HTC S740 review

With HTC’s Touch range of devices saturating the market, it’s refreshing to see the manufacturer reverting back to more traditional values with the HTC S740.

The panel-based home screen is perfectly set out for your business life, although Microsoft hasn't yet released a feature enabling you to switch between personal and business home screens. This is certainly a useful option on Nokia devices including the Nokia E71, and would be openly welcomed on the Windows Mobile platform.

From the home screen, you move between each option by scrolling up and down with the track pad. You can check the weather, view any missed calls, text messages or new emails, fire up the web, access the music player, control your appointments and change the profile.

Unlike with HTC touch screen models, Opera Mobile is not preinstalled so by default Internet Explorer is your only option, though you can download Opera Mini.

There are however a number of useful shortcuts set up on the Internet Explorer tab which will take you to popular website including Google, the BBC and Wikipedia with one click.

The browser itself is much easier to use in landscape mode, which is activated by sliding the QWERTY keyboard out. Once viewing a web page, you can change the view of the layout to suit the page and your own preferences. You can also zoom in and out of web pages, using the four-way navigation button to pan around the page.

Like all Windows Mobile Standard edition devices, it's seamless to set up email on the HTC S740. POP, IMAP and web-based email addresses are all supported, and it takes seconds to set up thanks to the Windows Mobile 6.1 OS. All emails, contact and calendar entries are instantly synched with your Outlook account if you're using an Exchange server.

With a high-speed 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 processor, the HTC S740 glides through tasks and manages multiple open applications more than competently. This is pleasing as Windows Mobile devices had previously been viewed as sluggish in comparison to other mobile phone operating systems.

Speed is also the S740's forte when it comes to web browsing too. In addition to 7.2Mbp/sec HSDPA (where supported), there's also the option of using Wi-Fi. Both the 802.11b and g profiles are supported, meaning you can hook up to almost any network.

In typical Windows Mobile style, you'll find Office Mobile preloaded on the device for viewing Word, Excel and PDF documents. Because the HTC S740 operates on Windows Mobile Standard rather than Professional, you can't edit documents onboard, which is a little disappointing for a business-centric device.

Another problem we found with the HTC S740 was the keypad lock. Although simply closing the handset can lock the QWERTY keyboard, there isn't a speedy way to lock the alphanumeric keypad on the front. More than once, we forgot to lock the keypad, resulting in mistaken phone calls being made to the last dialled contact. There isn't a simple button to tap on the side as there is on HTC's Touch handsets. Instead, you have to press down the power button on the top and select the second Lock' option.

The HTC S740 is a refreshing break from the countless number of Touch devices out there. The sliding QWERTY keyboard comes up trumps against a virtual one, and even though the S740 operates on the slightly lesser Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, we were suitably impressed with the simplicity of using the business apps.

Verdict

After an avalanche of touch screen handsets, the HTC S740 reverts back to its roots with and fast user interface and decent keyboard. The design is a little quirky, but we can just about live with that.

Frequencies: Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 GSM, GPRS, HDSPA Connectivity: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS OS: Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard Display: 2.4n touchscreen 240x320 LCD, 65,000 colours Storage: 256 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM Camera: 3.2-megapixel Talk time: 6 hours Standby: 400 hours Dimensions: (WxDxH): 116.3 x 43.4 x 16.3 mm Weight: 140g

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