HTC Tattoo smartphone
HTC's Tattoo smartphone is a smaller, cheaper version of the company's flagship Android handset, the Hero.
- Compact design, customisable covers, Sense UI, zippy and functional, contacts integration, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Small resistive display, no multitouch, on-screen keyboard is a little cramped
The HTC Tattoo is a fine smartphone, but the small, lower-resolution display and the lack of multitouch may force many users to shell out extra for the more expensive Hero.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
A more affordable version of HTC's Hero, the company's flagship Android smartphone, the HTC Tattoo includes most of the functionality of its bigger brother but has a lower resolution screen.
The HTC Tattoo smartphone employs a much more familiar smartphone design when compared to the Hero. There is no oddly shaped Jay Leno chin here — the Tattoo has a compact, rounded body and its curved edges feel comfortable and reassuring when the handset is cupped in the palm of your hand. The matte finish means fingerprints aren't an issue, though you'll need a cloth handy to continually keep the display free of grubby marks.
Our HTC Tattoo review unit was finished in a dark grey colour, but users of the Tattoo can also order customised snap-on covers from HTC's website for $29.90 each. You can choose from standard designs or upload your own photo to be used.
The main difference between the Tattoo and the more expensive Hero is the display. The HTC Tattoo smartphone has a 2.8in resistive touch screen with a lower resolution than the Hero. Though the touch screen remains responsive for general use, the resistive design means you often have to press more firmly to make a selection. The Tattoo's display possesses poor viewing angles and is also hard to see in direct sunlight.
The HTC Tattoo smartphone features similar physical keys to the Hero, with the exception of the trackball. This has been replaced by a large five-way navigational pad that’s easy enough to use but does take up quite a bit of space. Users with large fingers may not appreciate its rather thin edges, but for general navigation it works effectively.
Despite its positioning as an entry-level Android smartphone, the Tattoo still features HTC's Sense user interface. The main component of Sense is a seven-panel home screen that can be swiped from side to side to reveal any number of shortcuts, folders or widgets (both Android widgets and specific HTC-developed widgets). These home screens are completely customisable; for example, you can have the native Twitter client on one screen, the clock and calendar on the other and your e-mail on the next. Because these are all live widgets, there is no need to delve into the main menu to access these features. The Twitter, clock and weather widgets are a few of the most impressive widgets the HTC Tattoo has to offer, though another widget worth mentioning is Footprints. This allows you to take a geotagged photo and store the image in a particular category, for example restaurants or shopping. You can then instantly share the content with others via e-mail.
A pleasing aspect of the Tattoo is its speed — the interface rarely felt sluggish during general use. Some of the more taxing widgets, such as Twitter and Mail, can be a tad slow if you have them live on the home scree, but this doesn't detract from the overall user experience.
Another impressive feature of the HTC Tattoo is the integration of contacts with social-networking sites like Facebook. Contacts in your address book can be matched with Facebook contacts, so you can use a person's profile picture, see details of their birthday and view status updates all from a single contact screen. When you view a single contact, you can also see all interactions with that particular person: information, messages, mail, updates and events, photo albums on both Facebook and Flickr, and call history.
A limitation of the HTC Tattoo's smaller screen is the on-screen keyboard. Due to the size of the display, the keys are smaller than the HTC Hero when in QWERTY mode, especially when in portrait orientation. Though the auto-correction feature is an excellent aid, the resistive screen means typing isn't as smooth as it is with the Hero. In addition to the regular QWERTY keyboard, the HTC Tattoo allows the selection of a numerical keypad with T9 predictive text and a compact QWERTY keyboard.
Like all Android devices, the HTC Tattoo's integration with Google services is excellent. Android automatically synchronises your Google calendar, mail and contacts over the air. When you add a new contact or calendar event on your PC, it will automatically appear on your phone and vice versa. If you don't have a Google account, you can create one on the HTC Tattoo itself; you can then easily import a contact list from Microsoft Outlook or even Apple's address book. Support for Microsoft Exchange is included out of the box.
The HTC Tattoo is a very handy multimedia smartphone largely thanks to a 3.5mm headphone jack, music player and an FM radio. The music application isn't up to the lofty standards set by Apple's iPhone and iTunes combination, but the live music widget looks slick and works effectively.
Another limitation of the HTC Tattoo is the lack of multitouch capabilities. This absence is mainly noticeable when you use the Web browser. The browser supports Flash and is quite responsive, but the lack of multitouch zooming is a feature we really missed. The HTC Tattoo is a 7.2Mbps HSDPA-capable smartphone but operates on the 900/2100MHz bands, so it won't work on Telstra's 850MHz Next G network.
Other features of the Tattoo include a basic 3.2-megapixel camera without autofocus or a flash, a built-in accelerometer, a digital compass and a GPS receiver. The Tattoo also has a microSD card slot for extra storage. Battery life is about on par with the iPhone 3GS — with push e-mail, Twitter, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all turned on, you'll need to charge the Tattoo every night.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystSA
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- CCSystems AdminNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst (Mid-level)VIC
- FTMobile Studio Manager/ Mobile UX Manager - GAME CHANGER!NSW
- FTChange ManagerNSW
- FTLooking for Information Security professional @ CanberraNSW
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- TPAutomation TesterQLD
- FTMarket Data Analyst, Investment BankingNSW
- CCETL/BI /Data Stage DeveloperACT
- FTNetwork EngineerSA
- TPIntergration SpecialistQLD
- FTMid-Level .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTApplication Support Lead - Health ApplicationsNSW
- FTSenior Agile Test AnalystNSW
- TPIT Business AnalystNSW
- CCProject AnalystVIC
- FTSystem AnalystSA
- FTSenior Project Manager - Digital / MediaNSW
- TPData AnalystQLD