HTC Explorer review

Budget Android smartphone that looks good - apart from the touchscreen

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A mixed bag of tricks, the HTC Explorer is as capable of seeming a great buy as it is of making you wish you had plumped for the next model up. Saved many times by its seamless Google OS innards, the HTC handset is little more than the standard Android smartphone fair, but in truth this is not always a bad thing.

We liked

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A strong, sturdy construction acts as a solid base for this entry-level handset. The rubberised rear, although sure to split opinion, proves a wise move on HTC's part that not only offers reassurance in the hand and protection against knocks and bumps, but helps distinguish the phone from the raft of stoic smooth plastic-backed rivals.

Add to this an Android 2.3 and Sense 3.5 UI partnership that creates a hugely intuitive and pleasant to use interface and you have a winning combination that supplies everything a first time smartphone owner needs, and nothing more.

We disliked

Far from the perfect all round package, the handset's 3.2-inch display leaves a lot to be desired, with the cramped confines further diminishing the digital keyboard that will quickly become any HTC Explorer user's ultimate bugbear, with accidental presses an unavoidable annoyance.

Add to this a camera that fails to impress on any front and does everything possible not to inspire continued use and you have an overall package that can be as infuriating as it is impressive, and which will continue to niggle away at your patience through continued use.

Final verdict

In true budget handset fashion, the compact HTC Explorer sees a selection of strong price-point pushing features depleted by an equally numerous selection of bugs and niggles that detract from the good points.

Appeasing the wallet at less than £100/$140 on a PAYG basis, there is only so much that can be forgiven with a low price, and the HTC Explorer repeatedly plays fast and loose with this boundary, only just managing to come out with an overall positive appeal.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashNo
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyExplorer
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution3 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time7.66 Hour
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)108 g
Maximum Video Resolution720 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density180 ppi
Height102.8 mm
Width57.2 mm
Depth12.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time485 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameExplorer Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineExplorer
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HNZ004-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Intuitive, easy to use lockscreen and homescreen

With HTC Explorer we've put what's most important to you right at your fingertips. The lockscreen lets you access your contacts, mail, camera, and messages in one swipe even when your phone is locked. And to make things convenient for you, HTC Explorer offers an intuitive, clean homescreen design that focuses on the most frequently used features and notifies you when you've received an email or text message or have a calendar event.

Package Contents
  • Explorer Smartphone
  • Battery
  • USB Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • Safety and Regulatory Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year