By April 30, 2009

HTC Touch Viva review

Yet another HTC device designed to be finger friendly, is this cheaper version worth a look? HTC claim that it is ‘responding perfectly to your finger gestures’. Can a low end device of this kind really cut it?

When Matt happened to slip the Viva in to the ‘to do’ tray I was overjoyed to give it a whirl. (sorry, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and all that.)

Moving on from the many versions of this device such as the Touch, Touch Dual, Touch 3g etc., this device is set at the lower end of the market, with a price tag around the £250 mark.

The HTC Touch Viva

The HTC Touch Viva

What’s in the box?

  • HTC Touch Viva
  • AC Charger
  • miniUSB cable
  • User manual
  • Software CD
  • Screen protector

Have a look at Matt’s HTC Touch Viva unboxing video for more.

 

HTC Touch Viva specification:

  • Processor: TI’s OMAPT 850, 201 MHz
  • Operating System: Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • ROM: 256 MB
  • RAM: 128 MB
  • 104.5 mm X 59 mm X 15.75 mm
  • 110 grams (3.88 ounces) with battery
  • 2.8-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with QVGA (320 X 240) resolution
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • 4-Way navigation control with Enter button
  • Bluetooth® 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for stereo wireless headsets
  • Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • HTC ExtUSBT (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
  • 2.0 megapixel camera with fixed focus
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1100 mAh
  • Talk time: Up to 480 minute
  • Standby time: Up to 270 hours
  • microSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)

 

General

On the top of the device is only the power on button.

HTC Touch Viva top view

HTC Touch Viva top view

 

The left hand side is the up/down volume rocker

HTC Touch Viva left side

HTC Touch Viva left side

 

The right hand side you can find nothing but the small non-telescopic stylus holder.

HTC Touch Viva right side

HTC Touch Viva right side

 

On the bottom is miniUSB socket for sync, charge, headset etc.

HTC Touch Viva bottom view

HTC Touch Viva bottom view

 

The rear of the Viva is home to the 2 megapixel camera, with no flash, no mirror, and a speaker slot.

HTC Touch Viva back view

HTC Touch Viva back view

 

On the front of the phone is the 2.8’ QVGA touchscreen, the end and send buttons and flanking the 5 way Navigation and Enter button.

HTC Touch Viva front view

HTC Touch Viva front view

 

As with most of the Touch range, it is minimal to say the least. Even the box is sparse with no freebies, not even a set of headphones have been included, I know it is the cheaper end of the market, but no headphones? As I have mentioned before not necessarily my cup of tea.

Highlights

  • Minimal design (if you like that sort of thing)
  • Faster than you would expect with that processor

Lowlights

  • Low end spec, i.e. no GPS etc.
  • Camera

Review

The device itself is fairly standard as these HTC Touch models go; it does carry one of the latest versions of TouchFlo, although it is more 2D than 3D, as the animated icons are not present.

The overall design and build is really good if you are into the minimal look, it does feel a little plasticy, but it is smooth and all the buttons have a nice positive feel to them.

The screen is the type that neither Matt nor I like in that it is recessed and not flat, sometimes making it difficult to reach all areas especially the corners without resorting to the stylus. Not greatly finger friendly. I also feel that it is not the brightest or most vibrant that I have come across.

The camera albeit 2 megapixel, is not bad, although the colours I found tend to wash out somewhat dependant on lighting, and with no flash pretty poor on low light. So for a basic photo it will do. The panoramic feature was quite cool and easy to use, overlapping a number of sequential pictures together to produce a pleasant panoramic picture.

Call quality and signal strength where fine not outstanding but very adequate, I have read of the occasional problem with the phone ringing but no notification on the device itself, this I believe now fixed on the HTC website. It tends to be a little harsh on full blast and not pleasant to use on max volume.

I would have thought that only having a 200 MHz processor would be an issue in itself, but I really didn’t have a problem with this, it is certainly responsive enough and the TouchFlo works fast and well. Nipping around the device really wasn’t a problem and still using my trusty old Asus P526 now and again for a change, there is no problem there either, so don’t be put off by the low spec processor.

Software included again is pretty standard for Windows Mobile 6.1 users and the usual suspects are present as you would expect, the likes of Opera browser, Google maps etc.

Viva_angled_left

 

Conclusion

As I mentioned I was not really looking forward to reviewing this device as it is not my sort of gadget, I love buttons and tweaks and things to play with, this offers very few of these but by design.

I was surprised by the overall functionality of the Viva, it proves to be accurate and easy to use, it is lot quicker than you would expect, the shape and form of the phone is easy to live with, being as smooth as it is, it fits well in the hand and the pocket.

If you are looking to get into the Windows/HTC market then this entry level model will not disappoint, but that said a few more pounds will get you a much better spec’d device that would prove even better to live with.

Personally I would not entertain the HTC Viva as my device of choice as it is too minimal and too boring for me to part with my cash. But if that is your thing then it is very capable and worth a look, especially if money is tight. The biggest problem for me is that this device is in the middle of a competitive market and I don’t really think it does enough to stand out from the crowd.

Now let’s see what the Acer DX900 has to offer.

 

Review by: Steve

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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