While everyone at this year's 3GSM was getting excited about HTC's Advantage high-end mobile device, the company launched other equally interesting Microsoft-based models, including some running the new Windows Mobile 6.
The S710, for example, is similar in size and weight (about 120g) to a standard phone handset, yet boasts a good-sized colour display and a slide-out qwerty keyboard – excellent for composing emails. When you slide the phone open, the screen also changes to a landscape orientation to match the keyboard.
My early tests soon showed up a few faults, however. The device is often sluggish, sometimes taking a second or two to re-orient its display when opened up. Is this because the handset's 201MHz Omap processor is not up to the job, or because Windows Mobile is inefficient?
Another galling flaw came when I was configuring the phone to access the Internet via GPRS. While entering the IP address of the network's Access Point, the phone seemed to detect a numeric input field and lock the keyboard's 'Fn' key on. This made it easy to key in numbers, but also impossible to type the dots that interspace the IP address.
These bugs are a shame, because the S710 is almost perfect for users looking for a lightweight handset that is also good for email. When closed up, the device looks unobtrusive and could be just a standard phone. Opened up, the keyboard allows for quite a reasonable input speed when composing emails and text messages,
The S710 is a quad-band phone with GPRS (and EDGE) capability, but does not support 3G networks. However, it does have Wi-Fi capability for browsing the Internet when in range of an access point.
A full review of the HTC S710 will appear in a future issue of IT Week.
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