HTC S710 Vox Review

As a market leader in Windows Mobile Operating System-based smartphones, HTC controls this part of the market and it is the main innovator, establishing its ideas thanks to its superb smartphones. In 2005 the company introduced the side-sliding mechanism which allows you to use a large and handy QWERTY hardware keyboard and which does not affect the size too much. After putting this idea into practice in several Pocket PC mobile phones, it was about time a Smartphone without touch screen, but using the same keyboard, to be presented – so HTC Vox came forward – numbered as S710. Announced in 2007, Vox is one of the first models, offered by the company, running Windows Mobile 6 Standard.

The Smartphone comes in a nice box and the standard delivery package includes:

  • Smartphone Vox (S710)
  • Charger
  • Mini USB – USB cable
  • Mini USB earphones
  • Leather carry case

PhoneArena's HTC S710 VOX Video Review:

Vox can be regarded as a slider phone and at the same time as a standard candy-bar, because even closed, the phone has absolutely full functionality and display, as well as a standard numeric keypad and D-Pad with navigational and software keys.

The side-sliding keyboard is spring-assisted which makes sliding easier. It is opened from right to left contrary to Wizard and TYTN, which are opened from left to right. Probably this has been done in order to make the phone slide open easily (one-handed operation) when you take it out of the carrying case.

The full size QWERTY keyboard only has three rows of keys, whereas the PPC phones have four. Because of this each row contains more keys and that makes the size of the keys smaller. Yet, there is some space left between them. The keys are raised and when pressed, they work softly. The blue backlighting is the same for the main characters and for the alternative characters and if you are not used to the keyboard you may look for a certain character for a long time. Confusing the keys is very easy because of the small space between them, hence their close placement.
There are two small service LEDs here to indicate - caps lock - or alternative character - Fn lock (Function). And there are two software buttons, one on each side of the screen, duplicating those on the front panel. When the phone is closed, its front panel is covered in full by the display and the keypad beneath it.

Unlike PPC phones, one can find here full functional numeric keyboard (12 keys), and 6 more navigational keys and 5-way D-pad. The numeric keys are comparatively small, but raised (the lower part is jutted out a little bit more) and can be felt easily. This is the way they are pressed and that is clearly indicated by the tactile response. The situation is almost the same with the D-pad which is not very large either. Our complaint is that the buttons for all directions are hard to press, but the central position button is perfect. On the front panel only the D-pad has no backlighting, the rest of the keypad is backlit in blue (except for answer/reject) and it could be seen clearly in the dark.

The rest of the buttons are placed sideward on the phone and they are much smaller and not backlit. You can find volume rocker and voice commands shortcut on the left side of the phone and camera shortcut/shutter key on the right side of the phone and on the top of the phone you can find the power on/off button which also functions as a shortcut for changing of the profiles and for locking of the keypad like Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

HTC Vox is a small smartphone and compared to PPC phones of the same type (HTC TyTN) the smaller size of the phone is easily noticeable in every aspect. The weight of the phone is perfect for a smartphone. It is a real pleasure to have it in your pocket or in your hand.


Dimension (Inches)

Dimension (MM)

Weight (OZ)

Weight (Gramms)


4.0" x 2.0" x 0.7"

101 x 50 x 17.7




4.4" x 2.3" x 0.9"

112.5 x 58 x 22



i-mate SPL

4.5" x 1.9" x 0.5"

114.5 x 49 x 12



Nokia E65

4.1" x 1.9" x 0.6"

105 x 49 x 15.5



For the comfortable usage of the phone helps this awesome to touch, non-slippery rubbery material, which is used for the back panel and the side parts of the phone. The front panel is outlined in chrome metal frame.
Here you can find the color TFT 2.41” display of the device. It features resolution of 320x240 pixels (QVGA 320x240), shows 65 K colors. It has a good contrast and brightness, neutral colours and detailed image.

