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Home -> Smartphone Reviews -> HTC S710
Editor’s appraisement (1-5): Discuss this product
Reviewed April 28, 2007 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief
Brilliant, as the British say: booty the side-sliding QWERTY keyboard architecture from accepted HTC-made Pocket PC phones such as the Cingular 8525, T-Mobile MDA and Verizon XV6700 and use it on an MS Smartphone. Aback we aboriginal saw the HTC Vox (that’s developer’s cipher name for the HTC S710 and carrier branded versions such as the Orange SPV E650) in ancestor at the alpha of January, we wondered why we, HTC or anyone abroad hadn’t anticipation of this before? But then, until afresh electronics apparatus were too ample to add a abounding slide-out keyboard additional the accepted abundant acclaim of appearance to a smartphone this small.
Indeed, the S710 has an absorbing affection set for a buzz that measures aloof 4 x 2 x 0.73 inches: Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi 802.11b/g, continued array life, a 2 megapixel camera and the abounding Windows Adaptable set of acute aliment such as adaptable versions of Internet Explorer, MS Office, Outlook with Direct Push, Windows Media Amateur and Windows Live. The buzz is one of the aboriginal on the bazaar active the new Windows Adaptable 6.0 operating system. The S710 runs Windows Adaptable Accepted Edition (that’s the new name for the smartphone version, while the Pocket PC Buzz Edition accessories now run Windows Adaptable Professional). Admitting the ever-changing allotment conventions accumulate users confused, we’re blessed there aren’t six altered editions .
The S710 isn’t currently offered by any US carrier, but the buzz is awash apart for use with any GSM carrier by importers and e-retailers. This cloister bandage smartphone has EDGE but no 3G for data. It uses the aforementioned charger as added HTC accessories awash in the accomplished year and the aforementioned mini USB cable as added contempo HTC accessories such as the Cingular 8525, Cingular 3125 and T-Mobile Dash.
In the Box
HTC includes a apple charger, mini USB accompany cable, stereo earbud angle with inline mic, software CD with ActiveSync 4.5 and a 60 day balloon of Outlook 2007, and a blubbery printed manual.
Windows Adaptable 6 at a Glance
Since this is the aboriginal Windows Adaptable 6 accessory we’re reviewing, we’ll awning a bit of what’s new. This isn’t a aloft check of the OS in agreement of attending and feel. If you’re acclimatized to Windows Mobile, you’ll agenda alone baby changes to the user interface such as prettier icons and new Windows Alive home screens. The improvements accommodate a added able IE that handles added sites and is decidedly faster at downloading and apprehension pages, abutment for HTML email in Outlook, adaptable versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are now standard, DUN is easier with the new Internet Sharing application, new and added affable arrangement sounds and Windows Update on the smartphone itself (no added hunting in several places to acquisition accessory updates).
Design and Ergonomics
The S710 is agnate in admeasurement to the Cingular 2125 and beneath than the T-Mobile SDA. By smartphone standards, this is a baby phone. At 0.73″, it’s decidedly attenuate for a buzz with a accelerate out keyboard and it’s not abundant thicker than the 0.69″ SDA. The buzz is actual adorable attractive and feels solid in allotment acknowledgment to its ample 4.93 ounce weight. The S710 has a atramentous artificial case with a ablaze metal beleaguer about the affectation and keypad, and a argent keyboard with dejected backlighting. The keyboard slides out calmly with bounce abetment and stays open, about aback bankrupt there is some slight movement that’s disconcerting. The affectation automatically switches to mural approach aback you accelerate the keyboard accessible (the about-face takes about 2 abnormal and is accompanied by a nice arrangement sound).
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Closed, the buzz is accessible to use one handed, with ample aloft buttons and a ample d-pad that’s neither too accessible nor too adamantine to press. The S710 isn’t a fingerprint magnet, added than the chrome surround, and it feels abundant in hand. The accomplished 2.4″ affectation dominates and the buzz has a almost aerial architecture that lends a avant-garde look. Buttons are almost few, with alone the adeptness button up top (this takes some accomplishment to press, as it should) and the camera button on the appropriate side. The larboard ancillary houses the aggregate rocker (a little too adamantine to press) and articulation command button. The microSD agenda aperture is on the appropriate ancillary beneath a elastic aperture and the accumulated ExtUSB sync/charge/headset anchorage is on the basal beneath a elastic cover. On the aback you’ll acquisition the camera lens, cocky account mirror and speakerphone grill. The array lives beneath the aperture on the phone’s back. Cachet LEDs for arresting (flashing green), Bluetooth (flashing blue) and charging alive aloft the display, nested beside the earpiece. Those who abhorrence aflame LEDs won’t acknowledge these as they’re about absurd to awning up with bandage (you’d block the earpiece). We weren’t agitated by the lights, which aren’t anytime ablaze by any means.
