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A little while ago, during  CTIA 2009, the much anticipated successor of the very succesful HTC Excalibur was announced as the HTC Snap. With much of  the OEM’s focus -not only of HTC- is on developments for touch based devices, the launch of a rock solid Windows Mobile standard device is really welcome. In this review some of the product details will be highlighted, both in terms of hardware as well as software.

Since the HTC S620 is my all-time favourite Windows Mobile Standard smartphone, I was looking forward to see this device hit the market. Luckily the Netherlands was one of the first countries where the HTC Snap went on sale, and therefore I had to give in to the gadget addiction of a technology enthusiast, resulting in an order of the HTC Snap @ Smartphoneshop.nl. Pretty cool to review your own device, right ?

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Specifications

However before we have a more detailed look at the HTC Snap let’s fresh up the memory a little with an overview of the specifications:

  • Processor:  Qualcomm MSM 7225, 528 MHz
  • OS:  Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
  • Memory:  256MB ROM, 192 MB RAM
  • Memory Expansion:  SDHC capable MicroSD slot
  • Dimensions:  116,5 mm. x 61,5 mm. x 11,9 mm. (L x W x T)
  • Weight: 119,9 grams (including battery)
  • Display: 2,4″ QVGA (320×240)
  • Battery:  1500mAh Li-Ion
  • Network:  HSDPA – WCDMA 900/1200 MHz,  GSM - GPRS - EDGE 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • Connectivity:  Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, GPS / AGPS
  • Camera:  2.0 megapixel, with video capture
  • User interface:  full exposed QWERTY keyboard (with offset keys), and Jog ball
  • Operating times:  Talk time up to 8.5 hours GSM / up to 5 hours WCDMA, Standby time up to 15.8 days GSM / up to 20 days WCDMA

If you have a look at the specification list above, I highlighted some items in italic to emphasize the importance. During the hardware tour these items will be discussed. To fresh-up the memory  a little more I would like to recommend some very nice unboxing video’s of the HTC Snap by Leigh Geary of Coolsmartphone.com and Brandon Miniman of Pocketnow.com

htcsnap_inthebox_588px

1.  HTC Snap hardware

When you first pick up the HTC Snap there are two things that you immediately notice: (1) The HTC Snap  has an incredibly thin and sleek design, (2) the rounded edges and a soft rubber finish make it a very comfortable to hold device.

The second discovery I made was about the color of the HTC Snap, which I assumed to be black. However twisting and turning in the sunlight shows that there is a kind of brown metallic finish to the product, which also justifies the kahki color of the FN-combinations on the hardware keyboard.  However te color tends to black, and you probably don’t see the difference.

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1.1  Jog Ball vs D-pad

One of the main eye-catching hardware parts is the Jog Ball in the centre of the device. While I found the Jog Ball to small on the Android powered T-Mobile G1, the size of the Jog Ball on the HTC Snap is perfectly chosen. It gives me the same look and feel as the trackball of the BlackBerry Pearl devices. Very cool is the fact that the Jog Ball is also backlight, which gives it a really nice effect to the HTC Snap.

In combination with the Sliding Panels of Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard the Jog Ball provides an extremely fast way of device-navigation. Honestly you really get used to it really quickly, even if you are used to a very good D-pad as for instance on the Motorola Q9h. Let me give an additional example. In the Twikini twitterclient for Windows Mobile the functions of @reply and RT are tight to the left and right clicks of the D-pad. Also with the Jog Ball it is no problem to use this functionality, simply by “rolling” left or right.

Furthermore the Jog Ball can also be used to confirm a “choice” or open up  program. It is also possible to set the sensitivity, and the sensitivity in the browser via the settings-menu on the HTC Snap. With the Jog Ball being designed really well, I don’t see any disadvantages if you would hesitate to switch from a D-pad to the Jog Ball on the HTC Snap.

htcsnap_keyboard

1.2  Full QWERTY “offset” hardware keyboard

The HTC Snap is more or less positioned as a messenger style device, so the keyboard is the second very important eye-catching piece of hardware. The keys of the full QWERTY keyboard have the same comfortable soft rubber finish, which provides a kind of additional grip on the keys. The rows with keys are offset compared to each other, minimizing the chance for a typing-error.

In addition the keys are larger (compared to the HTC S620, but smaller as the Motorola Q9h), and have no spaces in between like on the Samsung BlackJack II. The shape and relief of the keys is a little rounded, to provide a good feel of difference between the keys. It gave me a little the feeling of the hardware keyboard on the Nokia E71 devices.

