Sprint HTC Snap: Hands on!

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.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

45 Comments
  • What are the dimensions on the screen? Is it wider than the TreoPro?
  • It is slightly wider than the Pro--both is overall size and in screen width. Not huge difference but it's there.
  • What colour is the backlight for the keys. Like on the t-mobile dash, the keyboard has a blue backlight, on the samsung ace, it is a white backlight. Also, i thought the phone came with wheels of fortune. and word on the street is sprint should push it out on june 21st.
  • dp
  • Keyboard is White and Blue lights. Looks great when it lights up, but I find it intermittent on both brightness and to get it on. The "sensor" doesn't work too well imo. You're right about Wheel of Fortune--it IS there, I just forgot to look under the "Games folder. Also Solitaire & Bubble Breaker. There is also no way you can force the screen off (which would reset the light sensor). Unlike the Q/Q9c where you could do a 2 key combo to force lock/off the device, this doesn't have that. There is a standard lock, but it comes on when the device "times out".
  • Im glad to see a replacement for the Q9C. WinMo standard has always been easier to work with than pro in my opinion. I had a Treo Pro for about two weeks before i returned it (couldn't handle such a finger print magnet) Hopefully the snap isn't as bad for smudges
  • What is the big block above the splitter in the picture of the box contents? Is the headset jack on the splitter a 2.5 or 3.5" One last thing, if the Q9c is buggy, what will make this different as it runs the same version of windows?
  • It's HTC connector thingy: Has 2 miniUSB connectors (one charge, one headphones) a 2.5mm adapter and a 3.5mm adapter. Very universal, also pretty huge :-/ Edit: Or did you mean the wall jack? Q9C was buggy because of the hardware/software marriage, which was not perfect. Furthermore, though this is "WM6.1 Standard" the build of the OS is much newer than the Q9c i.e. this has IE 6 on board.
  • which screen has more "vivid" colours, the treo pro or the snap. in my opinion, i noticed that the treo pro's colours are a little weak, or not as vivid (if that makes sense) compared to other smartphones. on my samsung ace, the colours are very strong and bold, though the screen is small.
  • Definitely the Snap as Standard screens (sans digitizer) are almost always crisper looking.
  • oh, interesting.. didn't know that.. anyway i plan on picking one up, thanx wmexperts for the review!
  • If the snap comes with IE 6 loaded onto it instead of PIE will codyppc's IE6.cab still be able to roll it back to PIE or is that only WinMo Professional compatible?
  • his .cab file won't install; haven't tried the manual registry fix yet--but presumably this could be done like on the Treo Pro
  • by any chance, do you know if this phone is compatible with sprint sero plans?
  • lol. Yeah. Ask Mal about his SERO plan. :)
  • I bought mine off an ebay vendor, and was able to activate it on my original SERO plan. I activated it online. So, YES you can activate the phone on your SERO plan.
  • I'm really confused by these comments Malatesta!! What's missing?
  • Glen, Does the HTC Snap you received for your boss run on the SPRINT network in the US? This review is for the SPRINT variant of the HTC Snap.
  • Definitely a welcome alternative to the Moto Q9c. The lack of wifi is kind of a bummer though.
  • I've owned and used this phone for about the last two weeks. i like the keyboard and i have no problems using it. my only complaints are there's no trackball, makes navigating internet explorer a pain sometimes and there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. The screen is nice and bright, I turned it down to 2, and it runs nice and fast.
  • I have a love/hate feeling about it. The "guts" of the device (OS, processor, radio, speakers, screen) are all top notch, making WM Standard a joy to use--it's so much more "to the point" as a phone/email device. But I really don't care for the somewhat cheap feeling external plastic, the d-pad and the keyboard is not a good as I had hoped (it's also very "clicky"). When compared to a Treo Pro, the devices just feel like night and day in terms of quality. And yet I do like all the rest :-/
  • I'd be all over that if it were a touchscreen, too.
  • is there also a short cut to unlock
  • mal; you can manually lock the phone without waiting for a time out. press and hold the home button and itll lock automatically.
  • oh yeah...I knew there was a trick to do so. Odd how I couldn't find that anywhere in the manuals. Thx.
  • If you ever had a blackberry storm 8330 what's the difference with the internet and also do it have abilities of social networking I.e: facebook myspace twitter and how is the video quality from watching youtube videos
  • As far as social networking sites, the Snap is capable of Facebook, Twitter, and myspace... there are FREE apps for Twitter and Facebook (the facebook one is from Microsoft) and they work very well. Never played with myspace mobile... but I'm sure its capable... hope it helps
  • Are the RAM/ROM specs you posted correct? According to HTC's website, they are listed as follows: Internal Memory 256MB Flash / 192MB RAM.
  • Any idea if in they will be allowing listing more cities for the weather application in the future or if we will be able to access them on the home screen
  • Does the Snap have a full web browser or just a mobile one?
  • DOes anyone know how to set up Internet sharing on the Snap for PAM?
  • That's not the htc snap!
    I don't know what you got, but that's definitely not the htc snap!
    The htc snap DOES have wifi, trackball, etc.: http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_snap-2770.php
  • This review is the for the Sprint version of the HTC Snap. We are all aware that Verizon and T-Mobile's versions have wi-fi, a trackball, and more.
  • Where can I get the twitter app? thanks
  • Tiny Twitter is the best free Twitter app for WM Smartphone. Another great choice, but costs $5, is Twikini. http://www.tinytwitter.com/m/
    http://www.trinketsoftware.com/twikini/
  • Q: How loud is the built in ear piece? How loud is the Speaker-phone? is the speaker-phone on-off switch in hardware (a button? or in software?) Can it be switched on-off during a conversation? I own a htc Dash original on T-mobil and the sound is barely audible you have to use a headset in a normal environment.
  • Hello...
    Snap has wi-fi....
  • This review is of Sprint's version of the Snap. Which DOES NOT have WiFi. See Here
  • one day i went shopping outside ?and in an links of london store?I found some kinds of links of london i love most?they are: Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets Links of london mens bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets shopping Links of London Bracelets
  • one day i went shopping outside ?and in an links of london store?I found some kinds of links of london i love most?they are: watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets watch Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets charms for Links of london bracelets
  • The snap have a very nice look its thin and its very stylish. people always get this phone confuse with the blackberry. certain things could have been better. like, I could never get back to the last page of the internet that I was viewing if I put the phone down for a long period of time. Another problem I have with the htc snap its da way mail is retrieved. On my previous phone I would receive my email the minute they were delivered. I didn't have to set it on a timer to retrieve my email. I'm not satisfied wit the htc snap at all.
  • The HTC Snap has an illogical design similar to a the example Blackberry without the track-wheel. It is easy to navigate to make a call, send a text message, wave the web, or play a game. It is not bulky like another smart-phones, And has a thin profile.
  • my setting mostly ringing tone is not saving...keeping telling me error cannot save...who will assist or advice
  • It's HTC connector thingy: Has 2 miniUSB connectors (one charge, one headphones) a 2.5mm adapter and a 3.5mm adapter. Very universal, also pretty huge :-/ Edit: Or did you mean the wall jack? Q9C was buggy because of the hardware/software marriage, which was not perfect. Furthermore, though this is "WM6.1 Standard" the build of the OS is much newer than the Q9c i.e. this has IE 6 on board.
  • One MAJOR issue is that there is no way to set the SNAP (US Cellular version) to 'resound' on text, vmail, missed call, etc...so if you miss the 1st audible notification, you have to LOOK at the phone to see what has come in. This is bad for driving, or any time you are away from the phone.