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S60 Versus Windows Mobile: Exchange Email

HTC MogulTo continue on in my series on Windows Mobile and Symbian, let’s compare functionality in the main thing people want in a smartphone: messaging and personal information management (PIM). For purposes of comparison, I will be using this HTC Mogul that Qwest lent me to compare with my Nokia E61.

Disclaimer: I work for a competitor of both HTC and Microsoft in the smartphone space. That being said, my day job currently has nothing to do with smartphones. This is my own opinion.

Windows Mobile devices contain a mobile version of Outlook. It communicates with an Exchange server using ActiveSync. Most S60 devices contain an email client, but it does not communicate with ActiveSync. Nokia Eseries and a few Nseries devices can use Nokia’s Mail for Exchange, which enhances the built-in email client with ActiveSync functionality.

On Windows Mobile, Outlook works much like it does on my desktop. I have access to all my mail folders, can send email and have addresses checked against the global address list. The one thing that bothers me that it doesn’t easily do: delete messages. In Outlook on the desktop, I can have a message selected in a folder, hit the delete key, and the message deletes (possibly with prompting, depending on how you’ve configured it). In Windows Mobile, it can require up to 3 key presses to delete a message.

Mail for Exchange 2.0 only gives me the inbox. While at times it is irritating, it’s not a showstopper. I get much of the same functionality as with Outlook mobile and the delete key actually deletes a message either in the index view or in the detailed message view.

In both cases, email can be continually fetched by the device or set to a periodic amount of time. Windows Mobile seems to have more granularity overall versus Mail for Exchange, which has less choices. Mail for Exchange does allow a longer time between syncs–12 hours at the top end versus 4 on Windows Mobile. Both allow directory searches when entering messages, too.

As to which one I like better, it’s a wash for me. They both provide the essential functionality I need.


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