Let’s focus a little more on the functionality off the hardware keyboard. Mike Temporale of MobileJaw, has done a thorough analysis of the press pictures and put forward some questions about the “hardware design”:

“  [...] there’s a messenger key on the keyboard – I’m not sure if this means it will be pre-loaded with MSN Messenger, or if it’s meant to launch a different application. It seems to indicate that HTC is serious about making this a killer messenger device.” [ref02]

In deed, is the latest version of MSN Messenger (for Mobile) loaded onto the HTC Snap.

“The camera button is a Function key away.  So to launch the camera, you need to press the function key, then the messenger button.  I’m guessing that HTC has determined that people using this device are not heavy into using the camera. That’s not what I expected, but it’s not a really big deal to me either way.” [ref02]

The design of the HTC Snap is minimalistic, resulting in clean sides without buttons.  Therefor I can understand that the HTC Engineers moved the camera button to the hardware keyboard. And honestly it is not a big deal to launch the camera(application) with the additional FN-key press.

But there are some other interesting details with regard to this keyboard:

  • A Tab-key, to easily switch between the text input fields in Internet Explorer 6 (for Mobile);
  • A press-and-hold- on the tab-key executes the command to switch to profile from Normal to Vibrate or vica versa ! Very helpfull when you enter the meeting room, and have your HTC Snap silent with one button press;
  • The lock / unlock-function has been moved to the Q-key, and is executed with a press-and-hold action;
  • There’s a e-mail and sms-key (the latter used in combination with the FN-key), in order to open up Pocket Outlook very fast;
  • A dedicated Inner Circle-key to open the Inner Circle feature, which I will discuss later in this review.

htc_snap_bottomleft_588px

1.3  Overall hardware design

Let me start by saying that I really like the overall hardware design of the HTC Snap. The device looks very clean, and has elegant design lines like the HTC Magic. Furthermore the soft rubber finish and rounded edges contribute also to the great looks, while the aluminium accents (Jog Ball-area & camera) give the HTC snap a kind of business touch !

Let’s have a look at the emphasized items in the specification list. The Qualcomm MSM 7225 processor, running at a clockrate 528 MHz makes the HTC Snap a blazing fast device. In other words: “The HTC Snap is very snappy !” In my HTC Touch Dual review, a while back I wrote down a little background information about the MSM architecture, which aims at balancing the speed and power consumption.

What I furthermore like is the 1500 mAh battery, which keeps the HTC Snap running for about 2 days (with average use). With the mobile device becoming more and more powerful, it was hard to get them through a workingday on one battery charge. I tended to search for an extended battery, but with the HTC Snap there is already a lot of power packed into the battery ! My compliments HTC !!

And finally on the connectivity-level there is everything onboard you need. Remarkable is the fact that HTC kept a Wi-Fi module in the design (which is also part of the HTC S620 design). In addition to the fast mobile data modems, and the latest bluetooth stack, HTC has added a GPS module as well. With the recent announcement of TomTom Navigator 7 for Windows Mobile Smartphones as well as TomTom Navigator for the iPhone, I truly hope that TomTom will pick up the development of a non-touchscreen-version.

Overall very pleased with the design and the used hardware. However let also have a look at some minor critical notes, of which I would like to know your experiences and thoughts:

Mike Temporale had an additional comment about the (lack off) a power-button, which has 2 implications.

“The power button has been moved to the End key. Typically HTC likes to have their own power button and they use the End key for locking the keypad.  Locking has been moved to the Q key.” [ref02]

First on almost every other Windows Mobile Standard device, you can lock the device with a press-and-hold of the red end-key. On the HTC Snap the lock- and unlock is moved to the Q-key of the keyboard. Sometimes you just stick with old habits, but this is a matter of getting used to.

The second implication is the fact that to the dedicated power-button of previous Windows Mobile Standard devices, a quick list / quick menu was opened by a short-press of this power-button. In this quick list you could easily switch your profiles of access the task manager or the comm-manager. I really liked this feature, I miss it a little, and of course a lot of the functionality can be used from the Sliding Panels on the homescreen.

UPDATE:

The quicklist can be accessed by press-and-hold the home-button when the HTC Snap is on its today screen.

