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Photos: HTC S740

The keypad-driven S740 keeps the Windows Mobile Standard flag flying for HTC. It's a well featured smartphone, but not without a fault or two.
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1 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

HTC is probably best known for its touch-screen handhelds running Windows Mobile Professional. However, the Taiwanese company also makes keypad-driven smartphones running Windows Mobile Standard.

The S740 is the latest addition to the range. It sports an HTC Touch Diamond-like design (which in one important respect does it no favours at all), and packs a strong array of features.

The S740 is available SIM-free for £334.99 (inc. VAT; 291.30 ex. VAT) from Expansys and we expect to see it available on contract from network operators before too long.

 

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2 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Windows Mobile Standard smartphones lack a touch-screen and are primarily voice- rather than data-centric. However, some — such as the S740 — attempt to cater for both usage modes by incorporating a sliding QWERTY keyboard.

This makes the S740 somewhat bulky and weighty for a candybar-format device. It weighs 140g and measures 116.3mm tall by 43.4mm wide by 16.6mm thick.

The keyboard is well made, but there's one major design fault that lets the S740 down seriously: the backplate has an uneven design that's part of the HTC Touch Diamond signature look and has been transferred to this device. Unfortunately, this means that the S740 does not rest flat on a desk, and wobbles around when you press the keyboard. This makes thumb typing in the hand your only option.

 

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3 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The S740 is powered by a 528MHz Qualcomm processor and has 256MB of RAM plus the same amount of ROM. You can add more storage via a microSD card slot that becomes accessible when you slide the keyboard out. Unfortunately you have to remove the SIM card to get at the slot, which causes the device to power down.

Connectivity is excellent: quad-band GSM with GPRS/EDGE and 3G/HSDPA support (7.2Mbps download, 384Kbps upload), plus Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth (2.0+EDR) and GPS.

The Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard software bundle is augmented by an RSS reader and Google Maps, which can be used as a travel aid. If you need further navigation functionality, you'll have to add a third-party application.

 

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4 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

HTC has overlaid a panel-based interface onto Windows Mobile, which helps to give the S740 a distinctive look and feel. Sooner or later, though (as with all such overlays), you'll encounter the standard Windows Mobile UI.

The provided stereo headset connects to the S740 via the same mini-USB connector that's used for power and PC synchronisation. With the headset connected and functioning as an aerial, you can use the integrated FM radio.

On the diamond-patterned back of the device, there's a 3.2-megapixel camera, which lacks both flash and a self-portrait mirror. There's no front-facing camera for two-way video calling either.

 

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