HTC Gratia review

Is this 3.2-inch HTC smartphone a little something for everyone, or a small misstep for the mobile giant?

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HTC Gratia review: Messaging

Messaging is a pretty big deal for any smartphone, so it's great to see it handled as competently as it is here. The Messages app is your centre for SMS/MMS texts, while there are also dedicated Mail and Gmail apps for sending longer form messages.

One of the nicer parts of using the Gratia is that you'll barely ever have to go looking for these apps, though.

The People app we covered earlier has links to begin SMS and email messaging a contact on each person's page (assuming you've entered an email address/phone number) and there is a pair of widgets for seeing the contents of an email inbox and the conversations you're currently having by text message.

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Again, both present ways of firing up the app they're linked to, so you can dip in and out of the interfaces as you please.

Constructing a text is simplicity itself – just type a name into the To bar at the top and you'll be offered appropriate contacts from your address book, or you can tap the little person icon to select message recipients from a list. Next, tap the text field below to enter your message.

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This will summon the QWERTY keyboard, either in its landscape or portrait orientations, depending on how you're holding the phone.

With such limited screen space, we found the portrait view fine for slamming out short texts, ably assisted by Android's capable autocorrection features, but often preferred the more spacious landscape orientation when getting wordy.

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With the phone held sideways, we soon found ourselves typing at fairly respectable speeds and came to rely on Android's handy suggestions – simply tap to pick one – for when our brain moved faster than our digits.

The user dictionary is quick to learn your lingo too, but perhaps a touch overzealous, occasionally picking up mistakes. You can, of course, edit it later to rectify this, but that's a bit too much faff for our tastes.

When you're done, hit the attachment icon to add a file, or just hit the send key to let your message wing its way across the networks to your intended recipient.

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Note that you'll have to dismiss the keyboard in landscape view to do this, which is odd, since we reckon the return key (usefully employed in this manner elsewhere) could have done the job, but it's hardly a big deal.

The Mail app benefits from a touch of sensible logic, being handily split into Received, Conversation, From Favourite, Unread and Attachment pages to help you sort your incoming mail easily. You can also apply sorting rules from the menu, and flick through your mail account's folders using the Folders entry.

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Hooking up your mail accounts is easy too, mostly requiring just a simple one-time login before they're seamlessly integrated into the phone. Exchange support proved a little trickier in our tests, though, needing a more complex manual set up. Your mileage may vary.

Constructing emails is less immediately intuitive than browsing your way through them, but it's easy when you know how. There's a Compose option on the far left of the menu, which takes you to a screen that's remarkably similar to the one we described for text messaging except that it also bears a Subject field.

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From there, the process is almost exactly the same, bar that fact the the send/attachment logos have been replaced with a menu at the bottom with a Send button, one to save messages as drafts and a discard key. It's hardly flashy stuff, but solid enough to use every day.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time7 Hour
Product ModelGratia
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)115 g
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height103.8 mm
Width57.7 mm
Depth11.7 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time360 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameGratia Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number99HKV032-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Compact and elegant design

From the refined construction on the exterior to the brightly colored interior, we've paid a lot of attention to detail on the HTC Gratia. Keep a good grip on your phone with the rubberized and bevelled back. Remove the back to find the conveniently placed microSD slot for your storage needs.

Polite ringer

We've added our new polite ringer to the HTC Gratia. Now, as soon as you lift it up to see who is calling, the ringer volume drops. And if you turn it over, it stops ringing altogether and quietly takes a message.

Work Email on the go

The HTC Gratia has enhanced support for Exchange such as password protection and remote data wipe. Access your business email, calendar and global address book, and set your Out of Office status right from your phone.

Package Contents
  • Gratia Smartphone
  • USB Cable
  • AC Adapter
  • 3.5 mm Stereo Headset
  • Battery
  • microSD Card
  • Quick Start Guide
Limited Warranty1 Year