HTC Explorer Review

 

HTC Explorer
HTC Explorer

Feature set summary for HTC Explorer review

It may be a simple phone but the HTC Explorer still has plenty of features. Calendar apps, Gmail and a three-megapixel snapper are included, as well as a neat version of HTC Sense 3.5.

 

Style and handling summary for HTC Explorer review
This is a neat little phone, with rounded corners and a rubber case. The display isn’t over-impressive, but this is still a decent smartie for a first foray into smartphone territory.

 

Battery power summary for HTC Explorer review

A fully charged battery will take you right through the day and a bit more if you’re emailing, doing a bit of net surfing and social networking. If you want to watch video (and that 3.2in display is a tad small for that anyway) the juice will drain quickly.

 

Performance summary for HTC Explorer review

The 600MHz chip is nothing terribly thrilling and does occasionally play up, but it is reasonable enough for this cheapest of the HTC smarties.

 

User friendliness summary for HTC Explorer review

A fantastically easy handset to find your way around – it’s simple and straightforward.

 

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HTC Explorer Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Performance
Battery Power
Overall Score 3G.co.uk grey star

 

Pros: A neat phone that is easy to find your way around and is a good price for anyone wanting to enter the smartphone arena


Cons: The chip is rather sluggish and surfing the net is not much fun on that small display, which has disappointing resolution too

 

Verdict: HTC’s aim is to encourage newbies to try out smartphones, and with its simple email, net and apps and a neat £130 pricetag, the HTC Explorer represents a decent choice.

Full Review and Specification for the HTC Explorer

HTC brought out a great number of powerful phones at the end of last year, including music phones the Sensation XE and Xl and the huge Titan. This is all very well if you’re after a powerhouse and have plenty of cash to spare – but now HTC is looking to entice the traditional ‘texter and talker’ to enter into the exciting world of smartphones.

 

Good looks

 

The front of the handset is taken up by the capacitive touchscreen, which features four onscreen buttons for menu, back, home and search. The 3.5mm audio jack and power button sit on the top of the Explorer, while the volume rocker can be found on the top right and the USB charging port is at the base of the handset. You can take off the rubber case to gain access to the battery and SIM, and add a microSD card should you wish – and we think you will as there is only 90MB of on-board memory.

 

It’s a nifty little smartphone. The display is a rather small 3.2 inches, so don’t expect to be wowed as you might be by those on the Titan and Sensation XL, which boast 4.7 inches of screen estate. However, there’s something really cute about its tiny frame – as well as the rounded edges and the soft back that is covered in texturised rubber.

 

Sweet system

 

The HTC Explorer runs the 2.3.5 Gingerbread version of Android and features a simplified version of HTC Sense 3.5 – it’s the ‘3.5a’ flavour, which has lockscreen shortcuts, a neat homescreen, and five useful folders, which you can gain immediate access to, or nudge for more details. Basically, you get the good features of 3.5, without all the fancy carousel features and animations that you’d see on a more expensive model like the Rhyme. Still, at this price, we’d expect to see some features cut down to size.

 

The Explorer comes in at about £130 on PAYG, which is pretty affordable for an Android phone – plus it has the benefit of being really easy to find your way around. The aim of the model is to convince those who just want a texting and talking phone that they may well enjoy using a smartphone – and it does its job pretty well. For example, you can get set on writing an email in only two clicks, and there’s not too much in the way of icons and options to confuse you. Likewise, it’s easy to access apps – click from the homepage and you can get going on Gmail, the snapper and calendar.

 

Sad screen


You won’t want to be doing a lot of net surfing with that 3.2in display; not only is it small, but the 320x480 pixel resolution is a tad disappointing. However, we reckon that’s a small price to pay for getting a budget smartphone that is so easy to use and offers such a lot of features.

 

When you are browsing the web, you’ll find the phone pretty intuitive – although it can’t always manage pinch to zoom. Multitasking also catches it out – and it may pause for a while until it catches up with itself. The snapper, meanwhile, has only three megapixels and produces rather blurry results in low light, but again, at this price we wouldn’t expect too much more.

 

Our conclusion

 

The HTC Explorer may well represent the future – phones that simply text and call are likely to disappear before long, if you can pick up a smartphone at this sort of price. So rather than bring out any of these simple handsets, HTC has come up with a phone that offers a bit more for the talking and texting crowd – who might well be tempted to enjoy a bit of mobile email, net surfing and a few apps. If this is you, the Explorer, at £130, is a good choice.

 

HTC Explorer Specification

Type of phone:

Smartphone

Style:

candy bar

Size:

102.8x57.2x12.9mm

Weight:

108g

Display:

262,000 colours

Resolution:

N/A

Camera:

3.15 megapixels

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

No

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

WAV, eAAC+, WMA, MP3

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

Yes

Voice Control:

Yes

Voice Dialling:

Yes

Call records:

Practically unlimited

Phonebook:

Practically unlimited

Ringtones customization:

N/A

Display description:

TFT capacitive touch-screen

Website:

www.htc.com

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

N/A

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

Yes

Operating system:

Android

Connectivity:

MicroUSB, A2DP, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Announced date:

September 2011

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

512MB

International launch date:

October 2011

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

600MHz

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM radio with RDS

Internal memory:

90MB

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

Email, MMS, IM, SMS

Internet Browser:

HTML

E-mail client:

Attachments, Push email, IMAP4, POP3, SMTP

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes

Data speed:

HSDPA, 3G, EDGE, GPRS

Frequency:

Quad-band

Talktime:

593 minutes

Standby:

455 hours

Display size:

3.2 inches

Keypad:

N/A

Audio recording:

Yes


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By Miles J Thomas on 16th January, 2012


Tags: HTCHTC Explorer


 
 
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