HTC Smart mobile phone
The budget-focussed HTC Smart borrows many design cues from the Android operating system, but has basic features and lacks a third-party application store
- Compact and well built, HTC Sense UI, Brew OS is straightforward and user friendly, good battery life
- Screen hard to see in sunlight and not as responsive as alternatives, no extensive customisation options, no third-party-app store, poor on-screen keyboard
The HTC Smart does what it promises, providing an inexpensive phone for the masses with some smart features, like Facebook and Twitter integration, and a user-friendly interface. However the lack of an app store and its poor on-screen keyboard limit its appeal.
Smartphones are all the rage in the mobile phone market, but a touchscreen interface doesn't make a regular mobile phone a smartphone. HTC's Smart is just a standard mobile, even though its name seems to suggest otherwise. The HTC Smart borrows many design cues from the Android operating system, but has basic features and lacks a third-party application store.
The HTC Smart is an entry-level mobile phone, and its straightforward design is a hit. The Smart is compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand comfortably and is finished in a combination of matte black plastic with chrome edges and highlights. The front of the HTC Smart has attractive brushed metal finish and oddly positioned menu and back buttons. HTC has also included a dedicated camera button and volume controls, along with a standard mini-USB port connection for charging and synchronisation with your computer.
Despite the plastic casing, the HTC Smart feels solid with no creaks, rattles or loose parts. It's not as solidly constructed as phones like the HTC Desire, but it holds its own considering the gulf in price difference.
The HTC Smart has a 2.8in resistive touchscreen. It's not as bright, crisp or clear as displays on more expensive smartphones but does a reasonable job given the phone's positioning in the market. Our main complaint stems from the fact that the HTC Smart is almost impossible to see in direct sunlight and the resistive technology means it isn't as responsive to finger presses as capacitive screens, such as the one found on the iPhone. In particular, swiping your finger from screen to screen often results in accidentally selecting an icon or menu.
First time users of the HTC Smart may assume this is an Android phone when they switch it on, but the Smart actually runs on Qualcomm's Brew mobile platform. Just like the company's Android smartphones, the Smart is skinned with HTC's Sense user interface, albeit a watered down version. The HTC Smart includes a seven-screen home page with the option to display a variety of content, including Friend Stream, messages, people, mail, weather, Internet, calendar and music. Although these appear to be widgets, you can't have more than one function on each screen, you can't drag the content off the screen, and you can't reorder the screens; the extensive customisation options seen in Android aren't available on the Smart.
Despite these limitations, HTC Sense is still streets ahead of what most other "dumb phones" can offer. The user interface is straightforward and relatively easy to use, it has access to Facebook and Twitter services through Friend Stream and you can even edit and customise "scenes" for different environments such as work or home. Despite a modest 300MHz processor, the HTC Smart is a speedy phone, with menus and screen transitions appearing quickly and without any lag or delay. The Smart's most disappointing feature is the lack of a third-party application store. HTC will no doubt point to the phone's positioning as an entry-level device, but the falling costs of entry-level Android phones may result in Smart owners quickly regretting their purchase.
The HTC Smart's small, resistive display does present some issues with text messaging. In addition to an on-screen numeric keypad you can also choose a landscaped full QWERTY keyboard, but the lack of accelerometer means you have to activate this by pressing a key on the screen, rather than simply rotating the phone. Both keyboards are cramped and suffer from small keys, making typing a very hit and miss affair; the .com button when entering URLs is convenient, however.
The HTC Smart is a 3G mobile phone and its browser is fairly basic when compared to most smartphones'. The small display again doesn't help, and we found pages loaded slowly (even with full 3G connectivity). There's no multitouch technology — so you can't pinch the screen to zoom — and text is often hard to read. E-mail is also fairly limited: There is no support for Microsoft Exchange, only basic e-mail accounts like Gmail and Yahoo.
Other features of the HTC Smart include a 3-megapixel camera with single LED flash, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a media player that supports a wealth of music and video file formats. There's no Wi-Fi or GPS; both are common on most smartphones, but neither should be terribly missed by entry-level users. A microSD card slot is located behind the rear battery cover.
Battery life is rated at up to 370 minutes of talk time and 600 hours of standby time. We found the HTC Smart's battery life much better than most smartphones', lasting a full two days with moderate use. This is primarily due to the absence of GPS and Wi-Fi and the lack of the battery-hogging features found on fully fledged Android phones.
Online store MobiCity is currently selling the HTC Smart mobile phone in Australia with a 12-month local warranty.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Huawei go big on AI, announce Mate 10 + Mate 10 Pro
- Huawei's flagship tech trickles down to mid-tier with new Nova 2i smartphone
- Sony Bring Xperia XZ1 to NZ
- Incipio Adds Pixel 2 Cases To Roster
- Survey: 20% of Aussie Apple users wouldn't switch to Android for a million dollars
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- iPhone 8
- Canon 6D MK II: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic’s EX600U UHD HDR TV + HTB688 soundbar:
- 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
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- FTSenior Software Engineer - DigitalVIC
- FTTest Analyst / Engineer (Cloud / O365 migration)Other
- FTSenior Sales Executive Technology ConsultingQLD
- CCCloud Application ArchitectNSW
- TPTeam Leader - Software DevelopmentQLD
- FTImplementation ManagerOther
- FTGovernance Manager (Systems Assurance)Other
- TPSenior Engineer - Data CentreNSW
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC
- FTDevOps ConsultantVIC
- FTDigital Marketing ExecutiveOther
- CCCRM Support DeveloperWA
- TPTechnical Business AnalystQLD
- TPIT Change Manager Windows UpgradeVIC
- CCEnvironment Support Analyst with .NetQLD
- FTSolutions Architect - Metering Systems / AMIOther
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- CCProcess Specialist-Lean Six SigmaNSW
- FTSCCM Systems AdministratorOther
- FTMobile Application/ .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCSystems EngineerNSW
- CCFull-Stack DeveloperVIC
- FTNetwork Administrator / Junior Network OperatorOther