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HTC Snap review: HTC Snap

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The Good Solid messenger, including Inner Circle. Good battery life. Full connectivity options.

The Bad Cramped QWERTY. Jogball lacks accurate, smooth movement. Web browsing could be better.

The Bottom Line Road warriors looking for a cheap messaging-focused smartphone should consider the Snap. Anyone who values media, social networking or regular web browsing should look elsewhere.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.8 Overall

Review Sections

Editor's note: HTC hasn't announced an official RRP for the Snap in Australia. The RRP listed is an indicative amount based on pricing used by numerous online vendors.

Design

For the last 18 months, HTC has been streaking ahead in terms of design. You can say what you like about its usability of Windows Mobile products, but the physical design of its phones have been exceptional. So imagine our interest to find that the HTC handset that we received looked so familiar. Its 2.4-inch screen, full QWERTY keyboard, and the way these elements sandwich in a translucent trackball are almost too close in design to the BlackBerry for comfort; though you'd also be awarded points for spotting Nokia's excellent E71 in this design as well.

Surrounding the screen and covering the battery is a soft-touch matte plastic finish that feels like a stiff rubber. This is probably the most aesthetically pleasing aspect of the Snap, it feels nice and secure to hold, and it won't be left smudged with fingerprints after you're finished. Under the back plate you'll find a 1500mAh battery, huge for a phone of these specifications, and a 2-megapixel camera.

The QWERTY keyboard on the Snap is a disappointment, especially when compared to this handset's obvious inspirations. Each of the keys in the four rows is bunched together, and while each is raised in the middle slightly, this isn't enough to define them from the key to its left and right. People used to typing with their thumbs will find this keyboard very hard to use and will probably resort to "hen-pecking" the keyboard with a single index finger as we did during our review period.

Features

Unlike HTC's high-end Touch Pro2 and Touch Diamond2, the Snap is basic in design and features, though this doesn't mean you'll miss out on any necessary hardware. The Snap makes use of HSDPA capable radios, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v.2.0 with the A2DP profile, and a built-in GPS receiver. The phone charges via a combined USB port on the side, which doubles as the headphone input, and HTC has included a USB cable that plugs into a wall charger adapter, meaning you don't need separate cables for charging and data transfers.

The Snap comes with a basic build of Windows Mobile 6.1 installed, offering MS Exchange compatibility via ActivSync or Windows Mobile Centre, Office Mobile software and Windows Live messenger and mail. Our review unit also came with Telstra services pre-installed; Foxtel, My Place, Where Is Navigator, etc, reflecting Telstra's exclusive arrangement with HTC until November 2009.

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