Specs and details
Qualcomm® MSM 7200, 400MHz CPU
Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Standard (non touch-screen)
256Mb ROM, 64Mb RAM
Quad-band GSM/ GPRS / EDGE plus 3G and HSDPA on 2100Mhz
Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, WiFi (802.11b/g)
2 Megapixel camera and second VGA camera up front
Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
In the box
Power charger, headphones / handsfree kit, USB cable, manuals, CD’s.
A few short months back we reviewed the HTC
S710. It’s still my phone of choice on a day-to-day basis. The HTC S710 had the Smartphone (Windows
Mobile 6 Standard) OS, WiFi, a 2 megapixel camera, a slide-out keyboard and the new SDHC capability to allow
massive data storage with microSD cards.
Now enter the HTC S730. More memory, a faster CPU and extra
functionality has now been added. It’s a little fatter and longer, but it packs the 3G and HSPDA connectivity
that was missing in the HTC S710. As you’ll see from our comparison shots the
keyboard section is slightly fatter but it’s still by no means unsightly.
You also get a ramped-up processor – 400Mhz instead of the 200Mhz in the
previous model. A face-pointing camera allows for video calls and a newly redesigned QWERTY keyboard makes
typing easier than before too. Have a look below and you should be able to see
how the keyboard has now been re-aligned to make it more central – note where
the letter "Q" now is – directly above the "A", where it should be really.
The design of the S730 is slightly chunkier – especially the numeric keypad. Gone are the polished keys of the
S710 and in their place and thick, bold buttons which have been relocated to make using the softkeys easier. I
like this layout actually. Neat.
Here’s a few more comparison shots with the existing S710
(Orange SPV E650) on the right. You can see that the S730 is a little less
rounded and the keyboard is more angular than before. These shots also show the
increase in length.
The keys here are backlit in white with the call answer / release being green and red.
On the top of the screen is the video camera for your 3G calls plus, to the left is a circular earpiece with
LED’s representing network activity and power etc. This earpiece has a nice shiny button-like appearance about
On the left side of the phone is the standard volume up / down and a quick-access button into your comm
manager. On the HTC S710 this was a voice-tag button, but I’m happier to see a comm manager button instead as
it’s a little more difficult to get to the Comm Manager application on the Smartphone. Press this and you can
easily turn your WiFi on / off or switch to Flight Mode etc etc. I did mention
also that the volume up / down buttons on the HTC S710 were a little tricky to
find while you were on a call – these are much easier to locate.
On top there’s a nice bold power button..
Then on the right wide we’ve got the camera button taking us into the camera / video application (with the
same 2 megapixel shooter doing the work) and a microSD card slot sitting behind a rubber flap.
This isn’t an auto-focus camera but the shots are still decent enough and you
can see the results later on in this review.
As you’ll see above there’s no flash but there is a mirror for
taking self-portraits above the speaker.
At the bottom is the usual miniUSB port and a loop-hole for attaching your phone to a lanyard etc.
The auto-sliding keyboard pops out to reveal that the SIM-card slot is no longer beneath the screen as it was
on the HTC S710. A chime is played when you open the keyboard is opened, although I quickly turned this off
The speed of the screen-switch is much improved thanks to the faster 400Mhz Qualcomm CPU.
On the top left you’ll see two status lights. The first is
the familiar "CAPS" light you’ll have seen on your normal PC keyboard whilst the
second indicates whether the FN key is in use. Press the FN key on the lower
left and then you get access into the extra functions shown below in blue.
The keys themselves have been redesigned now and you’ll find that the full stop “.” is now on the top-left to
make the keyboard more centralised. This is great because we spotted how difficult it could be to select a
capital Q on the HTC S710 keyboard.
Like the S710 this S730 will take photos in a portrait
style – this makes photos "tall" instead of "wide" with a resolution of up to
1200×1600. I’m so glad that, yet again, the out-of-the-box setting is 1200×1600
(2 megapixel) as default – in years gone by I’ve picked up handsets and
they’ve been set to resolutions lower than the maximum. Click on the
pictures below for the full-sized versions direct from the phone itself.
