This phone was sent to me under the most odd conditions. It was a jumble of bits in a plain white envelope with no instructions or software. The only thing that was included was a document stating that if I used any of the interesting functions, broke it, lost it or returned it late I was going to PAY! Not a very inviting way to start a product test. Well you can imagine that bag of bits managed to find its way to the side of my desk quickly and did not move until. . . .
I had visitors from out of town. What is the best way to test a phone? Hand it to someone that does not have one and really, really needs one. And so I did. These guys were both 40+ Americans and brighter than most. But we all know that when you mix over 40 with technology it all seems to go a bit pear shaped. Well this had all the markings of a pear in the making. The first time it rang the one holding it was so startled that he tossed it to the chair like a hot potato. From there is got appreciably better. By the end of the day the pair had grown quite fond of the phone and were using it more than I would have imagined. They especially found the intuitive user interface helpful. Big buttons on the touch screen meant that 40+ did not have to squint and it all seemed to make sense despite the huge array of options.
Many a picture was snapped and sent along with text messages and good old fashioned phone calls. I must admit they did not try many of the advance features, after all they were on holiday. The GPS system could have come in handy a few times, but being lost in Hong Kong is half the fun if you have the time to spare.
All in all, the HTC Cruise received high marks from these travelers. And it passed the most difficult test of all -- the over 40 test. So you know the interface must be good.