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HTC S730 review: HTC S730

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The processor is a Qualcomm MSM7200 running at 400MHz, while the memory complement is 64MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM. After a hard reset, our review sample reported 124MB of free storage memory. You can add to this using microSD cards -- the slot is on the right-hand side, protected by a rubber cover.

HTC includes its HTC Home screen, which is a replacement for the Windows Mobile Today screen. If you've seen TouchFLO on any of HTC's Touch devices (Touch, Touch Dual, Touch Cruise) this home screen will immediately be familiar.

On the back of the S730, you'll find a 2-megapixel camera

Like the Windows Mobile Today screen it replaces, the HTC Home screen can show you upcoming appointments, missed calls, unread emails and missed voice messages. Its core, though, is a three-way display offering a choice of information in the top part of the screen. You move through each of these using the navigation key.

One option is to see a large display of the current time. Choose a button on-screen when this is showing and you can quickly set an alarm. The second option is to see a display of the current weather and a four-day forecast for your chosen location. The information for this is downloaded over the air and gives you maximum and minimum temperatures and an idea of the general weather conditions via an icon -- white cloud with some sun, grey cloud with some rain and so on. The third option gives you quick access to eight speed-dial numbers.

HTC has also boosted the Windows Mobile 6.0 Standard software with a number of extra applications. These include Adobe Reader LE for PDF reading, an RSS reader, a media player that acts as an alternative to Windows Media Player, and a graphic equaliser. The inclusion of the media management applications is somewhat let down by the fact that the bundled stereo headset is only of average quality and connects to the device via the same mini-USB port that charges it. This makes it difficult substitute a better-quality headset.

The HTC S730 performed reliably during the testing period. The somewhat cramped number pad isn't that easy to get on with, though, and the keyboard, while handy for typing emails, SMS messages and notes, also needs careful use in order to minimise typing errors.

Battery life is disappointing. From a full charge we got 5 hours 55 minutes of continuous music played from a microSD card with the screen forced to stay on. This is well over half an hour less than we achieved with the HTC S710.

The S730 is an update to the S710, but there's little significant improvement apart from the addition of 3G/HSDPA connectivity. For example, the main camera remains at 2 megapixels, which is somewhat entry-level by today's standards. The newer device even takes a backward step: it's a little heavier; some users may find the button layout less convenient; and the battery life is lower. Whether you go for the S730 will depend largely on how much you need 3G.

Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday

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