HTC Snap (Alltel) review: HTC Snap (Alltel)

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The HTC Snap offers world roaming capabilities and includes HTC's Inner Circle feature for e-mail prioritization. The sleek smartphone also features a full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. Call quality is excellent.

The Bad The Snap doesn't support international 3G bands. Speakerphone quality wasn't the best.

The Bottom Line For Alltel customers looking for a messaging-centric smartphone, the HTC Snap offers a nice, budget-friendly alternative to the carrier's BlackBerry offerings.

As shown: $79.99

Check manufacturer's site for availability

7.3 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 7.0

The HTC Snap has been making the rounds to various carriers, including T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and now Alltel. Like the rest, the Alltel Snap has a heavy focus on messaging and includes HTC's Inner Circle feature to help busy mobile professionals prioritize e-mail with just a press of a button and offers dual-mode functionality for world roaming capabilities. It's a nice alternative to Alltel's BlackBerry offerings, especially for the price. The HTC Snap is available for $79.99 with a one-year contract and after a $70 mail-in rebate. Compare that to the Alltel BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, which goes for $249.99, and you've got one heck of a deal.

Design
The design of the Alltel HTC Snap is most similar to the Verizon version. There are some slight differences, such as the addition of the Inner Circle button on the keyboard, a black battery cover, and soft-touch finish on the navigation array. For more information on the rest of the smartphone's design, please read our full review of the HTC Ozone from Verizon Wireless.

Alltel packages the HTC Snap with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a wired stereo headset, an audio adapter, four international adapters, a software CD, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.

Features
While messaging is a key component of the HTC Snap, it is a phone first and foremost, so we'll begin with the voice features. Like the Ozone, the Snap offers dual-mode functionality for international roaming. The dual-mode part means that it supports both CDMA and GSM technologies, so here in the States, the smartphone works on Alltel's CDMA EV-DO Rev. A network, but with its SIM card slot and quad-band GSM support, the Snap can make calls and receive data overseas. The only downside is that it doesn't support international 3G bands, so you'll only get EDGE speeds while abroad. Wi-Fi is onboard, however, so there are other means of getting online.

Other phone features include a speakerphone, speed dial, smart dialing, conference calling, and text and multimedia messaging. You can also get unlimited calling to a group of contacts (up to 25) regardless of network with Alltel's My Circle plan. The contact book is limited only by the available memory, and there's room in each entry for multiple numbers, e-mail addresses, instant-messaging handles, and birthdays. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a picture, a group ID, or a custom ringtone. Bluetooth is also onboard with support for mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets, hands-free kits, personal area networking, object push, file transfer, audio/video remote control, and more.

Coming back to the smartphone's messaging capabilities, the Alltel HTC Snap offers support for POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts and Microsoft Direct Push Technology for real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server. In addition, like the Sprint model, it includes the HTC Inner Circle feature, which prioritizes your e-mails based on your preferences.

By pressing the dedicated Inner Circle button (the last key on the keyboard's bottom row), the HTC Snap will bring e-mails from a preselected group of people to the top of your in-box so you can read and reply to them immediately. Setting up your Inner Circle of contacts is fairly easy. By pressing the dedicated Inner Circle button, and you'll be presented with a list of all your e-mail contacts where you can go through and check those you want to include in your Inner Circle. It can be a little overwhelming if you have a long list of contacts, but there is a search feature that can save you time. Once you've set your list, you can still go back later and add or remove contacts; there is no limit to how many people you can have in your Inner Circle, though you lose some of the benefit of the feature if you select too many contacts for your Inner Circle.

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