A final remark is about the position of the miniUSB-connector on the right side of the device, which is covered with a plastic flap. I don’t know the reasoning of the HTC Engineers, which probalby have good reasons to put the miniUSB port in the right upper corner, but I don’t like this set-up for two reasons:

  1. There probably wont be a deskstand for the HTC Snap (you can’t dock the device into a charging port), as well I see some problems for device holders for in your car. ProclipUSA managed to find a solution for the HTC S630 as well., so let’s hope for the best.
  2. The miniUSB is also used to attach the in-ear headphones, which makes it almost impossible to put the device in the front pocket of your jeans. On the HTC S630 the engineers put the miniUSB-connector on the top-side of the device, while I noticed the same problem also in the earlier mentioned HTC Touch Dual review. Why isn’t the 3.5 mm headphone jack a standard on Mobile devices ?

2.  HTC Snap software

The operating system the HTC Snap runs on is Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard. Significant main changes which impact the usability and end-user experience are:

  • Getting started, which helps end-users to set-up and change the most important setting on your Windows Phone;
  • A taskmanager, so you don’t need to install an external taskmanager and lets you easily close programs;
  • Threaded SMS, which provides a threaded IM layout to your SMS messages.

If you need additional information about changes in Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard, or you want to compare Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard to previous versions or want to search through the Frequently Asked Question, please visit the Windows Mobile 6.1 page.

Personally the best improvement in Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard in terms of usability and easy navigation are the so called Sliding Panels. These sliding panels are under Windows Mobile 6.1 only available for Windows Mobile Standard, and with the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 release it looks like this userinterface improvement -although changed in implementation- will hit the Windows Mobile Professional devices as well.

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2.1  Customizations & branding:  the HTC experience

With a clear view at the core Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard OS, it isn’t a surprice that HTC has developed its own user interface / user experience on top of it. When HTC was re-branded, they also took a clear approach of creating one OVERALL user experience, which is clearly expressed in the black-white-color scheme. Furthermore there are “overlaps” between the experience on Windows Mobile Standard and Windows Mobile Professional. Let’s have a look at some screenshots of the HTC “branding” on the HTC Snap:

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  • Black sliding panels called HTC Home, with additional weather-panel, internet explorer panel in comparison with the standard windows mobile sliding panels;

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  • Setting the volume of the HTC Snap or look at the callerscreen, when you call someone;

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  • Launching the camera application, launching the comm manager or the quickGPS on the HTC Snap;

I hope that these screenshots provide some proof of a uniform branding and product development which results in one overall HTC user-experience. I really like this strategy, giving users a feeling which even might not be platform related (if you keep the Android platform in mind). Remark: the weather forecast,  which is also part of TouchFLO 3D pops-up here as well in the form of a sliding panel, and will we see a stock panel in the next itteration as well ?

However I just wanted to congratulate HTC with this strategy, and like the fact that they provide a HTC experience with adding a “personal” flavor to each device and each platform.

2.2  HTC Inner Circle, a smart e-mail filter ?

On the recent launched HTC Touch Pro2 and the HTC touch Diamond2 new versions of TouchFLO 3D are loaded onto the device, which take a people centric communication approach. In this approach, at least in the Touch Pro2, all types of communication are connected with people / contacts in your smartphone !!

In line with this people-centric thinking and the positioning of the HTC Snap as a messaging device the HTC Inner Circle feature is launched to “filter” the incoming e-mail streams. The short video below shows a tutorial of the Inner Circle feature on the device.

By using the right softkey and opening the menu you can search and select your Inner Circle members. After that the e-mail items of the contact (with a specific e-mail address) is filtered, and the application even searches in different accounts. Currently the Hosted Exchange account is added as well as an IMAP4 account. The screenshots below show the filtered e-mail messages. The left softkey with the command “all Email” redirects to the ”normal” Pockt Outlook inbox.

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Does the HTC Inner Circle feature work ?  — YES — Is the HTC Inner Circle helpfull ?? — I’m not sure yet !– It can be really helpful to filter your e-mail streams, but honestly I think the filtering options, as well as a proper search function within Pokcet Outlook should be a core functionality of Windows Mobile. Overall it worked smoothly, but more or less ontop of Pocket Outlook (not integrated). People who have tried it, what are your experiences ?

2.3  Additional out-of-the-box software

In this final paragraph of the HTC Snap software chapter I would like to focus a little on the application, which are added in addition to the standard embedded Windows Mobile applications. Or applications that are worth while mentioning, like Internet Explorer 6 for mobile, which was announced back at Mobile World Congress 2009.

