The HTC S710 (also known as the Orange SPV E650) is one of our favourite handsets right now. It manages to perform virtually all of our smartphone needs yet remains, well, phone-like. Sharp is clearly an admirer too…
Consequently it has come up with the 'Zero3', which is half S710/half Nokia and boasts a stunning 3in 480 x 800 pixel (eat that iPhone) touch screen display and Windows Mobile 6 operating system. Great start, but from here on it is a curious bag.
For example, you get advanced features like WiFi and a slide out Qwerty keyboard plus 256MB ROM/128MB RAM – double the usual amount in a Windows smartphone - as well as a useful iPodish circular scrolling central rocker. On the other hand Bluetooth, an absolute fundamental basic, is left out. This is inexcusable, even if the company notes an adapter for this will be out soon! Adapters for GPS and digital TV are also on the way, but that is likely to leave users in the odd situation of having to swap out functionality.
Anyhow, shaking our heads clear of this confusing madness everything else is pretty standard: 1.3MP camera, USB host functionality and microSD expansion slot wrapped up in a relatively portable package (157g).
The Zero3 will also have a fantastic RRP of just £125 when it launches in Japan this month. If Sharp can work out the kinks, I'd sincerely like to see a 'Zero4' make it to Europe…
Product Page In Japanese