HTC P3300 Artemis Review

1
Introduction
HTC have been the largest manufacturer of smart-phones operating on a mobile Windows platform for years and are leaders in the segment with a huge share of the market. They are the manufacturer who leads the others and dictates the rules by their innovations not only for the Windows Mobile phones but for the other smart-phones, too. This brand is not very popular yet among the people who are not deeply interested in the highest phone class since its products have been offered for years under the names of other brands and carriers only, including Cingular, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Among the brands whose lines have been entirely built on HTC phones are i-mate and Qtek.

Expanding its business, HTC now offer quite different models of PocketPC Phones and Smartphones (the two lines of Windows Mobile OS) which results in devices with different purpose. The Pocket PC system is no longer defined as a high-functional business phone only – there are various PPC Phones for various needs. Here we deal with HTC P3300 Artemis only – this is one of the smallest and lightest models including both a mobile LAN (WiFi) and navigation by means of GPS (with inbuilt SirfStar III chip) and an FM radio. These are the three features which, combined in one, distinguish Artemis from the other HTC models and differentiate it in its own class, with P3300 being the first HTC in it with no predecessor. Its direct competitor is Eten X500, another Taiwanese PocketPC phone tested by us earlier. It has an built-in radio, wifi and GPS, too.

The P3300 Artemis set includes the following:
  • AC adapter
  • USB Sync. Cable
  • Stereo wired headset with microphone and FM radio antenna support
  • Stylus
  • User manual, quick start guide & software CD
  • Carrying Pouch


Although Artemis is a PPC phone, it is comparatively small, without the feeling of a ‘brick’. As we have mentioned earlier, it competes with X500 of Eten, which is the thinnest PocketPC with WiFi and GPS. In a direct comparison, X500 is smaller in terms of VOLUME, but all people say that the Artemis is much smaller and that X500 looks really big. X500 is by 1.5 mm thinner, but by 5 mm higher, which is clearly seen when put next to each other. P3300 is significantly lighter (only 4.6 oz) and is one of the lightest PocketPC phones.

First and second image - Eten X500 and HTC P3300
Third image (from left to right) - Eten M600+, Eten X500, HTC P3300, Eten M700, T-Mobile MDA
Fourth image (from top to bottom) - Eten M600+, T-Mobile MDA, Eten M700, Eten X500, HTC P3300

Model

Dimension (Inches)

Dimension (MM)

Weight (OZ)

Weight (Gramms)

HTC P3300

4.3" x 2.3" x 0.7"

108 x 58.4 x 17

4,6

130

Eten X500

4.4" x 2.3" x 0.6"

113 x 59.4 x 15.5

5,2

146

Eten M700

4.6" x 2.3" x 0.8"

117.5 x 59.4 x 20

5,8

165

Nokia N95

3.9" x 2.1" x 0.8"

99 x 53 x 21

4,2

120



This is not very important when carried in the leather case on a belt but the phone is comfortably held in hand. This is furthered by the mat plastic of which it is made – although smooth and not embossed, it does not slip even when held in damp hands. A number of other phones have embossed or rubber covered back side to prevent slipping off the hands. The phone is felt comparatively solid, but the battery lid is opened very easily with one finger only. And this with a brand new phone! We are afraid that after some use and repeated opening (to change the SIM card or the memory card placed beneath it) the lid will often open by itself.

P3300 Pocket PC phone has the typical display for this type of device – QVGA resolution, 65 thousand colors and 2.8” size. In direct comparison to Eten X500 and HTC Wizard, the difference is quite small, mainly in the color rendering.

In the course of years, the Windows phone market has been steadily growing and today several models are already offered at the same time. The PPCs are no longer just high-tech business phones – there are phones for navigation, for multimedia and for business. Unlike its elder brother (TyTN), P3300 does not have a full hardware QWERTY keyboard for imputing of text. It has been designed as a standard monoblock without a slider. The buttons are placed entirely in the lower part of the front panel and despite their small size, they are convenient to press and feel thanks to the embossment. They are illuminated in white. In addition, there are ‘OK’ and ‘Windows’ buttons typical of the new HTC phones – they make handling with one hand only easier.