S710 has two service LEDs, placed in the opening of the speaker on the front panel. The left one indicates the on/off status of the Bluetooth and WiFi and the right one notifies you of the battery and network status of the phone.
On the bottom of the right side of the upper slider is placed microSD (T-Flash) slot for memory cards covered by a piece of rubber. The slot for the Sim card is placed symmetrically on the left side, but if you want to change the card, first you have to turn off the phone. In case you open it without turning off the phone, it will immediately turn off by itself.


Vox is the first model the company offered on the market that runs the newer Windows Mobile 6 Standard edition. This is the reason why its software resembles that of other WM 6 Standard-based phones (ex for Smartphones) and even some of the things are completely identical.

As a default, the home screen shows system information, shortcuts for recently used applications and active stand-by screen that shows other information, for instance, Upcoming events. It can be personalized by themes to look completely different and several Windows variants are a nice example that can be changed from the menu: Settings – Home Screen – Home Screen Layout. The possibilities for personalization are almost endless.

The main menu is shown as a grid of 3x3 icons with shortcuts to numerical keypad. Unlike I-mate SPL, it cannot be viewed as vertical list but it has scroll function which enables you to move more comfortably to the next options.


Searching and dialing a number from the phonebook has never been easier. You can start inputting the number or the name you want from the homescreen (no matter if it is first or last name), but if you press the key for the corresponding character just once, it is as if the system for predictive text input is turned on. For instance, if you want to dial “Neo”, you have to dial 636 (6-MNO, 3-DEF, 6-MNO) and almost immediately the phone will show you all matching names. With “down” button select the contact you wish and dial it with the green receiver.

Looking through the phonebook is possible by means of list of names. You can search here too, but only by name (not by number) and the phone will not display which symbol you have input, so if you misspell one you will not be able to see what to clear (with back/clear button)and to edit it.

A long list with many fields is available when you add a new contact. You can find here many phone numbers, addresses and e-mails, etc. But here (like Pocket PC System) you cannot add two phone numbers of the same type – for instance, two mobile phone numbers. You can also attach a personal photo and a music file to each contact, but the displayed photo is so small when you receive a call or when you make a call that it is pointless, though there is plenty of space on the screen for a big photo.

By pressing the green receiver from the home screen you can see the call history of the phone. You can easily add a number from here as a new contact or as a new number for already saved contact.


In the phone menu you can find your electronic calendar where you can save your appointments. They have options for subject, starting/ending time/all day event, location, notes. You can use options like: reminder (PRIOR NOTICE 1/5/10/15/30 minutes, 1 hour/day/week), recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-date-and-month) for every year, sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). You can also add attendees (required or optional) from your contacts where e-mail addresses have been added and where meeting requests will be sent.

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Examining the calendar can be done by day/week/month and you can choose starting day for the week and the week duration (5-6-7-day week). The appointments for the day are clearly shown in their time limits, so you can see your free time at a glance. This is one of the new things of WM6 compared to WM5.

You have Tasks menu, where you can add to-do items. For a given Task you can set subject, priority (normal, low, high), start/due date, reminder (to be notified if it’s due), category (business, holiday, personal, seasonal) and note. The Task can have recurrence (Once, Every (same-day-of-the-week), Day (same-date) of every month, Every (same date-date-and-month) for every year and sensitivity (normal, personal, private, confidential). Examining the tasks in a list you can easily see which of them are finished and which are not. The tasks options can be: sort by (status, priority, subject, start date, due date) or filter (all, recent, no categories, active, completed).

The calculator is located in the menu “Office Mobile”. It does not have scientific option.

File Explorer is the mobile version of Windows Explorer and it helps you to explore the content of the phone memory and the card memory, reaching even to the system folders and files. And you are not limited to use only the phone types of files, but you can see all files. There is no option for selecting several files together (hence you cannot work with them at the same time).

