Product Review: HTC Apache Windows Mobile Smartphone

As cell phones have become a standard staple of most individuals homes or jobs, many are looking towards the uber-PDA smartphones. These cell phones are simply Pocket PCs with a cell phone thrown into the mix, and generally offer WiFi, mobile office tools, full QWERTY keypads, games, video capabilities, email, GPS, notepads, conversion tools, and loads of other features.
If you’re looking into replacing your normal cell phone with a smartphone, there’s likely something that has caught your eye – the price. Most new, modern smartphones are priced at a whopping $400 – $600, which is more than most are willing to even consider for a cell phone. The alternative is to look for used phones, but the most recent still fall into the $300 range. That leaves older model phones. One such model, the HTC Apache, is a favorite for many.

The HTC Apache was priced at $400 when it was new, and can now be found on eBay for about $100. This is because the device first launched in 2004, which in technology years makes the device ancient. The HTC Apache is a good choice for many because it was launched on a large number of networks, including Verizon and AT T;, and Altel.

If you’re looking into getting the HTC Apache for yourself, continue reading.


The body of the HTC is very solid in the hands, and feels stiff and durable. I doubt that it would survive a fall to the ground, but only due to the hinged keypad, which makes the device more fragile.

The screen is smaller than those found on the Dell Axim’s, but is still large enough to use. Below the screen is a small rubber-coated joystick, two call buttons, two navigation buttons, a Windows key, and an OK button. Along the left side of the player is a scroll button, an Internet button, and a voice memo button. At the top is the power button and the MiniSD card slot. The right side has a dedicated camera button. On the back is a flash and the camera lens.


The Apache is a hefty, solid device. The phone is less than an inch thick, and has a slide-out QWERTY thumbpad with large buttons. It is easy to type on for those with larger fingers.

The camera features a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, and it is average for a cell phone. You can take either still photos or record footage, and you can manually switch it to micro-mode. The flash is located near the button.


The official OEM firmware on this is Windows Mobile 5, as it was released in 2004, before Windows Mobile 6 was released. If you’re okay with WM5, then that isn’t a big deal. If you were looking for the newer WM6, however, you’re in luck. An unofficial port of Windows Mobile 6 was made for the HTC Apache, and it runs just fine on my device. There is no lag from it, and the features far outweigh the previous version.

Battery Life

The standard 1350mAh battery lasts more than a week in standby, and about 3 – 4 hours for talking. If you do a lot of playing around on the device, it won’t last as long. Luckily, higher capacity batteries for this device can be found on eBay for less than $10, and they will greatly increase the time you can use this phone.


The only issue with this phone is the habit of the radio to fry. This happens all too often with the Apache, and no one is sure why. It’s not guaranteed that the radio will go bad on your device, but if it does and you don’t have a warranty, you will have to pay for repairs or lose the ability to make phone calls. Statistically speaking, it’s more likely than not that your device will remain completely fine and functional.


If you’re looking for a cheap-yet-high quality smartphone, the HTC Apache is an excellent choice. With the Windows Mobile 6 port for the phone, it is no different than the modern smartphones being released. It will work on a number of networks, including Verizon, one of the most popular carriers.

This device is a steel for $100 – $200, and will surely satisfy all but the most picky users.

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