Forget the Palm Pre, never mind the iPhone 3GS, we've managed to get our mitts on the soon-to-be-released Sprint HTC Snap! (insert snicker) Sprint looks to be the first out the gate with this entry-level messenger device and it's made some changes from the GSM version that debuted only a few months ago.

Running Windows Mobile 6.1, the Sprint Snap (it actually keeps the HTC name) is replacing the venerable but problem-prone Motorola Q9c.

Wanna know all the deets, see some pics and get our first-impressions?  Read on for our exclusive mini-review!

Lets get down to brass tacks — you're WMExperts, so you want specs!  So here they are:

  • WM6.1 Standard (OS 5.2.21041/Build 21043.1.62)
  • Available Storage: ~63mb (128mb)
  • Available Memory/RAM: ~70mb (256mb)
  • External Storage: microSD (under cover)
  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM-7625 at 528mhz
  • Resolution: 320x240
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Data: EvDO Rev A
  • Battery: 1500mAh
  • Connectors: MiniUSB
  • Camera: 2MP
  • GPS:  aGPS w/QuickGPS

What's missing

  • No WiFi
  • No 3.5mm headphonejack
  • No side thumb-wheel
  • No trackball

Price is expected to be $149/$519 depending on your contract status.

Software Included

  • Internet Explorer 6 (new version)
  • Internet Sharing
  • HTC Inner Circle
  • Windows Live/Messenger
  • MS Voice Command
  • Adobe Reader LE
  • HTC Album
  • HTC Home
  • Audio Booster (for headphone use)
  • Bluetooth Explorer
  • HTC Camera/Video
  • HTC Comm Manager
  • HTC Streaming Media
  • HTC YouTube App
  • HTC Voice Recorder
  • Google (links to Google downloads)
  • Live Search
  • OZ Instant Messenger
  • HTC MP3 Trimmer
  • Sprint Music/NASCAR/NFL
  • Sprint Software/Navigation/TV
  • QuickGPS
  • Remote Desktop
  • RSS Hub (Illium Newsbreak)

Woo, that is quite the software bundle.  You'll notice the ton-o-HTC apps in that list and like usual, they fill in Microsoft's gaps nicely.

First impressions

The device is very similar to the Palm Treo Pro in size and design.  Both have the same giant removable back cover, 1500mAh batteries (not interchangeable), side speaker and that general look. But the Treo Pro, also manufactured by HTC, is of much better quality in terms of feel and build.

The Snap's keyboard is not as big as I anticipated and it is very "clicky," with a Caps button right next to the "A," which can cause some problems. Still, it's not bad. The D-pad is a bit cheap feeling and would have really liked to have tried a roller-ball-pointer thingy, like on the original Snap.

Speaker and earpiece, like the Treo Pro, are both of high quality and have a nice range for volume.

The screen, still only 320x240, is very sharp, crisp and bright.


Speed? It's a very snappy Snap. That 528MHz processor is a sweet spot for WM devices these days and WM Standard is no different. The boot time is just seconds and opening any app, even Skyfire, is just a blink. Can't really say I see any lag. Also, internet speeds are just blazing fast on this device — it even seems quicker than the Treo Pro.

The Camera/Video is actually very good for only being 2 megapixels in resolution. It is the quickest camera I've used on a Windows Mobile device, which is a nice experience.

Inner Circle is kind of a pain to set up if you have hundreds of contacts (as will those most likely to use it in the first place) and you can't just type-and-search to find a contact to add to it. Rather, you have to scroll the whole contacts list, checking off whom to add. Once set up though, it's pretty cool.

The HTC Home screen is nice as it includes their weather app.  Cities are sort of limited but still, neat add on.  

There is an orange LED for charging and it (gasp) blinks Green for all notifications (e-mail, SMS, voicemail)! There is also a light sensor to adjust the keyboard lights but strangely not the screen. Weird.

So far it's an interesting device. For first-time users or those with basic needs, it should be solid. Definitely a step down for Treo Pro users and, to be honest, for an extra $50 you can get WiFi, 3.5mm headset jack and a 320x320 touchscreen in the Treo Pro, making the HTC Snap a somewhat strange choice. It's also a bit cheap feeling.

Got questions?  Leave 'em in comments or hit me up on Twitter @malatesta77.