By March 29, 2008

HTC P3470 review

The 10 second review:

Device: HTC P3470
Cost: SIM free: £304.95
Available from: eXpansys
Summary: Small, stylish and practical. Clean design with some very nice features but doesn’t overwhelm too much. Lack of 3G and WiFi will be a problem for some but bundled TomTom 6 will be attractive to others.

HTC P3470

HTC P3470

The Full Review

First seen at MWC back in February the HTC P3470, previously known to us as the HTC Pharos, promised to be a “Feature-rich Touchscreen phone” and has been hailed by many as the device that will bring the GPS Windows Mobile phone to the masses. Now that sounds like a pretty tall order so how well have HTC done with this new entry-level, affordable(?) product?

What’s in the box?

t mentioned in his P3470 unboxing video, we are looking at a pre-release version of the device. So while the final specification will not change the ROM build we are reviewing may well be different to the retail product and it will come in a much nicer box. However you should get the following:

  • HTC P3470 handset
  • 1100mAh Battery
  • Manual
  • Warranty card
  • Mains charger
  • Stereo wired headset with microphone
  • Pouch
  • USB Sync/Charge cable
  • CD-Rom with ActiveSync etc.
  • TomTom 6
  • Spare Stylus
  • HTC P3470 specification:

  • Size: 108 x 58.3 x 15.7 mm
  • Weight: 122 g
  • Connectivity: GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Operating system: Windows Mobile 6® Professional
  • Display: 2.8-inch QVGA flat touch screen
  • Camera: 2 megapixel with macro focus
  • Internal memory: 256 MB flash, 128 MB RAM
  • Removable memory: microSDTM slot
  • Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR
  • GPS
  • Interface: HTC ExtUSB (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 Full-Speed)
  • Battery: 1100 mAh
  • Talk time: GSM: up to 350 minutes
  • Standby time: GSM: up to 240 hours
  • Chipset: TI OMAP 850, 200MHz
  • General

    The styling of the P3470 is pretty typical of an HTC device. There’s the 2.8” 240×320 touchscreen below which you can find a number of standard buttons. Two soft-keys sit on the left and right along with the send and end phone keys and Windows and OK buttons. Right in the centre of the keypad block is the ‘d-pad’ style control. This had a round disc on the outside that rotates and can be used to scroll though on-screen menus and ‘jog’ though emails. The d-pad can also be used as a regular up, down, left and right pushbutton as well as having an action button in the middle.

    HTC P3470 controls

    HTC P3470 controls

    In a departure from the HTC-norm, there’s no jog wheel or rocker, instead, the left hand side of the device just has two simple up and down buttons that are used a volume controls in calls and can as a scroll mechanism when looking though your emails.

    HTC P3470 left side

    HTC P3470 left side

    The right hand side of the P3470 is also quite ‘clean’, there is just a simple push button for the camera control to be found here.

    HTC P3470 right side

    HTC P3470 right side

    On the top of the unit you’ll find the power button.

    HTC P3470 top

    HTC P3470 top

    And the bottom is home to the mini ExtUSB connector used for Sync, Charge and Audio connectivity. Next to this is a reset button and the stylus.

    HTC P3470 bottom

    HTC P3470 bottom

    As you would expect, the 2.0 megapixel camera is located on the back of the device. HTC have opted to use the slightly older camera on the P3470 and you’ll find a switch on the outside of the camera lens that allows you to change between macro and normal photos. There’s also a mirror which allows you to take photos of yourself, if that’s your thing. There is no flash, however.

    HTC P3470 back

    HTC P3470 back

    The sides of the phone are ‘glossy’ look, and the back of the device is rubberised which adds a lot of extra grip.

    The Screen appears to be smaller than on the Vario 3 and, as with other HTC devices in the past, has a slight yellow hew to it.


  • Clean, minimalist design
  • Click + scroll wheel
  • Built-in GPS
  • TomTom 6 included!
  • Lowlights

  • No WiFi
  • No 3G
  • Price

    First impressions are that the device seems quite capable and despite the relatively slow CPU (just 201 mHz) it seems to run along quite smoothly, probably aided by the 128MB of RAM. The lack of 3G and WiFi is a bit of a disapointment which is only offset slightly by the integrated GPS. I feel that over £300 may be a bit too high to really consider the HTC P3470 a ‘budget’ device.

    Using the device as my day today phone, I’ve had no major problems or gripes, the P3470 has been stable and has not required a soft reset during the two weeks that I’ve used it.

    The GPS works well with the bundled TomTom 6 software but works equally well with Google Maps. From cold it takes a while to acquire a position fix, about 3 or 4 monutes initially but subsequent uses of the GPS gets a signal much faster. Placing them side-bt-side it’s a little better than my Vario3 for getting satellite lock.

    Using it as a phone, it’s about the same as every other phone I’ve used in the past 4 years. The call quility is good and the signal strength seems about right only dropping out in areas that I know to be a problem.

    The camera is ‘ok’. It’s never going to be close to the 5mp cameraphones and it’s not going to replace your digital compact camera. However, it takes reasonable pics in decent lighting but it’s interesting that HTC seem to have installed one of their ‘older’ cameras in this device as there is a manual switch on the outside of the camera for toggling between normal and macro photography.

    I really like the clean styling, it grows on you, I first thought it was a little ‘plasticy’ and cheap looking, but the longer I look at it and compare it to the silver of the Vario the more I like it. It feels surprisingly sturdy and well put together. It sits nicely in the hand, and is weighted evenly.

    The click wheel, takes a little time to get used to, but works well. It makes scrolling more like the iPod than the clunky WM click, click, click we are used to.

    The software included on the phone is the standard HTC WM6 build, with some more tweaks, the ones I noticed (and liked) are the large start menu, and improvements to the quick menu and options on the end call button.

    The things I didn’t like about the phone? It’s a short list, the screen has a slight yellow tint to it when compared to my Vario 3, this was a common problem with HTC devices in the past. Also when turning the phone on I kept hitting the camera button, which was quite annoying. I guess it’s something I would get used to over time but lead me to disable the camera button in the end!

    The battery life is good, without using push email, I managed to get 5 days standby before getting battery low messages and with push email enabled I could get 2 days which I think is very good, the lack of 3G does have some benefits in this department.


    The HTC P3470 has been a pleasure to use over the past few weeks. There are times where I’ve missed 3G but overall I like this device.

    Having been given the chance to review this phone after spending so much time ‘out of the loop’ it has been refreshing to see how far the windows mobile phones have come. Comparing this to the Good old E100, HTC have got a lot more stylish, Microsoft have made a lot of improvements to WM. The big question is would I Buy one?
    Probably but it depends on my needs for the phone.

    The main questions to ask are:
    Need high speed data (WiFi and 3G)? Then no, there are better Smartphones available
    Need something small and light? Yes
    Need something for email and web access on the move? Yes
    Need GPS and a phone? Yes

    Comparing this to the Vario3, the bigger and heavier phone has more features but is more of a brick. Comparing this to the HTC Touch, the Touch has better looks and feels lighter in the hand but lacks the satnav edge.

    The HTC P3470 fits between the HTC Touch and the Vario 3 quite nicely, it’s got some very nice features but doesn’t overwhelm too much.

    And the most important factor is how high the WAF (wife approval factor) is, and the light of my life says……. “Yes”

    Review by: Owen

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    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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