This is furthered by the navigation type: instead of the standard and boring 5-position navigation buttons, here we have an innovative trackball and scroll-wheel around it. This provides a possibility to choose between two options. The scroll-wheel turns clockwise or counter-clockwise thus scrolling only up/down – like the jog-dial wheel. It cannot be depressed.

The trackball is a multi-directional navigation similar to a PC mouse (and analogous to a trackball PC mouse) – you push it in the desired direction and it will scroll in this direction. The nice thing is that you can push it in any direction (not only 4, but any) which will provide great functionality given a properly written software. And yes, HTC have added software providing a pointer like the PC one you are used to. You can move it across the screen with the trackball and click on things you want to activate; it is up to you to decide if it should be active or not, but if you work with one hand only, it is not a bad extra at all. Unlike the keyboard, it is illuminated in blue which makes it distinguishable, but were it in white, it would match it.

The inconvenience is that if you decide to work with the keyboard (and not with the touch-display, which still remains the main navigation for these phones) there is no way of combining the scroll function with the function of the trackball + pointer. Let’s say you are in a long list and decide to scroll faster with the scroller; when you point to the desired option with it you cannot select it; you press the trackball (which serves principally for confirmation), but since the pointer is activated, it will ‘press’ where the arrow points. To select the desired option, after the scrolling you will have to point to it with the trackball and press it for confirmation.

A total of 4 buttons are placed in metal strips on both sides: on the left side there are the voice commands shortcut and a scroller for sound volume control, and on the right there are a power button and a camera in the lower part. The latter is inconvenient and even with the camera started, it is hard to press to shoot.


On the lower side the phone has a miniUSB connector and openings for fastening a wristlet. It does not have any other connectors. It is charged and connected to a PC by the MiniUSB and the same port is used to connect the stereo earpieces for listening to music. The latter are used as radio aerial, too. This is inconvenient for us because on the one hand it limits the number of possible music accessories you could connect and on the other hand it does not let you connect any such while charging.

Another absurd solution is the location of the memory slot (microSD). It is under the SIM-card slot, i.e., to change your card you have to open the battery lid (it is very easy), remove the battery, lift the SIM card and then lift the slot for the microSD card. These are about 10 operations whereas with an external hot-swappable slot they are 2 – removal (of the old one) and inserting (of the new one) or just 1 (if there is no old one).



The stylus is traditionally placed in the lower right corner. It is not a collapsible one and is convenient to use. The location of the service lights is interesting: the two small LEDs are at both ends of the loudspeaker, above the display. If you don’t know they are there you will only notice them when flashing.

Interface:

HTC Artemis P3300 is a standard WM 5 PPC phone in terms of software. Its operating system is just slightly personalized and that is why there are so many resemblances to other phone models even not of the same brand. The manufacturer has added its own software for the FM radio tuner control and for the GPS operation. A TomTom is included in the package and you can download a card free of charge. Since most things are shared for the operating system, various positive features and problems are typical for all such devices and not only for Artemis or the HTC phones.

The home screen normally shows active information on the phone condition and several shortcuts have been added below arranged in a row.

As a Windows Mobile PPC Phone, P330 can be customized in many different ways and the easiest one is changing the visual themes. If you have to use more advanced software, the phone can be adjusted to perfectly suit your needs. The phone has preloaded HTC Green theme by default.

Phone Book:

The phonebook has no restriction on the amount of contact that can be added – it only depends on the memory available. When you open the phonebook all contacts are displayed as a list; each field consists of the name and the number of the contact, while a letter placed beside them indicates what the type of the number is (w – work; m – mobile, etc.). Pictures are not displayed even if there is one attached to the contact.

