CTIA: Meet HTC's Snap, Successor To The Dash - InformationWeek

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4/1/2009
09:00 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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CTIA: Meet HTC's Snap, Successor To The Dash

HTC announced the HTC Snap this morning at CTIA. This is the BlackBerry-esque style phone that includes a fixed QWERTY keyboard and lacks a touch screen.

HTC announced the HTC Snap this morning at CTIA. This is the BlackBerry-esque style phone that includes a fixed QWERTY keyboard and lacks a touch screen.HTC has been focused recently on devices running Windows Mobile Professional, which has a touch screen. They have used their TouchFlo technology to allow users to flick screens and access data with their fingers, mostly eliminating the need for a geeky stylus. (Full disclosure: I still use a stylus every day.) There is a market though for people that don't want any sort of touch screen. For this, Microsoft has Windows Mobile Standard. There have been a number of successful devices with this version of WinMo on it like the T-Mobile Dash and Motorola Q.

The HTC Snap shows that HTC recognizes this is a key form factor. The specs are impressive. First of all, it has the Qualcomm MSM 7725 processor running at 528MHz, 256MB of ROM for the operating system and 192MB of RAM for the user. These specs alone mean that Microsoft says it should handle Windows Mobile 6.5, but it will be up to HTC and the carriers to actually provide that. It will ship with Windows Mobile 6.1.

It weighs 4.23 ounces and is a svelte 4.56" high, 2.42" wide and .47" thick. It has a 1500mAh Lithium Ion battery and is claimed to get 8.5 hrs of talk time on a GSM network and 5 hrs on a WCDMA network. You can read more about the technical specs for what network technology it supports in the press release. It does support Bluetooth, WiFi and has a GPS chip in it.

Instead of a joystick or d-pad navigation button, it has a trackball. There is also a 2MP camera that supports video. Basically, the thing is fully loaded.

HTC is prone to adding their own tweaks to the Windows Mobile OS. TouchFlo is a biggie on their touch screen devices. On the Snap, they have a feature called "Inner Circle" for email. You somehow will tell the phone who your key contacts are, such as your boss, spouse, or team members. With the press of a dedicated hardware button on the phone, all other emails are filtered out and you only see messages from those people. I hope this feature makes it to other HTC phones.

Pricing hasn't been announced yet and no carriers have yet announced support. HTC says the device will hit some markets in Q2 2009 and go world wide in the second half of the year.

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