Archive for December 11th, 2008

By December 11, 2008 Read More →

HTC Touch HD on O2

It’s not yet officially on the o2 website but the MoDaCo team have announced that you can now get this handset on an o2 monthly contract from mobiles.co.uk.

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If you use the code ‘MODACO’ you will get a free ‘Jabra Bluetooth 2010 Drive Pack’!

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Good news for all you HD fans then. Remember that the Q&A post for the touch HD is live and questions can still be asked.

Posted by: John

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Posted in: News
By December 11, 2008 Read More →

HTC S740 Review

As regular visitors to T&M will know Matt had a mini play with the HTC S740 couple of months ago, and his video preview can be seen here.

In a detachment from the normal review I think that in lots of ways I totally agree with Matt’s views. This time I will concentrate on my opinion of the mobile, in agreement with Matt’s comments, some of which I have replicated.

The HTC S740

The HTC S740 (aka HTC Rose)

What’s in the box?

  • HTC S740 smartphone with Windows mobile 6.1 standard
  • Stereo Headset with miniUSB connection
  • AC plug with interchangeable heads for specific countries which connects to the USB cable (insert pic?)
  • Soft slip on carry case, with no clips or connections
  • USB to miniUSB connector

 

Point of note here is that this is, once again, a test device, so although it appears to be the final version, the contents and finished article may differ slightly.

HTC S740 Specification:

  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Standard
  • 116.3 mm (L) X 43.4 mm (W) X 16.3 mm (T)
  • 140g with battery
  • Qualcomm® MSM7225™, 528MHz
  • RAM: 256MB SDRAM
  • ROM: 256MB
  • 2.4 inch TFT-LCD and QVGA resolution screen
  • HSDPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz for Europe.
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE: Quad-band 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Bluetooth® 2.0
  • 3.2 megapixel colour camera with fixed focus
  • 1000 mAh Rechargeable Lithium-ion polymer battery
  • Battery Standby: Up to 280 hours
  • Battery Talk Time: Up to 380 minutes 
  • HTC ExtUSB™
  • GPS / AGPS
  • microSD

 

Highlights

  • Sharp clear screen
  • Great design
  • Build quality
  • Usability
  • Battery life
  • Hey, what the heck, sexiness!

Lowlights

  • 4 row keyboard
  • Chunkiness
  • Poor camera

General

The top houses the power on/off button

HTC S740 top view

HTC S740 Top View

 

The left has only the separate volume up and down buttons.

HTC S740 Left View

HTC S740 Left Side

 

The bottom of the device finds the miniUSB connection socket, for charging, headphones, sync etc.

HTC S740 bottom view

HTC S740 bottom view

 

The right hand side has a dedicated camera button.

HTC S740 right view

HTC S740 right side

 

So as you can tell fairly straightforward and uncomplicated thus far.

On the rear is the now expected ‘diamond faceted’ back cover which as usual is a little annoying as it rocks and is unstable when you place it down and try to type etc. Also here is the 3.2 megapixel colour camera with fixed focus, which I will mention later.

HTC S740 back view

HTC S740 back view

 

The phones’ front holds the sharp and clear 2.4” QVGA screen, left and right soft keys, a home key for returning to the ‘Today’ screen as well a back key. Embedded within these you can see a raised Send and End key, which I have heard people describe as useless, but for me they make perfect sense, easy to locate, especially without having to look, and means you can quickly and easily answer and end your calls.

HTC S740 front view

HTC S740 front view

 

In the middle of all these button there is the non- scrolling directional wheel, for up/down/left/right navigation, with a central enter button. Below all of these buttons is the tactile and very usable 12 button keypad.

The HTC S740 numeric keypad

HTC S740 numeric keypad

 

Slide out the positive 4 line keyboard to find the Touch Pro like black and white keys. I think Matt summed this up expertly and also his comments about the SIM and microSD card operations, here is a review of what he said:

The QWERTY keyboard slides open from the back and is similar to that found on the HTC Touch Pro but the HTC S740 has only 4 rows of keys, mainly because the S740 is that much narrower than the Pro. Keys are nice and easy to type with though and there’s the standard Caps Lock and Function LED indicators.