The line displayed at the top of the screen is a search field, which starts searching through the names and numbers on entering a symbol – the more symbols you type, the more accurate the match is – it’s quite useful! There are tabs with different letters (divided in groups of three) just below it. This way you can arrange the contacts so that only the ones beginning with a given letter are displayed. These two search features are quite handy and they make finding a particular contact in the phonebook very quick.

Too bad that’s not the case when adding a new name to the phonebook; the device offers way too many capabilities, including multiple work and home numbers, but there’s only one for mobile –something quite inconvenient as that’s exactly where we wanted to add multiple numbers to. The numerous address, e-mail and other address fields confuse you even further – it would have been a lot easier if the most frequently used fields are highlighted in some way. We would choose this to be done with the Name, Picture, Mobile number and e-mail fields and thus finding them would have been easy, eliminating the need to go through the long list.

Personal photos and ringtones can be assigned to each contact; there’s no restriction on the size of the pictures but they are visualized in very small size even on an incoming call – we think they are useless. You can also add a note to each contact.

Another major drawback is that a Missed Call number cannot be added to an already existing contact. To do this, you first have to add it as a new one and then Cut and Paste the number into the contact you want. These complex manipulations not only lose your time, but there’s also a chance that you lose the number. That’s what we experienced. We cut the number, then copied another text by mistake, and the number was gone.



Dialer:

You can dial a number not included in your contacts by inputting its numbers. Since the phone does not have a digital keyboard, a virtual one is visualized on the additional screen on which you can input the desired number. To display this keyboard you have to press the green receiver once. You will see information on the last dialed number and you can call it by pressing the green receiver again. To dial another number you have used recently, you can use the Call History. Here you have a speed dial button but this is not quite convenient and you will prefer to scroll the call history menu. The contacts we talk most often with (and would allocate for speed dial) are almost always here.

Organizer:

Alarms can be directly accessed through the home screen. They are three, and they all can be configured to be active for certain days of the week, and you can also assign names and different sounds to each of them. All alarms can be active simultaneously, and overall they are easy to use and do what they are supposed to. Maybe they should have been a few more, as we wouldn’t mind having five plus alarms in our pocket computer.

The next tab in this menu is the clock; there is a field called Visiting next to it which can be used as a World Clock – select another location and the phone starts using its local time. The clock has an option to be displayed on the title bar of all the menus, which is handy.

The Calendar can be viewed for a particular year/month/week/day. Appointments are easily added to a certain date and alarms can also be assigned to them. When viewing a particular day, hours are displayed in red and blue background respectively for the “light” and “dark” hours of the day, instead of indexing them with PM and AM – this is done for saving your time.

Tasks are added via the Task menu and each of them can be assigned a date for activation and a priority; you can easily indicate that a certain task has been completed by placing a tick next to it in the list with all the tasks – thus it will not be displayed on your home screen as uncompleted.

The Calculator is simple but its buttons are relatively big and can easily be pressed with your fingers. Features like scientific calculator and unit converter are still missing.

The HTC Artemis doesn’t have a good voice commands system but only a possibility for voice dialing of contacts which you have to input in advance. This is quite an inconvenient, clumsy and old system and it’s a pity that the manufacturer has not used something better. The Eten phones for instance, have a speaker-independent voice commands system.

Messaging:

Different message types are placed in a single menu - SMS, MMS and e-mails. There is nothing unexpected here. Entering text is done by one of the following touch display methods:

  • Block Recognizer
  • Keyboard
  • Letter Recognizer
  • Transcriber

We think that the on-screen keyboard is the fastest and most convenient way to do it, but if you train the other methods, they can also be quite handy! Combined with the T9 predictive system, entering text with the phone is really quick.

Everything is standard in the e-mail menu; there’s an option for downloading headers only and you can also set a limit in KB per message. EDGE data upgrades the old GPRS but still we miss 3G UMTS on this phone, which most modern PPC phones already use.

Connectivity:

The HTC solution of combining the jacks for connecting to a PC and earpieces in one is strange. The earpieces and other music accessories are connected to the miniUSB connector which results in the inconvenience of you not being able to listen to music and charge/synchronize the telephone at the same time. It also leads to the inconvenience for you to choose among fewer accessories.

