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HTC Snap aims to simplify e-mail

HTC debuts its newest QWERTY messaging smartphone at CTIA 2009, the HTC Snap.

HTC Snap

The Nokia E71x, the LG Neon, the Samsung Magnet--seems like messaging phones are all the rage at CTIA 2009 and now you can add another one to the list. The HTC Snap.

HTC kicked off the show Wednesday morning by introducing the Snap, its newest QWERTY device. We haven't seen one in this form factor from the smartphone manufacturer in a while (think back to the T-Mobile Dash) and given the design, it's no surprise that the handset is optimized for e-mail and messaging.

In fact, HTC thinks e-mail is so important it has created a new feature called Inner Circle that prioritizes your e-mails based on your preferences. By pressing the dedicated Inner Circle button, the HTC Snap will bring e-mails from a preselected group of people to the top of your in-box so you can read and reply to them immediately.

The new functionality was created in response to a Harris Interactive study that found 44 percent of U.S. adults are overwhelmed by the amount of e-mail they receive, and 55 percent of U.S. adults prioritize five or fewer people with whom they communicate via e-mail.

The HTC Snap offers Microsoft Direct Push Technology for real-time e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization with your Outlook calendar, tasks, and contacts via Exchange Server as well as support for POP3 and IMAP e-mail accounts. The smartphone's full QWERTY keyboard also features "extra-large domed keys" to provide for a better typing experience.

Moving beyond messaging, the Snap will run Windows Mobile 6.1 and comes with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, GPS, 256MB ROM/192MB RAM, a microSD/SDHC expansion slot, and 2-megapixel camera/camcorder. The smartphone measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.4 inch deep and has a 2.4-inch QVGA nontouch display.

The HTC Snap is expected to be available in select channels during the second quarter of 2009 and will be rolled out worldwide during the second half of the year. Here in the States, we'll get our on own version of the Snap, called the HTC S522, this summer and it will support AT&T's 850/1900MHz HSDPA bands, though it'll be sold unlocked and not through the carrier. Pricing was not revealed at this time.

We hope to get a better look at the HTC Snap during the MobileFocus event on Wednesday night, so check back for some hands-on photos and video. In the meantime, you can check out some images of the smartphone below.