Though small, the slide-out QWERTY keyboard is decidedly accessible to use. I accept ample calmly and long, attenuate fingers and I had no agitation instantly accounting able-bodied on the Vox’s keyboard. The keys are domed and well-separated, and anniversary gives a concrete and aural bang aback pressed. The keyboard blueprint is accepted except the amplitude bar which is confused to the appropriate of centermost and the aeon key is on the top row to the appropriate of the “p” key rather than to the appropriate of the breach and “m” keys. The breach shares a key with the aeon key and you’ll columnist the Fn key to blazon it. Two accepted Windows Adaptable softkeys alive aloof aloft the top row of keys and there are two LEDs to announce caps lock and Fn lock (double columnist on the caps lock or Fn key to accredit lock and double-press afresh to about-face it off). These indicators are baby touches that absolutely advance the accounting experience.
Windows Adaptable 6 does a bit bigger job of analysis the able ascribe blazon than above-mentioned versions, and we begin ourselves accepting to manually accredit and attenuate Fn lock beneath frequently aback entering numbers.
Phone Features, Accession and Internet
The HTC S710 is an apart cloister bandage GSM apple buzz that operates on the 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies. It will assignment with any GSM carrier’s SIM aback it’s awash unlocked. Agenda that if you buy the Orange SPV E650 or added carrier branded adaptation of the Vox, it will be bound to that carrier, clashing the HTC. Like the HTC S620 (aka T-Mobile Dash), the S710 has accomplished accession which makes it a adequate band-aid for both those in able arresting and signal-challeged locales. Articulation affection is adequate for both admission and approachable calls (in actuality approachable is a bit bigger than incoming) and alarm aggregate is absolutely loud by GSM standards. We kept aggregate at 50% in accustomed locations and alone set it to max aback in a actual loud ancestors restaurant with acoustics befitting the Metropolitan Opera House.
The S710 has the accepted complete set of WinMo alarm appearance including abutment for appointment calls, alarm cat-and-mouse and alarm forwarding. You can manually baddest the arrangement or leave it set to auto (note that some carriers block chiral arrangement selection) and you can accredit alarm barring as able-bodied as accredit or attenuate Addition ID. The buzz comes with the aforementioned articulation dialing begin on above-mentioned HTC devices. It uses recorded articulation tags for analogous rather than authentic accent acceptance and works with Bluetooth headsets. The HTC’s rear-firing speakerphone is added like a PA system: acutely loud (the buzz vibrates with the adeptness of the complete and association in the abutting allowance will adequate apprehend the alarm with no problems alike at bisected volume). As a aftereffect of the aerial volume, there is distortion, admitting beneath than we expected. Convertible drivers will adequate acknowledge the S710’s speakerphone.
For abstracts the S710 has 2.5G EDGE with fallback to GPRS, but alas no 3G. The Vox’s abridgement of 3G is its alone gap in an contrarily acid bend affection set. Actuality an accustomed user of 3G accessories such as the Treo 750 and Samsung Blackjack, I alarming the acknowledgment to EDGE; but was abundantly afraid by networking improvements in Windows Adaptable 6 that fabricated web pages download and cede abundant added quickly. In abbreviate the accessory acquainted added like a UMTS 3G phone, which is to say not bad at all. UMTS, with a max download acceleration of 384k is the lower of the two GSM arrangement 3G standards, and HSDPA is the faster. Web pages loaded acutely faster than the T-Mobile Dash (HTC S620), Cingular 3125 and alike Pocket PC phones like the i-mate JAQ3. We additionally noticed improvements in appliance download times: we downloaded the chargeless 3.9 meg 3D Golf Bold from Microsoft’s Windows Adaptable web armpit and it took a few account rather than 5 to 10 to download. Nice. If you allegation a buzz to use with a anthology for tethering, afresh you’ll adequate appetite a 3G phone. However, if you plan alone to use the abstracts affiliation on the buzz itself, afresh the S710 is acceptable.
Internet Explorer Adaptable is improved, not aloof in agreement of download and apprehension acceleration but in its adeptness to handle added web sites. Admitting the smartphone and Pocket PC buzz editions of Windows Adaptable 5 aggregate abundant of the aforementioned code, the PPC adaptation of IE handled added web sites well. With Windows Adaptable 6 Accepted Edition (smartphone), web sites that austere afore with a bare folio such as nytimes.com do cede (granted, the Times serves the smartphone their adaptable version, but afore you got nothing). WinMo 6 additionally adds the adeptness to install Certificates adequately easily.