The HTC 2 megapixel camera can struggle a little in lower light, although the
faster CPU does process the low-light preview screen quicker so you don’t get so
much "judder" when moving the camera around in low-light conditions. There is
still a need to hold the phone incredibly still in lower light conditions.
The familiar shortcut keys are here to help you out, with the number "1"
rotating through the capture types (video, MMS video, camera),"2" will alter the
resolution, "3" will change the exposure setting and so on. You can also use up
/ down on your navigation pad to zoom and left / right to increase the
For advanced users you can try out the "Metering Mode" setting to detect the
light at the centre of the shot or the entire shot. This helps when you’re
taking pictures with a combination of light and dark. The camera application
will also detect when you’ve inserted a microSD card and will ask you if you’d
like to store your photos onto that instead of the phones internal memory.
We’ve got one of the first S730 phones here in the UK and it’s running a test build of the software.
There’s been a lot of rumours about the GPS and it’s a hotly debated topic. I tested it and got a couple of
fixes on the test tools, so something inside does appear to be responding on COM4 at 57600 bps, but I couldn’t
get a fix with any software. Whether this is due to the GPS configuration or lack of GPS antenna I’m not sure, but Google Maps and several other navigation programs fail to get a fix.
The best I could get was three satellites, so it may be
lacking an antenna. The official specs for this phone have no mention of GPS so
it may perhaps be something that could be included later, I’m really not sure at
As we’re using an early test build I’m going to skim over the internals of the phone. HTC have bundled some of their excellent applications in this build with MP3 trimmer included for creating ringtones from the best bits of your MP3’s. Other applications such as Java, Adobe reader and Flash Lite are on board to let you work and play hard.
HTC have also added their excellent customized homescreen which lets you easily
set alarms, check your weather, change your profile and instantly check whether
you’ve had any missed calls, text messages, voicemails, appointments and more.
To show off the faster CPU and to give you a tour around
the device in real-time I’ve recorded this quick video. I’m actually watching a
live TV stream of some childrens TV show over the WiFi, then I browse a bit
(notice how quick this is), listen to some internet radio and show you around
The keys aren’t seperated, however each key is raised slightly to make locating a simple affair.
Typing is very easy and texting, emailing and using instant messaging
applications like Windows Live are made easier with the slide-out keyboard.
The easy data entry is great with Microsoft Mobile Office, which is on board to
edit Office documents. Although it won’t let you create new documents you can
copy across a blank document and then save this under a different name as a
I started this site back in 2002 when I bought my first Microsoft
Smartphone. At heart I still love the Smartphone shape – a normal-looking phone
that does a lot more than any normal phone. I own a HTC S710 right now and I’d
love for it to have the increased speed, increased capacity and increased
bandwidth that this new HTC S730 has. Let’s not forget what I said about the
previous S710 – "Yes, it lacks 3G, yes, there’s no Zip application yes, the
200Mhz CPU can sometimes drag a little on screen switching." HTC have nailed
these little issues and now I’m a very happy bunny. The HTC S730 is a hugely
capable and rapid Windows Mobile which truly combines your work and home life.
Personally speaking I love phones with standard keypads. Anyone can pick this
phone up, punch in a number and use it – then they’ll start learning about the
not-so-hidden bonus features – the stereo Bluetooth, instant messaging, mobile
office, instant email, WiFi, 3G video calling, ultra-fast connectivity and
speedy data entry thanks to the pop-out QWERTY keyboard.
The S730 we’re reviewing here is network free – a lot more people are buying
phones direct now to avoid the hefty 18 and 24-month contracts. Pop your SIM
card in and the S730 will configure itself swiftly to use your MMS and 3G
settings, then you’re free to play.
I know I may start to sound like a complete HTC fan-boy here, but every time I
review one of their handsets I’m increasingly impressed with the software
developments, the design, the build-quality and the speed at which they fix and
improve any details we’ve not liked. Right now, from us, we can find nothing to
moan about. If the GPS does work in the final build I’ll be saving hard to buy
one of these because, quite simply, it does everything it says on the tin
Link – HTC
S730 @ devicewire.com