Paint it BlackBerry
Review Another week, another handset from HTC, or so it seems. The Taiwanese manufacturer has been churning out new Windows Mobile smart phones with indecent haste of late, and seems to be showing no signs of flagging.
HTC's Snap: keep up with your inner retinue
The latest is a break from the firm's Touch series and instead more closely resembles the classic BlackBerry look, with front-mounted Qwerty keyboard and trackball. Inside, it's all Windows Mobile, though of a slightly more basic stripe than much of HTC's Touch series, but it also packs in HSDPA 3G, A-GPS, Wi-Fi and a 2Mp camera.
Looks-wise, the Snap is all puritan business black, though the austere effect is leavened a little by the rubberised plastic of the casing, which feels warm and welcoming to the touch. It's a slimline, fairly lightweight device at 117 x 62 x 12mm and 120g, and nestles comfortably in the hand. The sides are uncluttered, with only a volume rocker and mini USB power/headphone socket covered by a sturdy grommet to break up the smooth lines.
There's a Micro SD memory card slot at the bottom, just beneath the SIM card, and though you'll need to remove the rear cover to get to it, you don't need to remove the battery.
The backlit TFT LCD screen measures 2.4in a 320 x 240 resolution. It's nice and bright, though you can adjust this to extend the battery life, and does a fine job of rendering pics, videos and web pages, but suffers from a narrower-than-usual viewing angle.
You need to remove the back - but not the battery - to access the Sim card and Micro SD slot
The trackball feels exactly like the one on the Blackberry: nicely responsive - and you can adjust its sensitivity if it doesn't suit you - and, after a little practice, becomes intuitive to use.
You do know why right? Opera Mobile 9+ doesn't work without a touch screen! The enrite control system is designed for touchscreen phones.
From Poor-man's iPhones to Poor man's Blackberries
You've got to love HTC. After fighting Samsung, LG and the rest in conning people into buying something which looks vaguely like an iPhone but lacks the support, the features or the apps of the iPhone platform, they're now trying the same trick with Blackberries. Having owned numerous HTC phones before I owned a blackberry 8800 and numerous iPhones, HTC have little innovation, they copy. Badly. Their devices feel cheap and insubstantial often decently specced, but always always let down by ridiculously antiquated software. Even if you don't intend to install third party apps on the device and go back to the year 2000 in OS usability with windows Mobile, the HTC software is simply outdated.
That and you'll very rarely get updates if their current behaviour is like their previous, they aren't even up to the standard of Blackberry updates regularity, let alone approaching Apple. New week, new model is the way it is. Windows Mobile seems great on paper, until you try to use it. Tmakes you glad a certain company innovated, or we'd still be stuck using Wimo!
So pretty much an E71
But with Wincephone software.
I am not even sure the hardware looks as nice...the E71 is almost perfect in that regard.
I think I will stick with tried and trusted S60 thanks...it has it's flaws but at least it tries to be a phone first. Every wincephone I have sampled (various HTC devices up to the Touch Diamond) have had horrible stalls, crashes, out of sync sound events and massive usability issues
About the only thing that will get me giving up the 71 is when Orange wake up and start offering an Android phone.