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Sure we told you about the official build of for the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade for the venerable HTC Ozone on Verizon (see review) leaked a few days ago, but what about an official release?

Looks like Big-V pulled the trigger and you can now get the upgrade directly from PCD, their 3rd party support channel thing-a-majg.

And yes, it's the exact same build number as the leaked, so if you did flash with the earlier version, no need to re-do it.  Need to see an over-view of the upgrade?  See our earlier coverage with some screen shots.

(And yes, we're having an official contest on how many times we can say officially.  Meow).

Upgrade here.

[Thanks, Al Zieba, for the tip!]

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Well, speak of the devil.  We were just lamenting how devices like the Ozone have seemingly been left out of the Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade fest, without even a release-window scheduled.

And soon after that we get word that XDA member udK has posted the shipping upgrade ROM for the Ozone (v2.16.605.15)  How convenient! (See our full review of the Ozone here)

Running WM6.5 build 21845 and with about 67MB of RAM/64MB ROM, it sure seems zippy enough when we loaded it up on our phone.  Overall, it looks exactly the same as the WM6.1 version, but it does have some little graphic enhancements (Outlook), is snappy as all heck, has MyPhone/Marketplace and even features a new home-screen customizer (see below) which is quite nice. The customizer allows you to enable/disable panels and even move them up/down to your liking.

Then there's all the internal stuff: new kernel, better battery life, performance enhancements, better Exchange support, etc.

While not as drastic as a change from WM6.1 to WM6.5 Professional, we do think the Ozone (one of our favorite devices in 2009) definitely deserves this update.

Of course, being an unofficial/official update, we have to throw out all the warnings and caveats as needed.  But if you're cool with it (and we did it ourselves), then you can download right here.

[thanks, Ronnie, for the tip!]

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Just a few days ago we gained the ability to flash custom ROMs to the HTC Touch Pro 2 on T-Mobile. Now comes an unlocker for the Verizon Ozone, aka the HTC Cedar.

Note that this DOES NOT work with Maple-based devices such as the Sprint Snap and T-Mobile Dash 3G. In fact, says XDA creator jockyw2001, "Running this sspl on a Dash3G will definitely brick it." So, there. If you do want to flash a Dash 3G, hit up this thread. Sorry, Sprint Snap folks. No flash for you. Yet.

If you're ready to customize your Ozone, check it the thread here, and be sure to read all the instructions first.

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That's right, folks. For a limited time only (we presume) you can get the HTC Touch Pro and Touch Diamond, as well as the Samsung Omnia, for the low, low price of $99. As you well know, all three of those phones are on their way out, so the discount isn't unexpected.

(The Samsung Saga is still at $199, btw, the SMT5800 is $99 the Ozone and Q9m are $49, and the original HTC Touch is $9.99.)

That all comes along with a 2-year contract. So if you don't mind signing away 730 days of your cellular life for phones that while good, aren't the latest and greatest, head on over to Verizon.

Thanks, Elliot, and everyone else who sent this in.

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Price war on the HTC Snap!

Uh oh. Looks like there's a bit of a price war brewing around the HTC Snap, and that's good news for you, the consumer. See, first Sprint released its version for $149.99. Then came Verizon with the Ozone at $49.99. Tough to beat that (and Malatesta's been raving about it for days now.)

Now it looks like Microsoft and T-Mobile have teamed up to lower the Dash 3G — which remains true to the Snap we originally saw — to $49.99 as well on the WMDeals Web site. That's a huge drop from the $169.99 on the T-Mobile site. So if you're looking for a front-facing QWERTY on the cheap, well, that's half of the four major U.S. carriers offering it for $50. Hey, Sprint. Care to join?

Oh, and if you're holding out for a T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 (on or about Aug. 12), look for it on the site soon. (The Shadow 2009 also is going for $49.99.) This lower price on the Dash 3G apparently isn't available is stores, so call 866-464-8662, press option 3 for new service, and mention promo code "Windows Mobile" when ordering.

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Just a reminder that the Verizon Ozone is on sale today, online anyway. It'll be in stores in a couple of weeks. Here's what $50 and a two-year contract gets ya:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • World phone.
  • 1500mAh battery.
  • 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches.
  • 256MB ROM/192MB RAM
  • WiFi b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.0.
  • 2.4-inch screen.
  • 2MP camera with autofocus and video.
  • MicroSD.
  • VZ Navigator.

Head here to snag one. And if you do, let us know if the GPS works on apps like Google Maps or Bing Mobile (previously Live Search), or if it's locked down to just VZ Navigator.

And, Verizon, thanks for fixing the Touch Pro and the Saga, but we haven't forgotten. We're still waiting on the official ROM update to unlock the Omnia's GPS.

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Verizon Wireless today officially announced the HTC Ozone (a variant of the Snap). We're not learning anything, really, that we didn't already know, but official is official, and that's a good thing.

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • 1500mAh battery.
  • WiFi
  • Visual Voice Mail, for $2.99 a month.
  • VZ Navigator, for $9.99 a month (no word yet on whether the GPS will be slaved to it).
  • The Ozone will cost $49.99 with a two-year contract.

Full presser after the break. As we already knew, the Ozone will be available online and by phone on June 29; in stores July 13.

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The march of the HTC Snap continues. Sprint's got it in Best Buy stores (and it should finally be in Sprint stores on Sunday), and now the Boy Genuis Report says that Verizon customers can get the Ozone online starting June 29. It'll be in stores a couple weeks after that, on July 13. No word on pricing. We're still looking for the T-Mobile variant in the coming weeks, too, so that just leaves AT&T the only of the big four U.S. carriers lacking a firm Snap sighting.

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Verizon Ozone will have $70 rebate

Not exactly an avalanche of news here, but look at the bottom right of this rebate form from Verizon and you'll see the HTC Ozone, which is getting a $70 discount on top of the other bones the big V is throwing our way en route to the low, low price of $49.99 with a two-year contract. That's not anything we didn't already know from that leaked document we saw a few days ago, but it's always nice to see something official. We're still expecting the Ozone online on June 29 and in stores July 13.

Via Crackberry

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Verizon Ozone specs in detail

For you Verizon-types looking longingly at the HTC Snap on Sprint and (soon) T-Mobile, here's a tasty morsel: Specs, specs and more specs, courtesy of the Boy Genius Report.

First, the necessities:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard.
  • 1500mAh battery
  • 4.5 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches
  • 256MB ROM/192MB RAM
  • WiFi B/G
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 2.4-inch screen
  • 2MP camera with autofocus and video
  • MicroSD
  • VZ Navigator

Now, the fun stuff: Sign a two-year contract and you'll pay just $49.99 for the Ozone. Yep, you heard that right. Going sans contract, the Ozone will cost $430.

The Ozone has EV-DO Rev. A comes with a SIM card and is a "World Phone," so you can take it overseas, if you're so inclined. Also, Verizon will allow you to use the Ozone as a modem (for a yet unknown fee, natch), and it'll sport visual voicemail.

Again, look for the Ozone online come June 29, and in brick-and-mortar stores starting July 13.

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Lo, how we dream of they day when a manufacturer will name a phone and a carrier will just use it. But that day is not today.

And so we bring you, courtesy of the Boy Genius Report, the Verizon Ozone — aka the HTC Snap/Willow/Maple. No release date or pricing, and it's safe to say it won't beat Sprint's variant out the door. But it does have WiFi, is a world phone (CDMA and GSM radios), and sports IE6, visual voicemail and VZ Navigator (which points to the dreaded locked-down GPS.)

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