HTC S710 – A hybrid smartphone

11 Jul
I have never been a fan of Windows Mobile Smartphones – devices that run on Windows Mobile but lack a touchscreen. Without the touch input, it doesn’t feel like one is using a Windows Mobile device. The only reason why someone would use a Smartphone version, I thought, was because it resembled a normal phone unlike the Pocket PC version that is closer to a PDA than a phone.
HTC now attempts to bridge the gap between Smartphones and Pocket PCs by launching the S710. Its USP is its sliding QWERTY keyboard like the ones found on the Dopod C800, i-mate K-Jam and O2 Atom Life. Don’t be fooled though, the S710 is no Pocket PC and is not a touchscreen phone.
I got a chance to fiddle with the S710 during the launch of the HTC Touch last month and was awestruck. 
On the face, it appears like any other Smartphone with a normal alphanumeric keypad but slide open the keypad and the screen orientation changes from portrait to landscape just like it would in a Pocket PC device. Thanks to Windows Mobile 6.0, I could even edit Word documents or work on Excel spreadsheets. The only shortcoming was the small screen size. The debut price for the S710 is Rs 17,000 (US $425).
I think the S710 will make for a cheaper alternative for a Pocket PC device with a QWERTY keyboard. Watch this space for a complete review of the S710.

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