For local connection you can use Bluetooth as well, since P3300 has the latest version. Multimedia profiles are also supported so you can listen to stereo music wireless.

The phone features an integrated Wi-Fi module for wireless Internet connection. You can easily connect to a home/office network, or any public place where “hotspot” service is supported. Wi-Fi transfer speeds are much higher than GPRS/EDGE ones, and using it for Internet and streaming, as well as VoIP services such as Skype, is not a problem.

Internet:

The mobile version of Internet Explorer is used for internet browsing; loading standard pages in full size is not a problem, because of the relatively high resolution (320x240 pixels) of such devices but you have to scroll horizontally as well as vertically almost all the time. If you want to read a text, it is almost sure you will not be able to fit the whole row in those 240 (or 320 if you put the phone in landscape mode) pixels. Full-screen usage is almost mandatory when the page has loaded.

There is also One Column View option which eliminates the need for horizontal scrolling but increases the need for vertical scrolling. The page is narrowed and thus it changes its initial look.

Camera:

Like X500 and other contemporary PPC phones, P3300 Artemis has a built-in 2-mega pixels digital camera for shooting when you don’t have a photographic camera at hand. The camera is on the back panel and there is a small mirror surface but there is no LED light to act as lightning. The camera is started in 5 seconds after holding depressed its button on the right side which is relatively fast. After shooting you have to wait for another 5 seconds for the camera to save in the internal memory a photo with the highest possible quality.
The interface you use is comparatively logically arranged to offer much information on the screen which is viewfinder. So you see what the settings are while shooting. You can easily change them from the settings menu.

The photos are with the expected quality – none too high. The camera is with a 2-mega pixels module and photos are mediocre but not the worst we have seen. Some are well exposed, others are overexposed and the colors sometimes tend to the yellow range. The dynamics is quite weaker than it should be and the photos look flat and the details are few.
P3300 can shoot small clips, too, but the resolution of 176x144 pixels is simply funny and they are useless.


Media Player:

P3300 is equipped with the standard mobile version of Windows Media Player. It is a multimedia player for music and video files. MP3 format is supported, as well as WMA and WAV. After updating the library with files, all supported types are found, and they can be added to playlists. This function is not well implemented and organizing them is quite hard. Songs can be viewed by artist, album and genre, as these are taken from the ID3 tag of the files.

The supported video formats are MPEG4/H.263, WMV and 3GP, while the quality of the latter is pretty low. They can be viewed in fullscreen and the picture quality is quite good and looks very nice on the almost-three-inch display. Unforunately you can not playback video in MPEG 4/H.264 format which gives the best results.

The options buttons (next/previous, Play/Pause, etc.) are small and inconvenient both during Music and Video playback. When audio files are played, the video visualization window is still displayed, which is a lapse as it only takes up place on your screen. You can have these problems solved by adding new skins for the Media Player or by using another player, which can be additionally installed.

During the test we noticed that the multimedia player does not come as a heavy load for the phone, and we used Skype to chat while it was playing in background. We even used it for playing 1411 kbps WAV file. Music can be played with the integrated speaker, but that’s only suitable if you use it as a ringtone. If you want to listen to the music you can use the headset included in the package, as well as Bluetooth Stereo via the A2DP profile. Unfortunately here HTC has used the miniUSB port for connecting the headphones. In order to use regular 3.5mm headphone you will have to use a rare adapter. We prefer phones with 3.5mm or 2.5mm stereo jacks which is more widespreaded.


The phone also has built-in FM tuner. This is a nice old-school addition to the music player which helps for music on the go and can also bring you the news in audio format without the need of complicated new advanced technologies like internet streaming.

Although the buttons are not the biggest we've seen, it is comfortable and easy to use. You will not experience any problems and will easily save your favorite stations.



