The New Htc Smart – Htc’S First Dumb Phone
Rumored online as the HTC Touch B weeks before its unveiling at the 2010 Las Vegas CES, the first non-smartphone from the venerable Taiwan-based smartphone maker is now a reality.
The rumored HTC Touch B is now the HTC Smart expected to hit the stores within the first quarter of 2010, spring at the latest. Officially announced last January 7, it’s the world’s first dumb phone from HTC as it doesn’t run any true operating systems the way smartphones do.
Instead it runs on the Qualcomm BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) Mobile Platform with a 300 MHz processor and comes with the popular HTC Sense UI that makes its screens look so much like its smartphone brothers without really being smart.
Smart Features on a Dumb Phone
This is a quad band GSM/EDGE/GPRS with 3G/UMTS and 3.6Mbps HSDPA connectivity speeds for a really satisfying internet surfing and downloading experience. Keeping the price down has other compromises and one of them is that you get no WiFi. But you get Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR for wireless local data synching with other Bluetooth devices and a miniUSB 2.0 for wired local data transfers.
What gives the HTC Smart the look and feel of a smartphone is its 104 x 55 x 12.8 mm monoblock body with a generous 2.8” resistive LCD touchscreen. But don’t get your hopes to high, the display only has 256 color support. There’s the expected gravity accelerometer to auto-rotate your viewing based on the handset orientation
It can’t be a competitive without the multimedia features the dumb phone markets has come to expect. HTC didn’t compromise on this. It has FM radio and the capable media players that can display the popular image files and play back the common video and audio file formats. Its Bluetooth has A2DP support so you can use wireless stereo earphones. The handset also gives you the option to use regular wired headphones from a 3.5mm jack.
The imaging features carry the brunt of its compromises to bring the cost down. It has what many other phones have in terms of resolution – 3 megapixel fixed focus camera with LED flash. Not bad really when other inexpensive true smartphones in the market have similar imaging features.
Talk times could have been better, at least lasting the whole day in the office without recharging. What you get is only 7 hours under 2G with a standby time of 19 days from its 1100 mAh Lithium ion battery when fully charged. There’s a decent 256 MB RAM and 256 MB ROM expandable to 32 GB from its microSD slot supporting microSDHC cards.
Expect this baby to launch in Europe in the first quarter or spring at the latest. No pricing information is available at this time but reading between the lines of its press release, the HTC Smart is being positioned as a budget mobile phone with unashamed pretenses to being a smartphone. The credentials are great and to a large extent, so are the features. HTC just might have a winner in its hands.
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