The HTC Snap is reminiscent of the BlackBerry Bold, with a spacious QWERTY keyboard that has a rather fetching bronze tint.
The relatively small 2.4-inch screen hinders the internet experience, but navigating with the track ball posed few problems. Syncing with email accounts was also a breeze, although Microsoft Outlook is the only account that will allow push-email.
The Inner Circle is by far the best feature that the HTC Snap has to offer, and it is a genuine time saver. Select your most important contacts and one push of the green button will bring up all correspondence from those people.
The Inner Circle feature worked well and we have to admit, emailing was a breeze. However, a GPS signal was difficult to fix and the camera produced low quality photos.
Battery life was more than adequate.
HTC has produced a nice little phone, but it doesn’t offer anything more than other flagship phones – even the ones that aren’t marketed as a smartphone. Unfortunately, the Snap just doesn’t quite cut it.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:55:37 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
?Inner Circle? prioritises your emails very effectively.
The small screen hinders the web browsing and navigating experience.
HTC has been so integral in the Google Android/touch-screen whirlwind that we’d almost forgotten about its longstanding relationship with Windows Mobile. The HTC Snap, which offers both the aforementioned operating system and a full QWERTY keyboard, doesn’t even look like an HTC device. In fact, it resembles something more akin to the BlackBerry Curve range, albeit slightly longer and thinner.
The HTC Snap’s slim chassis helps keep its weight down to an impressive 120g. We also found the bronze tinted keypad rather endearing. The QWERTY keypad consists of four rows, with the letters on the left of the pad doubling up as numeric keys. Above the keypad is a trackball that is surrounded by the call and call end keys, two hard keys and the home and back buttons. The keys are in close proximity to each other, though there is enough space to distinguish between them.
The trackball is a welcome addition, but we found it a little loose, and the overall result wasn’t as fluid as the BlackBerry experience. This is a shame, as without a touch-screen, it’s the main way to navigate around the phone. Operating on Windows Mobile 6.1, the Snap is compatible with Outlook and can also be synced with other email accounts such as Hotmail. Outlook is the only account that has push-email though.
The Snap’s unique selling point is its ‘Inner Circle’, which aims to prioritise emails from your most important or frequent contacts.
Pressing the green Inner Circle key, found on the bottom right of the keypad, will pull up any emails from your chosen contacts. It’s a great touch from HTC, and a genuine time saver.
With on-board HSDPA and Wi-Fi capabilities, all your connectivity needs are catered for and the experience was a real breeze. However, we did find the screen quite small, which meant an excessive amount of scrolling through webpages was needed.
The size of the screen also demeans the navigational experience, as once again you’ll be using the trackball to scroll around Google Maps. Sadly, it also took us an age to get a GPS satellite fix, though this did improve when we switched on the QuickGPS feature in the accessories menu. Google Maps does include a useful search facility however, that enables you to find the nearest coffee shop to your current location for example, simply by typing in the word ‘coffee’. You can then call that venue directly, which is useful if you want to book a table.
HTC has included a token two-megapixel camera without many features. There’s no flash, and though you can select from a variety of white balance modes, our photos always appeared far darker than the conditions we were in. There is a video recording function, but the same issues occur.
The HTC Snap is a very competent smartphone with some innovative features, most notably the Inner Circle. However, the majority of today’s flagship handsets are effectively smartphones, even if they don’t market themselves as such, and these outgun the likes of the Snap. A noble effort by HTC, but we just wonder if phones of this ilk have had their day.