HTC Snap

We’re starting to see more and more Windows Mobile based handsets from HTC once again, with the likes of the Touch Diamond2 and Touch Pro2 making a hit recently and now the HTC BlackBerry-esque looking device has arrived.

This latest handset from them is a slim, light corporate mobile phone that could also have a place in the consumer world too, as more and more people are turning to a BlackBerry type of device than ever before. HTC could very well be aiming their sights at such individuals with the Snap handset.

They’ve bundled in with the Snap a very basic version of the Windows phone operating system known as Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, which isn’t as flashy as the 6.1 Professional version we’re all used to seeing by now.

The company has even abandoned their regular TouchFLO user interface, seen on their other Windows Mobile handsets of late and have just included a simple home screen with all the commonly used applications. This isn't a touchscreen device which explains the shift.

Access to emails, SMS and appointments are all there in very easy to use menus, with no complexities whatsoever to navigate around. These are all accompanied by setup guides, ideal for those getting to grips with setting everything up, from appointments to getting email on the Snap, for the very first time.

One of the phone’s biggest selling points is a function HTC is calling Inner Circle. This allows for email addresses from your phone’s inbox to be added to a list, where at the press of a button the hundreds of emails are taken down to just that Inner Circle list for easy viewing. It's a little like prioritising your emails giving quick access to top clients or family.

It’s a handy utility for the phone and one that will undoubtedly be found useful in the corporate world as well as the consumer, our only wish is that this could also be applied to the SMS inbox as that could really be useful for a phone.

The Snap weighs in at just 120grams, whilst only being 12mm thick. This has to be one of the lightest and thinnest mobiles, corporate or otherwise we’ve seen to date. Whilst at the same time being rather sturdy, to the point of taking a few knocks and bruises doesn’t even faze the handset.

Touchscreen phones seem to be a favourite of HTC, where the Snap’s 2.4-inch 240 x 320 display isn’t of that calibre for a change. That is fine as it really doesn’t need to be there, as the handset has a BlackBerry-esque trackball that’s familiar to so many of the Research In Motion’s mobiles today.

Its rubberised QWERTY keyboard has a rounded feel to each and every key, raising it above the phone and giving off a larger surface area whilst typing, although we found the keys were a little too close together for comfort, which did take some getting used to.

The Snap features HSDPA for all your fast data, with Wi-Fi for office, home, or hotspot data collection, with the normal Bluetooth 2.0 for hooking-up to a headset. It also features a GPS, giving it a boost over BlackBerry's entry-level 8520 handset. Around the back you'll find a 2-megapixel camera. Internal memory is fairly minimal, but you can boost it with the addition of a microSD card.

Last but no means least is the battery life of the HTC, which took us back so much so that we repeated our testing a couple of times. Thanks to the 1500mAh Li-ion accompanying battery the phone lasted nearly 11 and a half hours of talktime, whilst still downloading emails throughout the course of a very long day.

This is one of the longest battery life of a single handset we’ve seen, making it very well suited for the business toil of corporate life.

Verdict

HTC has certainly made a phone worthy of the budget business and consumer world, one that the likes of BlackBerry and Nokia have been trying to do for some time. It’s a inexpensive handset but at the same time its looks don't suffer. It hasn’t got the exceptional qualities of other HTC phones, then again it’s not meant to as it’s just a decent handset for emailing and messaging.



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