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HTC Gratia Review

HTC Gratia

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

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Interface, Messaging, Internet and Connectivity:

Despite that the HTC Gratia is powered by a Qualcomm chipset clocked at just 600MHz, the Sense UI overlay is extremely snappy, with virtually no lag while scrolling or swiping screens. The phone carries 384MB of RAM, and 512MB ROM for installing apps.

Unlike HTC Aria – the version with North American frequencies – the HTC Gratia comes with Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box. This, of course, is nothing to get excited about, considering that Gingerbread is already out.

The HTC Gratia comes with Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box - HTC Gratia Review
The HTC Gratia comes with Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box - HTC Gratia Review
The HTC Gratia comes with Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box - HTC Gratia Review
The HTC Gratia comes with Android 2.2 Froyo out of the box - HTC Gratia Review

We have reviewed this version of HTC Sense extensively here, and if you are hoping for the newest one, which has apps for offline navigation and remote phone management, you are out of luck. Sense UI here is the one found in the HTC Aria. Of course, there are some new additions in the main menu, courtesy of Froyo, like the Wi-Fi Hotspot app.

Messaging with the HTC Gratia is a tad slower than what you might be used to, mainly because of the small screen, which makes the keyboard feel a tad cramped. Once you get used to it, though, it's the same excellent HTC Sense keyboard we know and love.

The Wi-Fi Hotspot app - HTC Gratia Review
HTC Sense keyboard - HTC Gratia Review
HTC Gratia Review

The Wi-Fi Hotspot app

HTC Sense keyboard

 

Web pages look shabby at this screen size and resolution, but browsing is fluid, save for the pinch-to-zoom gesture, which brings about a slight lag. Due most probably to the 600MHz chipset, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is not supported. The HTC Gratia has Flash Lite, so showing embedded Flash videos is a hit-and-miss affair, but most major video sites work.

Web surfing - HTC Gratia Review
Web surfing - HTC Gratia Review

The phone comes with 7.2Mbps HSDPA with Europe/Asia 3G frequencies. The rest of the radio gang consists of a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and A-GPS chips, as well as an FM radio with RDS. The GPS chip took about 4-5 minutes to locate us at first, but was locking its position quickly when we were connected to a data network.


Camera and Multimedia:

The camera interface of HTC Sense on the Gratia is cleverly tailored to the smaller screen, and the touch-friendly virtual buttons rotate instantly upon changing the screen orientation. HTC has somehow managed to cram its multitude of adjustments and effects in a smaller footprint, and everything is still very well-organized and easily accessible. We wish more camera interfaces are done like that.

The 5MP camera supports face recognition, flicker adjustment, while you can set the white balance and metering modes, as well as adjust brightness, contrast and sharpness pre-shooting. Grayscale, Sepia, Negative, Solarize, Posterize and Aqua are the available effects for photos, if you are so inclined.

Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review
Camera interface - HTC Gratia Review

The optical trackpad serves as a dedicated camera button, and the touchscreen can be used to focus anywhere on the frame. Shot-to-shot times are in the realm of three seconds with the preview mode off. The outdoor pictures themselves turned out soft and unfocused at several spots, the farther you go from the frame center. Inside the snaps are passable when there is enough light and you hold the handset still, but the noise levels shoot up, and detail goes down, when you start dimming the lights, as can be expected without a flash unit. The phone captures VGA video with 30fps on paper, which actually turned out closer to 20fps, when the day was dark, and with the same soft focus visible in the stills.

Outdoor samples taken with the HTC Gratia - HTC Gratia Review
Outdoor samples taken with the HTC Gratia - HTC Gratia Review
Outdoor samples taken with the HTC Gratia - HTC Gratia Review
Outdoor samples taken with the HTC Gratia - HTC Gratia Review
Outdoor samples taken with the HTC Gratia - HTC Gratia Review

Strong - Indoor samples - HTC Gratia Review
Medium - Indoor samples - HTC Gratia Review
Low light - Indoor samples - HTC Gratia Review

Strong

Medium

Low light



HTC Gratia Sample Video:




The music player is with the typical excellent HTC Sense skin, and changes your lockscreen wallpaper to the album cover of the song currently played. The built-in loudspeaker is of average quality, as on most HTC handsets - not very powerful, and sounding a bit flat.

Music player - HTC Gratia Review
Music player - HTC Gratia Review
Music player - HTC Gratia Review
Music player - HTC Gratia Review

Video playback reaches up to 720x306 resolution, and the HTC Gratia supports H.264 and MPEG-4, but not DivX/Xvid out of the box. A number of free players from Android Market come to the rescue, so we are not even counting this as a drawback anymore.

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HTC Gratia

HTC Gratia

OS: Android 2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
7Good
Display3.2 inches, 320 x 480 pixels (180 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 600 MHz
0.4 GB RAM
Size4.10 x 2.30 x 0.46 inches
(104 x 58 x 12 mm)
4.06 oz  (115 g)
Battery1200 mAh, 7 hours talk time

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