The default browser is Internet Explorer 6, but we were surprised to find no Opera on board, though it was the work of a moment to download it. IE6 isn't so bad though. Most web pages rendered reasonably accurately and the soft keys offer options to zoom, change text size, view history and copy/paste text. It doesn't have the handy YouTube app of the Touch series, which makes browsing easier, though we could view the vids easily enough.
Connections are fast, and the browser's not too shabby
Connecting over HSDPA 3G (up to 7.2Mb/s) or Wi-Fi on this quad-band phone is nice and fast too.
The fixed-focus 2Mp camera seems like a throwback to another age, and almost willfully retro on a mid-range handset like this. You can launch it using two button presses on the keyboard, otherwise it's hidden away in the Multimedia menu. Despite the Snap's 3G credentials, there's no front-facing camera for video calling.
It will take pics up to 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution and there's a 2x digital zoom, a timer (up to ten seconds) and widescreen panorama mode. Pictures tend to be a bit fuzzy with washed out colours, and so the camera barely passes muster as even an occasional snapper. Video doesn't look too bad on the small screen, but transferred to our PC it proved to be blocky and pixellated.
The screen, which looks fine when viewing video, shows its limitations when you try to look at the viewfinder from any sort of angle – the picture very soon disintegrates into blocks of ill-defined light and shade.
The 2Mp camera seems like a throwback to another age
Watching downloaded video clips was much better than viewing those recorded by the Snap, with a good level of clarity and detail. But the dimensions of the smallish screen mean this doesn't really cut it as a multimedia device you'll want to use for extended watching. It supports a broad range of media formats though, with AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR, AWB, QCP, MP3, WMA, WAV and MIDI for audio and WMV, ASF, MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V and AVI for video.
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.
@ Robert E A Harvey
Why bother reading the article then?
Said it before - not interested in winphones.
Why is the same hardware not available with a choice of OS?