Htc S730 Review - Spot the Difference

by : Darren Evans

With the S710, HTC arguably developed one of the most user-friendly smartphones of recent times. This was down to the innovative design that incorporated the looks and simplicity of a straight-forward bar phone on the surface and the increased usability of a QWERTY keypad underneath.

HTC are clearly intent on building-on the fan base developed by its well-received predecessor with the release of the S730; by making tweaks to the design and features rather than wholesale changes.

One of the main plus-points of the S710 was the dual keypad design and thankfully this remains in place. There has been a noticeable increase in the weight of the S730 when compared to the previous model; this has gone up from 120g in the S710 to 150g in the S730 and although it does make the S730 feel particularly solid, it is something worth taking into consideration. The looks have undergone a slight renovation, but it isn't necessarily for the better as the curved edges along with the silver & black colour scheme has been removed to make way for muted greys and square edges. Not quite the best decision I must say.

There have been some changes on the front keypad and the design has been a little more streamlined to make way for a repositioning of the soft keys. As well as this the keys on the slide-out QWERTY keypad have been modelled more directly on a PC keyboard to make typing a little more user-friendly.

The S730 also rectifies the omission of 3G from the S710 with the addition of 3G HSDPA enabling download speeds of up to 3.6mbps, making this a more plausible device for mobile-office needs.

The most notable improvement to the S710 though is the upgrading of the processor from 200 MHz to 400 MHz which makes a major difference. The most notable improvement due to this is the speed the screen switches when sliding the phone between keypads, which was a notable issue with the S710.

The HTC home page has been implemented as an additional extra to complement the now-standard Windows Mobile platform, which is of course the same OS seen in the S710.

Perhaps it was too much to ask, but it would have been nice if the tweaks and improvements had extended to the camera functionality. Still present is the same 2MP (without autofocus or flash) seen in the S710 - no change there then.

The S730 is by no means a revolutionary upgrade to the S710, but HTC seem to have taken the quick and sensible route to upgrading a popular product. The same characteristics that made it popular with consumers are still present and improvements have been made where they can be without spoiling what the customers liked about its earlier incarnation. Though it may be a stretch to recommend the S730 to owners of the previous version, there are certainly enough good points to make it worthy of your attention as a starting-point into the smartphone region.

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