Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Build quality, slide out QWERTY keyboard, controls, Wi-Fi, HSDPA-capable, HTC home screen
- No standard 3.5mm headphone jack, somewhat thick and chunky, mediocre camera
The S730's QWERTY keypad and controls combined with an excellent design make this a welcome addition to the smartphone market.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
A candy bar smartphone featuring HSDPA-connectivity, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the HTC S730's best feature is its comfortable slide out keyboard and excellent design.
Looking more like a regular mobile phone rather than a smartphone running the Windows Mobile OS, the S730's build quality is admirable. Although the handset is a little thick and somewhat bulky, the rest of the design is spot on. A well spaced keypad, a comfortable five-way navigational pad and best of all, an easy to use, slide-out QWERTY keyboard are its best features. The slider is spring operated, while the hard plastic build feels solid and capable of taking plenty of knocks.
The S730 doesn't have a touch screen, so it runs the standard WM6 OS rather than the Professional version. The speed of the interface on this unit is solid, but not outstanding. We did experience slight lag when running multiple applications, but for the most part, speed isn't really an issue. HTC has modified the normally standard Windows Mobile home screen by opting to use a skimmed down version of its TouchFLO interface. Using the navigational pad you can scroll through quick shortcuts on the home screen including alarms, weather, favourites, e-mail, SMS and call lists.
Call quality is about what we expected. The S730 isn't as clear or crisp as a regular mobile phone, especially if you are in a noisy environment, but it's certainly not a weak point of this handset.
The full array of WM6 features include e-mail access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word Mobile applications for viewing but not editing documents, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media Player for audio and video playback are standard. For e-mail, it's easy to configure standard POP3 e-mail accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. Access to Windows Live Messenger, an Adobe Reader for viewing PDF's, a flash player and the usual array of PIM features (calculator, alarms, and notes) are all included.
As it's a HSDPA handset, the S730 is capable of video calling and a front mounted VGA camera does the job. On the rear, a standard 2-megapixel camera with self-portrait mirror is present, but the lack of flash means night-time photography is out of the question. The photos produced are solid but obviously far from outstanding – we feel the S730 deserves a better quality camera.
Included is 64MB of internal storage, but a microSD card slot on the right side should cure your memory woes. You'll need to factor this into your purchase though, as HTC doesn't include a card in the sales package.
Connectivity is excellent and the inclusion of Wi-Fi is a great bonus – many smartphones in this price range don't include it. Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support and USB 2.0 are also present. For multimedia, a mini-USB headphone jack instead of the standard 3.5mm is disappointing as the included headphones are well below average.
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