HTC Tanager – Review 1

Paul, from the microsoft.public.smartphone newsgroup, recently posted news about his new Tanager. He managed to get one by flying to Prague to get one!!  Here’s Paul’s story….

I was getting fed up waiting for the SPVx/Tanager to arrive or not to which ever way you look at it so I decided to fly from the UK to Prague to buy one!

It was simple and only cost a few quid to get there and back.

I flew from East Midlands airport with outbound at 1045. Arrives 1345 local. Ticket price from £35

I flew back with returning at 1655. Arrives East Midlands 1805 local. Ticket price from £35

That gives you about 2 hours to get to the Eurotel shop and back. There is a store in arrivals but they were out of stock. I got a taxi to the Eurotel’s Evropská 690 store (+420267011550 they don’t answer the phone much!). Taxi cost about £10 each way and took 10 minutes. The taxi even accepted credit cards.

Back to the airport to complete a short VAT return form and claim the VAT back in cash there and then!

Cost of the phone ex VAT 15569.70 CZK (about £331) with no contract!

The phone is unlocked for any network and is NOT software application locked (see my review below).

Was it worth it – yes!


I purchased my SPV the first day they came out. Overall I am very pleased with the product. I am gadget mad and have owned my fair share are Palm, Pocket PCs and mobiles to be able to form a fair opinion.

I became fed up to the back teeth waiting or not waiting for the SPVx to arrive so I decided to fly to Prague from the UK and purchase Eurotel’s Smartphone which is the same as the Orange SPVx/Tanager.

Full details about how I purchased the phone can be found elsewhere in this newsgroup.

For now I will just concentrate on the 2 phones. The SPV and the Tanager. The opinions are my own and based on my own first hand experience with both phones.

Eurotel supply the phone unlocked (they give you a code to enter when you first boot the phone up. It is NOT software locked at all.

I won’t go into too much details about the aesthetics – we have all sent the pictures. Build quality is about the same. Maybe the SPV pips the post here.

In the Box

The Eurotel Smartphone ships with the same accessories as the SPV with the following differences: The SD card is 32MB and is full of Sunnysoft and Hexacto software. The manual is accurate and in English. The charger does not include the charging base, just the charging cable and USB cable. This is the only disappointment. Apart from that, the box contents are the same.

Turning On

One of the hardest things I found with the SPV was actually turning the thing on. It always took 4 or 5 presses of that stupid on/off button to make it work. The Tanager’s button is far more “clickable” and it turns on first time every time. The Eurotel phone emits an irritating start up sound which I am sure I can remove using Reg Edit.

The Screen

Yes, the screen is noticeably better. The old SPV’s screen looks dull and blurry in comparison. The Tanager’s screen however still does not demonstrate the clarity of the “Matrix” Samsung V200.

The Action Button

Far far better. I took to it like a duck to water.

The Buttons

For me the worst thing about the SPV was it’s nasty, tiny, hard to press irritating buttons (can you tell I don’t like them). The Tanager’s are 100 times better. Bigger, easier to read and comfortable to use. The buttons alone would make me buy a Tanager.

The Software

The Operator Software version:
Microsoft: 3.0.13037.0
File System: 3.0.13037.0

Basically it is a very slightly different version to Orange’s update. The colour of the screens are slightly different and the start up logo is obviously different. IA Album is part of the ROM and can not be un-installed. There is no Picture or Sound manager software, not that I ever used it!

T9 text is now remembered even after turning the phone off and removing the battery. There is no SMS counter, but I don’t write long messages anyway!

When a new message arrives you still receive the notification sound even if there is existing mail in your inbox.

The speed of the phone is faster than my SPV, but not dramatically so. There have been no lockups since purchasing the phone.

Obviously not being an orange phone, there is no Orange Backup or Orange Update – never used that so no loss there.

The Flashing Light

I am sure the green flashing light on the SPV indicates that the battery has charge left in it (I stand to be corrected). On the Eurotel phone, it is amber when charging, slow flashing green when you are in a signal area and fast flashing green when a new message arrives.

(Pictured above is the “Smart” network version)


So was it worth it – flying from the UK to Prague just to buy a phone……Sad I know but the answer is YES.

The phone is far better than the SPV. It’s not perfect and if I’m honest unless MS upgrade the software, include Bluetooth and a built in camera (not that I want that), do something about Java and get a few more big operators/phone manufacturers to take up the Smartphone platform, sadly I think the Smartphone may slowly disappear from the public’s glaring eye.

PS – Anyone want to buy an SPV. Network and software unlocked. Just swapped by Orange today. Phone is as new with all accessories, manual and boxed. £190

Other info

You pay the price plus VAT but you get the VAT back in cash at the airport if you can be bothered to complete an A5 form.

As for Prague, I only saw 1 hour of it.  It looks beautiful – same as the girls!  But boy is the pace of life slow in the Eurotel shop.  I thought I was going to miss my flight.  It took an hour to serve 3 people in front of me.

If you want to see the FCC report (including close-ups and PDF’s) – click here.

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