HTC P3300 review: Compact navigator
SMS: the most important is missing
Text messaging is again backed by the application Inbox, which covers SMS, MMS and emails. Few elements have been modified in comparison to the forerunners: the application for creation of MMS allows you to insert text, pictures, videos and music files (items are only limited by the maximum data size predetermined by the corresponding operator). The email client supports POP3 and IMAP protocols including security certificates. You can download either email headers or their entire bodies. Auto-check in preset time intervals as well as signatures and attachments are available too. As we already mentioned, HTC P3300 also supports Direct Push.
Text messages work in the same old way. What did surprised us was the absence of a virtual phone keypad, which allows for typing text (with multi-tap or T9) by touching virtual keys viewed on the display. Such virtual keypad does not offer the feedback real keys do, but getting accustomed is only a mater of time. I myself type on HTC Magician as fast as I do on a common mobile phone. Without a virtual keypad what you have left is three modes for manual text typing and a tiny virtual QWERTY keypad. The drawback they all suffer from is the inability to type with one hand. Let’s not forget, however, that the testing piece we are holding is a preliminary one. We all believe that the final model will feature a virtual keypad.
There is no doubt that HTC P3300 will satisfy all fans of mobile Internet and its additional services. Mobile data transfers are backed by GPRS Class 10. You may even enjoy three times faster surfing provided you are in an EDGE-covered area. The difference between both technologies is hard to overlook as fully graphic Internet opened via GPRS requires a great dose of patience. The presence of EDGE signal is indicated by an E in the top state bar. In areas of no EDGE the letter E is substituted by G. If you need UMTS or HSDPA, for example, you would better go for another device.
Another available form of data communication is Wi-Fi, which we mentioned at the very beginning in a reference to T-Mobile. Some Internet sources speak about support of the 802.11 B/G standard, but in the tests with 802.11g access point we did not measure a speed higher than 11 Mbit/s. HTC P3300 does pretty much better than HTC Wizard in terms of working radius.
Let us also include Bluetooth (in 2.0 version) in this chapter. HTC P3300 has left interface selection to Microsoft. It offers basic details without extra information. Even so the respective manager has undergone several improvements: a novelty is the support for document synchronization through Bluetooth. Generally it only allows access to one address book, but in reality the entire “My Documents” folder could be shared. The sharing process works seamlessly both in Windows XP and MacOS X. Work with Bluetooth is smooth too. The wireless earphone, the external GPS receiver, and general communication with mobile phones all function perfectly.
Other functions and multimedia
As a device equipped with Windows Mobile OS HTC P3300 can easily be used as a video player. Considering its low processor, however, conversion to lower resolution and slower data flow is inevitable. While other devices of the same category driven by a 400 MHz processor manage to play videos designed for PC, HTC’s 200 MHz processor just cannot make it. Nevertheless, if you have a powerful computer, the required conversion in the application PocketDivXEncoder should not be a problem.
Another useful element in HTC P3300 is its built-in FM radio. As far as we know, this is the first ever communicator of its category to have a radio. The pity was that we did not have the chance to try it out as HTC P3300 was delivered to our office without a headset, which substitutes the antenna.
The usual standard audio output has been abandoned. Earlier we were used to a small 2.5 mm jack, which allowed the use of an adapter. In this model, similar to HTC MTeoR, the earphones are plugged into a mini USB connector. While both edges of the synchronizing cable are beveled, the earphones have only one beveled edge and thus cannot be connected to other USB connectors but the HTC P3300’s one. Currently we cannot think of any adapter that would allow you to plug a good headset of your own in the communicator. The only available solution untill such an adapter appears on the market (if ever) remains Bluetooth with A2DP profile.