  • Internet Explorer 6 for Mobile

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The device shots above show a great implementation of the JogBall in combination with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 for Mobile. To my knowledge this is the first Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard device, which has this version of the mobile explorer pre-loaded in the ROM. In concept Microsoft has taken Internet Explorer 6 (the desktop version) and transformed it into a mobile version called Internet Explorer 6 for Mobile. The choice for IE 6 is simple, because most websites are developed for IE6, and therefore:

“This will make sure the browsing experience more robust for users.” [ref03]

  • Windows Live Search

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This version of Windows Live Search is pretty cool, since it alsouses your location. Searches can be started with voice commands. Of course Windows Live Search is part of the Windows Live bundle (including MSN Messenger for Mobile), and if you want to know more about Windows Live Search for Mobile and its customer driven features, please read over here.

  • Google Maps

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Always helpful to have on your device is Google Maps, just in case you need to check your location or a location close near you. During my visit of momo #11 in Amsterdam I used this to find my way from the parkinglot, to the conference center. Very good that it’s preloaded on the HTC Snap.

  • Camera Application

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Furthermore the whole camera software is worth wile to have a look at, very nice an clean design within the HTC branding of the HTC Snap. In short nice implementation.

4.  Conclusions and first thoughts

Let me start this conclusion with saying that this extensive review of the HTC Snap has covered a lot of details, but there are certainly also features and aspects of the device which aren’t covered now. This review provides a detailed overview of the functionality I noticed during the use of the HTC Snap as my primary device. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments !!

The specificationlist of the HTC Snap was already impressive with a super fast Qualcomm MSM 7225 processor, running at 528 MHz. With sufficient memory, and all possible types of connectivity onboard the HTC snap suits various purposes. Foremost the easy and fast device navigation with the Jog Ball and an excellent full QWERTY keyboard (with offset keys) make it simply fun to work with this device on the go. The hardware keyboard design and the offset keys reduce the risk of a typing error, fore my compliments HTC.

A big hooray also for the 1500 mAh battery, which results in charging the device not every night. On average use I can work about 2 days or a little more on one charge. The 1500 mAh battery is also helpfull on the road, when using different types of radios (GPS, HSDPA, Voice) or when you use Wi-Fi to download a larger file.

With the introduction of the Inner Circle feature on the HTC Snap, I’m really curious if this is the startingpoint of more people-centric-communication improvements on the Windows Mobile Standard platform. Remember the official press release of the HTC Snap announcement back @ CTIA 2009, which stated:

“The HTC Snap is powerful enough for experienced business users looking for an affordable, straightforward choice for remotely synchronizing email, calendar and contacts with their Microsoft Exchange server. However, the flexible Microsoft Windows Mobile® 6.1 Standard platform allows the HTC Snap to also be simple enough for first-time smartphone users wanting to keep their family life organized.”  [ref01]

I would describe the HTC Snap as a fast, stable & powerfull no-nonsence device, which suits various needs. Therefore it is a worthy HTC S620 successor, and I truly hope that this great device will get an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5 in order to make full use of the Windows Marketplace (for Mobile) and other announced services for the Windows Phones.

Reference list

  1. PRESS RELEASE:  HTC Snap™  makes staying in touch with more people less complicated
  2. MOBILEJAW:  HTC Snap announced at CTIA 2009
  3. HTC:  HTC Snap product page
  4. POCKETINFO:  Review HTC Snap (written in Dutch)
  5. LIFEPAK:  HTC Touch Pro2 & HTC Snap review
 
Comments
  • http://www.mobilityminded.com Johan van Mierlo

    Hmmm I just want to get my hands on one of those just to get a feel.

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  • Bert

    As usual a interesting and useful review but there is one important question left for me:

    WEN DO I ENTER YOUR INNER CIRCEL!?

    Now back on-topic, It is a difficult decision that I have to make now, will it be the new Nokia E75
    for his capability of recording phone-call’s, the improved exchange client and the no nonsense OS
    or will it be the so much appreciated new HTC Snap with that huge engine under the bonnet, the perfect exchange client but the lag of phone-call recording capability. Hmmm maybe both?

    Keep up the good work guys.

    Regards,

    Bert

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      It’s always difficult to balance your personal or business demands and -needs with a “perfect” device or platform. Each will probably have it distinctive set of users. Based on the formfactor I would go for the HTC Snap, as a true messaging device and search for additional applications to finetune the device to your personal needs.

