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HTC Gratia - Screen, Browsing and GPS

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

One of the best features of the HTC Gratia is its supremely responsive touchscreen. It uses a capacitive model, which requires contact with your finger but no direct pressure. Whether it's down to the improvements made in Android 2.2 or the type of panel used, we found the phone significantly more responsive than an HTC Legend running Android 2.1.

Using a standard TFT LCD with a 320x480 pixel resolution, the 3.2in screen doesn't sound all that impressive in a smartphone market filled with screen jargon terms like "Super AMOLED" and "Retina display", but its performance is impressive. Viewing angles are superb, contrast is good and the resolution is high enough to make both text and images appear very sharp - unlike the lesser Wildfire with its pixellated 240x320-pixel display.

The maximum brightness of the display can't match an AMOLED panel, which will produce more vivid whites and colours at this setting, but in our experience few smartphone users are willing to take the battery life hit and retina searing consequences of cranking up brightness to this extent anyway.

The speed of the Gratia's touchscreen comes in particularly handy when browsing the web. Zooming using the multi-touch pinch gesture is quick, text re-renders in a flash and the keyboard is unusually accurate and easy-to-use for a screen of this size. With a lesser touchscreen, typing can prove tricky in portrait mode at this size, but here it's very effective.

This responsiveness comes in similarly handy when using the built-in GPS Navigation. A feature common to all Android 2.2 phones, Google Navigation offers a full Sat Nav-style navigation experience, complete with voice instructions and separate settings for car drivers and pedestrians. As when browsing the web, you can zoom in and out with the multi-touch pinch gesture, and while you're reliant on a web connection to download the maps used, from Google's servers, performance in this app was impressive.

While 2011 will see Android phones gain much more power, thanks to dual-core processors, the HTC Gratia proves that it's not necessary to still get a great deal out of the Android OS. Using this phone is a pleasure.

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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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