HTC Salsa review

How many "likes" is HTC's latest Facebook phone going to receive?

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Aside from the Facebook tweaks and the interactive lock screen nicked from the HTC Sensation, what you get on the HTC Salsa is the same impressive selection of Google and HTC apps as found on the likes of the Wildfire S, the Desire S and the rest of HTC's Android range.

Obviously you get the cornerstones of the Android OS, with Google's Gmail, YouTube and Maps all pre-loaded, with the latter now broken down into separate tools for location service Latitude and Google's very powerful Navigate satnav tool.

HTC salsa review

Google Maps works flawlessly on the HTC Salsa, with its GPS system managing to get a location lock pretty quickly. You'll be prompted to download a voice pack via the Android Market if you want amusingly robotic spoken directions, so make sure you're connected, preferably via Wi-Fi, when setting up your first route.

HTC salsa review

The Maps app itself supports Google's latest multi-touch improvements, so you're able to rotate the view, scale it up and down and even look at the 3D vector buildings at street level – if you're looking at one of the city centres that Google has mapped in 3D.

HTC salsa review

Back on the Facebook side of things, HTC has busted out the Facebook Chat tool into its own standalone app, which features a simple front-end of online users, plus an archive of recent chats.

This uses the SMS messaging app design, so once again HTC has managed to give us yet another contrasting way of accessing the same features.

There's also a full-screen Facebook chat widget for your Home page, which features yet another different visual style. It's a very simple list of online friends. Click on them to open up the chat window. This is probably the best thing about the Salsa's Facebook features if you love your Facebook chatting.

HTC salsa review

As with the Wildfire S, you get two HTC app and widget discovery tools on the Salsa, in the form of HTC Hub and HTC Likes. HTC Hub offers a pretty sparse collection of bland widgets and novelties, while HTC Likes is much more interesting, offering an alternate user review system to the Android Market and letting app downloaders rate their choices.

HTC salsa review

One nice thing about HTC Hub is its collection of alternate wallpapers and ringtones, so once you've signed in with an HTC Sense account you can access free groups of sounds, more wallpaper images and HTC's "scenes" – complete reskins for the phone's background and icons.

HTC salsa review

Sadly there's one massive problem with the Salsa – a criminal lack of onboard memory. The phone tells us it has 150MB available for installing apps, a pretty mediocre amount of storage space that we managed to nearly fill on day one by simply installing the basic app we always stick on a phone to make it feel like home.

HTC salsa review

HTC attempts to help you out of the hole it's dug for you by offering a memory management tool that launches when the phone starts running out of space. But it's a token effort, offering basic advice such as moving apps over to your SD card.

If you're in any way serious about using apps or into mobile gaming, the Salsa, as lovely as it is, is not the phone for you, thanks to this weird limitation.

HTC salsa review

At least Angry Birds runs perfectly.

HTC salsa review

There's an FM radio onboard with customisable preset stations, which needs headphones to be plugged in to work.

We didn't get any headphones in the box with our Salsa, although that might be because it's a review unit. If getting some cheap free headphones is a deal-breaker, you might want to check that out before ordering one.

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 FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourOcean Blue
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time9 Hour
Product ModelSalsa
Screen Size8.6 cm (3.4")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)120 g
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
Height109.1 mm
Width58.9 mm
Depth12.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time445 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameSalsa Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeG-sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Accelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number99HNB014-00
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

People are the most important feature

With the HTC Salsa, you can stay connected with the people that are most important to you. The new Facebook widget lets you select the friends and family whose updates really matter, so you can always see them right on your home screen. Stay close even when you're apart.

One touch to Facebook

One touch to share what you're up to. HTC Salsa has a Facebook button that lets you share just about anything with just one touch. Take a photo - straight to Facebook. Make a video - straight to Facebook. Show whatever, whenever, at the touch of a button.

Limited Warranty1 Year