HTC Smart Review
There are some phones which are not that easy to categorize, and the HTC Smart is just one of them. Aiming to attract attention with the new Brew mobile platform and solid build quality, it is HTC's first foray into the feature phone universe. However, the HTC Smart seems to be keeping the popular Sense UI, so the user experience should still be HTC-like. We need another one of these mobile platforms like we need an oil spill in the Gulf, but let's see what it can and can't do.
What's in the box:
- HTC Smart handset
- miniUSB cable
- Stereo headset with mic
- 1100mAh Li-Ion battery
We have to give it to HTC, they surely know how to make touchscreen phones. For one of the pioneers in the industry it wouldn't be very hard to make a solid handset and the HTC Smart exhibits the build quality we've come to expect from the company, despite the fact that it is an entry level phone. The specs are pretty ordinary, though - the screen is 2.8” resistive type with a plain QVGA resolution, and not very responsive to the touch. It is probably the most basic screen you can find on a touchscreen device these days. Colors are by no means saturated, but at least the panel doesn't smudge quickly like some others do, and is bright and fairly visible in direct sunlight.
You can compare the HTC Smart with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The HTC Smart feels sturdy and heavy when gripped, with a quality soft-touch coating on the back, usually reserved for higher-end phones. When you add the stainless steel elements like the buttons, the rims surrounding the phone and the display area, plus the brushed metal plate around the 3MP camera, it all amounts up to quality.
A nice chrome band runs around the phone. Even the volume piece on the left, and the camera button at the lower right side, are part of it, but a bit elevated, so you can feel where they are without looking. The only elements that pierce the metal band's streamlined look, are the miniUSB port at the bottom for charging and syncing, and the 3.5mm audio jack on top, but they have chrome all around them too. The travel of the camera key is quite shallow since you don't have the half-press-to-focus function, as the 3MP camera is with a fixed focus.
The front of the HTC Smart is also thoughtfully designed. The huge metal back key has a prominent position between the send and end buttons in the bottom area, and there is a tiny key right underneath the screen, which serves as a context menu button throughout the interface (similar to Android). The plate around all front keys has a wooden look, and the earpiece area above the screen is covered by a metal grill with three LEDs lighting up when the device is charging.
Honestly, the design of the HTC Smart looks much more impressive than its spec sheet. It definitely gives it that premier look we've come to expect from HTC's handsets. So as far as design goes, we're content with what the Smart offers. On the other hand, the combination of Brew MP and Sense UI seems like an intriguing software mash-up. It would be interesting to see if it keeps the same level of quality found with the appearance of the phone. Let's take a look!