HTC Tackles Entry Level Market With "Smart" Handset

HTC's Smart was first uncovered at CES 2010 last week by our content partner Betanews (link) and the phone has now been officially announced by Taiwanese company HTC.

Interestingly, it comes with Qualcomm's own Brew OS, which is fitting given that it runs on a 300Mhz ARM-based Qualcomm processor, and HTC's own Sense UI.

It does therefore bypass Google's Android platform completely, something that observers will be looking at as a sign that HTC wants to remain independent.

The Smart will be going head to head against another sibling, the Android-based HTC Tattoo (and the Windows-Mobile based Touch 2) which made its debut in September 2009 on Vodafone and costs £25 per month.

The phone packs a 2.8-inch resistive touchscreen, a 3-megapixel camera without flash, 256MB RAM and 256MB ROM, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm audio socket, a microSD slot, Bluetooth and weighs only 108g.

Peter Chou, chief executive officer at HTC said in a statement that "Just adding a touch interface doesn’t mean a phone is a smart phone; the integration of HTC Sense brings an unparallelled smart-phone experience for people looking to do more on their phone".

Alas, you won't get any WiFi and based on what we have seen already, it is likely that the brushed aluminium finish is merely plastic. The phone has yet to be released in the UK and it is expected to be available on £15 per month contracts and less.

Our Comments

HTC's decision to launch another entry level smartphone is a sign that the top end might be starting to get a tad too competitive for the Taiwanese-based manufacturer. That said, the efforts of HTC, LG, Samsung and others to bring out cheaper touchscreen smartphones means that by the end of the year, there will be several of them available on £10 or less contracts.

Related Links

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