Review: HTC P4350 smartphone

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HTC have an announcement due tomorrow, which apparently is going to be Big and Quite Exciting. In the meantime though, I thought I’d take a look at the P4350 smartphone.

It runs Windows Mobile 5.0 (that’s not the new and exciting 6.0, then). It sports a QWERTY keyboard which flicks out from the right hand side, and a nice brushed rubber feel casing.

Although there’s a power button on the top which powers up the device when it’s in sleep mode, it also automatically turns on when you flip out the keyboard. Personally, the keyboard emerging from the right never failed to surprise me – despite being right handed, I felt like it should come out the other side. Opening the keyboard also changes the screen from portrait to landscape.

The keys themselves are slightly domed, so you’ve got less chance of hitting the wrong one. There’s also a handy LED light which indicates when you’ve got the shift or caps lock on. As far as programmes are concerned, you get the mobile versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint, for all that Important Serious Stuff, as well as an Audio Manager for your music and a 2 megapixel camera (no flash though).

The ‘Today’ screen offers you 4 shortcut icons, taking you to your battery levels, changing the orientation of the screen, taking you to the Comms Manager and to your settings (backlight etc).

Pocket MSN is also included, giving you fast access to MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail. Since there’s no 3G or HSDPA connectivity though, you have to rely on GPRS or being in a WiFi spot in order to use it.

As far as reliability is concerned, the unit I was using crashed a couple of times over the few days I was using it, which is actually less than several other Windows Mobile devices I’ve had the pleasure of. Battery life lasts you about 3 days of medium-use.

Overall, I found the fact that I don’t work of a Microsoft Server made the practicalities of this phone limited – it meant I couldn’t get Push email. But, if you’re the busy type with a Microsoft Exchange server, and don’t mind the lack of 3G or HSDPA, it might be worth a look.

Susi Weaser