Outlook Adaptable has undergone a bigger face lift, with abounding changes arresting to the user. These accommodate added desktop-like appearance such as abutment for HTML email cancellation (but not creation), the adeptness to mark belletrist with cachet flags, about-face amid email accounts appliance the larboard and appropriate directionals and chase Exchange folders (the searched agreeable allegation not be on the accessory locally).
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Windows Alive is heavily dent into Windows Adaptable 6, with Alive Search, Messenger and Hotmail (some of the included Today Screens accommodate the Alive components). These formed well, admitting Microsoft’s web chase isn’t our favorite, and MSN Messenger can alike download your IM contacts to your abode book (it claims to de-dupe them for those association already in your Outlook contacts, we begin it didn’t). We did run into agitation with basal connectivity: we had a alive EDGE affiliation with IE active in the background, yet Alive claimed we had no applicable Internet affiliation unless we set the EDGE affiliation to be the “Internet” affiliation rather than our Work, WAP or user-defined connection. Alive Chase did work, admitting this, as did Hotmail, but not Messenger. Alive admired our WiFi affiliation aloof accomplished (which works as if it were the “Internet” connection), as a consolation. On a altered Windows Adaptable 6 accessory appliance the aforementioned SIM agenda and Internet settings, we didn’t appointment this problem– go figure.
Horsepower and Performance
Microsoft isn’t accepted for authoritative anniversary absolution of an OS faster than the last, so don’t apprehend Windows Adaptable 6 to acceleration things up. Happily, it doesn’t apathetic things bottomward either, and we didn’t apperceive a acceleration hit with the new OS. The S710 runs on a 201 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 850 processor, which is the everyman accepted denominator for MS smartphones. If it can run WinMo 6, afresh appealing abundant annihilation can aural reason. The S710 is boilerplate of the Windows Adaptable alley in agreement of acceleration aperture menus, ablution applications and arena aback video. If you’re acclimated to the Dash or Cingular 2125, you’ll acquisition the S710 to be about the same. If you’re acclimated to active affection phones, you’ll accept to apathetic bottomward a bit. If you’re advancing from an earlier Nokia S60 phone, the acceleration will be aloof hardly slower (though the new Nokia N95 is faster overall).
For memory, the HTC has the accepted 64 megs of RAM (used like RAM in your PC) and 128 megs of beam ROM, of which about 50 megs are chargeless for your use. Should you allegation added accumulator amplitude for programs and files, you can use a microSD card. The S710’s agenda aperture is amid on the ancillary of the buzz beneath a elastic awning and is hot swappable. It’s accordant with cards up to 2 gig in capacity.
Just a few years back, Windows Adaptable camera buzz images reminded us of that aboriginal sticky-eyed glimpse of the apple afterwards alive with a hangover: dim, down-covered and abounding of kaleidoscope blush effects. Fortunately, aloof as our hangover canicule of adolescence accept passed, so accept the alarming VGA and 1.3MP cameras from those old devices. The Vox takes nice photos with reasonable clarity, not too abundant atom and appropriate color. The 2 megapixel camera is absolutely on par with affection buzz counterparts like the 2 megapixel LG VX8700 (Verizon Shine), and that’s a acclaim as LG puts some nice cameras in their phones. In fact, we admiration if the two manufacturers aren’t appliance the aforementioned camera accumulation as both accept the aforementioned brownish casting to photos that requires some chiral alteration on the desktop (Photoshop’s Auto Blush affection doesn’t get it right, you accept to accession the dejection and abate the reds yourself). Admitting to be accurate, the S710’s amber blush casting isn’t about as arresting as the LG’s.
The camera can booty photos at a best of 1200 x 1600 pixels with a array of beneath resolutions accessible including 120 x 160 for addition ID photos. The camera uses the absolute affectation as the viewfinder and operates in account acclimatization (even if the slider is accessible and the buzz is contrarily in mural orientation). There are a array of settings for angel quality, white balance, atom vs. boilerplate metering, accuracy and effects. If you admit a new accumulator card, the camera will ask you if you ambition to save photos and videos there by default. There are 6 modes (photo, video, MMS video, contacts picture, account affair and sports) and the user interface is calmly abstruse afterwards a bit of arena around. The bang complete can be angry off for stealth photos.
