Today HTC added three new handsets to its growing portfolio of own-brand products, some of which will also be available on Orange and T-Mobile.
The HTC S710 (pictured) looks and feels like a normal candybar phone. The difference, however, is that it runs on Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard (Smartphone edition) and has a full slide-out Qwerty keypad. It also packs quad-band connectivity, Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth. On the back there's a 2-megapixel camera and on the side there's an expandable microSD slot.
We had a play around with it this morning and it's not bad. Windows Mobile 6.0 gives you access to Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail on the go, and the slide-out Qwerty keypad is great for tapping out emails, but you also have the option to text using the normal keypad and predictive text.
According to the press release, the S710 will be available through Orange in the first half of this year.
Next up is the HTC Advantage, aka HTC X7500 or. This chunky laptop-like phone is specced-up to the hilt. It runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC edition, has a large, 127mm (diagonally) colour touchscreen, detachable Qwerty keypad, HSDPA (3.5G), Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth connectivity, as well as GPS with TomTom navigation software pre-installed.
Impressively, the features don't stop there. There's also a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED photo light, 8GB of on-board memory, an expandable miniSD slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also has a rather large battery inside that provides about eight hours of continuous use.
We like the Advantage a lot. Aside from its chunky form factor -- which means you need a bag to carry it around -- the feature set is impressive. This feature set, however, is very similar to the Nokia N95's, and unless you need the Windows Mobile functionality or full Qwerty keypad, then the N95 is a much more sensible option, and means you can leave your at home.
The HTC Advantage will be available on T-Mobile in March under the name Ameo.
Finally, we had a look at the HTC P3350, a device similar to the T-Mobile MDA Compact III minus the GPS. There's a large colour touchscreen, and a scroll wheel and trackball navigation system that makes searching through documents or Web pages easier than using a standard navigation pad.
The P3350 runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC edition, has quad-band, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a 2-megapixel camera, FM radio and an expandable microSD slot. It will be available in March, but there are no specific details on which networks or shops are picking it up.
As you can see, the HTC Advantage looks more like a mini laptop than it does a mobile phone. While it is quite chunky, it's actually not that heavy, and if, for example, you travel a lot on business, it would be a very useful tool.
The P3350 has a scroll wheel and trackball navigation system for navigating the menus. It also has a large colour touchscreen, so you can access features directly by just tapping the display. -AL