Voice recorder is activated by holding down the voice button on the left side. With this tool you can use to record voice notes with no limitation of the time duration, which depends only on the available free memory.

Usually Windows Mobile Standard-based phones (ex for Smartphones) do not support Notes, but HTC have included application called Quick Notes. It has the same functionality – you can write down short notes but it is not synchronized with Outlook.


Like other Windows Mobile phones, all messages are in a common menu – Messaging. Here you can find all text, multimedia and e-mail messages. When you write something over again, T9 predictive text input system can help you. It can be used with QWERTY hardware keyboard too.

Just a few steps away is the option to add your e-mail account (POP3 or IMAP) and to use your e-mail account on your mobile phone. Windows Mobile 6 already supports HTML formatted e-mails. The client is very similar to the Outlook on a computer, you can filter your inbox to see just some results, reply to message or forward it to other person. The support for attachments allows you to download or send one, in addition to the text body. The phone can be set to synchronise with your company Exchange Server.

As standard, Windows Mobile comes preloaded with the mobile version of Live! Messenger (MSN). Windows Live account will be added in Messaging when you add your e-mail account. It is real fun to exchange fast messages with QWERTY keyboard.


HTC Vox is a quad-band GSM, which can be used in all continents.
Supporting EDGE data, it uses faster internet connection than it would use with GPRS, which is the previous level. Still, it is not 3G phone, which would enable even faster internet connection.

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 Vox has the latest version. Multimedia profiles are also supported so you can listen to stereo music wireless. We transferred 15MB of data for 4 minutes and 23 seconds, which means it transfers with about 60KBps.

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 is not a problem.

You can also connect it to a computer by a USB cable plugged in the bottom port of the phone. You will need an installed Microsoft Active Sync on your PC in order to achieve an easy synchronization of the phone with Microsoft Outlook at your will.


As standard, all Windows Mobile phones come with Internet Explorer (Mobile) for internet browsing. Naturally Vox is not an exception.
Internet Explorer has the option „One Column View” for avoiding horizontal scrolling and in this mode everything is arranged one below another and therefore the original vision of the site is not longer preserved. The trouble is that in „Desktop” view, the browser does not render correctly most of the sites and they are again different from the PC view. And you need a lot of scrolling in both directions.

If you do not like this Explorer, you can change it for some of its alternatives. One perspective choice is Deepfish, which is a Microsoft development, but it is still in “Beta” stage and it is available only for a small group of consumers, who managed to register as testers.


To imprint your moments when you do not have a camera, HTC Vox has at its disposal an in-built 2.0 MP camera, located on the back panel of the device.

The camera can be activated from the menu or from a shortcut on the right side. The interface is loaded in about 4 seconds. The whole 2.41” display is a viewfinder and there is information displayed on its upper and lower part about resolution, free memory (number of photos) and settings. By the left software button you can reach the settings menu and easily change everything there.

The time needed for taking and saving a picture with the best possible resolution is maximum 5 seconds, which is comparatively fast, but also expected because no time is spent for autofocus. The quality of the photos is acceptable, but compared to top camera phones, it is terrible. The best photo results are in a bright light outside but then we often have overexposed (burnt) or underexposed (dark) photos or large parts of them. The colours are not very vivid but more neutral.

Taking pictures inside is only possible in a bright light and if the light is not bright enough there is no point taking pictures.

You can examine your pictures in the album, where you can see thumbnails shown as a grid of 3x3 and scroll function. Once you have opened a photo, you can use the zoom or save it as wallpaper on the homescreen and even to edit it using Rotate, Crop, and Auto Correct. The latter is a simple function, which corrects the levels of brightness and contrast, but it is one of the innovations of Sony Ericsson K810 compared to К800, which is a dedicated cameraphone.


Like all the other Windows phones, Vox has a pocket version of Windows Media Player, which is a combined audio and video player. You can activate it directly from its shortcut key on the left side. In library you will find all your music saved in the phone and in the memory card and sorted by Artist, Album and Genre.