The camera can booty video at 176 x 144 and 128 x 96 pixel resolutions and it has 2x agenda zoom. You can about-face audio recording on and off, and almanac videos for extenuative (not MMS) of any breadth bound by accessible storage. Video affection was additionally actual good, with audio-video sync, adequate colors and little blockiness or ghosting. Of course, max video resolution is almost low for a 2MP camera, and that helps advance video quality. We ambition the buzz took QVGA 240 x 320 video for a fairer comparison. Audio aggregate is low aback cutting video. The camcorder can booty video in H.263, MPEG4 and Motion JPEG formats.
Display and Multimedia
The S710 has an accomplished QVGA 240 x 320 pixel affectation that’s able of announcement 65k colors. The LED backlit 2.4″ affectation is aloof the appropriate admeasurement for the resolution, and is adequately accessible on the eyes. It’s acutely sharp, has abundant blush and is abundantly arresting outdoors. Aback this is Windows Adaptable Accepted Edition (Smartphone Edition in the old lingo) it does not accept a blow screen. The rear-firing apostle is loud abundant to accept to video soundtracks but isn’t aerial allegiance by any agency so you’ll appetite to use the included stereo earbud angle with inline mic and aggregate ascendancy for music playback. Music complete affection and aggregate are adequate through the headset, and you can use either HTC’s Audio Manager or Windows Media Amateur 10 Adaptable (which supports AAC, WMA, WMV and ASF files and more) for music playback.
MS Smartphones, with their mostly 200 MHz processors and no committed cartoon dent accept never been the best for hardcore cine playback. Stick with QVGA videos recorded about 350kbps for best results. Aerial bitrate files will bead frames. We activated the freeware TCPMP video amateur on the S710 and it formed fine, the alone admonition actuality that our phone’s backlight got ashore on and we had to adapt the anthology to acknowledgment it to accustomed behavior.
WiFi and Bluetooth
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This smartphone has Bluetooth 2.0 (not EDR) and WiFi 802.11b/g. You’ll administer the assorted radios appliance HTC’s Comm Manager (in the Today Screen, highlight the top bandage area the carrier’s name and WiFi cachet are listed and columnist the centermost d-pad button to accompany up Comm Manager). There’s Microsoft’s accepted Bluetooth assemblage and software to administer Bluetooth admission and the accepted Windows Adaptable WiFi management. Neither are absolutely feature-rich but they get the job done.
WiFi formed anxiously in our tests and had aloft boilerplate ambit for a phone. It supports WEP encryption, WPA, LEAP, certificates and has adeptness saver settings. While cellular abstracts and WiFi admission sometimes created affiliation settings nightmares in some adaptable phones, the S710 and Windows Adaptable 6 appropriately switched amid them. Hopefully carrier customizations on added WinMo 6 accessories won’t muck this up.
Bluetooth ambit was boilerplate and book alteration speeds were up to Bluetooth 2.0 standards. Supported profiles accommodate headset, handsfree, DUN (dialup networking), consecutive port, SAP (SIM admission contour acclimated by car kits), HID (keyboard and mice) and A2DP. We activated the buzz with a array of headsets including the Plantronics Discovery 640 and Samsung WEP 200. Both formed well, had the boilerplate 10 to 15 basal ambit for these two headsets, but admission articulation affection seemed beneath abounding compared to added phones (outgoing was excellent). We activated A2DP with the Plantronics 590 stereo Bluetooth headphones. Aggregate was absolutely adequate and complete affection was adequate (not the best we’ve anytime heard but absolutely boilerplate of the backpack and abundant bigger than aboriginal A2DP phones). The headset’s play/pause and fast forward/rewind controls formed to ascendancy Windows Media Player, advertence AVRC support. About the aggregate ascendancy on the angle did change how loud the music played but didn’t change the akin beat in WMP, nor did alteration the aggregate in WMP aftereffect playback aggregate through the headset. Handoff amid music and calls formed seamlessly with the Plantronics.
HTC offers their accepted touches: their HTC blooming Today theme, Quick Notes (a block application), Comm Manager, articulation dialing (uses articulation tags, not accent recognition), a accessible app to clean out the phone’s data, Esmertec’s Java runtime, shortcuts (i.e.: columnist the cardinal the corresponds to the filigree area of an appliance in the programs window filigree to barrage that program) and their own Audio Manager (a music amateur that additionally has an accessible way to set an MP3 as the phone’s ringtone). Microsoft has acute dial: aloof blazon in a few belletrist of the acquaintance name to accompany them up for a alarm (this affection is now on the Pocket PC adaptation of the OS as well).
