It's no secret that we've been rather keen on many of HTC's recent touchscreen smartphones, namely the HTC Desire and HTC Legend. However, there's no getting round the fact that they're still quite expensive handsets. So to address a more budget-conscious market HTC has released the Smart, a small touchscreen phone based on Qualcomm's Brew operating system.
The Smart is a small phone. With dimensions of 104 x 55 x 12.8mm it's a good 10mm shorter than most of its larger brethren and a good few millimetres narrower as well, though about the same thickness. All told, this makes it a very easy device to handle.
Build quality also seems good, with tight seams between sections, no discernible flex or creak from the body panels and firmly mounted buttons that have a nice defined action. The screen surround is even made from aluminium and has the same shiny bevelled inner edge as the Legend. Sadly the screen is soft plastic, giving away the fact that it uses resistive touch-sensing, so doesn't look or feel as classy as glass-fronted phones and is going to scratch more easily.
As to the interesting choice of bright pink, it certainly gives the Smart a unique appearance that we rather like but if it's a bit too brash for your liking, white and black versions are also available. We're also not so sure about the front button layout, which despite being practical is irritatingly asymmetric; and the speaker grille, which catches many a spec of dust and grime in its tiny holes. More universally appealing are the generally uncluttered layout of features and logos and the avoidance of ever scratch prone glossy plastic.
Contrary to what you might expect considering its price, the Smart has a decent complement of physical features with a proper headphone jack on the top edge, a 3.15-megapixel camera with an LED flash (though sadly no autofocus) on the back and a microSD slot underneath the battery cover. A year or so ago we'd also have applauded the use of a mini-USB connector on the bottom edge for charging and data syncing, however micro-USB is supposed to be the standard going forward and is well established so this seems like an odd decision.