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  • Walter

    Seems very similar to my HP910c Data Messenger.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      The main difference is that the HP iPAQ 910c is a Windows Mobile Professional device (touchscreen), while the HTC Snap is a Windows Mobile Standard (non-touchscreen) device.

      Furthermore the HTC Snap is much more thinner, and probably the HTC Snap has a better batterylife. However you are right that the HP iPAQ 910c is a great device.

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  • jon jon

    Would like to have one with a touchscreen personally

  • http://techhoje.blogspot.com Antonio Marques

    Great review, thanks! I will get one of these in October, as part of my pro contract with Vodafone in Portugal. Just one quick note to say that Windows Marketplace, contrary to what you suggest in the last paragraph, will be available to all 6.x Windows Phones, not just to 6.5 ones.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Antonio, great choice to buy a HTC Snap. I ahev been using it as my primary device since the review.

      Note that at the time I wrote the review, Windows Marketplace for Mobile was only available for WM 6.5 devices. I recently wrote a series of articles about Windows Marketplace for Mobile, also covering the availablity for WM 6.0 and 6.5:

      1. Windows Marketplace for Mobile coming to Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.0
      2. Windows Marketplace for Mobile – Payments and Operators
      3. Microsoft Surface table to win in developer contest: The Race to Market Challenge

      You might want to spend some time reading these articles as well. Thank you for the good comment and everything should be placed in the right time perspective. :) Please let us know how you like the HTC Snap device.

      • http://techhoje.blogspot.com Antonio Marques

        Thanks for the reply. You are right!, sorry I did not notice your follow-up about Windows Marketplace. I’ve bookmarked your website, so now I should get your news more often!
        Keep up the good work.
        Antonio

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  • Abby

    Is anyone else having a message pop up saying that your message or picture message cannot be sent at this time…and gives you the option to retry now or retry later when you aren’t even attempting to send a message? Also, last night my phone died (because the battery is horrible) and when I charged it and turned it on this morning…2 days worth of messages have disappeared.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Abby,

      Thank you for your comment. Could you provide a little more information about your “message” problem?? I will put forward some thoughts:

      1. Is your connection properly configured, and are you sure your carrier supports sending e-mail messages over IMAP / POP. Remark you need to configure an SMTP server.

      2. Backing-up you data is really important, and I could advise you to install Microsoft MyPhone, which let’s you store your most important information for free in the cloud.

      3. In addition you can think of back-up software like Sprite Backup or SPB Backup, to backup your device in total to your storage card or cloud !

      4. My experiences so far is that the HTC Snap has one of the better batteries, which lasts about 2 days (compared to the average 1 day of other devices).

      Please let me know if this helps you a little in the right direction.

      // Remo Knops

      • Demetrius

        Does the battery from the Snap/Dash 3G fit the Excalibur/(original)Dash?

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  • heavyduty

    Excellent review, very detailed!

    A question about the memory though: how much free RAM and ROM memory do you have after a soft reset?

    Is it possible to reassign the Inner circle and messanger buttons to other apps?

    Thanks

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi heavyduty,

      At first thank you for the compliment and taking some time to read it.

      When I check: settings –> about
      27.32 MB available STORAGE from the total 98.80 MB
      59.11 MB available MEMORY from the total 111.66 MB

      I have about 16 applications installed. If you have messages about the running out of storage you might check out if you have Windows Marketplace for Mobile installed (together with a lot of applications from it).

      Theoretically it is possible to map those buttons to other application, but that requires some knowledge about the registry.

      // Remo Knops

      • heavyduty

        I appreciate the quick reply.

        Thank you!

  • Traci

    Last week a got an HTC snap. I am enjoying the phone so far, but just have one problem with it. If i am away from the phone and do no hear a message arrive i miss messages unless I physicall check the phone.

    There does not appear to be an option to set periodic reminds (as I did have on my last Samsung phone) and the green light that flashes when there are new notification on phone only seems to do so for 5 minutes or so.

    If I was able to set the LED to flash until i read my messages or notifcations I would be 100% happy with this phone. I have emailed HTC about this but they have not come back to me on this.

    Any advice?

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Traci,

      Great to hear that you really enjoy the HTC Snap. It is my everyday workhorse as well, mainly due to the awesome physical QWERTY keyboard !

