Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The HTC looks like a remote control with its tall-but-thin dimension. The top part of the phone looks a lot like the HTC Touch Diamond. The elongated body may attract some unwanted attention although I don’t think it looks ridiculous at all.
The number pad is indeed a rarity for WM phones. While it is great for entering number (you will only need it occasionally though), it’s not so great for texting and it takes a lot of space. I think only a few people, like those who must make calls to people not on their contact lists, would appreciate the number pad. Speaking for myself only, I find the onscreen number pad on my 2.8” screen fairly adequate for making calls occasionally.
The keyboard’s design is not the most efficient. The two soft keys button occupies the top row of the keyboard. As you can see, there is a lot of unused space on the keyboard, which could be used to enlarge the keys. Since the body is elongated by a pretty large ratio, the keys are significantly elongated to occupy the last inch of space. Depending on the size of your hand, you may hate the keyboard for its overly big size or you may love it for the wider, easier to press keys.
On the back there is the same diamond-cut design found in HTC Touch Diamond and HTC Touch Pro. The camera has 3.2 MP but lacks a flash and autofocus. I wouldn’t expect too much on the photo quality but I think those who are buying it (serious road warriors) could swallow the mediocre camera.
Where is the card slot? It’s hidden beneath the “PULL” lid! Lifting the lid reveals the most inconvenient microSD card slot design I’ve seen. You have to remove the SIM card, hold the tiny SIM card in your hand, and push the even tinier microSD card in it. With some practice I am confident that I can swap the card easily…
HTC continues the effort to “color up” the Windows Mobile operating system by providing beautiful interface to do the most common tasks. Shown here is the COMM Manager application, written by HTC, for changing the settings for Wi-Fi, Phone and Bluetooth in one place.
There are not many extra programs on the HTC S740. TouchFLO 3D is of course missing (non-touch-screen model), also missing is the map software for the A-GPS. Being a rare non-touch-screen model, you may also need special, non-touch-screen version of software (like Opera Browser).
The HTC S740 is not for everyone. The lack of touch screen means you have to give up some software and the 2.4” QVGA (240 x 320) screen is relatively small compared to the overall body size. On the bright side you get two keyboards, fast Qualcomm CPU and a lot of RAM (256MB) that make the usage experience pleasantly speedy. While it is considerably cheaper than the HTC Touch Pro, Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 and the king-of-WM HTC Touch HD, there are a lot of attractive, low-price alternatives to the HTC S740 (e.g. HTC Touch Diamond and HTC Touch 3G). If you cannot live without a keyboard (or keyboards) and are unwilling to spend too much for a phone, then the S740 could be a good phone for you. I would recommend the general users to look elsewhere, however.
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