A cheap new smartphone
Are you someone who isn’t into smartphones all that much, but is curious to experience one for a couple of weeks or months? Then HTC’s Explorer might be what you have been looking for. This device is so named because it is exactly that: a tool for exploring the world of a smartphone and what makes it so fascinating to people. Since it’s one of the cheapest products of its kind today and experts place it in the “easy to use” category, the Explorer will most certainly gather quite a following. Allows us to give you more information on this smartphone in the following review.
Different colors available
The HTC Explorer is a small smartphone if we are to compare it to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or some of the other HTC devices and looks like a clone of the company’s Sensation model. On the back it has a rugged-feeling rubberized texture and the body is made of plastic and is available in the following colors: black and dark blue. If you want more, then you should know that the product comes with purple, orange or white covers that can be swapped between them to create unique looks. The rear couldn’t be removed that easily, at least that’s what we saw before starting to test the smartphone in question. But in general the product was sturdy and not easy to scratch or break.
The size of the touchscreen – 3.2″ – will leave some of you disappointed, because it translates into a poor web surfing experience. But if you’re not into using the Internet on a daily basis, the size of the screen will suffice. The resolution is 320 x 480 pixels; because of that, text quality was pretty average at first look. Below the screen we found the standard touch-sensitive buttons for Home, Menu, Back and Search functions and the camera lens sat on the back. In terms of weight and dimensions, the HTC Explore ships with 3.8 ounces and 4.05″ x 2.25″ x 0.51″.
As for keyboard, there’s the QWERTY one which is more responsive and easy to use in the landscape rather than the portrait mode; and it sports the auto correct feature, a big advantage for anyone. Because the screen is on the small size, typing will at first feel rather uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be a problem after a while.
Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread OS
The operating system that HTC decided to install on this smartphone is Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and the interface is the user-friendly and now very popular Sense 3.5. Something new brought by the UI is the fact that it let us, during our test, quickly access any four functions we wanted directly from the lock screen, an option which came in very handy. The Explorer smartphone is pre-installed with the usual 7 customizable home screens. The interface, however, had issues when rendering animations and it turned out to be somewhat slower when opening certain applications.
The HTC Explorer has a built-in 3-megapixel camera which comes with basic photo editing tools and delivers average-looking pictures.
The connectivity feature is covered by Wi-Fi, the main option on the HTC Explorer. If the user has Wi-Fi at home, she or he will only have to connect the smartphone to her or his network to start using the World Wide Web. The battery didn’t manage to last more than a day.
Performance-wise, the device had clear call quality both when we talked to someone and received calls. Overall, at the end of the test done for this review, the HTC Explorer fares great when it comes to build quality and interface.
|Device status||Available. Release date 2011, October|
|Official anounced||2011, September|
|General specifications||2G Network||GSM 850 MHZ / 900 MHZ / 1800 MHZ / 1900 MHZ|
|3G Network||HSDPA 900 MHz / 2100 MHz|
|Screen||Type||TFT-LCD capacitive touch screen, 256K Available Colours|
|Dimensions||320 x 480 pixels, 3.2 inches (~180 ppi pixel density)|
|Sound||Alert characteristics||Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones|
|SRS surround sound enhancement|
|HTC Sense UI v3.5|
|Proximity Light sensor for auto shut down|
|Accelerometer Light sensor for UI auto-rotate|
|Memory||Phone book||Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall|
|Internal||90 MB Data storage, 512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM|
|Memory card slot||microSD card, up to 32GB,|
|Call records||Practically unlimited|
|EDGE||Up to 236.8 kbps|
|Data||GPRS||Up to 80 kbps|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|3G||HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps|
|Infrared port||Not included|
|Bluetooth||Included, v3.0 with A2DP, EDR|
|USB||Included, microUSB v2.0|
|Features||Geo-tagging, face detection|
|PROCESSOR||600MHz Scorpion PROCESSOR, Qulacomm MSM7227 chipset|
|Features||OS||Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|Radio||Stereo FM radio with RDS|
|Camera specifications||Primary camera||3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus|
|GPS||Included, with A-GPS support|
|Java||Included, via Java MIDP emulator|
|Google Search, Maps, Gmail|
|YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa included|
|Predictive text input|
|Time management organizer|
|Available Colours||Active Black, Active Navy, Metallic Black, Metallic Navy|
|Stand-by time||Up to 485 h (2G) / Up to 445 h (3G)|
|Estimated talk time||Up to 7 h 40 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 33 min (3G)|
|Battery||Standard battery, Li-Ion 1230 mAh|
|Dimensions||External dimensions||102.8 x 57.2 x 12.9 mm|
|Total weight||108 g|