HTC S730 Windows Mobile smartphone

Does what it says on the tin

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The S730 is driven by Windows Mobile 6 Standard, which means prodding the screen is a waste of time and tendons. Nevertheless, navigating around the OS is straightforward. The only niggle is the main menu area: to move to the next 'page' of icons you have to hit the More soft-menu key, but to move back you have to hit the Back key. Why in the name of all that is holy can you not just scroll up and down through the entire list?

HTC's own home screen is a now familiar sight with the big LCD-ish time display and six screen icons that take you to time, alarms, the weather, contacts, email and SMS messages, and the phone log. It's a borderline call if the screen is quite big enough to comfortably take all this info. The S730 has a handy auto-update option for the weather application, which raises one question: why doesn't the Touch/Dual have it?

HTC S730 Windows smartphone

The hands free/headphones adaptor is a must-have, but it's an extra £14.95

One issue we have with the HTC home screen is the lack of shortcuts, user-defined or otherwise. Early on in our test, we switched back to Windows Mobile's default home screen. OK, you lose the weather report but you gain ten shortcut icons, and for the sake of those we will resort to sticking our head out of the window to see if it's raining.

While using the same 400MHz processor as the Touch Dual, the S730's memory is a pretty parsimonious 64MB, which means it doesn't run quite as quickly as the Dual. Don't get us wrong, any lack of speed never gets in the way of day-to-day use, but you do notice that spinning Trivial Pursuit cake thingammijig every so often. Storage runs to 256MB, but the SDHC-compatible Micro SD card slot allows you to up that to 8GB and soon 16GB.

You might say that there's not much point buying a Wi-Fi handset if you can't make VoIP calls on it, so gloom descended when we tried, but failed to load Skype onto our test handset. We scratched our heads, came to the conclusion that the free 13MB of program memory just wasn't up to the job and downloaded Fring instead.

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Next page: Verdict

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