Before launching the Touch range of handsets, HTC was perhaps best known for producing the , a Windows Mobile smart phone with an innovative Qwerty keypad that slides out from the main body of the phone. The S740, which costs around £350 SIM-free, is HTC's latest update to this form factor, and is targeted at those who need good messaging features when they're on the move.
In terms of design, the S740 borrows heavily from HTC's recent , which is no bad thing, as that's a seriously stylish handset. The S740 shares the same clean, masculine lines on the front, and has a -esque effect on the rear, creating a very striking overall look.
The slide-out keyboard is one of the phone's best features and, to access it, you simply slide the rear of the body to the right, away from the front of the handset. The keypad may be small, but the keys are easy to type on using your thumbs, making it quick to tap out emails or text messages. There are also some good extra touches, such as the lights to show when the caps lock and function keys are active.
HTC has set the phone up to use the latest 'sliding panels' home screen featured in Windows Mobile. This gives you access to most of the phone's features via a series of panels that you click up and down through, without having to enter the main Windows Mobile menu. It's a big improvement on the previous Windows Mobile interface, and much easier to use.
Seeing as its grunt is provided by a speedy 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 processor, it's no surprise to learn that, for most day-to-day tasks, the handset feels pretty responsive. There's also 256MB of ROM and 256MB of RAM for storing documents and applications, and this can be further boosted with microSD cards.
As this is a candybar-shaped handset, the screen is smaller than on most Windows Mobile devices. Nevertheless, the 61mm (2.4-inch) display still does a good job of rendering text and graphics, thanks to its 320-by-240 resolution.