HTC Smart is the first device from HTC running BREW. This model opens the budget line of HTC phones. HTC Smart is drawing a line between regular phones and a smartphones. As there is not a single classification approved by , let’s try to clarify the purpose of this device.
In devices running Android or Windows Phone operating systems the functionality be can seriously expanded due to installation of unauthorized software, including key system functions – dialing, SMS-messages. In HTC Smart, or more precisely in BREW system, it is much harder. Strictly speaking, BREW is a layer between a closed operating system of the device and applications. Thus, applications interact with a constant platform independent of the hardware specifications of a particular device.
In contrast to the operating systems mentioned above, software for BREW can not simply be downloaded from the developer’s web site and installed on the phone. All applications must be registered and tested by special authorized center, after which they are placed in the programs catalogue of BREW. Then thecommunication operator is putting it into the action – it chooses programs from the catalogue that will be available to subscribers of that operator.
This scheme is rather complex for the developers, at the same time testing and placement of programs in the catalogue requires payment, that’s why the number of available programs can in no case be compared with open operating systems. Therefore it is permissible to consider HTC Smart an ordinary phone, with minimal capacities for functionality expansion.
HTC Smart Specifications:
- Networks: GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, 3G (WCDMA / HSDPA 2100 MHz)
- Operating System: Qualcomm Brew Mobile Platform
- Processor: 300 MHz
- Display: 2.8-inch touch/sensory TFT, with QVGA resolution
- Camera: 3 megapixel with flash
- Memory: ROM 256 MB, RAM 256 MB, MicroSD slot
- Communications: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, HTC ExtUSB • 3,5-mm jack
- Audio: AAC, AMR, QCP, MID, M4A, MP3, WMA, WAV • Video: MP4, 3GP, 3G2, M4V
- Other: FM, support for Java, synchronization with PC
- Battery: 1100 mAh
- Time of operation: in talk mode up to 450 minutes, in standby mode up to 450 hours
- Dimensions: 104x55x12.8 mm
- Weight: 108 g
Externally HTC Smart reminds of previous HTC models at low price levels, in particular HTC Touch. The rounded case of small size (104x55x12. 8 mm, and 99.9 x58x13.9 mm in case of HTC Touch ) is made of plastic. The back cover is black, pleasant to touch – “soft touch” plastic type is being used. On the sides there is a brilliant silvery stripe, and on the front side you can see the “soft touch” plastic at the bottom, metal plate with keys, semi-transparent screen protection, another brilliant stripe around the screen and buttons and decorative net along the whole width of the case covering the conversational speaker. Because of such diverse elements there is no need to talk about a certain style of the device, but taking into account the budget orientation of the system, this was not the aim of the developers. Though the device looks simple- it can not be considered to be ugly in any case.
There are four mechanical buttons under the screen for making and recieving calls, a button for the “back “and a small button without indication. The latter serves to display the contextual menu, but it is placed in a rather unconvenient way and does not fit the design at all. The button with the arrow back is marked out of the rest, it is made of some other material. This button is located closer to the right side and does not look very nice. In addition to the return to the previous screen, there is another non-obvious function – displaying the main menu from standby mode.
On the left side there are the volume control buttons. They are narrow and long, inserted in a decorative stripe. At the top there is the off button. And on the right side you can find the camera button, which has not been included in HTC devices for a long time.
The screen gives away that this is a budget model. A simple TFT-matrix with QVGA-resolution (240×320 pixels) is used, the physical size of which is 2.8 inches. The image looks rather pale against the background of more modern models. The touch layer is resistive, so multi-touch is out of the question. By the way, the stylus is not available with the phone, so that operations should be made exclusively with fingers. However, the interface is intended just for that purpose.
The camera has a resolution of 3 megapixels, there is no autofocus feature. But instead there is a simple LED flash.
In HTC Smart hardware platform from Qualcomm – MSM 6290 is used, the frequency of the processor is 300 MHz. This chipset did not appear in earlier devices of the company, its capabilities include support for 3G-networks, 3D-graphics and A-GPS, but the last function is not used in HTC Smart. The amount of memory and memory for data storage is the same- 256 MB. For memory expansion Micro-SD cards might be used, the slot is under the cover. There is a support for hot replacement of cards, there is no need to remove the battery.
HTC Sense user interface is used in HTC Smart, as in other devices of the company. It strongly reminds of the cover with the same name for Android smartphones of HTC. In particular, there are several desks, on which different widgets are placed, such as for social networks. There is a context menu that allows you to set a background image or go to phone settings, while screen unlocking is implemented by moving fingers down the screen.
Ext-USB socket is used for wired connections. Of course, usual mini-USB cables also fit the device. The headset or headphones are connected via a standard 3.5-mm jack, which can be found at the upper end. From wireless connectivities only Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR is supported.
Smart is able to entertain its owner: there is a 3 megapixel camera with flash, which works well as a flashlight. There is no autofocus, but it’s still the trouble of all budget phones.
HTC Smart can also be used as a player – there is FM-radio, a 3.5 mm audio jack and Bluetooth 2.0 with support for A2DP profile for audio transfer in stereo.
For its first budget phone HTC has chosen Brew MP platform, created by Qualcomm company. Its first version was set mainly in CDMA-phones. The thing is that the Brew-devices are not able to run Java-programs.
Brew MP has received a lot of new capabilities:
-Support for Adobe Flash. Developers can directly run files of SWF format on the platform
– Pop-up windows and taskbars may be used
-Applications for Brew MP can be written in C, Flash, Lua and TrigML
-Support for multiple windows in one application
-Applications from memory card may be run
-Sun has created a JAVA-car for Brew MP supporting multitasking, which allows you to run JAVA-applications
-Support for GPS
HTC Sense in Smart is simpler than in smartphones. There are desktops on which you can install widgets of weather, contacts, clock, program shortcuts. There is a separate menu that includes SMS, mail, browser, contacts, access to settings and programs. The interface is organized in a simple way – to get to the desired function, you will not have to make a lot of unnecessary movements.
The device differs from Windows Phone and Android smartphones with simplified interface . It helps the potential buyers to handle it more easily than in a full-fledged operating system. But there is no opportunity to install third party programs. Releasing HTC Smart the producer tries to compete with cheaper touchphones from other manufacturers such as Samsung Corby, in which the possibilities of functionality expansion are also limited. As for users who need a cheap but a more functional device, with which they can “dig deeper”, they should pay attention to the outdated models of HTC, for example Touch – at a price comparable with HTC Smart, they will receive a full customizable operating system.