      I think you might be referring to the nice little application LEDAlerts from Qorefunctions. However you can read in the requirements: “LED features require LED equipped device like BlackJack II / i617 / Jack / i637, HTC S730, Verizon SMT5800, T-Mo Dash/S620, I-Mate 201” !

      I hope this is the application you are looking for, and it would be nice if you could share your experiences of LEDAlerts on the HTC Snap here on MobilityMinded !
      Have a wonderful day ! :)

      // Remo Knops

      • Traci

        Dear Remo

        Thanks so much for your reply. Will download the application and try it out.

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  • Debby

    I just want to know if Yahoo Messenger can be downloaded or is it already a pre-loaded application on the HTC Snap? Im with U.S. Cellular and I am going to get one of these phones. Please let me know!! Because I really need that Yahoo Messenger application so that I can talk to my fiance in Iraq on it when I am not home. Thank you!!

  • Alesia Zorn

    I have an HTC Snap through Sprint. HATE IT. HTC sent an update a few weeks back that “broke” the ringer. I use my phone for my business, a phone that doesn’t ring is unacceptable. HTC’s fix will be out “in a few weeks.” Even though I have insurance and *I* didn’t break the phone, Sprint’s answer is to wait for the fix or give me a loaner – but I have to wait for the loaner battery to be delivered… and oh yeah… also have to wait for the back door to be delivered. Then take time to make two more trips to Sprint to have info transferred from broken phone to loaner and then back to hopefully-fixed phone. The entire situation has left be beyond frustrated with HTC and Sprint and I LONG for the day when I can afford a new phone and find a new phone company.

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  • April

    Hi, I have a HTC snap from Sprint. I am not too happy with it, Even on Silent, it still vibrates, and it’s a loud vibrate. Very annoying. I want it to be silent but too much work going into sounds and chaning it to “none” for ringtone, text, im messaging, etc. Also it feels pretty cheap, I don’t like that when I get a new Text or Email, that it doesn’t automatically go to the unopened mail. I have to scroll up and down until I see an envelope that hasn’t been opened yet. UGH. Please help

  • Aziz

    Hello from Sweden!
    Great review and I really got the answers I was looking for.

    I really want to buy this phone and I probably will this week. But I just want to ask if you know how many sms the phone can store? My phone can only store about 100 so I have to empty it everyday. I know it probably is a stupid question but thats one of the most important functions for me.

    And does it feel too light in your hand? I need to feel a little weight in my palms to get that solid feel.

    Thanks

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Aziz,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m not really sure how many sms-messages the phone can store, but I can tell you from my own experience: it are more than 100 for sure ! I would advise you to use Microsoft MyPhone, via which you can back-up and archive your SMS messages (and other PIM information) into the cloud at no cost. So you don’t lose the messages. :)

      Below you will find some Microsoft MyPhone articles that give you an impression of how this service can help you !

      - My Phone gets an update to version 1.6;
      - My Phone Premium Service and New Features reviewed;
      - MWC 2009: Microsoft MyPhone – A new backup restore service for Windows Phones;

      Finally the look and feel of the device is good, the weight is well balanced in your hand (and the device is certainly not to heavy nor to lightweight).

      // Remo Knops

      • Aziz

        Thank you for your help and quick response :)

      • Aziz

        Hi again :)

        I went to this site/forum “http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_snap-reviews-2770.php” and read some user comments. Many of them complain about; Not being able to see what time they received an sms, not being able to receive sms when it says the in-box is full even tough they only have one sms, not being able to use the memory card, the phone freezes all the time, the trackball keeps jamming, they can’t open mms, they can’t update to WM 6.5 and so on. There is a lot of complains in there :/

        I was hoping you could say if you’ve had any of these problems or if they are just unlucky. I really want this phone though.