HTC S740 QWERTY keyboard

HTC S740 with keyboard open
 

The worst thing about the HTC S740 in my opinion is the SIM and MicroSD card arrangement. Not only can you not hot-swap the MicroSD card, which I can just about accept, but you have to remove the SIM card to gain access to the MicroSD. Opening the cover over the SIM and MicroSD card slot kills the power to the device, this is annoying enough but removing the SIM card all the time is a pain. If you are a frequent memory card swapper then this probably going to get on your nerves and runs the risk of damaging the SIM card.

HTC S740 SIM and MicroSD card slot

HTC S740 SIM and MicroSD card slots

 

People, who know me, are aware of my minimal use of a keyboard, and this device is no different in that respect, I did use it very occasionally, but found the keypad adequate for the majority of tasks. I would prefer a 5th line to include a separate numbers line as in my job I complete a lot of figure templates etc..

With regard to Matt comments about the fitting of the SIM and microSD card, I concur, fiddly at best very annoying at worst.

Have a look at Matt’s HTC S740 video for a more detailed tour of the device.

 

Software

Not being a WM Standard user, I can’t really comment on the software included, I assume that it has pretty standard inclusions. The interface I used the most was the HTC Home screen and found this great to use and more than capable of completing pretty much all of the tasks that I had to do on a regular basis.

Included in the menus over and above normal are QuickGPS, RSS Hub, Adobe Reader LE, Audio manager and booster, FM radio, eJava, and a folder called HTC Debug Tools which holds a plethora of extras such as a couple of register editors, Wireless LAN loggers, Uni AT’s, Battery specs, Bluetooth testers etc. A lot of these I have never seen before and what’s more I don’t understand what they do, maybe because this is a Test unit, I am not sure.

Review

My first impression was that I don’t do ‘smartphones’ (Windows Mobile Standard) and never have; I have only ever used ‘ordinary’ or touchscreen. When Matt asked me to review this, I thoughts where, ‘ho-hum, great a smartphone, nothing here for me, get the review over with and get back to my Ingito’, a proper phone.

Out of the box it didn’t get any better, looking at the device and picking it up I thought ‘it’s a Bang and Olufsun TV remote’, ‘ Matt’s put his remote in the Box!’. This was actually a compliment in disguise, the feel and quality of the HTC Rose is superb. It is very solid, slightly heavy but in a good way. As I mentioned, very tactile, friends and colleagues have all commented how good the HTC looks and feels.

My small gripes include, the print on the keypad could be a little more prominent, as it is difficult to read in bright light or low light, another line on the keyboard would have been a bonus, but I suppose at the cost of a wider chunkier unit.

The camera, I have to say, for me was rubbish, the fixed focus, no flash, and quality of the pictures where very disappointing, not even adequate, poor. A step back in this day and age of huge advances in the camera/phone devices available today.

I really surprised myself with this mobile, I found myself leaving my Ignito at home, and using it as my sole device. I was recently up in Scotland for a few days, and it took awhile to realise that from Tuesday through to Friday, with low to moderate use, I had not charged the phone at all, a real benefit for a diamond user! The battery seems last forever.

I find that the HTC S740 does the simple things in life like texting and calling people very efficiently, and I really like the ease of use, again a refreshing change, from the often over complicated devices around. (That, as a gadget freak, was not something I thought I would appreciate!)

Conclusion

What a cracking little phone! It is well designed, great to use and very easy to live with.

I would be really impressed if HTC could bring out a derivative without the keyboard, a la diamond, that would be good in my opinion.

I do miss the touchscreen for certain operations, but I have come to realise it is not the end of the world not to have one.

The sound quality, signal strength and ability to hold it where absolutely fine. (I have added as I know this was asked in the previous review.)

If only it could change channels and operate my sky+ it would be the best smartphone ever!

I do know that some people who have already taken delivery of their HTC S740 are already singing its praises and rightly so.

Go, buy it, it’s great. And I don’t very often say that! I’ll wait for the keyboard less model.

 

Review by: Steve

[ Post Tags: smartphone news, windows mobile news, HTC, HTC S740, tracyandmatt.co.uk ]

Posted in: Reviews