During playback of a song the interface is almost empty because it is also used for visualization of video files. The buttons are small, but they only replace the functions of the D-pad. By using its directions you can forward and backward in a certain track, to change tracks, to Play/pause or to control the volume. The player has options for Shuffle/Repeat and it is capable of creating Playlists.

Windows Media Player 10 is capable of playing the following files:


VIDEO: .WMV, .ASF, H.263 - .3GP and .MP4

To avoid any possible problems like chopping and skipping of frames when watching video files, it is better to stop all running applications in the RAM memory to free the system. We had no problem watching MPEG4 H.263 clip with QVGA resolution.

Audio Manager:

HTC has added a new software application to replace Windows Media Player for listening music files. Though, its functionality is almost the same, it attracted our attention by its much nicer and handy interface.

You can start sorting music into playlists or according to Artist/Album/Genre/ Composers. During the playback the visualized information is about artist name, song name, genre and file name. Again with the help of the D-pad keys you can navigate, but there are keyboard shortcuts which duplicate them. Button “8”activates “MUTE” function and from the menu you can select functions like shuffle and repeat. Playlists are easily created. Equalizers are the only thing that is missing, but we think they are useless, because they cannot compensate the quality of the sound if it is weak.

The sound through the earphones from the standard delivery package is very good, compared to other phones we have tested. It makes us sorry that it does not use standard 2.5/3.5мм stereo jack that would enable you to use other types of earphones. Anyway, in case nothing happens with these, they have enough power and quality to satisfy not too pretentious listeners.

The sound through the loudspeaker is little above the average volume and sounds comparatively fine. Of course it cannot be compared with the powerful stereo loudspeakers of the multimedia phones like Nokia N95.


S710 has 128 mb ROM, 64 mb RAM and the memory can be extended by microSD cards. The manufacturer added the application „Task Manager” that you can check the loaded applications in the RAM memory or to terminate some of them. There are only two preloaded games that come together with Windows Mobile 6 – Solitaire and Bubble Breaker, but new applications can be added thanks to the Operating System and the support of JAVA MIDP 2.0.

As all other Windows Mobile 6 devices, HTC VOX comes with Microsoft Office package including the mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Though, it does not have a touch display, the new Office applications enable it to edit files, which is very convenient. For instance, you receive the file by e-mail, edit it and send it back.

The Office applications run very well and it is no problem to visualize complex files, for example, complex excel sheet. It doesn’t show the CPU isn’t powerful enough. It operates well.


The 200 MHz CPU that operates S710 works very well, but sometimes it is obvious that it is slow and you have to wait when you work with it. This is a little bit boring but it is better than i-mate SPL, which uses the same CPU and OS. We are happy that there is no problem watching video files with appropriate resolution and the CPU is more than enough for the other operations.

The power range of the Vox is standard and it is neither strong nor weak. The quality of the sound is very good: in both directions it is loud and clear and the voices sound realistically.

In our battery test, it worked for 4.5 hours of talking, which is a good achievement for a smartphone, but is far from the 7 hours, claimed by the manufacturer.


If you don’t mind the slow CPU sometimes and the lack of fast 3G internet connection, then S710 is the Windows Mobile Standard smartphone for you. In its compact size and handy design, it combines nice display, handy keyboard and full QWERTY for the text maniacs. We must not forget the functionality of the Operating System and the hardware (WiFi, Stereo Bluetooth, microSD). If you prefer QWERTY keyboard to be at your disposal all the time then you should take a look at phones like Samsung BlackJack and Motorola Q. If you choose Q CDMA or Q9h you will be able to use a fast internet connection, the latter 3.6mbps (HSDPA).


  • QWERTY keyboard packed in a compact body
  • Version 6 of Windows Mobile OS
  • Built-in WiFi


  • EDGE data only
  • Mediocre camera quality

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