First announced at CES 2009, the S743 is a variant of the HTC S740, which has been available in Europe and Asia for some time now. It's available as an unlocked phone so you won't be tied down to a carrier or contract, but the trade-off is that you will pay a hefty fee--around $500 to be exact.
Sleek, but feature packed
The HTC S743 stands out for its design. The S743 boasts a compact size while managing to pack in a full QWERTY keyboard, all the wireless options, and productivity tools to help mobile professionals manage their information on the go. It's a nice compromise between the more consumer-based HTC Touch Diamond and the corporate-centric HTC Touch Pro.
T-Mobile G1 vs. HTC S743
The HTC S743 (pictured next to the T-Mobile G1) keeps a slim design while packing in a full QWERTY keyboard.
Small, but not that small
The thinner profile makes the HTC S743 feel more like a regular candy-bar style cell phone in the hand and when on calls, but it's still on the thicker, longer side so it's not the most pocket-friendly device.
Standard Windows Mobile
On front, you'll find the 2.4-inch QVGA nontouch display with a 65,000-color output and 240x320-pixel resolution. Rather than the TouchFlo interface, the S743 features a more traditional Windows user interface. While not as flashy as TouchFlo, the Home screen offers more of your information right at a glance. For example, you can preview new e-mail, scroll through bookmarked Web sites, launch your media player, and more.
Navigation buttons and dialpad
Below the display, you get a standard navigation array of two soft keys, Talk and End buttons, a Home shortcut, a back button, a four-way toggle with a center select button, and an alphanumeric dialpad. Overall, the controls and keypad are fairly easy to use, though we're not huge fans of the tiny Talk and End keys.
The S743 features a four-row full QWERTY keyboard. You can access it by pushing the front cover to the right, and the screen orientation will automatically switch from portrait to landscape mode.
Longer space bar
We wish the space bar was just a tad longer since we had to stretch to reach it and it interrupted the flow of typing messages.
The SIM card and microSD expansion slots are located on the back of the phone's front cover. We have no problems with this, but we do mind that you have to remove the SIM card in order to insert/remove the microSD card.
Prisms and lenses
Like the unlocked HTC Touch Diamond, the HTC S743 features a geometric-shaped backplate. However, it now has a soft-touch finish so it's easier to grip and is less smudge prone. On back, you'll also find the S743's 3.2-megapixel camera.
We were impressed with the clarity of the S743's photos but disappointed by washed-out colors. The camera can also record video and does a suitable job if there's something you must absolutely capture and have no other means of doing it.