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HTC Gratia review: Media
The Music app's where it's at for tunes, but this is much the same flaccid experience provided on the HTC Wildfire. The Cover Flow-esque standard view lacks the panache of the trendsetting feature it so desperately wants to be like.
While you can view your music in list views through the menu options at the side, the options are a little lacking. Where's the simple yet effective touch-sensitive alphabetical scroll list to help you locate a track, for example? Sure, you can use the Search key to narrow your options by typing, but that's not the same.
A similar story plays out elsewhere – the package is adequate, but it's not the slick, iPhone-like experience the glossy looks promise.
There's no equaliser either, much to our chagrin. We find the Gratia's on-board speaker a shade treble-heavy, while the supplied headphones major more on the bass end of the scale, and we would like to exert some fine grained control over our music.
Of course, the Android Market has replacement options (we suggest Player Pro or Museek, for example), but don't expect audiophile heaven out of the box.
The HTC earphones bear a mention, in that they come with an in-line play/pause button and keys to skip tracks, plus a mic for use in calls. The delay after using the buttons was noticeable and irritating, though, so we quickly ditched them for our reliable Sennheisers. However, you'll need them for the built-in FM radio, which is a nice touch and quite pleasing to use.
Online music aficionados will also be pleased to note that there's a Spotify app on the device. You'll need a premium account to access it, though, and beware of running into trouble with the data limits your service provider imposes.
Video playback was a mixed bag for us. While the vivid screen did our test music videos reasonable justice in terms of picture quality, serious sideways panning revealed ugly jerkiness. You wouldn't to watch an action-packed TV show episode on the Gratia.
Notably, the Video app and the Gallery are one and the same. Your media is sorted into albums, with one for all photos and another for all videos, plus more specific sections to aid browsing. It's easy to navigate by swiping left and right in the main list view, but you're unable to do this when a video is playing.
The included YouTube app, however, is excellent. It's snappy to load and the quality is pretty good for streaming video, too. If you love to broadcast yourself, there's even a link to the camera in there so you can shoot some footage and upload it in double-quick time.
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