The HTC Snap smartphone sports a thin profile, a stylish matte black finish and an excellent qwerty keyboard. It doesn't offer anything revolutionary, but it is a good choice if you aren't interested in a touch-screen smartphone.

The HTC Snap is one of the more attractive non-touch-screen Windows Mobile smartphones on the market. It's one of the thinnest, too, at just 12mm thick. The matte black, rubber-style finish may not provide the gloss and glamour of other smartphones, but for business users the HTC Snap is definitely an attractive and functional device.

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Heavy emailers will be happy to know the HTC Snap possesses an outstanding keyboard. The keys themselves are raised and provide great tactile feedback. They are well spaced, making typing a breeze. It is one of the best keyboards on a Windows Mobile smartphone we've reviewed. The answer and end call keys, two selection buttons and shortcuts for home and back are comfortable to use and well placed.

Along with the keyboard, the HTC Snap has a trackball that's remarkably similar to those seen on BlackBerry smartphones such as the BlackBerry Bold. The Snap's trackball is a little small though and it's not raised enough. We also found it difficult to get just the right sensitivity: by default the trackball response was far too slow but there are only three settings (fast, normal and slow).

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The HTC Snap features HTC's exclusive Home Screen layout, consisting of quick access boxes that can easily be scrolled through using the trackball. Eliminating the need to constantly enter the Start menu, the HTC Snap allows quick access to missed calls, appointments, settings, weather, email and messages.

The HTC Snap runs the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, so it includes the Office Mobile suite of Excel, PowerPoint and Word applications, Windows Media Player and a range of PIM functions. It's easy to configure for use with Microsoft Exchange, and you can also use standard POP3 and IMAP email accounts.

A suite of Windows Live applications includes Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail. A great aspect of the HTC Snap is its speed - it is actually snappy and surprisingly intuitive for a Windows Mobile device, delivering an excellent user experience.

HTC's Inner Circle feature is a highlight of the HTC Snap. Pressing the dedicated Inner Circle button brings emails from up to 10 predefined contacts to the top of the inbox for quick access. This is HTC's way of "prioritising the people who matter most to you" and it works effectively.

The HTC Snap is a 7.2Mbps HSDPA-capable smartphone. It also has built-in GPS and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP. For mobile internet, the standard Internet Explorer browser isn't the most intuitive to use (especially in the absence of a touch screen) but pages load quite quickly.

The HTC Snap could have been a capable multimedia device, as it includes a 2Mp camera that doubles as a video recorder, Windows Media Player to handle both video and music, and a streaming media player. Unfortunately, the lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack is its major downfall, with HTC opting for a mini-USB headphone jack instead. The HTC Snap includes expandable memory thanks to a microSD card slot located behind the battery cover (which is a little tricky to remove).

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HTC Snap: Specs

  • 528Mhz processor
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • suuports Micro-SD, AAC+, eAAC+, AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, MIDI, AVI, ASF, MPEG-4, WMV, 3GP, JPEG, DOC, PDF, PPT, XLS
  • USB 2.0
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 Messaging Capabilities: Email, Instant Messaging, SMS, MMS
  • 2.4in TFT
  • Data Services: GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, WCDMA
  • email: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP
  • Installed memory (ROM): 256MB, Maximum memory (RAM): 192MB
  • Trackwheel, Buttons, Keyboard
  • Digital Camera: Video capture, 2Mp
  • rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • 116.5x61.5x12mm
  • 120g
  • 528Mhz processor
  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • suuports Micro-SD, AAC+, eAAC+, AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, MIDI, AVI, ASF, MPEG-4, WMV, 3GP, JPEG, DOC, PDF, PPT, XLS
  • USB 2.0
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 Messaging Capabilities: Email, Instant Messaging, SMS, MMS
  • 2.4in TFT
  • Data Services: GSM, GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, WCDMA
  • email: POP3, IMAP4, SMTP
  • Installed memory (ROM): 256MB, Maximum memory (RAM): 192MB
  • Trackwheel, Buttons, Keyboard
  • Digital Camera: Video capture, 2Mp
  • rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • 116.5x61.5x12mm
  • 120g

OUR VERDICT

The HTC Snap is small, light and functional, and it has one of the best physical keyboards we've seen on a smartphone. The Snap doesn't offer anything revolutionary but what it does, it does very well.

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