Friday, February 6, 2009
Posted by Rocco Augusto in "HTC-based Microsoft Smartphones" @ 07:00 AM
Product Category: Windows Mobile Standard
Where to Buy: eXpansys USA [Affiliate]
Price: $474.99 USD
System Requirements: Compatible system or service for syncing
Specifications: Windows Mobile 6.1, QWERTY keyboard, 528MHz processor, 2.4in QVGA display, 256MB ROM/RAM, Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 900/2100 MHz HSDPA, 801.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, 3.2MP camera
- Small form factor
- Great keyboard with a lot of keys, functions, and shortcuts
- Quick and responsive
- Small screen makes it horrid for web browsing
- Navigation keys are poorly designed
- The device is really thick
Summary: Off the bat I want to thank eXpansys for loaning us the HTC S740 that I have been using for the past few weeks to put together this review. I will start off by saying the time I have spent with this device has been really enjoyable and it was really nice to carry around a Windows Mobile device again for a bit. In the interest of full disclosure though I would like to state that I unfortunately could not use the HTC S740 continuously throughout the time I had the device as my only handset since due to the nature of a project I was working on for work. I had to switch back to my Google Android device for several hour stretches every few days. Now that we have that out of the way, onto the review!
What's In The Box
Inside this nice compact box we have an assortment of accessories as well as the handset itself. There is a very fashionable travel/home charger that is designed to match the phone, a pair of headphones with a micro-USB adapter, micro-USB cable for charging and syncing, as well as the phone itself and a couple of pamphlets.
Figure 1: The freshly opened HTC S740 box contents.
Figure 2: From left to right: software CD, user manual, battery, travel/home charger, data cable, headphones.
For starters, I was very surprised at how thick this device was. As you can see from some of the comparison shots below, the HTC S740 is as thick as Google's flagship phone the T-Mobile G1. If you have not seen the T-Mobile G1 in person then I will be the first to tell you it's a pretty beefy phone. To have a Windows Mobile Standard device be equally as thick was a little off-putting at first but eventually I got used to it. Also since the device is awkwardly shaped I found it pretty uncomfortable to carry around in my pants pocket. Luckily it's winter and I was always wearing a coat or jacket of some kind with plenty of pocket room. Another thing you'll notice is the reflective mirror-like surface on the front of the device. While it's esthetically pleasing to the eye, it unfortunately is a huge smudge magnet.
Figure 3: T-Mobile G1 and HTC S740 side by side.
Figure 4: HTC S740 and T-Mobile G1 side profile shot.
Figure 5: HTC S740 and Samsung Blackjack side by side.
Upon powering up the device I ran across something else that gave me a bit of a startle. Either my eyes were going bad or this phone came with one of the most sub-par screens I have seen on an HTC device in years. From the looks of the homescreen as well as browsing through the Start Menu, the screen on this device appeared to be a bit washed out. Not one to just throw in the towel right away I sat down with the phone and started poking and prodding through all of the settings and pre-installed applications and quickly discovered while looking at the pre-loaded images on the phone that there was nothing wrong with the screen. In fact the screen was downright gorgeous and incredibly vivid. The problem with the device was the operating system. It was like hooking up a computer running Windows 98 to a HD monitor. A lot of the graphics in the OS, as well as the icons, just look washed out, jagged, and well past their prime.
Figure 6: A glance at the aging Windows Mobile interface.
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