The latest from startlingly prolific smart phone manufacturer HTC won’t be top of the list for mobile aficionados. It’s a basic entry-level Android with middling specs though these are still probably a cut above its bog-standard price. But for smartphone newbies, what it offers may prove to be more than enough. HTC Explorer …
Can I be first
To mention the ZTE Blade/San Francisco that I will be sticking with for just a bit longer. I am not sure that this new phone would offer much in the way of improvement for an substantial extra cost.
I was just going to mention the Blade too... The same CPU, better screen, better camera (at least on the 5MP version), lower price - why would anyone choose this one over it?
Also worth noting that the ZTE Blade is over a year old now, has been replaced and even back in it's hayday was under a hundred quid.
Stock software was utter tripe tho, not saying that the HTC won't suffer the same problems with pre-installed bloatware, but at least the ZTE is well and truely hacked so there are many options for new ROMS.
Not the same processor
This thing has an MSM7225A ARMv7-A (Cortex) based cpu, whereas the Blade has an MSM7227 (ARM11) ARMv6 based cpu.
So you *should* get more grunt per MHz from this and it *should* be able to run Flash.
It's such a shame that you have to find a "bargain" phone to get a much-enhanced battery life.
my galaxy S2 gets a day and a half (2 if im not hammering it). I installed easy battery saver, played with the custom settings and away I went. Used for checking emails, ebooks and wifi as appropriate. I have a different kernel (granted) but then again I think most android devices are enthusiast devices.
sometimes you need to let it learn
"It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on how many apps you have running in the background – the Task Manager app makes it easy to shut anything down that you’re not using."
The problem with doing the above is that I find it kills the battery. If you persevere with haveing to charge twice a day, for a few days, then slowly let it work out how you use it, I find Android manages the power well. After each update to the OS it resets this, but generally the longer you run the phone the better it seems to work. For me that is.
Woopiee! The headphones they bundle with phones and mp3 players are always so poor that they go in the bin straight away. I hope this headphone-free phone is the start of a trend.
How does it compare to the ZTE Skate
The ZTE Skate is on sale in the UK as the Orange Monte Carlo for £120 PAYG
Skate has a 4.3" screen and 3G.
It's great to see the technology advancing and getting cheaper. Soon all phones will be 'smart' because it will cost more to use non-smart technology.
Piece of shit
Honestly, there is no better way to describe this phone. It's actually technically worse than the Wildfire S that came out a the start of 2011. HTC just re-hashed it in a desperate attempt to keep people's attention.
Beat me too it
I was going to say it sounds just like the Wildfire, but with a rubberized case.
Still, would do ok for the missus, who can't see the point of a smartphone. She never has her old Nokia 6230 on anyway. I've even said that when I upgrade my HTC Desire she can have that. She ain't fussed, and that' way better than the Explorer\Wildfire. Some people just don't want fancy power, screen res, facebook and internet on their phone. The odd phone call is enough.
90Mb is too little free space
I cant believe anyone would launch a new Android with just 90Mb user space. Even knowing how to send apps to SD that's a low limit but how many of the users this is targeted at will know how? Especially with so many apps that need root to force over to SD and monsters chewing 5-10Mb or more of precious space each. 1st time Google Maps updates that's 6Mb burnt (the current slim line version - used to be 12Mb+). This has disappointment written all over it.
Or is this just a cunning plan to hook users then catch the early upgrade when they suddenly can't install any more apps a few months down the line?
@Paul Shirley (90Mb is too little free space)
This reminds me when places like Currys and PC World were selling Vista PCs with 512Mb of RAM.
Its poor specs and performance like this which mars the Android system.
I was a little tempted to make the climb to smartarsephone, with the GPS being especially handy, but I think I'll just stick to sniffing out a decent 85phone with better battery life and a two figure price tag. Suggestions welcome :)
* See icon
Read up on the pros and cons of each, they're all fairly similar and are unlockable with various custom ROMs available.
hitting the sweet spot
The key selling point of a phone like this is the low price and long battery life.
having said that, the qualcomm chip is no slouch, and this phone should be really sweet for those who want an inexpensive smart phone with a crisp touchscreen, decent battery, and decent performance.
i never really saw a need for a phone like this, until a friend bought one. all he needs is a phone with a calendar that can sync to google, his email and the odd app to keep him entertained when he's on the move. for that, phones such as these are perfect.
It sounds almost the same as a galaxy europa...
But the europa costs £50 new (from 3 store)
"I think most android devices are enthusiast devices"
Considering they out-sell iPhones, you're dead wrong. Only the tiny minority muck around with their phone's innards.
HTC did this last year with Wildfire, worse phone than the ZTE Blade. The blade might not be as sturdy, but ebay sources have good quality hard silicone cases which not only make the Blade look nice but add to its solidity.
Can't fault the screen on the original OLED ZTE Blade, I toyed with mine for 6 months before gifting it to my Fiancee and she's had a good years worth of use out of it. Her first smart phone and she wouldn't be without it, she even tollerates the once every 4 months crash that the custom rom seems to suffer from.