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HTC Announces Mainstream Android Smartphone

Gordon Kelly


HTC Announces Mainstream Android Smartphone

Is your wallet feeling a little thin? Do you hanker over an Android smartphone? Then HTC has the answer for you... maybe.

The Taiwanese monolith has today announced the 'Tattoo', a midrange Android handset which incorporates the company's much lauded HTC Sense custom UI first seen on the Hero.

Specs are reasonably decent too with a 2.8in QVGA (320 x 240) capacitive touchscreen, 3.2MP autofocus camera, HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, a 3.5mm headphone jack (learning, learning), 512MB ROM, 256MB RAM and a microSDHC expansion slot. A digital compass and accelerometer also make it inside while it's pocket friendly at 106 x 55.2 x 14mm and 113g. Where the Tattoo may suffer is in its 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 CPU. This is the same processor as used inside the Hero and if we have a criticism of the Hero it is that it can rather chug along.

Still it all sounds pretty good, so what is the 'maybe'? In fairness it is more of a pet peeve than deal breaker, since HTC promotes the Tattoo as "Android to all", but doesn't give any indication of price. Yes, we've seen this before with 'World's Lightest/Thinnest/Cheapest/Fastest' products which give no hint of their weight/measurements/cost/speed it's just annoying.

That said, with an October launch on the cards we won't have to wait long and given the roll HTC has been on recently I suspect both subsidised and unsubsidised Tattoo pricing will bring a smile to our faces...

Update: HTC has confirmed the 2.8in screen in the Tattoo will be resistive because, according to a company tweet, "Capacitive screens at small sizes are hard to be accurate with. Resistive ends up registering fewer miss-clicks."

What complete nonsense. It's a cost saving exercise, plain and simple and HTC you just fell at the last hurdle. Daft move.


Press Release

Rob 13

September 8, 2009, 6:51 pm

Am I the only one holding out on a new phone for an Android/Snapdragon/AMOLED combination?


September 8, 2009, 6:52 pm

Not unlike the T-Mobile Pulse then... that's going on sale next month priced at £180 PAYG. Given that model's resistive touchscreen and lack of Sense UI, I know which I'd rather have... and I probably will.

Thank you, HTC, for finally making a compact touchscreen handset that bucks the bigscreen trend. I really hope it's up to scratch...


September 8, 2009, 6:57 pm

On performance: HTC's Hero update has already fixed the performance issues. Apparently it was in software, and considering the old work-arounds with fast SDHC cards it was probably something caching more often than it should. It seems likely that the Tattoo will ship with the same fix in place.

On price, I've heard bot &#8364200 and &#8364300. The ever-gouging Expansys is putting it at about £300 on pre-order so I'm reckoning it's closer to £200 in practice.


September 8, 2009, 7:34 pm

@sockatume - I wouldn't entirely agree. I used a Hero just yesterday and while general performance is pretty good it's choppy in the web browser. In general the experience is like using an iPhone 3G, rather than a 3GS.

Hamish Campbell

September 8, 2009, 7:44 pm

Thats veyr interesting sockaturne.....anyone other HTC Hero want to confirm that their handsets performance issues are gone?

I was just thinking what a shame the processor wasn't a little bit more powerful...but maybe it doens't matter any more!


September 8, 2009, 7:57 pm

320x240? So would a lot of the current apps not work then?

Brian ONeill

September 8, 2009, 7:57 pm

Have they no plans for another with a keyboard? Was going to get the wife a new phone for xmas, but she does not like the touch screen keyboards.


September 8, 2009, 8:13 pm

@Rob: That's why I'm desperate for some official news on the Sony Ericsson X3. I know it's not Android, but seeing the X2 was a real disappointment. There is little voice inside my head that keeps asking: "I wonder if anyone will be able to port Android to the Omnia II?"


September 8, 2009, 8:40 pm

@haim - see my comment above.


September 8, 2009, 10:25 pm

320*240 is too low res imo. How very WinMo circa 2006.


September 8, 2009, 11:07 pm

Have a look on Modaco. The new ROM apparently works wonders. My Hero is running just fine so I'm waiting for the official release.


A 3G like experience can't be too shabby considering the TR love it gets?!


September 9, 2009, 3:10 am

The update I was referring to just went live today, although it was leaked previously and could be installed on rooted Heros. I've only read reports on the general UI choppiness being fixed, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a panacea (especially given the flash support in teh browser).


September 9, 2009, 1:40 pm

Rob, Nuxxy,

Completely agree! I would have already bought a Hero, were it not for the rate at which new Android phones are coming to the market at the moment. I have high hopes for the Sony Xperia X3, but part of me just wants HTC to bring out a version with better physical specs too - the Hero 2?

I am also aware that Google has been dangling the idea of Androidn 2.0 for a while, and I understand that one of the areas of weakness of the current version of Android is in its media handling. I don't have an Android device so I'm open to correction on this, but I am guessing that the interface for music is weak compared to the iphone. Given the big screen on the publicity shots of the Xperia X3, this phone is obviously going to be angled as a media phone. I suspect that Sony are waiting to release it until they can do so with the next version of Android built in.

Thoughts, anyone?


September 9, 2009, 10:45 pm

Apparently HTC have confirmed that this thing's touchscreen is now going resistive, apparently to 'improve accuracy' on the smaller screen. Shame, it was looking so good to me...

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