By June 12, 2009

HTC Snap review

image The long awaited successor to the MDA Mail, HTC S620 or T-Mobile Dash is here and we have put it through it’s paces over the last week. Now can it live up to it’s popular predecessor with added features like 3G and and Inner Circle, read on.

To begin the review we have our short unboxing video with a few comparison pictures so you can get a feel for the size of the device.


Left to right, HTC Touch HD. HTC Snap and the iPhone 3G


Top to bottom, iPhone 3G, HTC Touch HD, HTC Snap


Top to bottom, iPhone 3G, HTC Touch HD, HTC Snap


A look around the outside

Left hand side of the device is the normal Windows Mobile volume up and down keys


Right hand side there is only a plastic cover which when removed reveals the HTC EXT USB charging / Audio port, thats right folks its another HTC device without a 3.5mm headset jack, arghhhhhhhh.


The bottom edge of the phone has a small indentation to allow you to get a finger nail in to remove the back panel.


The top of the phone is totally clear


Overall the device is quite large for a non touchscreen device but it is nice to hold and as it is made of matt plastic it does not feel slippery like other phones.

As a guide we have taken a couple of extra shots next to a Blackberry Pearl and as you can see this device is a lot wider and longer but it does have the added advantage of a full QWERTY keyboard.



The back panel is coated in a rubberised paint and is soft to touch. The back panel also shows the rather uninspiring 2 megapixel camera.


Under the cover we have the battery slot and also slots for the SIM card and a Micro SD card slot.


So lets take a look at the front of the phone, this is where it all gets a little more interesting.

First up the keyboard.


The keys are hard plastic and large, to be frank, I loved the keyboard, it was a joy to type on, well spaced keys and very responsive, one of the best front facing QWERTY’s I have used, on second thought, the best, way better than the squidgy keys on the original 2G version of this phone.

Clearly labelled keys and everything easily accessible, no complaints so far.

Control onscreen has to be done via the pearl like roller ball, it works but I am not a fan, give me a D-Pad any day, it just feels sloppy and at times unresponsive.

The screen, now here’s the biggest disappointment of them all, its too small, and too low a resolution. 320 x 240 is just not acceptable anymore, Blackberry’s and Nokia’s, this models biggest competitors laugh at that low resolution, compare this to the beauty that is the Blackberry Bolds screen and you will soon see how poor this one seems. Sure it’s bright and easy to see in the sun but its just looks crammed and clumsy, such a shame.

The Operating System

I have always been a big fan of Windows Mobile Standard, its robust and easy to navigate, this is no different, well actually that is wrong, it is different in as much as it is lightening fast, this phone is packing a 528MHz processor and 192 Megs of RAM and flies through the OS like a hot knife through butter.

home Screen01

But again the OS is now looking dated, it needs a refresh and it is getting one with a 6.5 update later this year but who knows if this device will get one, its in the hands of the gods, well HTC anyway.

One added feature is the Inner Circle application, basically it’s a filter for your email accounts

Screen02 Screen04

You can assign email accounts as the ones that can grab your attention. When an email comes in from one of your Inner Circle friends a notification appears and pressing the Inner Circle button takes you to the filtered inbox, a nice feature.

Another addition is an updated version of Pocket IE, again though as with the Diamond2 it is just painful to use, especially when you have been used to mobile Safari on the iPhone, I just find it too difficult to use and gave up and it is just so slow and awkward. Skyfire may be a reasonable alternative if you want a browser that can support flash.

Screen03 PIE

So where is this device aimed and does it hit the spot, well I would say yes and no, it is a very capable email phone, Pocket Outlook is still a great mobile email client and as a phone this is a great device and a real alternative to a suit pocket Blackberry for email and phone use, the problem though is it’s lack of bells and whistles, it offers nothing new but plenty of old, its uninspiring apart from the keyboard which is wasted on this device, Windows Mobile Standard is dated now and needs a good shake up from the ground up to get in the 21st century and that screen, well its just poor compared to the competition.

To sum up, great hardware, poor operating system, boring feature set, would have been a welcome update to the original device a year and a half ago, but too little too late.

Thanks to Clove for the review device.

Technical Specification of HTC Snap

Operating System –
Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard

Processor –
Qualcomm MSM 7225, 528 MHz

Memory –
RAM – 192 MB
ROM -  256MB

Display –
2.4-inch TFT-LCD with LED back light and QVGA resolution

Contract –
No Contract SIM Free/Unlocked

Network –
Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz
Up to 7.2 Mbps down-link speed

Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
Europe/Asia: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
(Band frequency and data speed are operator dependent.)

Connectivity –
Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
HTC ExtUSB (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)

Internal GPS antenna

Audio –
Supported Formats – AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, AWB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV, MIDI

Expansion Slot –
microSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)

Camera –
2.0 megapixel color camera with fixed focus

Device Control –
Trackball with Enter button
4-row QWERTY keyboard

Talk Time –
Up to 300 minutes for WCDMA
Up to 510 minutes for GSM (manufactures approximation)  

Standby Time –
Up to 480 hours for WCDMA
Up to 380 hours for GSM (manufactures approximation)  

Battery –
Rechargeable Lithium-ion 1500mAh

Dimensions –
116.5 X 61.5 X 12.0 mm (4.59 X 2.42 X 0.47 inches)

Weight –
120 grams (4.23 ounces) with battery

Other –
4-row QWERTY keyboard

Warranty –
2 Year(s)

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Posted in: Phones

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Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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