HTC P4350 - HTC P4350

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It is 17mm thick, which makes it barely any thicker than O2’s XDA Orbit and T-Mobile’s MDA Compact III, which I reviewed together earlier this year and it is remarkable that it can accommodate a keyboard.


The good news is that the keyboard is very positive to use. You wouldn’t want to write long documents with it, but it is perfectly fine for email, SMS creation, or a little bit of document editing. The individual keys are just about as large as they could possibly be given the available space and they fit nicely under both thumbs when holding the P4350 in two hands.


Two tiny soft-menu keys sit above the QWERTY row. There is no separate number row, but numbers are embedded onto the keys. Those keys that don’t offer a number have a symbol or function instead, and to get any of these you hold down a control key.

There are key combinations for opening up the Comm Manager so you can quickly get to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, for going to the Windows Mobile File Explorer and for opening up a picklist for the full range of symbols. One of the symbols you’ll need this for is ‘£’, but then neither ‘$’ or ‘€’ are on the main keyboard either. There’s a neat way of accessing the kinds of characters you need for words like fête. You type an ordinary ‘e’ then use the function key and space bar to cycle through alternative characters till the ‘ê’ appears on screen.


When you slide the keyboard out, the screen automatically reorients itself into landscape format and emits a little trilling noise as it does so. Close the keyboard up and the screen goes back to portrait format – with another accompanying mini fanfare. When you want to flip the screen without sliding out the keyboard, there is a tappable icon on the Today (main) screen that does the job.

After a hard reset the P4350 reported 37MB of free storage memory for your own data and applications. This should be enough for most people to get going with calendar and contacts synchronisation and to get working with mobile email. If you find you need more, for example if you want to store large files such as music on the device, then there is a microSD card slot on the left side of the casing, protected by a soft rubber cover.


The 2-megapixel camera does a reasonable job outdoors but was very poor when used indoors. The photo of the coloured dish, taken under normal household lighting and with automatic settings, is way off the mark. The background should be white and some of the colours on the dish are just wrong.


Battery life proved to be pretty solid. I got six hours 40 minutes of non-stop music played from a microSD card with the screen forced on. This is not exceptional, but it is not poor either.


”’Verdict ”’


HTC has made some very impressive Pocket PCs. The P4350 is not one of those, being in most respects average, in others below par. The keyboard is its star attraction but on its own it is not enough to sell this Pocket PC to me.

Score


Score in detail

  • Usability 8
  • Value 6
  • Features 7