htc tattoo

After some rigorous playing with the HTC Tattoo, which included the downloading of many an app, the playing of myriad videos and songs, and muchos web surfing, we were utterly impressed with how well the battery held up.

HTC is quoting around 350 minutes' talk time and while we couldn't find anything to natter about for this long it is a phone that seems to use its energy conservatively. This is a big relief, as most media heavy phones need recharging on an almost daily basis, the HTC Tattoo did not.

battery life

One of the things we did find is that when charging the phone via our PC (we would recommend mains charging) the handset did get very warm near the micro USB connection. This happened on more than one occasion, but it soon cooled down once we stopped charging it.

When downloading apps and constantly checking our Twitter, this didn't seem to warm up the phone – something that we found with extensive use of the HTC Magic.

twitter

Another excellent little add-on comes courtesy of Android 1.6, and that is a battery indicator which breaks down what your battery is being used on. This is a great way to keep track of whether or not you have closed down those unwanted apps.

And there are plenty of organising apps to sap your battery power if you so wish. There is a mixed bag of goodies on offer, including Google apps, like Mail, Maps and Talk, and options including a calculator, calendar, and FM radio.

google calendar

If you want any of these to appear on your home screen, then choose the icon you want, hold it down and like magic it will be transported. If you want it to go on one of the other screens on offer, then you have to be that little bit more dextrous.

You have to keep the icon held down, but also move it to the left or the right (depending on which screen you want it on) at the same time.

Do this and you will notice the screens move frustratingly slow. And you won't be able to drop the icon on any of the screens with full-page programs on as it will inform you that there is not enough room available.

An easier way to get programs on to your screens is to click the '+' menu. This will give you an array of widgets to add to your home screens. These are neatly separated into HTC widgets and Android widgets.

widgets

This can get a bit confusing for users, but it's all about choice. If, say you already have a Google Mail account set up you will probably want to use the Google Mail app available, but there is also an HTC version as well.

With most of the Google apps, you will have to sign into your Google account for them to work properly on the phone. If you use HTC's versions, then there are a lot more basic. Take for instance, the HTC calendar.

This is simply a calendar on which you can add your own notes. The Google Calendar takes your information from the Google Calendar's you may have already set up already on the web and notifies you of upcoming events.

Although there are many apps available, including a Twitter client called Peep and access to YouTube, the beauty of Android is Market. Found in the Programs section, this is your online portal to the cornucopia of apps available for all Android phones.

And with the Android 1.6 update, the Android store looks better than ever, featuring a new layout and the ability to find apps, games and downloads easier. There are also new categorises, called: Top Paid, Top Free, and Just In

Unlike the iPhone App Store, most of these are still free. But the Android Market is a mere 10 per cent of what Apple's store is at the moment so don't expect to be totally blown away with the choice available.