        Thanks

  • OKAZU

    THANKS RENO, FOR YOUR BEUTIFUL REVIEW OF THE HTC SNAP. CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE A CANDID RESPONSE TO QUESTION ASKED BY AZIZ ON AUGUST 25, 2010. IT WILL BE OF GREAT BENEFIT TO ME TOO, BECAUSE I VISITED THE SAME SITE. HOPING TO READ YOUR REPLY SOON. THANKS.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      OKAZU,

      Aziz wrote:
      “Not being able to see what time they received an sms, not being able to receive sms when it says the in-box is full even tough they only have one sms, not being able to use the memory card, the phone freezes all the time, the trackball keeps jamming, they can’t open mms, they can’t update to WM 6.5 and so on. There is a lot of complains in there :/”

      I don’t have any problems with the sms messages, but again I manage them with MyPhone (so I don’t clog my memory). The memorycard is recognized flawlessly, even the Sandisk 16 GB Mobile Ultra microSD card !? I just had some problems with the trackball, but after a repair I don’t use the “enter” function on the trackball anymore, but press the enter key on the keyboard instead. Not all versions of the HTC Snap (different branded versions) got the WM 6.5 upgrade, and in terms of stability Windows Mobile Standard is a rock solid system. I seldom perform a reboot/reset.

      I hope this helps.

      If you have doubts about the HTC Snap, you might want to consider the Samsung Omnia 735, which I have been using for sometime now. It is a competitive device with a highly interesting pricepoint.

      // Remo Knops

  • OKAZU

    Dear Reno,

    Thanks once again for your intelligent analysis on the HTC SNAP.Is it possible for one to navigate on the HTC SNAP with the QWERTY enter key without using the trackball enter functions, since the continue use of the trackball enter function makes it defective. Your prompt response will be appreciated.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Okazu,

      That is exactly how I use the hardware on the HTC Snap on everyday basis. The trackball to navigate left, right, up down, and the enter-key on the hardware keyboard for the enter function. It is a routine you quickly get used to … and I personally was lucky to have bought a HTC (non-operator) branded device with a two year warranty !

      // Remo Knops

  • Okazu

    Hi Reno,
    Your response in answering all the questions on the HTC SNAP performance is highly appreciated.

    Reno, please respond to this my final questions, 1. What is your overall rating of the HTC SNAP. 2. What candid advice can you give to me who wants to buy the HTC SNAP. 3. Unfortunately, I cannot find where to buy the HTC SNAP here in Nigeria, please help me with trusted websites where i can order for the non-operator version of the HTC SNAP with window mobile 6.5 already installed at a good prize 4. What good softwares can I installed on the HTC SNAP and what are the sources. 5. Will there be an updated version of the HTC SNAP soon from HTC. 6. Can the colour on the HTC SNAP Peel off after long usage, just as my nokia e61i
    7. HTC SNAP that uses window mobile 6.5 as it OS and Nokia E90 communicator that uses symbian, which do you prefer based on your personal experience.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

  • Okazu

    Dear Reno,
    Your candid response in answering all the questions asked on the htc snap, is quite commendable and much appreciated.

    Reno, can you please respond to the below questions, though some of them may be personal or out of place.
    1. What is your overall rating of the htc snap now, based on your usage experience?
    2. What advice can you give to me that wants to buy the htc snap, to ensure the device last long?
    3. Will the colour of the htc snap peel off, just as my nokia e61i did?
    4. Unfortunately, I cannot find a store here in Nigeria, where I can buy the htc snap. Can you please recommend a trusted website, that ship merchandise worldwide where I can order the htc snap non-operator version with window mobile 6.5 already installed at an affordable price.
    5. What good additional softwares can I installed on the htc snap?. Please also indicate where it can be purchase or downloaded for free.
    6. What is your overall views on qwerty phones that uses window mobile as its OS in comparison with qwerty phones symbian, which is the best?.
    7. What advantages do window mobile touch screen phones have over the htc snap?
    8. Will a new updated version of the htc snap be release soon by htc.

    Thanking you in advance for your anticipated co-operation.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Okazu,

      You wrote:
      1. What is your overall rating of the htc snap now, based on your usage experience?
      It is a no-nonsence device aimed more towards business use. I personally like it because Windows Phone gives me the best Exchange integration, but can’t speak for someone else of course.

      2. What advice can you give to me that wants to buy the htc snap, to ensure the device last long?
      It is hard to make a judgement on that one, depends on how you use your device and how you treat it. After 1.5 years it still looks like new in my case. However I the Nokia E71 E72 phones are made from metal which should result in a robuust phone as well.

      3. Will the colour of the htc snap peel off, just as my nokia e61i did?
      It has a kind of rubber finish, and personally I don’t have problems with paint peeling off. However not sure if other people experience this problem.

