At this point you may be thinking this all sounds a bit negative considering our opening gambit but here’s the crux of the point; while we feel the size of this phone is something of an issue, the rest of its abilities more than make up for it.
For a start the design is lovely. The front is beautifully clean and simple thanks to the four navigation buttons underneath the screen being incorporated into same glass as the display. Flip the phone over and the taupe back looks simple and understated. What’s more, it should be hard wearing as the majority of the chassis is made from anodised aluminium with just a few soft touch plastic panels dotted around where needed.
We do have a couple of very small niggles, though again they’re unikely to be major concerns. The first is the thin plastic strip that protects the edge of the screen, which sits proud slightly and feels rather sharp. You’re not going to cut your finger but it does feel a bit odd. The other concern is the gap on the back between the main chassis and the bottom panel. It’s a hairline crack but as there’s no lip for the panel to nestle on you can actually see straight through to the innards of the phone – this obviously won’t be a device that survives a dunking in water.
Also not quite up to snuff is the volume control, which is a tad mushy making it difficult to tell if you’ve pressed it. The screen lock/power button is also rather hard to reach one handed and we would’ve liked to see some way of activating the screen when holding at the bottom.
Along the bottom edge you’ll find a headphone jack and microUSB, the latter of which both charges the phone and provides data transfer. All pretty standard stuff but crucially there are no major omissions, though some rival devices do offer mini HDMI for outputting video to your TV. On the audio front HTC has also teamed up with Dolby and SRS to provide Dolby Mobile and SRS Wow audio enhancements.
An 8 megapixel camera sits on the back, which is larger than most smartphones on the market, and it even has two LEDs to help out in the dark. Ideally we’d also see a Xenon flash but this really would be a harsh criticism.