By Mike Joubert 4 August 2009


A new iPhone 3Gs or Nokia N97 is nice; but let’s face it these phones are in a specific price bracket, one that isn\'t exactly budget friendly. HTC’s new Snap is their new entry level Windows Mobile based smartphone, and as far as we’re concerned it’s a pretty decent piece of work. Not only does it have a quality build and excellent battery life, but it also includes Wi-Fi, a feature some pricier phones don\'t even include. 

Design and layout
The Snap looks pretty decent with its 2.4” LCD and QWERTY keyboard. The plastic casing does not feel cheap and it seems as if HTC took a bit of inspiration from the BlackBerry Curve. At about 12 mm it is slim and also quite light at 120 g. For us the QWERTY keyboard was spaced just a little too tightly to be really comfortable. The positioning of the TAB button directly next to the A sometimes results in a miss-press that sees you irritatingly having to delete four times to get back to where you want to be. It is not the best QWERTY we’ve come across, but it’s still preferable to any touch-screen.  The trackball that helps with navigation is ok, but might take some getting use to.
Setting up Gmail on the phone wasn’t a problem, although the Snap can’t set up all addresses straight from the web, so you might need your email settings. HTC included a nice little shortcut key named “Inner Circle”. It’s an easy way to group messages from certain people you mark as important, but hardly the key selling point that HTC wants you to believe it is. There is also a direct button to Windows Live Messenger which is nice if you are signed up to this service.
As far as connectivity goes the Snap delivers both HSDPA and Wi-Fi. A-GPS is included, but there is unfortunately no navigation software loaded except for Google Maps. If you want to edit documents Office Mobile allows you to, but you can’t create documents from scratch. There wasn\'t anything else on the application side that really caught our eye. The Windows home screen interface is customizable but HTC didn’t opt for a grand interface like they did on the HTC Diamond, rather things are kept pretty low key.
Don’t expect too much from the Snap on the imaging side since it only includes a 2 megapixel camera. When it comes to listening to music it does not perform much betters, since you can only use the provided headset as the Snap does not include a 3.5 mm jack. There isn\'t really storage space to load music or video on the device itself either. It does have a MicroSD card slot, but the phone we received for review didn\'t come with bundled memory.
Compared to another recently tested Windows Mobile 6.1 phone, the Samsung C6625, we enjoyed the HTC Snap a lot more. Firstly because of its excellent battery life, but it’s also a smarter looking phone and includes Wi-Fi. One thing though remains the same- the Windows 6.1 backend, which we just can’t get a liking for. Personally we can’t wait for Windows Mobile 6.5, which with a bit of luck will be here in October according to the folks at Leaf, and better still with a Windows Mobile app market in tow.
Good battery life, nice design, Wi-Fi and HSDPA
Windows Mobile never gets easier to swallow, no navigational software, paltry memory

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