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HTC S710 review

Smart and stylish, and with Windows Mobile 6

Our Verdict

A lack of 3G is the only major flaw in an otherwise excellent handset


  • Good software

    Clever design

    Lightweight considering its features


  • No 3G

HTC is the name of the company that manufactures an increasingly diverse range of smartphones for a wide variety of vendors.

So you might buy the HTC S710 as a SIM-free handset for £260 (inc. VAT), but the smart option is to sign up for an Orange SPV E650, as it's the same physical hardware with a different logo and you can get it free with a contract.

HTC is Microsoft's major handset partner, so naturally it is the first supplier offering Windows Mobile 6 - Microsoft's latest version of its smartphone and PDA platform.

This means you'll find a mobile office suite as standard. However, this isn't the most significant feature, as this handset has a sliding Qwerty keyboard that slides out from the side.

This action automatically switches the screen from portrait to landscape mode, which gives the S710 a similar feel to a PDA. The keys are backlit and even though the keyboard is small, it's considerably faster than triple-tapping when you want to send an email or SMS.

Compared to the previous Orange SPV E600 (HTC Tornado), the weight has gone up from 108g to 140g and the new handset is marginally wider and thicker; but when you consider how much extra hardware has been packed in, the S710 is impressively small.

It's also very smartly styled with a chromed bezel around the main keypad and 2.4-inch screen. The camera has been upgraded from 1.3 to 2-Megapixels, which is a marginal but worthwhile improvement.

HTC has done a great deal with regards to design and build quality, making this one of the most pleasing devices we've used. Connectivity is a mixed bag, as the S710 is a quad-band with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi but no 3G, so data is transferred over relatively slow GPRS when you're not covered by Wi-Fi.

This is the HTC's weakest aspect and may deter business users. However, if you don't use 3G, it's not a problem that should deter you.