HTC Smart Review
The HTC Smart is running a concoction called Brew MP (for Mobile Platform), developed by the mobile chip manufacturer Qualcomm. Brew has been around for a decade, starting on Verizon's CDMA devices, and powering more than a thousand “talk&text” phones since inception. Qualcomm says that due to popular demand from carriers for something to power a niche like feature phones, it has decided to elevate Brew from a runtime environment into a full-fledged mobile platform. There are thousands of applications compiled for Brew over the years, but it is very phone and carrier specific what will be offered to the customer. And, as you might guess, in the case of the HTC Smart we couldn't find any additional software to install, in order to extend the device's functionality.
The HTC Smart is running a simplified version of HTC Sense, but its graphics look quite different. There are seven home screens – main one, favorite contacts, email, messages, weather, FriendStream, and picture gallery. Pressing the back key evokes the main menu with a total of three pages of application icons. The Sense UI here has directly plagiarized the notification bar from Android, and the HTC Smart comes with a few profile buttons on it for quickly changing the mood.
As a phone the device offers the basic things like а smart dial, which sifts through possible contacts while you type the letters. There's nothing out of the ordinary with the phonebook too - it allows you to do basic stuff like storing picture IDs in the contact details.. The calendar is easy to use without much bells and whistles, just plain “what, where, when” and “are you setting an alarm for that?” options. There aren't dedicated note taking or to-do applications.
As far as perks - there is a flashlight app (not that you need it as the screen is very bright in the dark), plus three fairly interesting games. Nevertheless, the list style menus under Sense look resurrected from terminal times, with no transitions, and pretty slow for modern standards, although Brew MP is supposed to be light on resource needs. Fortunately, there is no lag when you use the homescreens or main menu.
The HTC Smart doesn't have a Wi-Fi or GPS chips (but it has an FM radio), so for Internet connection you are restricted to 3G speeds. The browser is very basic, it is called Obigo, and is still in beta version on this handset. Double tap to zoom works, but you have to wait a bit before something changes on the screen, plus the text looks jagged most of the time. For smoother zooming you have a slider, which works a bit better. Clicking on a YouTube video brings along an enigmatic message “scheme not supported”. We guess the said scheme is Adobe Flash.
At least the email application works automatically with Gmail and can pull in the entire message history in full HTML, with attachments and all. The bad part is that there is no document viewer, so you can only store office documents. It is in these occasions that we realize the difference between a real smartphone and something like the HTC Smart. As we mentioned, the handset can be synced with Outlook contacts and calendar via the HTC Sync software, and that's about it.
Having FriendStream as a part of HTC Sense means you have easy access to the happenings in Facebook and Twitter, but it is not very interactive and you get redirected to their mobile sites even for simple actions.
Camera and Multimedia:
The HTC Smart has a 3MP camera with fixed focus and an LED flash, which can also serve as a video light, or a flashlight. The camera shoots video at 15fps, QVGA only. Pressing the menu key in camera mode allows for a change in modes and effects, and there is a timer, so, again, the basics are here. Image quality would have been pretty decent for a basic camera, if it wasn't for the bluish hue to outdoor shots under clear sky. Indoor shots under weak lighting are passable, but the flash is usable only for objects that are right in front of the HTC Smart. Video recorded with the phone's camera is rather blurry, and dropping frames.
HTC Smart sample video at 320x240 pixels
The gallery is a simple grid of picture and video thumbnails. You can use double tap to zoom on a picture, and the zoom bar from the browser is here as well, to let you choose a precise level of zoom. Sharing photos is done again by the context menu key. Images can also be uploaded to Facebook, while videos can only be sent via email or MMS.
There is no dedicated video player app, video clips have to be run from the file browser or the gallery. The only videos you can watch are MPEG-4 QVGA ones.
The HTC Smart has a fine music player - it shows album art and has sorting settings, but there aren't any equalizer presets, or visualization capabilities. The headset that comes with the phone is of average quality, but is fine for listening to music, just don't expect any deep bass sound.
1. NOVAinc (Posts: 99; Member since: 24 Jun 2010)
hey phonearena, why did your iPhone 4 vs HTC EVO side to side article mysteriously disappear?
2. nimo (Posts: 72; Member since: 11 Jun 2010)
I had this phone, sent it back after a week, To say the battery is rubbish is an understatement, you'd be lucky to get 25 hours on standby never mind 25 days ! The resistive screen is very good, after the disaster that was the samsung jet, it has restored my faith in the technology.
3. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2842; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)
HAHAHA WATCH THE VIDEO REVIEW. THE REVIEWER FARTS TWICE AT 2:43
4. baby bubi babi (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Jul 2010)
erm may i ask htc smart got gps anot???? ^^
5. vishalshimla (unregistered)
hi i have bought htc smart , please tell me can we run office moile in htc smart ,
6. zhi huang (unregistered)
well its better than samsung corby and the star.
7. sunil (unregistered)
plz don't by this Mobile its just a wasting of money and time which u invested before binge this mobile.battery life is only 5-6 hours.