HTC Tattoo review

The first cheap Android handset to challenge the big boys

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The default music player is simple to use. To add music to the HTC Tattoo, we simply plugged the handset into our PC and dragged a number of MP3s (the Tattoo is compatible with MP3, AAC, AMR-NB, WAV, MIDI and WMA 9) on to the phone's memory.


Once we opened the Music app, we found it to be a clean interface and one that includes Cover Flow. While this is nowhere near as responsive as what the, dare we say it, iPhone offers, it's good enough if you can forgive the slight lag.

On the bottom-left you can scroll through your music in list form and you can also make playlists, view genres and all of your songs on here.

Sound quality was more than passable. Bass on the music we listened to was deep and sound clarity good. It's disappointing though that you can't tweak the audio – what you have is what you get.

A nice little feature is that when you lock your phone, you can still muck around with your music as much as you want, without the hassle of going into the HTC Tattoo's OS.


When it comes to video, we weren't bowled over. Although the HTC Tattoo plays MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and WMV 9 the QVGA screen isn't that bright and there's a fair amount of grain. And, to be honest, the screen just isn't big enough to watch video on for more than a short burst. And the lack of AVI support is unforgiveable.

That's why the inclusion of the pre-installed YouTube client is a boon. The phone is fine for watching short-form video found on the site. Just don't expect the video to sparkle as it would on the iPhone or other video-friendly handsets like the Samsung Jet.

FM Radio

While we don't normally rate the inclusion of an FM radio on a phone, we were pleasantly surprised about the HTC Tattoo's effort.

The reason behind this is all to do with the 3.5mm headphone jack. It's not proprietary, which means you can take the phone with you and leave the included headphones behind if you wish. Then when you want to listen to the radio, whip off the headphones from your iPod/PMP and you are away.


Turning on the radio takes around 10 seconds and the scanning of radio channels will take about 30. Don't wear the headphones while doing this, though, as all you will get is very loud snippets of random radio channels.

Once done you can flit between channels fairly quickly. A slight niggle is that when you put it into list mode, the list of frequencies are there but the name of the stations are not. Once you click on each station for a few seconds the name of that station will then be added. It is one niggle from a very reliable service.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Wireless LANYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3.2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time6.50 Hour
Product ModelTattoo
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Screen Resolution240 x 320
Weight (Approximate)113 g
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height106 mm
Width55.2 mm
Depth14 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time340 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameTattoo Smartphone
Processor Speed528 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, G-sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HHR023-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

HTC Tattoo is all about you. It's the first phone that can be customized inside and out. Decide how your phone looks, then decide what you want to look at. Texts? Twitter? Your photos? When you're done customizing HTC Tattoo, you'll have a phone that speaks loudly about who you are and what you're into.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory256 MB