      4. Unfortunately, I cannot find a store here in Nigeria, where I can buy the htc snap. Can you please recommend a trusted website, that ship merchandise worldwide where I can order the htc snap non-operator version with window mobile 6.5 already installed at an affordable price.
      I can’t help you with that one I have no experience for shops shipping to Nigeria. That is a quest you need to complete yourself. :)

      5. What good additional softwares can I installed on the htc snap?. Please also indicate where it can be purchase or downloaded for free.
      The out of the box experience is pretty good for basic use. Microsoft MyPhone I woudl certainly advise with MoDaCo NoData, Pocket Informant, Resco Explorer, and of course Facebook app and Twitter app like Twikini.

      6. What is your overall views on qwerty phones that uses window mobile as its OS in comparison with qwerty phones symbian, which is the best?.
      It is a matter of personal taste. Both Windows Phone and Symbian will server a particular group of customers, because each platform has its own unique characteristics. The Nokia E71 E72 perform probably better on the batterylife compared to the HTC Snap.

      7. What advantages do window mobile touch screen phones have over the htc snap?
      That is a no-brainer: -a touch screen- :) Read the review of the Samsung Omnia 735 for example ! Furthermore I think that there are more apps available for Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen).

      8. Will a new updated version of the htc snap be release soon by htc.
      I really don’t know, and if I couldn’t comment on this anyhow !

      Good luck with your quest, and don’t be so impatient next time ! :)

      // Remo Knops

  • Okazu

    Dear Reno,
    I am still waiting for your response to my questions of october, 19, 2010.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.trepart.com Giles

    Hello, thankyou for your very useful reviews. I bought a Snap following your comments and I think it’s great. Having moved from a touch screen phone and iPaq it does both and links to my agenda system well. However, I am having problems and thought perhaps others have had the same. Mine is running 6.5 and the problems are mainly locking up when taking calls, the missed message then comes up but I cannot dial back or do anything unless I reboot. Also it seems to go in and out of GPRS when it feels like it and that, it seems to be the problem (perhaps coincidental). The task manager has just locked up on me so here we go again!

    Any help much appreciated.

    Giles

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Hi Giles,

      I don’t recognize your issues, since Windows Mobile Standard (non-touchscreen) is far more stable and robust than Windows Mobile Professional. Do you have a branded or unbranded version of the HTC Snap ? And do these issues occur after a hard-reset without any third party applications installed ?

      // Remo Knops

      • giles

        Hi Remo, following your and HTC’s advise I did a hard reboot and, touch wood, all seems fine. Guess it needed to warm up a bit after coming out of the box! Generally I think it is a great phone and for me moving from a touch screen has not caused me too many problems although I do find the buttons a bit snall but I guess I will get used to it. Thanks again!

        Giles

  • Ododobari

    Dear Reno,
    Thanks for beautiful and profound analysis on the htc snap, very detailed and elaborate.

    Please respond to the below questions, based on your experience of the htc snap.
    1. Which of the htc snap version is better, the operator branded or the unbranded and unlocked?
    2. Is it true that the htc snap is the cheaper version of htc windows mobile 6.1 or 6.5?
    3. Is the htc snap limited in functionality and performance?
    4. Is the htc snap durable based on long usage?

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    • http://www.mobilityminded.com Remo Knops

      Ododobari,

      You wrote:
      1. Which of the htc snap version is better, the operator branded or the unbranded and unlocked?
      I would always go for the unbranded or htc branded version, not the operator ones (although those mostly are cheaper).

      2. Is it true that the htc snap is the cheaper version of htc windows mobile 6.1 or 6.5?
      No the HTC Snap runs on Windows Mobile Standard, which is optimized for devices without a touchscreen. Windows Mobile Professional is for touchscreen devices, so the term “cheaper version” is not correct !!!

      3. Is the htc snap limited in functionality and performance?
      I answered that one in some of the previous comments. I really don’t have performance issues, since Windows Mobile Standard is a robust and stable OS. However you can find more powerful devices on the market (HTC HD2 or the new Windows Phone 7 devices)

      4. Is the htc snap durable based on long usage?
      Hard to answer this question because it depends on HOW you use the device. This simply differs per individual person. I have the HTC Snap for about 1 – 1.5 years now, and I just had to return it because of a trackball issue. This has been perfectly solved by HTC !

      // Remo Knops

  • Ododobari

    My Dear Reno,
    Thanks for your quick response.

    You said you returned the htc snap because of track ball issue, which has been fixed by htc. Does this means you no longer use the htc snap our no-nonsense device again and how can we prevent ourselves base on usage from having problem with the track ball.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Thanks!