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HTC Snap / Dash II Hands-On

HTC Snap

I used to have an HTC S620 / Dash as my daily phone and found it to be a near perfect Blackberry-form-factor Windows Mobile smartphone.  It was light with a great keyboard and decent screen.  The main omissions were a lack of 3G and high resolution camera.

HTC is hoping to fix that in a snap, The Snap to be precise.  As a replacement for the S620 / Dash, the Snap is immediately recognizable as a member of the same family with a near identical form factor.  Here’s a quick hands-on of the Snap.

Snap curved thumbpadAddressing my wish list above, the Snap offers 7.2MB/sec HSDPA compared to the S620’s slow-ish EDGE.  WiFi b/g is carried over from the S620, but might not be enabled on all carriers; it was disabled on the Sprint example here.

The Snap also winds the onboard camera optics up to 2MP, which is no great shakes compared to the 5 or 8MP offerings of other smartphones available today.  Why is HTC so reluctant to implement leading edge cameras into its cellphones?

The keyboard follows the solid functionality of the S620 with an even better feel.  Keys are raised in the center and easy to press.  The revised layout placing keys similarly to a computer QWERTY rather than a vertical alignment works well.

A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles are also implemented, as on the S620, to give stereo bluetooth headsets control of calls and music playback.

On Sprint’s network data downloaded to Internet ExplorerSnap Internet Explorersignificantly faster than my S620 on AT&T’s EDGE connection.  The Snap’s 528MHz processor also made the Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard experience feel snappy compared to the S620’s 200MHz processor, which I admittedly throttle back to 160MHz to save battery power.

So why no Windows Mobile 6.5 on the Snap…?  This is certainly disappointing, especially given all the 6.5 online chatter currently.  Hopefully a 6.5 upgrade option will be available for the Snap in time.  My experience of an early 6.5 Pro touch-enabled build on the HTC Touch Pro has been extremely positive.

Is the Snap worth an upgrade for current S620 / Dash owners?  Definitely for high data users, maybe for others.  The S620 was already a gem of a device and the Snap offers even more of the same.  It just does it, well, a bit snappier.

Neil Berman


Jun 28, 2009 - Posted by | Hardware, Mobile, Reviews | , , , , , ,

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