OK, let’s get some bits out the way. You’ll hear a lot of people
mentioning “Entry Level” when they discuss this GPS-enabled device.
Sure, it’s not got all the bells and whistles of the
Cruise. There’s no WiFi, no 3G and you’ll get a 2 megapixel camera
instead of the 3 megapixel one found on the Touch Cruise. There’s also no HTC TouchFlo
(finger-friendly navigation) either.
The design is both understated and easy to understand. Big, bold buttons
and a fantastic wheel navigation system make this handset a dream to
use. Under the hood there’s Windows Mobile 6 running on a TI OMAP 850 at
201Mhz with 256Mb ROM and 128Mb RAM. There’s quad-band connectivity
(GSM/GPRS and EDGE), Bluetooth 2.0 and, under the battery, a microSD
As is usual with our reviews, we’ve got a video overview to give you a
look around the phone. I’ve got to apologise in advance for sounding a little
tired in this video, it was filmed around a week after our baby was born, so I’d
only had around 2 hours sleep :)
Pre-installed on the device you’ll find gems like TomTom – albeit with
one local map (which you get to choose), Yahoo! Go, RSS Hub and the
QuickGPS system to make sure you get a fast satnav fix.
On the outside it’s another rather lovely design by HTC. The frontage is
flat with the edges pointing outward towards the top. The navigation
buttons are large and easy to locate – something you’ll need when you’re
on the move and trying to navigate quickly.
The navigation wheel is something I’ve been a fan of for some time, it’s
extremely easy to move around the menus, homescreen and programs with
this and I love using it. Checking emails, for example, is just a matter
of turning the wheel, clicking the action button and then scrolling down
your emails to the desired message. The wheel has a slightly more
rubberised feel to give a good grip on your finger. It’s quick and
painless – I love anything that reduces stylus usage.
The call answer / drop buttons are slightly raised for ease of
At the bottom there’s the standard miniUSB port – we LOVE the fact that
Windows Mobile devices have kept this standard port. If there’s any
manufacturers out there thinking of changing it, DON’T ! :) This port
lets you plug in the supplied headset / handsfree kit, charge the unit
or sync your phone with your computer. This lets you drag files onto
your device and keep contact, appointment and task data in sync on both
your phone and PC.
On the right side of the handset is the camera button, which as usual is
located right under your trigger-finger when you want to take that
all-important photo. The 2 megapixel shooter takes pretty satisfactory
shots inside and good pictures outside. There’s no flash, but there is a
huge amount of settings to twiddle with – a timer, brightness meter,
white-balance and zoom settings to name just a few.
Around the back is the camera itself. There’s a macro setting, which
allows photos of close-up objects to be taken simply by moving the lens.
There’s a little mirror too, which gives you the opportunity for
At the top is the power button, used for waking the device from it’s
sleep or turning on / off.
You can also see the earpiece here – inside there’s a
couple of LED’s for network activity and charging status.
Then on the left you’ve got the volume up / down keys. These are
nice and easy to locate and, as default, they’ll also let you access your voice
notes recording facility and speed dial. As I mentioned in the video I was a
little surprised to see a device without a dedicated GPS button, so you can
reprogram any of these keys using Settings->Buttons to launch TomTom or Google
Maps, or whatever sat-nav software you choose.
All these artistic shots outside in the snow look great, but I
figured I’d better take the P3470 inside for the battery photo :) Under the
battery is where you plonk your SIM card and microSD. You should also be able to
see where the stylus lives – it’s a non-retractable one. The back panel is
simply plastic with a hole for the camera.
Windows Mobile 6 is at the heart of this device and the nice big
HTC home screen keeps you in sync with the world, plus you can add quick-launch
programs and you can add your local town for weather updates. Although this is
nice and easy to navigate you don’t get the "spinning cube" HTC TouchFlo system
found on other handsets – like this handsets’ bigger brother, the HTC Touch
Cruise. HTC have sought to make up for this by adding an extra tab called "Favourite
People" (which unfortunately, despite me changing the region to "British /
English" is yet again spelt the American way as "Favorite"), this lets you
quickly dial your most used contacts quickly with a jab of the finger.
