Along the bottom edge you’ll find a mini-USB port for synchronisation and charging, along with a recessed reset button. There’s also a rubber flap which covers the micro-SD card slot – once again, this is an improvement over the older model, which had no protective cover for the card slot. Missing from the bottom edge is the infrared port, but I haven’t used IrDA in years, so that’s not a significant loss.
On the left hand side there’s a shortcut button to the voice command functionality, a second OK button and a jog dial. I’m a big fan of jog dials, especially on devices where you may need to navigate through long lists. This makes the Vario III incredibly versatile when it comes to navigating pages – you can scroll through pages using the jog dial, you can use the four-way pad below the screen, you can use the scroll bar with your finger or the stylus, or you can resort to HTC’s TouchFLO interface! As Jon mentioned in his review of the HTC P4550, the TouchFLO functionality feels far more beneficial in this handset because it’s not the main focus of the device, as it was with the HTC Touch.
Inside the Vario III is a Qualcomm 7200 processor, running at 400MHz. That’s a pretty fast chip for a handheld device, and the Vario III definitely feels swift in use. There’s 128MB of RAM and 256MB of flash – the result on my review sample was about 66MB free for programs and around 125MB for storage. That’s a hefty amount of built-in memory, and considering that you can pick up a 1GB micro-SD card for under a tenner, storage most definitely isn’t a problem on this device.
Connectivity is superb with the Vario III – you get HSDPA/3G support, along with EDGE, GPRS and Quad Band GSM (850, 900, 1800 and 1900). On top of this, you’ve got Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. There’s pretty much nothing that this smartphone won’t connect to, and with HSDPA running at up to 3.6mbps, you’ll be getting lightning fast data downloads without having to look for a Wi-Fi hotspot.
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