HTC P4350

  • Editors' rating
    7.8 Very good

Pros

  • Usable slide-out keyboard
  • Quad-band GSM phone with GPRS and EDGE support
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Lacks 3G connectivity

Optimising the mix between form and function is a real dilemma for vendors of connected handhelds, and nowhere is that more apparent than in devices that include a keyboard. Probably the most usable example we've seen is HTC’s TyTN, whose slide-out keyboard is large and therefore relatively easy to use at speed. HTC has reprised the sliding keyboard idea in its P4350, which is available network-free from sellers such as Expansys.

Design

There's nothing immediately eye-catching about the HTC P4350. Its mostly black livery is offset by a bank of silver buttons sitting beneath the screen. These comprise Call and End keys, a button that calls up the Windows Mobile Start menu, an OK button, two softmenu buttons and a navigation key with a central select button. All of these buttons are large and should not trouble even the stubby of finger.

The P4350 is slightly shorter than the TyTN at 109mm tall (compared to 112.5mm), a millimetre wider at 59mm and thinner (17mm compared to 22mm). These are not huge differences, but overall the P4350 offers a sliding keyboard in a slightly smaller package than the TyTN.

The bulk of the front of the HTC P4350 is occupied by a 240-by-320 pixel screen measuring 2.8in. from corner to corner. When you slide the two halves of the device apart to reveal the keyboard, the screen automatically reorients from portrait to landscape mode, giving the P4350 the appearance of a miniature notebook.

For the record, that keyboard slides out from the right-hand edge whereas on the TyTN it slid from the left side. The keyboard is not large — just 90mm wide and 26mm tall. The individual keys measure 9 by 6 mm and there's a double-width space key.

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A pair of softmenu keys sit above the QWERTY row, while the number keys are embedded and very clearly marked out in blue against the black background. The numbers, and a range of symbols that also double up on most of the keys, are accessed via a key combination. The keys have little travel, but there's enough movement for confident typing. HTC has found room for two tiny lights, one to indicate when the Fn key is active, the other showing that Caps Lock is on. Overall, HTC has made the keyboard as usable as possible, and therefore extremely effective. It is, of course, too small for touch-typing, but for mobile email and a bit of document editing on the fly it's certainly superior to many other keyboards on handheld devices.

Several connectors and buttons sit around the edges of the device. On the bottom is the mini-USB connector that's shared by mains power, PC connection cable and headphones, as well as a lock button for the battery cover. On the top edge is the on/off switch. The right edge houses a shortcut button for the Comm Manager (for controlling wireless communications features), and one that, on a short press, starts the voice control application while on a longer press allows you to record a voice note. On the left edge is a button for using the built-in camera and a volume rocker. This edge also houses a microSD card slot.

Features

The HTC P4350 runs Windows Mobile 5.0 Pocket PC Phone Edition and is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 850 processor running at 200MHz. It comes with 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM; after a hard reset, our review unit reported 37MB of free storage memory. Internal memory can be augmented with a microSD card in the covered slot on the device's left edge.

The most disappointing feature of the P4350 is its lack of 3G support. This is a surprising omission, given that its TyTN stablemate is a 3G device; instead, the P4350 provides quad-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE support. Bluetooth (2.0) and Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) are both built in too.

The 2.0-megapixel camera, whose lens is on the back of the device, has a self-portrait mirror but no flash. HTC augments the Windows Mobile 5.0 suite of applications with a PDF reader, audio file manager, voice recorder and Zip file manager.

Performance & battery life

Our battery life test reported 6 hours and 39 minutes of non-stop music from a full charge. We have seen better from Windows Mobile handhelds, but this is a respectable result nonetheless.

The HTC P4350's feature set is, for the most part, strong. Certainly if you're looking for a connected handheld with a keyboard and you don't need 3G data speeds, then it's worth considering.

However, we find it difficult to recommend the P4350 unreservedly. Windows Mobile 6 will soon be appearing in devices, and this offers several enhancements — particularly for office networks running Microsoft Exchange Server at the back end. Also, the HTC TyTN shares the P4350's key characteristics but adds 3G, which will be a clincher for many buyers.


Specifications

Phone Features
Short Messaging Service (SMS) Yes
Details
Integrated Components Rear-facing camera
Cellular
Technology GSM
Application Software Microsoft Pocket Excel, Microsoft Pocket PowerPoint, Microsoft Pocket Word, PDF Viewer, Pocket MSN, Windows Media Player
Phone Navigation Buttons navigation button
Type smartphone
Integrated Components rear-facing camera
Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (Quadband)
Phone Form Factor slider
Form Factor Details full keyboard, touch screen
Service Provider not specified
Operating System Family Windows Mobile
Operating System Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC Phone Edition
Input Device Touch screen, keyboard
Messaging & Internet
Cellular Messaging Services MMS, SMS
Messaging & Data Features Text messages, Multimedia messages (MMS), XHTML Browser, WAP Push
Messaging Services MMS, SMS, Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger)
Communications
Communication Features mobile Email client
Data Transmission EDGE, GPRS
Wireless Interface Bluetooth 2.0, IEEE 802.11b/g
Processor
Clock Speed 201 MHz
Manufacturer Texas Instruments
Display
Technology TFT
Display Resolution 240 x 320 pixels
Color Depth 16-bit (65000 colors)
Diagonal Size 2.8 in
Diagonal Size (metric) 7.1 cm
Smartphone Diagonal Size 2.8 in
Camera
Optical Sensor Type CMOS
Features video recording
Media Player
Supported Digital Audio Standards WAV, WMA, AAC, AMR, MP3
Memory
Supported Flash Memory Cards microSD
Battery
Run Time Details Talk: up to 300 min
Standby: up to 200 hrs
Digital Camera
Optical Sensor Type CMOS
Features video recording
Header
Brand HTC
Product Line HTC
Model P4350
Packaged Quantity 1
Connections
Connector Type Data port
CE Input Device
Type keyboard, touch sensitive screen
Features
Additional Features Intelligent typing (T9), microSD card slot
Digital Player (Recorder)
Supported Digital Audio Standards AAC, AMR, MP3, WAV, WMA
Power Adapter
Type power adapter
RAM
Installed Size 64 MB
Flash Memory
Supported Flash Memory Cards microSD
Optical Sensor
Sensor Resolution 2 megapixels

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