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HTC Gratia - Camera, Video, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


The HTC Gratia has a 5-megapixel camera, capable of capturing stills up to 2592x1728 pixels, and video up to VGA (640x480) resolution. Unfortunately performance is mediocre. We appreciate the addition of autofocus, as a fixed focus makes capturing close-up detail impossible, but it's slow and the lack of a flash makes the camera near-useless in low-light conditions.

We took the phone out on a sunny day to see how it would perform in optimum conditions, but even then the results weren't impressive. Detail is lacking, colours are a little washed-out and the lack of definition leaves some shots looking clouded or milky. The close-up test was more successful, capturing the veined surface of a nearby leaf well. Check out our Camera Test Shots gallery for the full results.

The Gratia's camera is perfunctory at best. The lack of flash means it's not at all versatile, and the focus is a little too slow to make it fun to use.

Its video playback skills are similarly bare-boned. HTC recently made an attempt to boost its phones' video skills in the HTC Desire HD, by including Xvid codec compatibility, but that's not present here. The Gratia failed almost all our video tests, only playing our MPEG4 clips. Divx, Xvid and rmvb files failed to show up in the media player at all.

The videos that did play looked great though, thanks to the high-quality LCD screen. A 3.2in display is a little small to start watching full-length TV episodes or films on, but we can imagine watching the occasional 20-minute US-length episode on this little trooper.

Music skills are similarly basic with just the basic Android support of MP3, AAC+ and WAV. There is however an FM radio, which uses your headphone cable as an antenna.

The HTC Gratia leaves out the specs eye candy that you'll find in more expensive models, but will you really miss any of it? The camera's poor, video-playing capabilities are basic and internal memory is paltry, but with Android 2.2 at the helm the core Android experience you get is top notch. Partly thanks to the fairly small screen, battery life is good for an Android device too. It'll last for a solid couple of days between charges, and outlasted our HTC Legend running Android 2.1. The HTC Legend offers better build quality though and is now available for around the same price, but that doesn't stop the Gratia from becoming one of our favourite mid-range Androids.


The Gratia performs much better than its low-end 600MHz processor might suggest. Thanks to Android 2.2 and the well-optimised Sense software, this phone zips along at a pace not much slower than its 1GHz-chip big brothers. Only those that demand full Flash support or a high-powered camera need think twice about buying this phone.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


March 11, 2011, 3:08 pm

It's a nice phone but way to expensive for recommendation. While it's in the same group as LG P500, Gratia costs more then Motorola DEFY witch is on another level.


SE Neo is expected to have this kind of price... that's two levels above...

Simon 19

March 11, 2011, 3:32 pm

Just thought I'd be the first to big up the Orange San Francisco in comparison!


March 11, 2011, 4:10 pm

This seems to be the category of device where Android fits best - a solid but no frills SmartPhone.

A workmanlike handset for a utilitarian OS.

Andy 10

March 11, 2011, 4:13 pm

How can you review a phone and not say what the battery life was like? Especially when you spend several paragraphs discussing what the battery cover was like and what the phone looked like with the cover off!!! Poor review.


March 11, 2011, 5:21 pm

@Andy 10, Andrew is adding that to the article now -it should have been included in the original review.


March 11, 2011, 7:43 pm

@ gnodeb - Not quite, 369 quid at launch. But that and the Desire S will start at mid 300s with the likelihood of been under 300 pounds by the end of the year, while the Gratia is only 60-80 quid cheaper. It's too expensive for what it offers really, needs abig price drop in the next few months with big and fancy new smartphones coming at a similar pricepoint.


March 11, 2011, 7:56 pm

isnt this an HTC Mini running android?

probably not a bad combination, as the HDMini is an excellent phone let down by lack of apps and a poor browser.


March 12, 2011, 2:48 am

isnt the world sick of these htc phones yet?,i bet journalists must dread being handed one to see the same thing every time just scrolling slightly slower or faster,the clown fish was iconic for less time than htc' colour scheme.


March 14, 2011, 5:27 pm

Who is this guy in the video? Why is he speaking so quickly? Why is he not enunciating or separating his words? Not a good video review. Awful, first time I've stopped watching a review on this site. Please send him to elocution lessons.


March 14, 2011, 5:59 pm

@concern: 'This guy' is Andrew Williams, the chap who reviewed the phone. It was his first go so there are a few presentation issues to iron out. We'll take on board your thoughts.

Michael G

March 15, 2011, 1:44 pm

It's actually very hard to do videos, it doesn't come naturally to everyone, give the guy a break...


March 15, 2011, 7:13 pm

@concern Video presenting is new to me so apologies. They'll get better... hopefully!

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