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The MTeoR is the latest in a long line of Windows Mobile Smartphones, (as opposed to PDA phones), but it is the first to support 3G. As well as UMTS, it also offers quad band and EDGE support. It appears courtesy of manufacturer HTC.
In June, HTC announced that it would start to sell devices under its own name but stated that it would while continuing to also supply network operators with kit for them to brand.
Along with the HTC TyTN, its Windows Mobile connected Pocket PC, the MTeoR may well turn up in due course as a network operator branded device. For the moment though, your only chance to get hold of it is SIM free or bundled with a contract from a supplier other than a network operator. On its own, the MTeoR is quite expensive, so you might want to hold out.
As a 3G handset, the MTeoR can only ever be a partial success because it lacks a front facing camera. Clearly if video calls are not what you want 3G for this won’t matter, but I think that any 3G handset lacking a front camera lets its users down from the start. As it is, the MTeoR is a 3G data device.
Design wise, HTC has really pushed the boat out. The mostly black casing is ever so slightly art deco in its shaping around the number pad area and the finish, which is predominantly matt and almost rubbery to the touch makes a nice change.
The MTeoR is a great looking Windows Mobile Smartphone.
HTC has opted for a mini joystick as the main control mechanism, and unlike some earlier attempts this one is responsive and feels comfortable under the thumb.
One thing that makes this handset instantly recognisable as a Windows Mobile Smartphone is the arrangement of the Call, End, home and back buttons ranged around the joystick. HTC has also reused the idea of having four micro buttons directly under the screen that we’ve seen already in devices like Orange’s SPV C550 and T-Mobile’s SDA II. In this case they map to the two soft menus and take you to the Windows Mobile messaging software and Pocket Internet Explorer.
This range of buttons takes up quite a lot of space and there isn’t a lot left for the number pad, and as a result the keys are quite small. However, good spacing around the keys and a rubbery finish makes it easy to find them without looking too hard.
At 112 x 49 x 15 mm and 120g the MTeoR is slightly taller and thinner than other Windows Mobile Smartphones.
There is, of course, a main camera on the back of the casing for shooting stills and video. It shoots images at a maximum resolution of 1.3 megapixels, surprisingly out of step with current efforts, which can now reach 3.2 megapixels. The shots it produces are of a reasonable quality but there’s no self portrait mirror and no flash.