Thursday, June 8, 2006
The HTC Star Trek: Thin is In
Posted by Jason Dunn in "HARDWARE" @ 08:00 AM
I don't soft-peddle my reviews, and will point out each and every flaw I see to inform the reader. Reviewing pre-production hardware is always a bit tricky though, because it's hard to know what's a pre-production glitch that will be fixed/adjusted in the final product, and what's a genuine product flaw that will still be around when the final product ships. Whenever possible I'll point out which type of flaw I think it is, so when the first reviews of final shipping hardware start to appear, you'll know what to look for. This review focuses mostly on the hardware and design, not on the operating system or bundled software, because the software will change depending on which version of the phone you purcase (I-Mate, Dopod, Qtek, etc.) For similar reasons, I'm not focusing on performance or attempting any benchmarks. I will make comments about how fast the phone feels in day to day use where appropriate.
Figure 1: The HTC Star Trek is a very impressive-looking phone. The casing is plastic but feels solid. The bottom-most portion of the phone is rubberized, while the rest has a shiny textured finish that hides smudges very well. You can pick up this phone and not need to wipe it all down immediately (the same cannot be said for most Motorola phones). The large circle on the front is a fingerprint magnet though. Click the image above for larger version (100 KB).
It's Like a Beautiful Woman with 10 PhDs: Sexy and Smart
This phone is all about looks � the design is simply killer. There are no illusions here: it was certainly inspired by the Motorola RAZR from top to bottom. I don't see that as a bad thing though � you use what works. It's easiest to cover the design and hardware in a series of photos.
Figure 2: A close-up of the front of the phone. On the bottom left we have two LED lights: one for phone status, the other for Bluetooth status. On the bottom right we have the speaker, and above that the three media player buttons: previous, play/pause and next.
Figure 3: The top right of the phone has the camera button, and a shiny cap on the edge of the hinge. The hinge feels very sturdy: there's no backwards flex, and the phone springs open and closed with a satisfying amount of snap. Hopefully it stays tight, unlike my Jasjar (also HTC-designed) whose hinge has gotten mushy after only a few months.
Figure 4: A right-side profile of the phone. Click the image above for a larger version (103 KB).
Figure 5: The bottom right portion of the phone. Notice the strange port?
Figure 6: A close up of the only port on the phone. It's used for synchronization, audio, and recharging. More on that later.
Figure 7: The top left portion of the phone. The small camera lens provides the quality you'd expect (as in, nothing impressive). There's a hole for a lanyard if you want to carry the phone around your neck, though I'd be surprised if any vendor included a cord in the box. The top button activates a voice command function on the pre-production unit I have. It's bizarre that there's no easy way to re-map the phone buttons to other functions, unlike on the Pocket PC.
- Discuss this story [32 replies]