch over the years.

    Cheers, Chris

  14. Jason
    August 8th, 2009 at 12:15 | #14

    @Gabriel
    Are you talking about the HTC Dream or Magic?

  15. Gabriel
    August 13th, 2009 at 10:05 | #15

    HTC Magic. As I write, I am not receiving any new mail in the built-in client provided in the device. Annoying.

  16. Jo
    August 29th, 2009 at 13:47 | #16

    Does anyone know if the HTC Dream can store and view PDF files OFFLINE? (Just like we store it in our desktop computers, just open it from our storage folders instead of having to email PDFs to ourselves and open them as attachments). Thank you~~

  17. August 29th, 2009 at 14:13 | #17

    @Jo Yes this is possible on the HTC dream (and I would assume the magic as well). You can save PDF files to the memory card and then open them with the PDF reader. The same goes for word and excel documents as well.

  18. Tory Holly
    September 12th, 2009 at 22:10 | #18

    My first Dream lasted 2 weeks then went haywire…they replaces it no problem …but now my phone keps saying no SD card …any ideas on this … I cannot seem to be able to download ringtones or anything.

    • September 13th, 2009 at 19:05 | #19

      My only suggestion would be to try ejecting the SD card and re-inserting it. Failing that, try a new SD card and see if that makes a difference.

  19. Kalina WorkerBee
    September 14th, 2009 at 18:06 | #20

    Has anyone had issues with the HTC Dream syncing with their Outlook Exchange calendar/contacts?
    My phone keeps on overwriting and deleting attendees from my outlook appointments as well as have deleted some of the fields in my contact fields!
    The battery only lasts me the 5 hours as I am a power user…
    Love the ability to combine the personal usage of the google calendars with the business Exchange calendar.
    Exchange usage may not be as robust as I need it to be…
    I bit frustrated…
    Anyone?

  20. October 16th, 2009 at 14:46 | #21

    Yes…my htc dream is deleting my attendees from outlook….this is criminal…fix it Google!!!!

  21. toerholm
    November 5th, 2009 at 02:21 | #22

    Hi,
    Got a HTC Hero and Im trying to get active Sync up with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (without SP1/SP2).

    I get the “Sync Protocol Error”, and no content is synced.
    You mentioned that SP1 had to be installed,.. So just be sure, before spending time convincing my IT manager to upgrade the exchange server.

    You had the same problems as me, with no content and “Sycn protocol Error” and an upgrade of the exchange server with SP1 solved the problem ?

  22. eliabear13
    December 15th, 2009 at 21:19 | #23

    Thanks Apeman, this will save me time as I’ve been searching the web on how to fix the error is setting up my Dream with Active sync as our’s is still Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.Is it same reason why I cannot set up Outlook Web Access and POP mail on my HTC dream?

    • December 15th, 2009 at 21:46 | #24

      If your administrator has pop3 (or even better, IMAP4) enabled, you will be able to sync your mail that way. Outlook web access should also work via the dream’s web browser.

  23. eliabear13
    December 15th, 2009 at 23:30 | #25

    The POP worked up to mail set up. But won’t allow me to sync my email, contacts and calendar. On the OWB its the certificate error message. This is so easy on my old blackberry, now I’m temped to switch to the iphone. I missed the release of the new 3g as the Dream came out two weeks ahead of the iphone. I read your post on this.

    • December 16th, 2009 at 00:56 | #26

      POP/POP3 does not allow for two way email sync, its download only. Given your situation, IMAP is really the only workable choice.

      You won’t get contacts and calendars on the HTC without Exchange 2007 SP1.

  24. Tyler porter
    December 31st, 2009 at 18:15 | #27

    Hi everyone, I have a simple question so I hope somebody can answer it. I have a problem uploading pictures to facebook, myspace and any website that allows you to upload a picture. Oh yes and my phone is the htc dream I just thougfht I would mention it so it will give you a better idea of what the problem is but it shows this big gray button that says (upload disabled) whenever I’m about to upload a photo and its really starting to get on my nerves so if anyone has any information please let me know thanks alot.
    Tyler.

  25. Raghu
    January 5th, 2010 at 01:47 | #28

    Hi everyone,
    I have got a HTC Dream device, I would like to get my MS Exchange Outlook mails (push Mail Service) configured on to it. Can it be done on this? Kindly guide. Thanks Raghu

    • January 5th, 2010 at 10:30 | #29

      @Raghu –

      Push/Exchange email with the HTC Dream only works with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 with SP1 or later. You need to talk to your company email administrator to see if you meet these requirements. If you meet the above requirements, then it should just be a matter of choosing the exchange option and following the on-screen instructions.

      Cheers, Chris

  26. andre
    October 21st, 2010 at 13:58 | #30

    Amazing phone. when it works that is. i love my dream i upgraded from a bb pearl flip and it was a good upgrade. but i have had 4 phones in 7 months. it keeps turning off on me. other than that it is one great phone.

  1. July 8th, 2009 at 22:26 | #1