Running Windows Mobile 6 you’ll find a selection of useful
tools, games and communication tools. The HTC Audio Manager for playing your
playlists and MP3’s, whilst Abobe Reader will let you view those all important
attachments. The Comm Manager application lets you switch your phone, Bluetooth,
data connection and ringer on and off easily, whilst the File Manager lets you
navigate, browse, copy and delete files on your phone and storage card. The
excellent HTC camera album is included too, which also gives you the slideshow
capability to show photos off to your mates.
For instant communication you’ve got the Microsoft Messenger app
plus the excellent RSS Hub gets all your news, entertainment and sports feeds
onto your phone so you’re up-to-date with the latest goings-on. Below you can
see me reading our very own feed …
Meanwhile, the satnav capability is enhanced with the QuickGPS
program to locate and track the nearest satellites in your region – this
improves lock-time on TomTom or any other satnav software you choose. For
calling you’ve got the speedy navigation wheel, favourite people tab (mentioned
earlier) or you can use the Voice Speed Dial facility to start a conversation –
this is particularly useful if you’re using Bluetooth or a car-kit.
version 2 is installed as default, as is Windows Live and Zip for unpacking
OK, but let’s have a look at the satnav facility. As we’ve
mentioned earlier you get TomTom on board. Let’s take you through the first-run
of this and show you exactly what you get included.
When you first run TomTom the software will notice the lack of
maps, so it’ll prompt you with a lovely message offering the download of one
free map. I quickly found that it’s not necessarily a COUNTRY map either…
We’re in the UK, so I quickly skipped through to Western
Europe->Great Britain. You’re then given the option of downloading a county,
town or area. If you’re not entirely sure which map is going to cover your
particular area, choose "Search for where you live"
I end up with a map of our second city – lovely Brum
(Birmingham). It’s a little over 3Mb for this one, so it’s not going to eat into
my data allowance too much, although in this case I’m downloading using my PC’s
internet connection via the ActiveSync cable.
Once installed I can then use TomTom as normal. Now, providing I
don’t travel outside the map area (Birmingham) I should be OK, however you can
purchase extra maps at www.tomtom.com if you
think the one free map isn’t enough.
TomTom quickly gets my GPS position and it’s detected my
in-built GPS system already. This is quick and painless. Good job.
You’ll be familiar by now with the HTC 2 megapixel camera – it seems to be
present on a lot of their devices. Here there’s a macro lens, so you can switch
to close-up mode should you wish. There’s no flash, and pictures range from good
outside to fair for shots inside.
In the video above I showed you a close-up shot of the HTC box –
find out how that came out below. I’ve snapped a variety of photos for you, all
can be seen in their original sizes by clicking these thumbnails.
The camera application and the camera album has been polished up
by HTC and works well – you can zoom, adjust brightness levels, photo modes
(contact picture / video / templates / MMS video etc) and even add the timer
setting in so you can take a delayed photo.
The HTC Camera Album is a particularly excellent application
which operates smoothly and quickly – when you’re looking at a photo it’ll let
you spin, zoom and pan around. All very slick and very well done.
The HTC P3470 reviewed here is a network-free unit, meaning
you’re not tied into a contract. The device may "only" run at 200Mhz but it
performs really well, even with the demands of TomTom thrown at it whilst
multi-tasking with other applications. The navigation wheel not only spins but
also tilts to allow "old-school" navigation, and the larger-than-life softkeys
are a dream to use, even if you’ve got your posh driving gloves on.
Sound quality during calls was fine, the setup went smoothly and, if you don’t really need a keypad, WiFi or 3G, this is a great GPS-enabled device complete with all the business (Microsoft Office etc) and entertainment tools you’ll need.
I was a little disappointed that TomTom only offered a free "city" map and that
there wasn’t a dedicated GPS key to activate the on-board software, but other
than this minor gripes the design and the functionality is yet another win for
HTC. I’m constantly impressed by HTC for their build-quality and
customer-orientated software tweaks, so this unit is definitely comes highly
HTC P3470 @ devicewire.co.uk (Currently £289.99, but check for updated