Software:


The P3300 Artemis has 64MB ROM and 128MB RAM. Internal capacity can be expanded through the microSD card slot .
WM for PPC provides unlimited capabilities for installing software. The only restrictions are the memory available and the hardware of the phone. The first problem is easily solved by getting a memory card as there are microSD cards with capacity of up to several GB. Every PPC comes with programs that are modified, “pocket” versions known PC applications. Such programs are the mobile versions of (Microsoft) Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Explorer, Media Player, etc. Many more could be downloaded from third party sources.

There are numerous programs created for this platform, almost as much as the ones intended for PCs with Windows operating system. The most popular are the various utilities for personalizing the PPC, multimedia players, file explorers, Instant Messengers, etc. You can download third party applications to be used instead of the preloaded ones.


GPS:

If you travel a lot and need to know where you are or how to get somewhere, the P3300 can help.

It comes with GPS received built-in, but in order to use it the consumer needs to put navigation software. Many titles are available on the market, and for our tests we used TomTom 5, which comes preloaded with the P3300 Artemis with one city map. If you want to purchase full US/Canada coverage maps, the cost is about $110. In contrast with the X500 (P3300’s rival from E-Ten) buying TomTom and maps costs $150 – so the actual savings are about $40. The main idea of having TomTom preloaded is not in saving $ - it is giving the consumers the ability to check out the navigation service. Almost all of us have to travel or find an address from time to time, and having full maps in your pocket is just priceless.

Like the X500, the P3300 Artemis comes with the latest generation SIRF III chipset. Compared to its predecessors, it allows faster time to fix, lower power consumption and higher sensitivity. The SIRF III architecture allows the equivalent of 200,000 correlations, in contrast to the older ones which used sequential search process allowed a few hundred to a few thousand only. This increases the GPS sensitivity and allows it to work in many indoor environments, through urban canyons, and under dense foliage. SIRF III chipset supports both WAAS in the US or EGNOS systems in Europe for even better accuracy.

After starting the application for the first time, TomTom found the internal GPS and after about 15 seconds we have a location lock! The time it takes for the GPS to acquire its location for the first time is called cold start and the 15 seconds we got was an excellent result. If the navigation application is closed and the restarted, the GPS needs just a little over three seconds to reacquire its location.

The rather slow 200Mhz processor handles with routing calculation but it is significantly slower than with the 400Mhz Samsung CPU of the Eten X500/M700. A shame is that the box doesn’t come with car charger in it, as using the phone for navigation in a car will drain its battery fast.

Performance:

One of the disadvantages of P3300 compared to X500 is that it uses a far slower 200 MHz processor.  Nevertheless in normal use it is quite sufficient but its delay is felt in operations such as calculation of routes when using GPS. Yet, the disadvantage is not so great as to tip the balance sharply in favor of X500. 

In direct comparison to other Pocket PC and standard phones, Artemis P3300 showed excellent results as regards talking. The full-functional PDA possibilities are not an obstacle to having full-functional phone ones, too.  The range force is very high and it showed excellent results during our testing.  The sound is very good when talking:  what you hear is strong and clear but a little shrill, and on the other side they hear you very strong, too, but quite realistically.

The speakerphone is usable from a small distance but it sounds quite unrealistically and even irritating.

Conclusion:

HTC P3300 Artemis is certainly a small phone but powerful and pleasant to use.  Its beautiful distinguished design includes a combination of WiFi and GPS and the multimedia player is supplemented by an FM stereo radio.  A great advantage is its easy use with one hand as well as the high quality workmanship typical of HTC, but its disadvantages are the relatively slow processor and the inconvenient card location. The lack of 3G support should also be pointed out.  In direct comparison to the competitive X500 our opinion is definitely in favor of P3300 thanks to small details, although X500 is with better specifications.

Pros

  • Small PPC with both GPS and WiFi
  • Trackball navigation, wheel and shortcuts allow for easy one-handed usage
  • Very good call quality

Cons

  • The processor should be faster for GPS device
  • Mediocre camera performance

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

6.9
2 Reviews

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