Other improvements in Windows Adaptable 6 accommodate the added MS Office apartment that allows you to appearance and adapt MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Editing is adequately basal in Word and Excel, and there’s little you can change in a PowerPoint presentation, but it’s abundant bigger than nothing. Admitting you can adapt documents, you can’t actualize new ones (strange). You can get about this limitation by befitting bare abstracts on the device. Accessible one, actualize to your heart’s agreeable afresh use “Save As” to save it as a new file.
Contacts enhancements accommodate affiliation with alarm history and the Calendar now has a abundant added advantageous appearance in anniversary and ages appearance (highlight an access to see its capacity at the basal of the display) and a new award up top that shows your chargeless and accessible times. Admitting Microsoft has brindled a few accessible new shortcuts actuality and there throughout the OS, abounding tasks still crave added clicks than necessary. We’ll leave that up to Windows Adaptable 7.
The cogent upside to the calm CPU and abridgement of 3G is accomplished array life. HTC claims an amazing 7 hours of allocution time, and we candidly ran out of abandoned chit-chat continued afore the buzz absent power. HTC’s smartphones (in adverse to Pocket PC phones) generally accept actual adequate array activity by smartphone standards and the S710 follows suit. With boilerplate use, the buzz lasted us aloof beneath 3 canicule on a charge. That includes 30 account of buzz calls per day, watching a few abbreviate videos, alert to music with the affectation off for an hour per day and surfing the web over EDGE and WiFi for 45 minutes/day. Abundant WiFi users will get beneath array life, and MS Direct Push email will additionally abbreviate array activity if you’ve got the buzz blockage email every 5 account throughout the business day.
The buzz comes with a 1050 mAh Lithium Ion array that’s user swappable. There is no continued array advantage as of this writing.
HTC’s aboriginal Windows Adaptable 6 Accepted Edition alms is a able one with an able design. It’s an ergonomic near-delight that offers the best of candybar buzz affluence of use and a QWERTY keyboard. We ambition the slider backward added durably shut, but all-embracing we’re still actual admiring with the design. Windows Adaptable 6 itself brings improvements that are worthwhile, admitting some of them crave Exchange Server, so we’re not adage you allegation blitz out and buy this buzz aloof to get the new OS. Admitting the networking improvements do accomplish us boss happy, abnormally on the IE and abstracts alteration fronts. The buzz has accomplished array life, a abundant display, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi and a camera that’s absolutely account appliance . If the HTC S710 had 3G, our brilliant appraisement would accept been higher.
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Web site: www.htc.com
Price: About $530 from importers
Display: 65K blush transmissive LCD with LED backlighting. Awning admeasurement diagonally: 2.4″. Resolution: 240 x 320, supports both account and mural modes.
Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Array is user replaceable. 1050 mA. Claimed allocution time: 7 hours. Claimed standby: 175 hours.
Performance: Texas Instruments OMAP 850 processor active at 201 MHz. 64 MB RAM and 128 megs beam ROM with ~50 megs chargeless for your use.
Size: 4.0 x 1.97 x .73 inches. Weight: 4.93 ounces.
Phone: Cloister bandage GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz. EDGE for data. Apart for use with any GSM carrier (carrier branded versions such as the SPV E650 are locked, but not the HTC S710).
Camera: 2.0MP with self-portrait mirror (no flash). Max photo resolution: 1200 x 1600 pixels. Video resolutions: 176 x 144 and 128 x 96 pixels.
Audio: Built in speaker, mic and HTC ExtUSB stereo headphone jack. Articulation Recorder and Windows Adaptable Media Amateur 10 included for your MP3 and video examination pleasure.
Networking: Dent WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0.
Software: Windows Adaptable 6.0 Accepted (Smartphone) Edition operating system, Esmertec Java runtime. Microsoft Adaptable Office apartment including Adaptable versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer, and Outlook with Direct Push email support. Windows Alive including Messenger, Alive Chase and Hotmail, Windows Media Amateur 10, Solitaire, Bubble Breaker (game), Articulation Recorder. Additional applications: Camera, Comm Manager, Internet Sharing (use the buzz as a modem over BT, IR or USB), Clear Accumulator (wipes out all abstracts and resets assemblage to branch defaults), Bluetooth Explorer, acceleration dial, articulation dialing, Quick Note, HTC Audio Manager. ActiveSync 4.5 and Outlook 2007 60 day balloon for PCs included.
Expansion: 1 microSD agenda aperture on the phone’s ancillary (hot swappable).
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