HTC Snap CDMA Review

Messaging:

Inner Circle is the feature, ah, feature for the Snap.  It allows the user to set favorite contacts, and when you receive an email from your inner circle it goes to a special inbox and there is a special alert.  It’s a handy feature, and the user can choose to ignore other emails and use it as a privacy blocker of sorts, but we don’t see it being a big selling point.  The skin for it is nice though, we wish HTC had ported it over to the regular messaging application.

The HTC Snap offers XT9 for predictive text entry.  The software thinks ahead of you, trying to predict what you’re typing based on the first few letters.  It also serves as spelling correction, auto correcting errors if the user pleases.  Neither XT9 nor spell correction is enabled by default, but we do find it to be a handy feature, especially with the poor keyboard.

Email setup is easy, and you can add any POP3 or IMAP account. Windows Mobile supports HTML formatted e-mails, allowing for a realistic view. The client is similar to Outlook on a computer; you can filter your inbox to see certain emails, view different folders, reply to a message or forward messages to another recipient. Attachments can be downloaded or viewed as long as there is a program on the phone that can handle it (such as a PDF viewer) and you can also attach files to outgoing email. Windows Mobile also allows synchronization with your corporate Exchange Server.

The Snap supports MMS, a trend we like to see from Sprint phones.  While they’ve had Picture Mail before anyone else offered a similar product, it was not MMS and we only first see true MMS pop up in the Treo Pro this January.


Connectivity and Data:

The Snap has 3G data over Sprint’s EVDO Rev. A network, but unfortunately does not feature Wi-Fi.  Unlike Verizon’s sister device, the Ozone, the Snap is not an international device.  This is a curious move, and the only conclusion we can come to is that Sprint did not want the Snap competing with the upcoming BlackBerry Tour. 

The Snap’s GPS is unlocked, and while Sprint Navigation is included in Sprint’s PDA data packages the user can use other programs like Google maps.  It has Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and supports the HSP 1.1, HFP 1.5, DUN, OPP, FTP, PBA, A2DP, AVRC, HID, PAN, BPP and BIP profiles.

Unfortunately there is no version of Opera preloaded on the Snap, as HTC has done with their WM Professional devices.  Instead Internet Explorer 6 is the default browser.  It has come a long way from the days of the Q, but there are still better browsers out there.  We’d recommend an immediate download of Skyfire.



Multimedia:

Everything here is pretty standard for Windows Mobile and Sprint.  Pictures & Video and Windows Media Player are the stock options for pictures and videos, but HTC Album is a better option due to its polish.  It supports MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, AVI, WAV, MP3, MP4, MIDI, WMV, 3GP, 3G2 and WMA files.  If the file of your choice is not on that list, there is no doubt a third party application out there that can play it.  Sprint TV and Radio, as well as the Music Store, are all preloaded on the Snap.

The 2 megapixel camera performed surprisingly well.  Colors were good (our samples were taken on a cloudy day) and the details were generally crisp.  It does not have any amenities like a flash or autofocus, so we weren’t expecting much, but the results were more than acceptable.  The video camera records at a maximum CIF resolution and produced less desirable results, though not uncommon for a cell phone.





Software:

The Snap runs on the Qualcomm MSM7625 processor, which clocks in at 528MHz.  It has 256MB ROM and 192MB RAM, all of which contribute to very snappy (sorry) performance.  In our time with the Snap we didn’t experience one hang-up or freeze, a remarkable feat for Windows Mobile!

Shipped software includes Office Mobile, Adobe Reader LE, Sprint’s NFL Mobile and NASCAR applications, and a Google shortcut to mobile apps.  HTC software includes Album, Audio Booster, Bluetooth Explorer, Remote Desktop, Quick GPS, RSS Hub and their excellent YouTube app.  The user is of course encouraged to download any of the multitude of WinMo programs available to make their experience better.



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